Looks like I’m on schedule to finish Courage’s story by the end of the year but I’m gonna need those four days off at Christmas to get ‘er done. Here’s a sample:
I’d reached the porch by the time the truck rolled to a dusty halt in the yard. My heart lurched a little when I couldn’t see Courage in the cab.
“Where’s Rage?” I asked my brother as soon as his boots hit the ground.
“Don’t know,” he answered.
I felt the air go out of my lungs as I made my way slowly down the porch steps. “What do you mean, you don’t know?”
Kyle shrugged. We got the rolls of wire loaded up and I left him sitting in the cab while I walked across the yard to talk to Connor. He has a summer job there at the store. When I’d finished up with him, Courage was gone.”
I had trouble forming words. “Gone? What do you mean, gone?”
“He was just gone, Lori.”
“Well, d-did you look for him? Did you wait for him to come back?”
“I waited thirty minutes or so. I asked around if anyone had seen him. The lady who works the cash register inside said he was talking to some guys who pulled up in a dark SUV. But she didn’t see if he left with them.”
“Did she say what the guys looked like?”
Kyle sighed like my questions were wearing him out. “I didn’t ask. If Courage wants to go off for a few hours, or for a day, or for the rest of his life, it’s none of my business.”
“The rest of his life?” I echoed, my voice sounding dull and flat in the empty yard.
“Look, I’m as upset about this as you are,” Kyle growled and waved an arm toward the bed of the truck. “I needed him to help me unload this stuff. But you know how these drifters are. Here today. Gone tomorrow. You can’t count on ’em.”