Middle of Nowhere

Silence

Anonymous Me
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Benefactor
Dane stepped out of the house and walked over to his work truck. With his Carhart jacket and hoodie on underneath it for extra warmth he was ready for the day out on the field. There were quite a few pieces of machinery that went down over the weekend. Of course that was when it had to break down. This was his weekend on call and he didn't get to do a darn thing yet. Closest he had to enjoying the weekend was sleeping in. The windshield on the truck was frosted some and he pulled the door open on the truck before half sitting inside, starting the truck up and then hopping back out and shutting the door behind him. Since it would be taking a few to get the truck warmed up he scooped the heaps of snow from around the truck off to the side.

Driving out to the middle of the woods to fix some logging truck was not on his list of fun things to do. The logging truck broke down late Friday and it was better to get it in the morning instead of getting stuck overnight out there. By the time he had the snow scooped his repair truck was ready to drive out to the logging site. If it was John's truck again he was going to make a full vehicle check over. Every time he'd been out there the past week he fixed one problem, only for another to pop up.

He was just about to the interchange where he would take the secondary road and then head out into the deeper snow when he caught site of a vehicle stuck. They were still a few miles from the town and walking around outside would be a bad idea. Someone would probably be along, but it was better to stop instead of guess that whoever it was would be alright. Slowing down and putting the emergency flashers on, Dane pulled up next to the car. There wasn't anyone coming behind him, so he opened the door and stepped out to walk over to the car. Once he got to the window on the driver's side he tapped gently. "Hey, you alright there? Need some help getting out of that drift?"
 

Missvibes

Member
Staying stuck in a pile of snow through the night was not part of the plan. There were places to be, things to do, and people to meet. Carly had put a call out for help and was told it was 'on the way'. Of course that was followed by the explanation of the snow being rough terrain to get through. She turned off the car again now that she was warmed up. The hood of her jacket was up and over her head to keep the warmth in at least. Once it got too chilly she would turn on the car again to warm back up. The last thing Carly needed was for the battery to die or run out of gas or any other car issue.

With arms crossed in front of her, she closed her eyes just a moment. "I'm not going to fall asleep." Carly whispered to herself with a sigh. Though now there was a light coming through the window. Perhaps this was the promised rescuer. A tap came to the window and she opened the door. "Hello. I'm so glad you came." A gentle smile came to her pink glossed mouth. Carly's ruby red hair was mostly hidden from her jacket hood, but some curls peeked out still as she stepped out of the vehicle. "Yes, I could use some help... I was taking a short cut and now." She waved a hand toward the car in distress.

"They had told me it could be hours before someone came through here." Carly looked to the other side of her car to the truck. A small furrow came to her brow as she noticed it wasn't a tow truck and the name on the side sounded familiar, perhaps something she had heard around town. "You just happened to be in the area..." She finally pieced together and shook her head slightly as she chuckled to herself. Just her luck. With a sigh she looked back to the man who had stopped to help. "So what is the plan?"
 

Silence

Anonymous Me
Mentor
Benefactor
The lady in the car looked all too pleased and he had stopped. What she was thinking taking a short cut around here in the winter he didn't know. "Guessing you're from out of town. If you got some friends, or relatives I'll drive you back to town, or drop you at the hotel to get a room. Might want to get someone out here to haul your car back to town." Taking her back to town wouldn't take too long and then he could get on with the repairs up in the woods.

Since she was out of her car he walked back over to his truck and opened the passenger side for her. "Hop in." He would let her shut the truck door herself after she was in. Walking back around to his side of the truck he got in and then glanced at her. "What were you doing taking a short cut like that?"
 

Missvibes

Member
The plan was to go back. Carly didn't want to go back. Though now his truck door was open and waiting for her to get in. She carefully got into the vehicle and shut the door before putting on a seat belt. It smelled like a work truck and was at least somewhat tidy. All she had with her was the car key and a small purse that was maybe big enough for a wallet, phone, and other little items. Of course now the questions came.

"I must've gotten lost. Took a wrong exit or something, then with the snow and- at the time it was darker. I think I just got turned around." Carly shrugged slightly. After the truck was on, it didn't seem to take a long time to warm up, so she lowered her hood and shook head a little to untuck her red curls some. "I was actually heading out of town and toward Abilene... GPS said it was maybe 20 minutes out, but who knows."
 

Silence

Anonymous Me
Mentor
Benefactor
"Yeah, 20 minutes is about right. I'd give it closer to 30 with the snow and weather. Might take a while to get a truck out here to haul your car to the shop and get it checked over. If you want I'll drop you at the mechanic shop in town instead of at the hotel." Dane figured he could at least do that much for her. Whatever she needed in Abilene was hopefully not desperate. She'd get there, it just wouldn't be fast. Her short cut wasn't fast either.

