Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hiding the Stranger in Hickory Valley, Part Two

The three siblings exchanged puzzled looks, and then Hank asked, “What’s wrong? Why don’t you want those guys to see you?”

The boy seemed to search his memory before he answered, “I’m not sure. I just know that there is something…something bad about those two men. I don’t know why. I just know that I have to stay away from them.” He shook his head trying to clear the fog that seemed to hang over his thoughts.

“Do you know those men?” he asked Hank and his sisters.

Jen answered, “No. I’ve never seen them before. Have you, Hank, or you, Katie?”

Hank shook his head and Katie said, “No. They must have just gotten into town. I think my stranger is right. Those men are evil. I can feel it!” emphasized the young girl.

“Oh, Kate, you can’t feel evil,” scolded her older sister, “and why are you calling this guy ‘my stranger’?”

“Can too feel it!” snapped the girl. “I have to call him something, and he’s a stranger who I found at the corner of the meadow.” Katie folded her arms together in a determined gesture and slouched in the seat. A moment later she sat up and said, “Hey! Stranger At Meadow: I could use the first letters of those words and call him SAM. Would that be alright with you?” she asked the bewildered boy.

“What? Oh, sure. Whatever you want,” he quietly replied.

Jen sighed and told her sister, “You can’t just name him like he’s some kind of pet.”

“Okay, girls, let’s not argue,” Hank interrupted. “Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to wait before we talk to Chief Benson.” Hank tilted his head to indicate the boy, “This guy, whatever his name is, may get his memory back shortly, and the mystery will be solved. The first thing we need to do is have a doctor look at him.”

When the group reached the hospital and entered the lobby, the first person they saw was Mary Boston, a classmate of Jen’s. Mary’s crisp looking white shirt, candy-striped smock, and stylish short hair gave her a professional look. She was working as a hospital aide and hoped someday to become a doctor. Mary looked up when she heard them walking down the hall.
“Hi, Jen, what’s wrong? Is someone hurt?” Mary asked.

Jen pointed to the teenaged boy and answered, “Yes, our…uhmm, our cousin,…uhmm, Sam Rivers, fell and hit his head. Can someone look at him, please?”

“I’ll see which doctor is on call,” she said and quickly stepped over to the desk to use the in-house phone.

This excerpt is from a young adult novel by Joan C. Kelly: Hiding the Stranger in Hickory Valley

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