The Exile: Episode 32

 

When we reached the truck, I opened the door and jumped in. After searching the glove box, I found the key wrapped inside an old handkerchief. After several unsuccessful attempts to turn over the engine, the truck finally roared to life, and the woman jumped in with her son.

Slowly pulling away from the farmhouse, I headed down the long driveway toward the road.

“Which way back to town?” I asked. “I have an idea.”

Holding tightly to her son, the woman motioned toward the right.

“We’re headed back to town?” she asked “Why?”

“This is a small town. Back at that gas station, people saw the man threaten you with a knife. And somebody is bound to have seen what they did to your house. Those men weren’t exactly quiet about it. Maybe if we talk to the mayor, he can help,” I suggested.

Looking over at her, I asked,

“Do you know how high this corruption goes?”

She shook her head no but said nothing. I could tell she was exhausted and afraid for her son.

At the edge of the property, I stopped, looked up and down the stretch of blacktop then eased out onto the road.

As I drove toward town, I thought back over what had happened. If I hadn’t passed out at her house that night. . .if I hadn’t even accepted a ride from her. I should have just kept going. Maybe she would be safe now.

I shook my head to clear away those thoughts. No use thinking about what I should have done. Too late. Question was what would I do now?

Mile after mile we drove in silence.

“There’s city hall up ahead on the left,” she pointed as we passed a sign that said city limits.

Pulling into a parking space next door to the building, I turned toward the woman and suggested,

“You had better come on up with me.”

“What if the mayor’s involved in this?” she asked.

“Good point,” I said. “Wait down here with your son. If there’s a problem, I’ll call you. Do you have a cell phone?”

She nodded yes and recited the number to me.

“All right. I’m leaving the engine running. If you haven’t heard from me in five minutes, get behind the wheel and drive off!” I ordered.

She nodded then said, “Be careful!”

“Thanks. Be right back, I hope,” I said.

According to the lobby directory, the mayor’s office was in room 100. I followed the posted signs until I found myself outside a glass door with hand painted lettering that read Office of the Mayor.

Opening the door to the outer office, I approached the receptionist and was just about to ask if I could see the mayor when his office door opened and his honor stepped out smiling.

“Join me, would you please?” he asked.

I hesitated but went inside.

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Published in: on September 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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