Chapter Twenty-Two of "Samuel Light, Spiritual Detective: The Shasta Caper," is now posted on www.johnpirillo.com
Samuel Light, Spiritual Detective: The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
Nanny and Jimbo met Samuel at the truck. Jimbo had a backpack slung over his right shoulder and a rifle on the other.
"Rifle?" Samuel asked.
"Since when has anything we've done ever turned out exactly like we thought it would?"
Samuel winced. "How was I to know that that saucer would use machine guns to fire at us?"
Nanny gave them shocked looks. "You've fought a flying saucer?"
"Yes." Samuel and Jimbo said at the same time.
"Sort of." Jimbo added.
"Not really totally saucer shaped." Samuel added next.
Nanny threw her hands up in the air. "Nothing about you two surprises me anymore, why should this. Come on. Let's get rolling we got miles to get between us and this place before we can do any serious hiking."
Jimbo slung her backpack into the back and strapped it down. "Hiking. As in how much hiking? Did I bring enough snacks along?"
Samuel eyed the huge box squeezed behind the front seat loaded with food. "Maybe."
"Okay." Jimbo said, and hopped in next to Nanny who sat in the middle. He slung his rifle behind the seat, making sure it was safed, then turned back around. "How far now?"
"We haven't started yet." She told him.
"Wait until we've been on the road awhile, you'll get used to it." Samuel sighed with resignation.
"Hey!" Jimbo growled.
Al and M sat on the hood of the vehicle and waved.
"The whole family's going, it looks like." Samuel said, waving back.
Nanny looked at him. "I thought I was going crazy when I saw them hanging around you and acting like they knew you."
Jimbo smirked. "Oh, you'll get used to it after awhile."
"Touche!" Samuel replied with a grin.
"You betcha bottom bippy it is." Jimbo grumbled, but not without a smile.
Samuel put the truck into gear and they shot off down the road to the main strip, then turned onto it. They shot past the Ranger quarters on both sides, then past the firestation and the police station.
"Police station?" Jimbo sqwaked. "Out here?"
"Oh, you'd be surprised what happens up here." Nanny explained.
"Don't tell me." Jimbo replied. "Let me live with my fantasies of a peaceful place on the mountain for awhile."
"Sammie, this is a woman after my heart."
"And your soul if you're not careful." Samuel added.
Nanny gave him a grin. "You read me so well."
Samuel smiled, then as they approached a sudden branch to the right, Nanny gestured and he swung the truck hard onto a dirt road. It began kind of smooth, with the occasional rough patch, but as the miles drifted past, and the dirt flying behind them, it began to get more rough and have deeper ruts and holes.
"We haven't upgraded this in a few weeks." Nanny explained.
"Weeks!" Jimbo exclaimed. "This is just a few weeks corrosion. Looks like years."
"Gets rough up here this time of year. Lots of flooding."
"Flooding." Jimbo shrieked. "I can't swim."
"Learn." She advised seriously.
He gave her a nervous glance, then looked to Samuel. "Been telling you that for years, Jimbo."
"Not my fault if I have the swimming abilities of a hundred ton boulder."
"You sure splash like one, right enough." Samuel answered flippantly.
"Easy for you to say, Mister Olympia."
Nanny looked at Samuel.
"I was Swimming champion in high school and college. Almost got into the Olympics, but then two people talked me out of it. He gestured to the front hood, where Al winked at him.
Nanny laughed. "He's funny. Wait! I recognize him. He's..."
"Yeah. And she's her too."
"But why are they hanging around you so much. They're dead."
Al made a face, sticking his tongue out at Nanny.
"Death is badly maligned, I'm afraid." Samuel said with a grin.
Al held a thumbs up.
"Oh, I get it, they're guardian angels."
"Not really. Not a chance in hell of them ever earning wings. Not angelic enough."
Al made another face and he and M, who blew Samuel a kiss, vanished.
"Where'd they go?" Nanny demanded.
"To the beyond the beyond." Samuel answered mysteriously.
Jimbo sighed. "Samuel, would you quit pulling her leg."
"Why so you can instead?"
"Point taken." Jimbo said, relapsing back into his thoughtful mode. All the forests sweeping by were taking him back to his childhood when he spent a lot of time with his father traveling through the woods to their favorite fishing hole. Back before.
He felt his eyes beginning to wet.
Without being asked, Samuel tossed him a kleenex box. Jimbo blew his nose. "Thanks."
Nanny laughed. "Like I said earlier. You two are like a married couple."
That got both Samuel and Jimbo to fall into a moody sulk.
Neither one spoke for the next three hours.
Finally, Nanny shoved her foot past Samuel's and slammed on the brakes. The truck slid to a halt almost running off the road, except for Samuel's swift recovery.
"What are the hell did you do that for?"
She gave Samuel a dark look, then Jimbo. "I can't go another mile with two babies. Either grow up, or get out."
"It's our truck." Jimbo pointed out.
Nanny didn't budge with her look.
Finally, both Samuel and Jimbo raised their hands.
"Give." Samuel said.
"Sorry." Jimbo added. "Won't happen again."
Nanny gave them both quick hugs. "I like you both, but where we're going we can't be sulking or fighting with each other. Our lives depend on us all being right here and now, and ready to act."
"You make it sound like we're going into a war." Jimbo quipped.
"Maybe we are." Nanny said, without explaining, then she stepped on the gas, sending the truck spilling back onto the road again and weaving until Samuel regained control.
"Anyone ever tell you you're a bit pushy."
"Yes, my last boyfriend."
"What happened to him?" Jimbo asked.
"I shot him."