The Kingsford County Line (Part 7)

Damn it, he’d been sleeping hard too. As much as Logan enjoyed these treks with his brother and nephews, he had to admit that it was hard getting a decent sleep at the various tiny motels and campgrounds were they had been staying, especially as he was getting older. Howard–he’d only turned fifty-five last year, but Logan had just turned sixty-one, and he felt every damn year in his back right now. He didn’t know how Howard did it, keeping up with these two boys. Two weeks was plenty for him, and he wanted to strangle one, or both. The eternal bachelor, Logan had dated serially for a couple of decades, until he was about fourty, and then he’d resigned himself to the fact that he much preferred his own company to anyone else–particularly women. It wasn’t that he wasn’t straight by any means. No, Logan took several trips a year to Vegas where he had a few paid relationships with women of his choosing, but the thought of settling down just seemed exhausting. Sure, he felt a paternal desire every once in a while, but these road trips were generally enough to sate it, squash it, or a bit of both.

He resettled himself in the back of the van, wondering what exactly Tyler had been so upset about. The kid usually had a pretty level head on him–maybe not as level as his older brother, but they were both good, solid kids. But he’d seemed…genuinely scared of something, but who knew what, exactly. It wasn’t like he scared easily either, so maybe there really was something going on out there. He sat up in the van, in time to see some big, fat trailer trash looking fellow come out of the building with a case of beer under his arm. He walked over to the tow truck parked beside them and put the beer inside, and then did the strangest thing–he sniffed the air a few times, licked his lips, and headed back towards the station, this time going around the side, where Tyler said Dave had gone, and where he assumed Tyler had followed. Still, everything was probaby fine, he supposed–untl he saw that burly redneck along with another, younger version of him proping Tyler between them…and Tyler looked like he was stoned or something. He crawled forward in the van, expecting them to bring his nephew there, but instead they kept going to the tow truck, where they shoved Tyler into the cab.

Ok, so something was definitely wrong. He threw open the door and got out of the car, and said, “Hey! What the hell are you doing with my nephew?”

The two rednecks looked over at him, and the younger one said, “Don’’ fuckin’ worry ‘bout it man–ya should probably be worryin’ ‘bout yourself, anyway.”

“Tyler? Tyler!” He shouted, “Get the hell out of there!”

The big redneck slammed the tow truck’s door shut, and he could see Tyler looking at him from inside, his face still slack and confused, but why wasn’t he trying to get away or anything? Logan rushed the two as fast as his old body would let him, hoping to get past them to the door, but he lost his momentum as soon as he got a good whiff of them–they stank to high heaven, he didn’t think he’d ever smelled anyone as foul before, and he came up short, eyes streaming tears, nose on fire, and so the big redneck’s windup punch to his jaw caught him completely off guard, sending him stumbling back and down onto his ass, coughing and sputtering and trying to recover his footing and get that awful funk out of his nose.

“Damn, nice punch, Pa,”

“Thanks son–now let’s git the hell out a here ‘fore he git’s up.”

The son ran around the truck and got in the passenger side, his dad crammed himself behind the wheel–Tyler squished between them. The engine rumbled to life just as Logan got his footing back, stumbling slightly, and before he could think twice about it, he rushed the truck and threw himself onto the back, clinging to the winch equipment for dear life as the tires squealed, caught the rough asphalt, and the truck flew off down the road with Logan clutching on like a feeble barnacle.

He knew this was suicidal–what the hell had he been thinking? He sure as hell couldn’t do anything about it now, though, the truck rocketing through the night along the highway. It felt like they were going a hundred miles an hour, even though he knew that couldn’t be true, and after half an hour his fingers were beginning to tire, he was shivering in the wind, and was happy to see they were finally entering something like a town. He managed to hang onto the side until the truck took a sudden right turn, and he finally lost his grip, tumbling out into the middle of the deserted road. He picked himself up, terrified someone might hit him, and also that he might lose them. He got onto the sidewalk, keeping an eye on the one working taillight the tow truck still had, as it banked hard again a quarter mile down the road, making another right.

Logan hustled as best he could, but the pain was finally catching up to him–both the punch he’d taken earlier to his face, which felt like it was twice the size as usual, and from the fall off the truck. he scraped one arm up pretty well, but there wasn’t any serious damage, he hoped. He could move everything still, if nothing else. He finally reached the spot where he thought the truck had turned, and found himself at the entrance to a trailer park called “Louisiana Acres.” It was all he really had to go on, and so he limped in–if he couldn’t find the tow truck here…well, then he’d have to figure out something else, he supposed.

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