Babble Installments #8

Babble Installments #8

EVERYONE WINS in the Rabble Preorder Campaign & Giveaway

Receive the first 13 chapters of Rabble (book 2 of the Cosmic Conspiracy) AND a 50% off coupon for Babble (book 1) just for entering. When you enter the giveaway, you’ll automatically receive the option to download the excerpt and start reading right away. You’ll also be entered in a drawing for a Rabble t-shirt, mug, and autographed copy of the book.



But no need to wait. Here is the next installment of Babble

One young boy is the key to the universe.

Babble is the story of Bobbie Cagle — a teenage misdiagnosed autistic boy who is the first human to leap into a brave new world of consciousness — an evolutionary leap as great as the first fish that crawled from the sea onto land.

But unfortunately, everyone wants Bobbie for their own purposes.

Installment # 8  (If you’ve missed an installment, go HERE.)

(And if you’re enjoying the story, please share it with your friends.)

Chapter 5

A couple of miles outside Lincolnton the bus’s rear tire blew. Despite her best efforts to stay awake, Angie had nodded off when she heard the muffled explosion followed by the thump-thump of the flat, and the bus almost immediately turned off the road. The driver put the bus in park, stretched as he stood up, and without a word to anyone opened the door to go inspect the damage.

Since bus companies tried to wring as much profit as possible, flat tires and breakdowns happened routinely. The companies ran the buses hard with a minimum of maintenance or inspections, ignoring most regulations since they were rarely enforced. Breakdowns were so common the flat tire drew little attention, though a few people pulled out their cell phones to alert their loved ones that once again they’d not be arriving on time.

Angie sighed and tried to resume her nap, but a growing tightness in her solar plexus wouldn’t let her relax. Over the last decade of running and hiding, she’d learned to pay attention to such inner rumblings, so she sat up and looked around. Bobbie continued to sleep quietly beside her, as did most of the other travelers. No one paid her any attention. She relaxed a bit, but something continued to nag at her.

She closed her eyes and immediately the image of the old bum in the bus station flashed in her mind’s eye. Why had he been so quick to look away, to pretend he hadn’t been watching them? A second image superimposed itself on the original one. The scene was the back alley of the artist commune, and the view was from above as she climbed down the fire escape. She’d thought at the time that there’d been no one in the alley, but she now realized she’d been wrong. He’d been there. It had to have been the same man. The dirty bandage around his head gave him away. She’d just been in too much of a rush to escape to pay him any mind. Besides homeless people were so common in the inner city, after a while they just blended in with the rest of the debris. She leaned over Bobbie to look out the window, but could only make out a few lights in the distance on an otherwise black night. Probably a farmhouse, she thought.

It didn’t make sense to leave the warmth and security of the bus in the middle of nowhere. Did it? But even as she debated with herself, she knew which side would win. It was the side that had won almost every time in the past twelve years. Err on the side of caution. It had become her motto and her mantra and had served her well. She took one final gaze at her son’s angelic face before gently shaking him.

“Sweetheart, wake up. We need to leave. Wake up, honey.”

Slowly Bobbie stirred and finally opened his eyes but without a lot of recognition that he knew where he was.

“I’m sorry, sweetheart, but we need to leave…now.” As she spoke, she rose from her seat beside him. “You stay here and get your bearings. I’ll get our luggage from under the bus.”

Rubbing his eyes, Bobbie gave an almost imperceptible nod as Angie made her way through the aisle.

“Ma’am, it’s really not a good idea to leave the bus,” the driver replied when Angie asked for their luggage. “We’re pretty much in the middle of nowhere. I mean, Lincolnton is back there a few miles but at this time of the night, it’s shut up tight as a tick on a hound dog.”

“That’s okay, just so happens we have relatives just up the road,” Angie lied pointing in the general direction where she’d seen the lights. “We’ll be fine. Now, please, may I have our luggage,” she said firmly.

“Sure, I guess,” the driver replied. “It’s your life.”

“I have two backpacks and a duffel bag,” Angie said with a smile.

As he opened the undercarriage of the bus to retrieve the luggage, she pulled out her phone to locate where they were and the best direction to take to move them toward Penland. The more direct route that the bus was taking went through Hickory, but as she studied the map, she noticed there were smaller roads that would bypass Hickory and take them directly to Morganton. Though that route would have less traffic on it making it more difficult to hitch a ride, it still seemed to be the best route to take. Satisfied by her decision now that she had a plan and a direction, she stepped back into the bus and motioned for Bobbie to join her.

Gazing into her son’s still sleepy eyes, she knew her immediate plan was to find a safe place for them to rest and maybe if they were lucky, find some food. She handed Bobbie his pack and shouldered her own. Picking up the duffel bag, she pointed in the direction of the lights. “That’s where we’re headed, Bobbie.”

She’d lived long enough in North Carolina to know that at one time most homesteads out in the country had at least one barn, though many of them had disappeared over the years, falling down from lack of attention. She prayed the farm up ahead would still have some outbuilding where they could rest. Food would have to come later.

Angie didn’t consider herself a particularly religious person or an ardent follower of Christ, but it was hard to live in the Charismatic Christian Community without some of their ideas seeping in. So when she reached the farm and found, not only a couple of whitewashed outbuildings but also that they were in good shape, she gave thanks for the shelter.  She gave thanks again upon discovering a flock of laying hens in one of the buildings. She didn’t have any way to cook the eggs, but despite the stories she’d heard about the danger of eating them raw, she figured it would be okay. After all, they were the freshest eggs she’d probably ever eat.

She opened her backpack and took out the canteen of water and one of the nutrition shakes she kept with her as part of her escape plan package. She poured the powder into the canteen and cracked a couple of the fresh eggs in it as well. The extra protein would help satisfy their hunger pains and provide them with a good source of energy for the long trip ahead.

Bobbie had retreated into what Angie called his “blue funk” when he was mostly unresponsive like he was off in his own little world. She placed the canteen into his hands before raising it to his lips and started pouring the thick concoction down his throat. He swallowed as though it was only a reflex. Still, the rest of his body would take over and digest the nutrients. He seemed to be spending more and more time in his blue funk mood. Come to think of it, that was one of the signs the doctors said could come from autism. But Angie hadn’t bought into that diagnosis, and she wasn’t going to start now. So much water had passed under the bridge since that time at Duke. So much.

Stay tuned next Friday or jump ahead by joining the Rabble Preorder & Giveaway.

EVERYONE WINS in the Rabble Preorder Campaign & Giveaway

Receive the first 13 chapters of Rabble (book 2 of the Cosmic Conspiracy) AND a 50% off coupon for Babble (book 1) just for entering. When you enter the giveaway, you’ll automatically receive the option to download the excerpt and start reading right away. You’ll also be entered in a drawing for a Rabble t-shirt, mug, and autographed copy of the book.



2021-09-03T21:43:07+00:000 Comments

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