Turning his truck around on the road he started back toward town. "Well, hope you get wherever it is you wanted. Wouldn't recommend any short cuts either. Town's only about 10 minutes away, so it won't be long till you get to talk with someone about getting your car going again."
 

Missvibes

Member
This guy seemed really concerned about her vehicle getting towed. Though that made sense for a typical person to be concerned about. Carly just nodded. "Do you mind just taking me home? I live in town." She added, it wouldn't really add any time at all to him already taking her that direction if that was the way they were going to head anyway.

"I noticed the company you work for on the side of the truck. What do you do for them?" Carly asked curiously. A small smile came to her face in amusement. "Uncle John works for them as one of the..." Her eyes looked to the ceiling for a moment while thinking of a word and waved her hand absently, "drivers? Truckers? Loggers? Whatever they're called." She finally settled with that, "His truck is constantly breaking down. Is his the one you're going to check on?" Her eyebrow raised as she turned to look at him.
 

Silence

Anonymous Me
Mentor
Benefactor
The real shocker was when the lady said she lived in town. Dane looked at her with wide eyes, "Oh, well yeah. I could take you home...I mean take you to your house. I've never seen you around before and I just figured you were passing through, maybe a visitor or something." There was a slight pink to his cheeks even though he thought recovered well from the nearly disastrous blunder.

It was at least comforting that she decided to keep on talking as if nothing happened and perhaps she didn't notice. She sounded fairly clueless when it came to his work and that was normal. Most people didn't find it interesting, so he wasn't too worried about correcting her. "Sorry, I don't really know the names of the guys. I just do the field work when it gets called in and work in the shop when something gets ticketed for work. If he's the one constantly breaking his truck you can tell him to try and do it on warmer days without rain and no snow." Laughing a little at his own joke he blinked to turn right and head into the town. "You just tell me where you live and I'll drop you at the front door. Just one thing. How long have you lived here? I'm sure we would have met before it was for any length of time."
 

Missvibes

Member
It was pretty cute seeing him blush at taking her home. Seemed it was best to just move on though and not tease him too much about it. They barely knew each other afterall. At least she would end up back at her house and could figure out what to do next from there.

He was a fix-it guy. Possibly fixing John's truck. Very interesting. "I'll just tell you which turns to take." Carly suggested. She chuckled when he wondered about how long shes lived here. "That's complicated. I've owned the property for a while. But I do a lot of traveling, so I'm not around much." She told him a few turns, "Then its out for a ways." It was several miles to the outskirts of town. "So what's your name?" She figured they had known each other long enough now to exchange those kinds of formalities. "I'm Carly." She smiled. "Its coming up...."

There was a brick wall that seemed to be on the perimeter of the property, trees also mostly hid the house from view. "You can-" Carly suddenly changed her mind. "You want to come inside? Get some coffee or cocoa to warm up?"
 

Silence

Anonymous Me
Mentor
Benefactor
The explanation that she wasn't around much made sense and then she happened to be on the far outer side of town. He was going to lose a minimum of an hour at this rate. With each little turn he was sure they had to be close and then there was another. When they finally arrived he looked at the pretty redhead. It was probably the first time he'd really noticed she had red hair. "Yeah, uh..." Reaching over he offered a hand to shake hers. "I'm Dane." He'd been a little late on the response since she'd introduced herself approximately one curve before this, but he wasn't always the best at multi-tasking.

Carly's sudden invitation to go inside was surprising to say the least. "I...I really need to get out to the field and fix that truck." Looking at the house and then back to the lady he sighed. "Well, I guess a few minutes isn't gonna kill me. In fact a cup of coffee would be nice. Can't say I'm cold. Barely been outside today. Would you like it if I scooped the walk and drive way for you. I could get most of it done before the coffee is ready. If you don't use one of those fancy doo dab things." He couldn't remember what they were called, but that worked well enough. She'd know what he meant. "At least then I'd have an excuse to be cold and have a cup of coffee."

Taking another look at the house he almost frowned. Why did this house remind him something. He was sure he'd never been here before, but there was something familiar about it. "How long ago did you move into that place there?"
 

Missvibes

Member
Carly tapped her watch a couple times to open the gate so they could go through. When he started stammering about leaving, she looked at him and tilted her head a little to the side. Then he wanted to stay outside even longer to shovel snow. Dane seemed like someone who wanted to stay busy. Nothing wrong with that. "I guess if you want to." She shrugged slightly.

