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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Chapter 1

Submitted: June 12, 2019

Reads: 67

Comments: 1

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Submitted: June 12, 2019



A Thousand Miles from Yesterday



Chapter 1


The roar of an approaching motor cycle caused Lindsey to shrink deeper into the hedge surrounding the house.  She was on “full alert” as the drone of the engine roared closer to her hiding place.  Fear filled her heart and she began to shake.  Was this another henchman searching for her?  She touched her cheek and winced.

Thirty-two-year-old Zachery “Zak” Wilcox Freemont rolled his custom Harley to a stop at the 4-way intersection.  Chewing on his bottom lip he glanced in all directions.  Aunt Mable’s place wasn’t too far from here, he was positive about that. However, it had been fifteen years since he had made the trip to her home and Willow’s Cabin Rentals. Landmarks were gone and businesses he thought he recognized sported new names.  Homes and buildings were gone. Right or left? There was no one in sight to ask.  Why hadn’t he checked a map before he started out this morning?

Frustrated, he gunned the engine for a moment, loving the sound of the powerful Screamin’

 Eagle’s engine and then looked again in all directions. That’s when he spotted her behind the shrubs

 of the gray house on the corner. Raw instinct said, Get out of town now. She’s in trouble. He rolled his

bike to the curb, dropped the kickstand, and walked toward her.

Lindsey huddled in a ball, fear evident in her eyes. They had found her, and she couldn’t run any

 more. Zak took one look at the young woman, and bile rose in his throat. Her face was bruised and

 bloody. Someone had worked her over brutally. No wonder she cringed as he approached.“I won’t hurt

you,” Zak said in an effort to convey that he meant her no harm. Still, she hugged herself tighter. He held

out his hand. Tentatively, she reached out toward him. “You need to see a doctor!” were the first words

out of his mouth as he took her hand and helped her to her feet. Her eyes grew round with fear, and she

shook her head. As she stood up, it was obvious she was pregnant.

 Zak thought he would be sick.

 A dozen questions ran through his mind, but he knew now was not the time to question her. He

 needed to get her out of here and quickly! Apparently, she was hiding, so that meant someone was after

her. He moved her toward his bike, took the backpack she clutched, and snagged his spare helmet. He

also rummaged until he found his leather vest and handed it to her as well. She raised her eyebrows.

“Less likely someone will recognize you with this and the full-face helmet on.” She nodded and quickly

donned the vest.

The Harley roared to life. Lindsey found herself hugging the back of a stranger, zooming down

 the road. How crazy was she?

 Zak could smell the danger she was in. He was going to get her out of the area as quickly as

 possible. He headed west, unconsciously praying he had made the correct turn. Outside of town, he

 spotted a rest area set back off the road and shaded by a variety of trees; it was deserted. He pulled in

 and up to the water pump. Lindsey pulled off the helmet, and Zak handed her a T-shirt he had dug

 out of his bag and had soaked with water. It took the surface layer of blood that had begun to dry off

 her face; however, she still looked horrible. They didn’t dare stay longer to do a better job.

 They traveled about thirty miles when Zak turned off the main road and headed into a town in

 northcentral Wisconsin. He drove down the main street, looked it over, then headed down a side

 street and turned again, this time onto a gravel road. Seconds later, Zak came to a stop in front of a

 sign that read, “Willow’s Cabins for Rent: By the Week or by the Month.” Zak pulled his helmet off

 and Lindsey did likewise. “My mom’s sister owns this place. Been after me to come and visit ever

 since Mom died. I was headed here when I saw you. If you are hiding, this should be a safe place.”

 Zak suddenly realized he knew nothing about the young woman who had climbed off his bike and

 now stood in front of him. Except for the obvious feature that showed she was pregnant, someone

 had obviously beaten her up. He studied her for a few moments. She was attractive, slight of build, had

 brown shoulder-length hair, and startling blue eyes.

