Saturday, August 16, 2014

Part 41


Spooner, WI.  Main Street USA.  The end of the beginning or the beginning of the end or some other stupid way of saying it marked a bad spot in the road.  I'm not thinking too clearly.  Late season blizzard is roaring outside and I can hardly hear myself think.  I think this is a blizzard.  Maybe it is just a storm.  Maybe it isn't late season and the snow keeps going and going and going ...

Enough.  The whole point of writing this out is to get control of the bugs crawling around in my head, not give them free rein.

Spooner.  That's where we spent the night.  We salvaged a few odds and ends from the town but not much.  There wasn't that much left to salvage, certainly no food items.  But we did find make up and Sunny had a fit and a bunch of fun picking out what she wanted to take.  I started to remind her that Jace had said we had to be choosy because we were running heavy as it was.

"That's alright," Jace said over the top of me.  "Just remember Sunny, take off all the packaging."

"Why?"

Patiently he explained to her, "So that it fits in the smallest space possible."

Thinking about it I saw the lightbulb go on when she figured it out.  "Oh!  Sure thing Jace."  And then Sunny was finally sunny once again.

I went back to looking for anything useful in the back of the drugstore but looked up when Jace took my elbow and pulled me out back into the alley.

I asked, "What?"

He inhaled like he was going to say something then stopped, shook his head and then started again.  "Thanks."

"For what?"

"For not making a scene.  I ... I know.  I just couldn't handle Sunny pouting and throwing a fit again today."

I shrugged.  "She isn't a kid.  You can't count on this working every time like it would with a kid."  Carefully I looked at him and reminded him, "She isn't your Clarey and she isn't Sammy either.  She's shook up but she strikes me as someone that could be alright if she has ... you know ... structure."

"Mebbe."  Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small plastic store bag.  "Here."

I took it gingerly and then looked inside.  "Why?" I asked him.

He shrugged.  "I know you don't wear war paint but ... I don't know ... I figured this ... look, you need some anyway."

Sunny picked that moment to come find us.  She saw the two of us and asked suspiciously, "What's going on?"

I reached into the bag and pulled out a handful of an expensive brand of lip gloss and chapstick.  I held them up for Sunny to see and said, "Lecture time."  When she looked only half way relieved I asked her, "Did that lipstick you pick up have UV protection in it?  Jace said unless I want to look like I've been sucking on a lemon for three years I better start using this stuff."

Then Sunny got all puffed up and said, "He's right.  And we should make sure you have something for your hair.  You are starting to look like you are wearing a rat's nest on your head.  And your skin ... you aren't broke out but you are dried out and are starting to get chapped and scaly looking."  As Sunny dragged me back into the store Jace gave me a grateful look for my bit of misdirection.  Yeah, it was a lie.  I know it.  Part of me is sorry for it but I also admit that a good part of me is not.  Especially in hindsight.

After about an hour Jace said we needed to get going.  The frost had melted and we were very close to being overloaded.  The only good thing about running heavy is that the wind was less likely to blow us off the road.  Sunny looked back at the rest of the stores along Main Street regretfully, like she would have really liked to have stayed and continued to explore, but she did get into the truck.  She did ask to sit by the window instead of next to Jace.

Jace - looking worried - asked her, "You ok Sunny?"

She nodded.  "Yeah.  Just want a little fresh air and that bump thing in the middle keeps hitting my knee."

"You should have said something earlier.  We would have made sure ..."

Sunny shook her head.  "No.  I'm fine.  I just have cramps."

Jace colored up at that and let it go really fast.  I gave her a knowing girl look.  Make up wasn't the only thing that Sunny had been salvaging for in the drug store and we agreed to split what we did find between us.  It looked like it was going to be a better day.  Little did any of us know.


 

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