She pointed down the long driveway, showing him where to park. Then he asked about how long she had lived here again. Carly frowned slight, "Well I bought it several years ago... Maybe 5 or 6 years ago. Then I only moved in during the last year or so." Hopefully that was enough explanation of that. "The shed should be open for any shoveling stuff you may want to use. When you come inside, go straight down the stairs." Carly laughed a little, "Uncle John and his wife live here too. But I let them have the upper part of the house since I'm in and out so much." She shrugged one last time before disappearing into the house. Just inside the door was a set of stairs that went down into a basement apartment.

The redhead took off her coat and boots and set them aside to dry appropriately without getting everything wet. Then went to the kitchen to start some gadgets brewing coffee. She had a cream colored sweater with a wide v-neck on with some black pants, her sweater was long enough to cover her hips and was belted at the waist. Looking at her watch again, she tapped out a few messages about getting her car taken care of and a pick-up at the house soon. Carly then poured the coffee and added a little something to Dane's cup, hopefully it would make him pass out for a few hours.
 

Silence

Anonymous Me
Mentor
Benefactor
Based on the way the house looked Dane was sure that the lady was either in big corporate business, or her uncle had to be one of the uppity ups of the company. It was a beautiful house and the manicured bushes were easy enough to spot even in the snow. Slowly he drove over to the spot she indicated and parked. Once he was parked Dane lowered his head and peered out the window at the house. It looked a little more daunting in the snow then it did when he was kid wandering around in the woods in the back of the property.

"You know they used to say there were ghosts in that house. For a while nobody lived in it and I remember one of the kids dared me to go inside. I slid one of the basement windows open and dropped inside just long enough to hear what sounded like someone coming down the stairs before I scrambled out. Then I hid in the woods a little while longer. I was sure I hear screaming and wailing, but I stayed in the part of the woods near the house long enough that when I went back to my friends it was easy enough to convince them that I did explore the whole house." A grin came to his face and he opened his truck door. "Guess they'll never know unless I tell them otherwise huh? I might even get a look at the inside of ghost mansion."

For as rich as the place looked he realized how silly it must have sounded when he offered to scoop her sidewalk. Memory was a funny thing. He didn't think the place looked that expensive as a kid, just scary. Now that he'd offered to scoop he was going to keep his word. The driveway was mostly clear anyway and he only took about 20 minutes to finish it out.

When he was finished Dane was let inside the house and he took his boots and coat off. "Smells good." With a shy grin he took the cup of coffee she offered him. "Probably better than what I would have got at the gas station anyway." He only stood in the kitchen for a few minutes while he sipped at the coffee. Finishing he last of it with a big gulp he started back for the stairway, his boots and the coat. "I appreciate the coffee. Gotta get out to the field before it gets too late though. Maybe I'll see you around." He was feeling a little tired, but it was probably related to the fact that he had a late night the night before and he just got nice and cozy. Slipping his coat on and then putting the snow boots back on he started up the stairs out of her basement.

A sudden dizzy spell hit and he paused on the stairway and reached for the handrail. It was an odd almost out of body experience. Dane almost felt like he was floating except for the fact that the last thing he remembered was his head making contact with the little tile floor in the basement and that definitely didn't feel like floating.
 

Missvibes

Member
It was a rather silly childhood story. It was just a house after all. Boys being boys was all Carly could guess. She grew up in very different circumstances than being worried about 'haunted' mansions. "I'll give you a tour if you like. Then you can tell all your friends. Perhaps you'll even meet a real ghost this time." She laughed.

Once Dane made it inside, he seemed rather excited about the coffee. "Here are some biscuits too... If you like." On a small plate were cinnamon flavored cookies for dipping or eating with the coffee. Though the man seemed just as well to drink all the coffee in almost one gulp. Carly watched as he made his way for the door and stepped in the same direction. There was no telling how quickly anything would take effect, especially with how quickly he downed it all. Then all of a sudden, he tumbled down the stairs again.

"Dane?" Carly knelt down carefully beside him and felt for a pulse. He was alive and at least not bleeding, though he'd likely have a bruise and headache when he did come to in a few hours. There was a small knock on the door at the top of the stairs before it opened a couple older gentlemen came in. "So is this the pick up?" Carly nodded and looked back at Dane. "You'll need to take him with the truck outside. Park him near where my car was picked up." She ordered, her accent had been more American up to this point. Now it sounded more eastern european. Carly stood up and adjusted her top. "Nothing else?" The men looked curious and Carly frowned. "Nothing else, just leave him in the truck. He's not the target."

