(because five was so short)
Chapter Six— On the Road Again.
A few evenings later Brock and Roni were sitting on the scrubbed front porch steps sipping on hot coffee. They all had worked hard to get ready and they were going to pull out in the morning, bright and early. They had gotten the truck started and found an enclosed trailer to hook up to it.
They filled all the gas cans they could find, both tanks in the truck, and the jeep with gas from the upright gas storage tank that sat next to the barn. They also found a small flat trailer made for pulling motorcycles and had hooked that up to the jeep with Roni’s bike on it.
It had been hard figuring out what to take since they all doubted that they would be back anytime soon and they also had to decide whether to leave the place standing in case Tracey or Erin wanted to come home someday or burn it so no one would trash the place.
They knew they didn’t have room for everything; yet, they wanted to take keepsakes for the girls in case they didn’t want to come back. So in the end they decided to board up all the windows they could and lock up as best as they could. And if someone broke in, then someone broke in.
It was decided that all the weapons would go, although there wasn’t many; just a few rifles and two compound bows plus all the ammo and arrows they found.
All the food would go except that in the freezer. Most of the food was already canned. There was mostly meat in the freezer and it wasn’t full, only about half way. They ate the steak for every meal while they were there. They cleaned out both the frig and freezer and fit all they could in the four coolers they found. The venison was tossed into the woods for the animals since it wasn’t really fresh anymore.
They took all the clothes they could find for Tracey and Erin plus some blankets and pillows. Tracey was going to cram all her favorite toys, books, and special things into the back seat of the truck, claiming that spot for her own; but since she was so small and there was a shell on the back of the truck, Roni took the mattress off of the crib and made a small bed area up against the window of the shell. The mattress was placed on top of some totes that held food and there was a clean sheet put on it and blankets. It was down right cozy and just the right size for Tracey. The only way in was through the window from inside the truck cab. That is where Tracey put most of her things, although she also put some of them in the back seat where she could sit and watch over her sister.
Of course, they also took everything they could find for Erin. The diapers, bottles with the liners, formula, and extra clothes were within easy reach on the floor in the back seat area of the truck.
It had been a busy week, but finally they felt they were ready to leave. Erin’s cord had fallen off and she was eating really good and healthy. Tracey had gotten over the worse part of the shock of losing her parents, and although she had been bothered by nightmares the first few nights, the adults were hoping that the worst was over.
Still sipping on the coffee, Roni and Brock could hear wolves howling and snarling at each other off in the distance. They both had grins on their faces.
“I don’t think that they found the venison yet.” murmured Roni.
“I can’t think of a better ending for the creeps who made those adorable girls orphans.” commented Brock.
“Brock Stetson! You and I think too much alike. That just might be dangerous!” exclaimed Roni in a teasing tone.
Brock gave a deep warm laugh at her words. Roni felt warmth begin to grow deep in her own chest. Their eyes locked onto each others and electricity seemed to course between them. Kevin coughing in the door way broke the spell they seemed to be under and they looked away from each other, both were blushing slightly and grinning.
“Well, both Tracey and Erin are sleeping like angels. I think that Tracey likes me reading to her.” Kevin said.
“Must be because you love to make up voices for all the characters.” remarked Brock. “And I volunteer for the first watch, because somehow I don’t think I’m going to get to sleep anytime soon.”
Morning came peaceful and quiet, and saw the small group, which now was family, safely on their way. A family bonded together by blood, death, grief, tears, and the hope that a tiny little baby brought them.
Kevin was driving the jeep with Tracey safely buckled in the front seat next to him begging for stories. Brock was driving the truck following behind with baby Erin making cute baby noises and looking around with wonder in her car seat in the middle of the back seat, safely buckled in. Roni was riding in the back seat next to Erin playing with her tiny fingers and hands.
No one looked back as they drove down the driveway. They only stopped to replace the log across the faint driveway.