Aunt Mable came flying out of the big white house, arms wide open, with a grin that would have

 split her face if her ears hadn’t stopped it! “You came, you came!” she said as she hugged him long

 and hard. She let him go, took a step backward, then realized Zak wasn’t alone. Lindsey was about to

 remove the vest when Aunt Mable stared at her and then at Zak. Eyes as round as saucers, she

 exclaimed, “What on earth happened to you? Zak dump the bike on you?”

 “No, ma’am.” Lindsey smiled at Aunt Mable, and Zak’s heart did a flip. For all he knew, the girl

 could be married. He knew nothing about her, and she knew nothing about him. His aunt, of course,

 assumed they knew each other. 

He started to speak and explain the situation to his aunt; but how do you tell someone you were

 stopped for a stop sign and spotted a young woman hiding in some bushes. Especially one who had been assaulted.

 Lindsey stepped in and held out her hand to Mable. “Hi, my name’s Lindsey Hollister. No, Zak

 didn’t dump me off the bike. I had an accident, and he wanted to take me to the ER, but I refused. I

 figured we could just take care of it when we got here.” Zak blinked. He would not betray her and let his

aunt know that they hadn’t been traveling together until about thirty-five minutes ago.

 “You haven’t looked in a mirror, have you?” Aunt Mable asked quite bluntly.

 Lindsey swallowed, looked at Zak, and then turned back to Aunt Mable. “No, ma’am, I haven’t.”

 She knew she had a split lip and probably a black eye. The man sent to do this had been stopped cold

 when her landlord walked in and caught his arm just as he had drawn it back to strike her again. Mr.

 Bisbee was elderly, but strong as a man half his age. He took that arm and twisted it behind the man’s

 back. With the other, he dug his cell phone out of his pocket.“Go on, get out of here quick,” Mr. Bisbee

had told her. She didn’t need to be told twice. She had grabbed the backpack she kept packed all the time

just because she never knew when she would have to leave for somewhere instantly. Mr. Bisbee knew

her story and had said he would hire her, give her a room, and watch over her. He had kept his word. She

had headed out the back door and down the alley that ran behind the house. Her car was in the garage

waiting for a part to arrive. It hadn’t been a problem until now. When she heard the siren getting closer,

she had to run. She could not be questioned by the police. She had too much to lose—namely her life.

She ran two whole blocks before she couldn’t catch her breath anymore. She had prayed as she hid in the

bushes that the Lord would help her and save her. Had it been just her life, she wouldn’t have cared. She

had nothing to live for, but her baby deserved a chance. She came out of her reverie and realized Zak and

his aunt were discussing housing for the two of them. Aunt Mable was insisting they both stay in the

house with her and Uncle Harry. Zak kept saying, “No, please, rent us a cabin.”

Aunt Mable’s eyebrows shot straight up! “I haven’t heard anyone say you were married!” Then

 she spotted the ring on Lindsey’s finger and assumed Zak had gotten remarried and not told anyone.

 This was plausible since no one had spoken with him for the past fourteen months. If anybody called,

 it went to voicemail, and then he would text back, “I’m okay!” Fourteen months ago, his brother-in-

 law had called to tell him Susan had acute appendicitis. Zak had spoken with her briefly after she was

 out of surgery. Nope, even when it came to business, he wouldn’t take the call. He would only text,

 “Call Bob,” meaning his attorney. It had frustrated the family when he refused to communicate with

 them. It had been five years since he had climbed on his bike and disappeared. Then two weeks earlier,

 he had called and said he was heading their way. No mention of a wife or a soon-to-be-born baby. 

 Aunt Mable’s eyebrows remained arched. She wondered why Lindsey hadn’t introduced herself

 as Lindsey Freemont. Maybe she’d kept her maiden name like so many of the young women did.

Lindsey and Zak realized at the same time that Aunt Mable was staring at the wedding band on her

 finger. Zak looked at Lindsey, shrugged, and gave his aunt one of his most charming smiles.

 “Well, why didn’t you say so?” Aunt Mable stepped over to Lindsey and hugged her tight.

“Welcome to the family!”  Stepping back, she took Lindsey’s hand. “Come on, I will show you to your

quarters. Nicest cabin on the grounds.”

© Copyright 2019 Suzie Bocock. All rights reserved.


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