The men came forward and propped Dane up between them to carry him up the stairs and outside to the truck. They decided who would drive the truck and who would follow. After parking the truck in the area that Carly said, they cleaned up the scene and their tracks before leaving the area.

~~~~~

After they left, Carly dialed a number on her phone. "Uncle John?" In yet another accent, more English this time. "A call came earlier... Your truck is fine, but they need you out there to help move it." She rolled her eyes at some of the comments he made. "Yes darling, there will be quite the surprise for you when you come home." After hanging up, she sat down with a sigh. Hopefully everything would go to plan and Dane wouldn't end up in the wrong place. He was kind of cute, in a rugged and rural, unsophisticated sort of way. There was no telling if he would even remember meeting her at this point.

~~~~~

An explosion had occurred out in the woods. Sirens of the emergency teams were blazing down the road that Dane was parked on to get out to where the fire and smoke was reported to be.
 

Silence

Anonymous Me
Mentor
Benefactor
The next thing Dane knew he was sitting in his truck and he was back at the side of the road where that lady went off into the ditch. For a moment he wondered if it actually happened and then he looked at his phone. It had to have happened. There was no way he fell asleep like that. She was at that place too. About time he started to blink to get himself back onto the road he saw a car whip past and then sirens sound and they were all headed toward the logging camp. There was something going on up there and he wasn't about to get mixed up in that.

Instead he felt a tinge of anger start to burn deep in his guts. Somebody thought they were tricking him and he wasn't about to have any of it. If they thought setting him up with a girl and taking him to the mansion was fun they had something else coming. With the emergency vehicles finally passed he whipped his work truck back onto the road and drove straight back into town. He was headed to that haunted house and he was going to find that lady.

By the time Dane reached the house he could see that more than one car had been in and out and the shovel had moved, but he knew he scooped that walk. Parking his truck outside the gate he got out and decided to climb over the gate since it didn't open for him. Dropping over the other side of the gate Dane slipped and he fell on his back, but he got right back up. Dane brushed at his pants and coat and felt gingerly at the back of his head. Whenever he hit his head he didn't remember, but it sure hurt. Marching himself to the front door he beat on it loudly. "Hey, what kinda prank you think you're playing? Might as well come out and just tell me who set you up to this. Was it Adam, or Jared?"
 

Missvibes

Member
Carly wasn't sure how much time she had before John made it out to the woods and hopefully found his 'surprise'. She cleaned up the coffee cups and left them to dry beside the sink before getting changed into something more comfortable. As much as she was needed Abilene, this may have worked out better. Hopefully this small side job would be done quickly and she could move on to more pressing matters.

The red head had made it up the stairs just as her butler was going to knock on her door. "M'lady, there is a phone call..." He directed her to the kitchen where John's wife and older daughter were already waiting. "I don't see why she needs to be here." Rachel didn't quite hide the comment under her breath that well, but of course that was the intention. Carly just smiled back to John's wife, she was an older woman, just like John was an older man. "You're just upset that John enjoys my company more than yours." The woman looked away in disgust as the butler put the phone on speaker for all of them to hear.

It was an officer, letting them know there had been an accident. John's personal vehicle had been found at the scene, but they hadn't found John yet. They were just being precautionary in case any media started reporting on the incident before the family could be told what was happening and the possible outcome. "Even though we haven't found any human remains as of yet, there is still a fire that needs to be put out. If he was anywhere close to where the explosion happened..." The officer's voice trailed off a moment. "We will do what we can to keep all of you updated first." It was a small town, wasn't going to be long before it ended up on the local channels.

Suddenly a loud knocking came to the front door and shouting. All of the women turned in the direction and frowned. Her butler Eugene just casually hung up the phone and went out to open it. "May I help you sir?" Carly took a moment to recognize that voice. She came to the front entry. "Dane?" The redhead spoke quietly in her American accent. Eugene knew her well enough to not ask, but the others of the home thought her to be British. The butler excused himself quietly to go and tend to the other women.

Seemed the man she had met earlier woke up and was now confused. So confused he ended up on her front doorstep asking what was happening. Carly just stared at him for several moments as he went on his little tirade of confusion. "You brought me home, we had coffee, and then you left. That's it." She said firmly, but apparently that wasn't going to cut it. Sighing, Carly looked down the hall a moment, but went around Dane to the front door. "Let's go." She opened the door and motioned for him to go outside. "All of your commotion might upset them more." Even if things between her and John's family were tense, to say the least, she didn't want to stoke the fire by bringing some guy through the house. "John is probably dead. Now will you please go outside." Carly motioned outside once more.
 
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