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Fiction Relay – Part 29

6 May, 2013

Nine months ago today, Melissa employed a new waitress at Maisy’s Diner and the saga of Suzi/Meagan began. For a quick catch-up of the plot so far, and to remind yourself who everyone is and how they got here, read the summary. To learn more about the Relay and the Relayers, or to to find links to all previous chapters and read the whole thing – all 21k words – visit the homepage. Technically this is Hasty’s turn but as she is busy at the moment, we have swapped and therefore I will be your driver for this chapter.  Okay, everyone ready? Strap yourselves in, keep your hands inside the car at all times and scream if you want to go faster…

 

PART 29

The deep, rumbling blare from the truck’s trio of horns yanked Suzi from her sleep. The shock of the sound almost made her gasp but as her eyes flashed open she was reminded where she was and she managed to stay her breath, stifle any sound. As she slowly exhaled, her heart rate lowering, she sensed the morning sunlight and pulled the curtain open just an inch to peer outside. The glare of the sun reflecting from the surface of the water forced her to flick the curtain closed, but in that quick glimpse she thought she had recognised the river beneath the bridge as the mighty Mississippi, the gateway into Arkansas.

Her driver sounded the horns again in two short celebratory bursts. “Oh Arkansas, oh Arkansas,” he sang lustily, if quite a way off-key, “Arkansas U.S.AAAAAAAAA!” Well, he seems pretty pleased to be here, Suzi thought. She was just pleased to be anywhere, to be away from Kentucky. But her relief at the growing distance between her and the dangers that waited for her back there, between her and the birthplace of those memories, those horrors from her past in the orphanage… all of this was shadowed by the engulfing recollection of her last visit to the state of Arkansas.

It was fifteen years ago that Meagan had driven to Jacksonville. To the bus station where she handed Sammy to the woman whose name she had not allowed herself to know, watched her being driven away to her new, safe life in the state of New Mexico. In the town of BestIDon’tKnow. It was fifteen years since she left Meagan’s car in the parking lot of that bus station, since she turned away from her past, from her name, from her baby girl, and Suzi boarded the Greyhound for Tampa.

She had only spent five months with Sammy, but even in that short time she had known that her daughter had talents. How could it ever have been any different? How could her child with Daniel be born without them? Her bond with Sammy was more than a mother’s instinct for knowing when her baby was hungry or tired or scared or needed changing. It was more than knowing, it was feeling. The two of them could share consciousness in the same way that she imagined identical twins could experience one another’s pains or joys. And as the truck rolled on westwatrds over the bridge, a surging of regret, an aching for her daughter overtook her, echoed deafeningly inside that gaping emptiness within her. She had been reasoned, determined, strong in her self-denial since the memories of Sammy had begun to return, she had resisted the urge to try to contact her, knowing it was for the best, she was protecting the safety of them both. But she was weakening. Her exhaustion after the last few days, her emotions on entering Arkansas, her love for the daughter she had not seen for so many years, combined to defeat her resolve. I’m far from them now, she told herself, emotion winning over reason, I’m closer to New Mexico than Kentucky. It must be safe.

When she had left the cabin the night before, she had known she would head for Albuquerque, she had to start her search for Sammy somewhere. But she hadn’t known – how could she? – that a journey to the shores of the Rio Grande would take her to the very doorstep of The Club.

She closed her eyes, opened her mind. She reached out for her beautiful child.

……

“Are you okay?” Ephraim asked. Sam raised a hand a from the wheel to silence him and narrowed his eyes as he tried to pick up on the vibration again. “What is it?” Ephraim insisted, but Sam didn’t answer. He was just present enough to be able to pull the car over, and on the safety of the westbound roadside he closed his eyes to focus. “It’s Meagan,” he said quietly, and waited for another ripple. He sent out a search of his own, hoping to trace the source but the image was weak, too weak to properly fix on to. “She’s definitely to the west,” he said, opening his eyes, “but I can’t tell where. I vote we keep heading that way.”

Ephraim didn’t reply, and Sam turned to face him again. But his look was empty, he was shaking, sweating, gasping. And suddenly he stopped, his eyes regained their life. Sam stared as Ephraim came back into himself. “What happened, buddy?” Sam asked. “I had a vision,” Ephraim said, facing the window, unable to look at Sam.

“A bad one?”

“A bad one.”

Sam shivered. “Suzi?”

“There was blood,” Ephraim said quietly, “Lots of blood. And fire. And there was Raj.”

“What do you mean?”

“Just keep driving. We have to find her.”

 

Over to you Hasty for Part 30, and then Cara steps in at 31…

 

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16 Comments
  1. Oh gosh. I’m hoping they find her before things get ugly. I’m going to have to really make sure my contribution is suitable.

  2. Has it really been 9 months? A lot has happened with our Suzi… and a lot more to come I’m sure. Nice work TRG… I loved your first line.

  3. OMG…..I just had a few thoughts. Ok thinking…..yikes…the pressure to write something good builds as the story continues on.

  4. Ha! Love the way you continued Suzi’s journey, and how you have Sam and Ephraim tracking her now. Ephraim’s vision was great, too: blood and fire and Raj. (Oh, my! 😉 )

  5. *claps* Awesomeness as always, boss! Between this and Hasty’s awesomely intense post I can’t wait to see what Cara comes up with! (btw, Cara…sex is good. *eg*)

    And Ted…of course it’s against the spirit of the game to ask, but…please-please-please don’t “kill” Raj again before I get a chance to torture him a little? Pretty please? With blood-and-fire on it? *eg*

    • well if he does get killed, he can always be brought back to be tortured and killed again. He is like Kenny from south park . “Oh my god theyve killed Raj!”

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