Wallflower Girl (Chapter 3, page 1 of 5)


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Nick swung another bale onto his shoulder and leaped up onto the trailer. He bounded to the third tier and tossed the prickly brick into place. It was the last in that line, so he cranked over the old Massey Ferguson and pulled his trailer around into the next row. He had a canvas water bag that he tipped up and drank from while dousing his face. The water running down his chest made a wisp of warm breeze feel cool.

Nick stretched his back muscles as he looked across the field to the small grove of pines and his newly constructed timber cottage. He had built Patricia a separate laundry so she would have more free area in the house. He could add on later, but there was enough room for their first child when it came. He was certainly working on that. Another two rows of bales would fill the trailer, then an hour to stack them into his hay shed, and then home to his lovely wife for some more baby making activities.

He chuckled to himself at the thought, then plugged the wooden peg back into the spout of the water bottle and tossed it to lift another prickly mass of hay.

***

Anne shook off a moment of slumber. She often got tired driving, or drowsy at least. Her eyes were a bit heavy and she needed to get to her hotel. It wasn't far according to the GPS.

Back on the road, she entered the tree line and crossed a rickety timber bridge over a creek. Three skinny boys splashed and shouted in the water. She could hear their voices even though the windows of her car were closed. The water hole was as she had seen it in her mind a few abstract moments ago. All had become like some weird dream trying to broach reality. The road emerged from the trees and crossed more broad, open fields rolling with sunflowers standing upright. Their bright yellow heads seemed to be watching her little Honda and smiling their interest and warm welcome.

Farm machinery businesses and workshops began cluttering both sides of the road. According to the GPS it was only another ten minutes to the Stop & Rest Motel. She passed a truck-stop with a couple of semitrailers parked. The cafe was an old timber building with a full glass front. On the roof was mounted a model semitrailer, aged and faded in the sun.

Oh my God. What is this place? There was an intensely nostalgic sensation effervescing through Anne's veins and absolutely warming her soul. As she pulled into the parking lot and stopped her car in a corner, far from the semis, she suddenly felt for all the world as though she'd just come home.

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