Three mental patients, two loaded guns, one stolen car and a whole lot of trouble…
Now there’s a tagline that oughta make you sit up and pay attention. But what does it have to do with survival, you ask?
Here’s the tie-in to Survival Saturday: Three escaped mental patients are forced to confront their tragic pasts when their lives are threatened by three ex-cons and a crooked cop.
If that isn’t survival, I don’t know what is. Talk about your own personal apocalypse. And best of all? Today only this book is absolutely FREE. That’s right, people. FREE!
Check it out.
“Where to now?” Apple asked.
Fred clapped his hands together and jumped up and down. “I want donuts!”
“The donut shop isn’t open yet.” Apple smiled at Fred and patted his forearm. Not the way Maureen stroked him. This touch looked different. Almost as if she cared for him.
Ruckus felt a brief stab of jealousy. He didn’t understand why. She was just another nutcase. Just a scuffed shoe.
Seemingly just as unfazed by her touch as he was with Maureen’s, Fred leaned forward, a hopeful expression in his wide eyes. “We can go wait in the donut parking lot.”
Angling her torso, she pointed toward the faintly illuminated tower clock. “If that clock is correct, we still have another six hours before they open.”
Eleven o’clock. An hour and a half after ‘lights out’. Eight hours away from ‘rise and shine’. The latest Ruckus and Fred had stayed awake in a very long time. Ruckus sank back into his seat, heaving a grateful sigh. He was tired anyway. He got to piss in a mailbox, something he hadn’t done since before he checked into Shady Grove.
“I guess it’s time to head back and get some shuteye.” Ruckus tried his best to sound disappointed. He could always put in a request for donuts with Shady Grove food service.
Fred was not about to let Apple off so easily. “You said we’d get donuts in a few hours!” He made a loud grunting sound and stomped his foot.
“Six is a few,” she said.
Suddenly, Ruckus was worried. Would she really keep them out another six hours? Two hours before ‘rise and shine’? There was no rising or shining with only two hours of sleep.
Ruckus shook his head, keeping his voice firm, unbending. Just the way Miguel, the staff nurse, treated him when he refused to comb his hair. “I think we need to get back.”
Turning her gaze to the road, Apple started the ignition and put the car in drive. “I need to run an errand.”
Ruckus shivered as he felt a slight tickle at the nape of his neck. This was not good. Ruckus only got ‘the tickle’ when something bad was going to happen. Like the time they ran out of tater tot casserole just as it was his turn in the lunch line. He knew they were going to run out. He’d had ‘the tickle.’ Or the time Caroline had convinced him to downgrade their insurance plan. He’d had ‘the tickle’ that day, but she’d wanted so badly to save money for a cruise.
Swallowing hard, Ruckus leveled a hard stare at Apple, just as he felt every nerve-ending in his body go numb. “What kind of errand?”
Keeping her gaze on the road, she shrugged. “I need to stop off at my dad’s house.”
“Yippee!” Fred yelped behind them. “I get to meet your dad! This is so exciting. Does he like fishing? Will there be presents?”
Ruckus couldn’t tear his gaze from Apple’s face—the slight twitch in her jaw when Fred asked for presents. Somehow, he thought this visit entailed more than just presents.
“Do you think he’s gonna like you leavin’ Shady Grove?” he asked in a not-so-subtle accusatory tone, despite the heavy knot which had settled in his chest, making breathing, much less speaking, difficult.
She clenched the wheel until her knuckles whitened and punched the accelerator. Their necks jerked back as they raced out of town, in the opposite direction from Shady Grove.
“I don’t give a rat’s ass what he likes,” she growled between clenched teeth.
“So why we goin’ there?” The knot in his chest had dropped to his gut, settling there like a plateful of liver and onions with creamed spinach on the side. The only foods that soured his stomach worse than putrid liver were leafy vegetables.
“I’ve got some business to take care of.” Her tone sounded like an echo of the Apple he’d known just moments ago.
She drove not in the left or in the right lanes, but right down the middle, as if the center line was calling her like dry soil thirsts for rain. Her mind was definitely preoccupied with something. And that something was not good.
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