Miranda Kate’s Picture Choice: 2
Title: Moving Out
When Daniels and Hanson arrived back with the two new recruits, they found the rest of the group had been packing with enthusiasm. Abby and Janice had organised everyone, and everything that had been packed so far was neatly piled by the front door.
Pansy and Damon, a young couple who’d come together immediately after the clearing and were inseparable, were in the kitchen, packing up all the food and utensils.
The younger kids were already asleep, but the older two, Daisy and Kyle were sitting with Harris reading a story in the lounge.
Being the oldest of their group, Harris had taken on the role of grandpa, even though he was as capable as the others guy. He was happy to let Daniels run things, offering advice only when asked. He enjoyed the company of the close group, having lived alone for the last few years, after losing his wife of thirty years to cancer. And he enjoyed the kids, something he and his wife had never been blessed with.
He eyed the two young lads that Daniels and Hanson brought in, and looked at the taller one.
“Your Steve, Earl Winters’ son, ain’t ya?”
Steve’s eyes widened on sight of Harris, recognising him. “Yes, sir.”
“Your dad didn’t make it out then?”
Steve shook his head and looked at his feet, trying to hide the tears that had sprung into his eyes.
Seeing this Harris diverted the conversation. “What are you, fifteen or sixteen?”
“Fifteen sir, just turned.”
He looked at Bobby. “And you lad, how old are you?”
“I’m fourteen, sir.”
“Well then you’ll fit in nicely, we ain’t got us any teens yet.” He grinned at them, and they both smiled in relief.
Janice came downstairs with Abby behind her. “Hey, what have we got here?”
Hanson was just coming in to collect more stuff to take out to the trucks. “New recruits. We found them holed up at old Warners place. Looked like they needed a bit of looking after.”
Janice looked them up and down, taking in their scrawny frames, and dirty clothes. “You can say that again. Why don’t you both go have a wash in the bathroom? It’s down the hall to the right there.” She pointed to the corridor leading off the lounge. “There’s only old water from the tank, but it’s better than nothing. And Abby’s hoarded some clothes from the Jenkins department store in the room next door. Have a look through, see what you can find.”
“Is there anything to eat, ma’am, we’re starving.” Bobby said in a small voice.
She smiled at them. “I ain’t no ma’am, I’m Janice. And yeah, I’ll fix you up something for when you’re done.”
The grins that appeared on their faces brought a smile to everyone’s lips, and they hurried off down the corridor.
“You okay with us bringing them back?” Daniels plopped himself into an armchair for a breather. “I couldn’t stand the idea of leaving them out there.”
“Of course you couldn’t,” Abby said. “As Harris said, they fill in the age gap we’re missing. I think they’ll be handy to have around. Just really hope this cabin’s gonna squish us all in.”
“I’m confident it will.” Daniels reassured her. “Where have Rod and Brandon got to?”
“They went out to a do a tour of the supermarkets and drugstores just after you left,” Abby said, while getting Daisy and Kyle into their PJs.
“They’ve been a while then, should we be worried?” Hanson flopped into another armchair.
“Rod said they were going over to the old wholesale place on the edge of town, see if they could get in. I hope they come back with a good haul.”
“What they driving?” Daniels asked.
“They took the station wagon from across the street,” Harris said, getting up and giving his legs a stretch.
“Okay. That’s good. We should have room for whatever they bring back. I just hope they’re back soon. I don’t like any of us out after dark.”
It wasn’t long after Abby had tucked in the older kids that Rod and Brandon showed up. The station wagon they’d taken was packed to the roof. Daniels was relieved and pleased at their haul, and despite the cold they all went out to admire it in night light.
“There’s still plenty more. Should we go by again on our way out tomorrow morning?” Brandon asked. “We could get a whole lot more in the trucks.”
Daniel looked the gleaming Silverado’s. “We’ll see how it packs into the trucks first. I don’t want it too tight. Plus we have to think about storage the other end. We could always come back down if needs be.”
Silence fell, as they contemplated the journey ahead of them. Daniels looked up at the sky, which was clear and full of stars now there were no street lights to dim the view. He heard the distant hoot of an owl, no doubt out hunting.
“It’s gonna be crisp in the morning, but we need be up at sunrise and get this lot shifted over, so we can see how it fits and it there’s time for another trip over there. We need to head out as early as possible, so we can make the most of the daylight, and take our time through the snow up there. I really don’t want to risk sleeping in the trucks come nightfall.”
“Well then, we’d best turn in now.” Abby said, putting an arm round each of the new boys. “Come on, I’ve made up some beds on the floor in the lounge for you guys.”
Bobby stifled a yawn as they all trouped back indoors.
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