EXPLORING FOR TRESURE – Part 3
Lynn had been constantly weighing her options as soon as she’d made eye contact with this jerk and knew in the pit of her stomach that he was some kind of trouble. He sure wasn’t no preacher and it seemed awful funny that he turned up here and was at the bookstore too. She had learned a lot about people and life in general from being on her own a lot and people always were saying she had a good head on her shoulders. Actual fear was starting to take over and that wasn’t an emotion she allowed herself lightly. Mostly she’d feel a kind of dread when it was clear her mother was going to go into one of her “moods” and beat the crap outta her but hate and pure liquid anger had replaced fear a long time ago.
She felt the weight of the pocket knife in her shorts pocket and tightened the grip on the bottle of Coca-Cola. This man, standing between her and the exit was going to have to be dealt with, one way or the other. Whatever danger her mother had warned her of with men, whatever that repeated lecture was meant to convey she still wasn’t sure of, but in her estimation this man was planning it. If he was planning to take her new book away from her he was gonna have a fight on his hands. She’d traded both of her comics and cash to boot for it and besides that he’d bought a bunch of books his own self, he didn’t need hers too.
“So you like books?” Lynn decided to try to distract him. Maybe she could talk him into her giving him some other book she owned. She had a good start on a collection of “The Boxcar Children” and a couple of Nancy Drew mysteries back at the hotel.
“Depends on the content,” he replied, never taking his eyes off of her. “I have a few I’d like to show you.” The interplay with children was always a delicious part, almost as good as the act itself and he didn’t mind prolonging his pleasure a while longer. This one was going to be a fighter, he could tell, and that made it all the more exciting.
Another ten minutes had passed since Old Joe had started watching for the kid and there hadn’t been a sign of her yet. One of the men got up and changed the channel to cartoons out of habit and that started a ruckus amongst the men.
“Kid ain’t here! No reason we have to watch that junk, put it back on the game show!” There were echoes of agreement but nothing came out of the mouth of the man Old Joe had slapped upside the head. He wasn’t risking another tussle with that crazy old man. Word had it he’d been a boxer back in the day and while no one could prove it, rumor claimed he’d beat a man half to death years before and did some time in the Pen his own self. Couldn’t be verified though since Old Joe had been in residence longer than any of the other men and if the owner knew anything, he wasn’t saying.
Joe couldn’t take much more of this watching. He was a man of action, not one to sit and ponder a situation but between his bad legs, the heat and not having an idea in the world where to look for the kid he stayed put. Frustration was building up a head of steam though and his mind went back the conversation he’d had the night before about the new resident. Seemed the man was the worst kind of scum in the world Joe had planned to put the fear of God in him before he ever saw the kid and put a word in her ear too.
“Damnation!” Old Joe fairly shouted, but no one paid him much attention being used to his outbursts that seemed to come from some deep recesses of his mind or memory. If he wanted you to know about something you knew, wasn’t no sense in getting in his business unless you were a fool or wanted a good ass kicking.
“Yeah, - I mean I could probably take a look at your books sometime – would do it now but my dad”…
Foreplay was all well and good but Jesse’s desire had reached its peak and he was done playing with this little darlin’, or rather ready to get started. He reached down and was starting to undo his zipper when a bottle glanced off his chest.
She saw him look down and jumped at the opportunity, throwing the bottle, reaching in her pocket for the knife and clutching her book she jumped from the slab and ran. She was good at ducking some of the blows her mom threw so she had practice at darting around a room. It came in real handy and she reached the broken door before he knew what had happened. Running was something else Lynn was good at. Shoot, she’d been chased home by a bunch of kids more often then she could remember and they’d only caught her twice.
The sun blinded Jesse as he reached the door, still surprised by her escape. She was only a few yards ahead of him and letting her go now was not an option. It happened that way before too. He never would’ve had to hurt the last kid if he’d just cooperated but all that yelling and threatening to tell had sealed his fate, nothing else Jesse could have done but choke the air out of him. He saw her lose her footing on the loose gravel and watched as she tumbled into a ditch between the mill and the railroad tracks. Still, he knew not to hesitate and started running towards her.