Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 13

Jack Cover with border small canvas

JACK AND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
by HL Carpenter
ISBN: 978-0-9884095-1-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9884095-0-7
Copyright (c) 2012 by Top Drawer Ink Corp.

*****

Continued from Audio Installment 12
(New here? Choose an installment or start at the beginning)

 

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 13

***

Read along with us!
Below is the text version of the audio.

“Don’t. You’ll scare him.” Nessa caught Jack’s arm and the sparking thing happened again. Her entire body heated. She yanked her hand away and rubbed her palm on her shorts. “There’s only one way out of the office, so he can’t get away.”

“He sure is quick.”

“Yes, he is, especially considering his age. He’s nine. That’s old for a rabbit.”

“It is? He acts young.”

“Maybe he’s been drinking from the Fountain of Youth. Cori and I were joking about that on Saturday morning. After the storm started to kick up, Harey got out and we couldn’t find him for a few hours. When he came back, he was jumping around like a kit.”

“Really?”

She exhaled. “Don’t even go there.”

He went there.

“According to one version of the legend, the Fountain appears during hurricanes and tropical storms.”

“I’ve heard that.” Nessa walked to the greenhouse office. “Could be your source was right. The timing sure works. If you’re nice to Harey, he might even help with your story by leading you to the spring.”

*****

***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is the pen name of a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.

Also by HL Carpenter:

The SkyHorse. Fourteen year old Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck–until a mysterious stranger says finders aren’t always keepers.

Dream Stealer. Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

*****

Posted in Fiction, Jack Tagged with: , , , ,

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 12

Jack Cover with border small canvas

JACK AND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
by HL Carpenter
ISBN: 978-0-9884095-1-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9884095-0-7
Copyright (c) 2012 by Top Drawer Ink Corp.

*****

Continued from Audio Installment 11
(New here? Choose an installment or start at the beginning)

 

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 12

***

Read along with us!
Below is the text version of the audio.

“A break-in happened.”

A prickle of nerves skittered along her spine. She tightened her grip on Harey. He squirmed in protest and she loosened her fingers. The intruder was long gone, and she was sure—almost sure—he wasn’t coming back. Not in the light of day, anyway. Creeps who got their jollies demolishing the property of others preferred darkness, which was why she hadn’t been able to sleep last night.

She nearly leapt out of her sandals when Jack touched her arm.

“You weren’t here, were you, mi hermanita?”

“Why do you keep calling me that?”

He lowered his hand. “No reason.”

He didn’t get splotchy like she did when he told a lie. But he didn’t meet her gaze either, the way he had when he’d answered her question about why he was really here.

“I was at the hospital with Cori Saturday night when this happened. I found the mess when I got back Sunday morning.”

Jack knelt and touched a broken flowerpot. “Did you call the police?”

“I did once I realized it wasn’t damage from Tropical Storm Kyle.” She poked an overturned plant with the toe of her sandal. “Sheriff Garrison came out right away.”

Late Friday, in the hours before the worst of the storm hit, the long tables had been filled with rows of thriving potted herbs. Sometime between then and when she’d come home from the hospital Sunday morning and opened the greenhouse door, nearly every plant had been destroyed.

“What did the police say?” Jack asked.

“The sheriff said it was vandalism.”

“This took some time. Whoever did it must have figured the police would be busy with the storm.” Jack stood up, shards of clay crunching under his sneakers. “They sure destroyed a lot of plants.”

“Over a hundred.” She’d already spent hours salvaging and repotting seedlings, time she could have used to fill orders. “We were fortunate the vandals only broke the herb pots. If they’d smashed the walls…”

Replacing the heavy sheets of corrugated glass would cost a fortune. A fortune she and Cori didn’t have.

“Someone must have known you and Cori went to the hospital Saturday.”

“The only people who knew would not have done this.”

If someone else knew Cori had gone into early labor, did that mean they were being watched? But by who? Having the greenhouse vandalized in the middle of a tropical storm was bad enough without adding a creeper to the mix. Last night, in the darkness, the woods surrounding the house had been full of rustlings and odd noises that she’d never paid attention to before.

She handed Jack the rabbit. “Let’s take care of his tooth.”

“Okay.” He wrapped his hands around Harey’s middle and held the bunny at arm’s length. “That is one scary fang.”

“I should have trimmed it yesterday. But he’s hard to hold, and with Cori gone there’s no one to help.” She walked to the workbench and picked up a pair of nippers.

“Hey!” Jack yelled.

Nessa spun around. Harey had twisted out of Jack’s hands and darted across the room. Jack lunged after him, tripped over a pile of dirt, and upended a workbench. He landed flat on the floor. Potting soil and wilted plants rained down on his head. Harey raced through the doorway at the back of the greenhouse. Jack jumped to his feet and ran after him.

*****

***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is the pen name of a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.

Also by HL Carpenter:

The SkyHorse. Fourteen year old Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck–until a mysterious stranger says finders aren’t always keepers.

Dream Stealer. Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

*****

Posted in Fiction, Jack Tagged with: , , , ,

Top Drawer News — Doe Snot

Image source: By Thegreenj (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Image source: By Thegreenj (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

 

This month in our post for Working Writers and Bloggers, we discuss the joys of being a logophile. If you’re also a lover of words, you may relate to some of our thoughts … or you can click over just to find out what doe snot is. 🙂

***

Posted in Top Drawer News Tagged with:

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 11

Jack Cover with border small canvas

JACK AND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
by HL Carpenter
ISBN: 978-0-9884095-1-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9884095-0-7
Copyright (c) 2012 by Top Drawer Ink Corp.

*****

Continued from Audio Installment 10
(New here? Choose an installment or start at the beginning)

 

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 11

***

Read along with us!
Below is the text version of the audio.

“It is hard for me to talk about.” His voice trembled and he swallowed.

Were those tears in his marvelous chocolate eyes?

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“It is all right.” A smile ghosted across his lips as he repeated her words. “Perhaps one day I can tell you about Maria.”

“I’d like that.”

“I would, too.”

His voice was deep and sincere. Had she misjudged him?

Probably not.

“Why are you really here, Jack?”

“Because I promised my editor I would follow up on the tip the Pryer received about the Fountain of Youth.”

She wanted to believe him. More than anything, she wanted to believe him. Maybe she could. Not because the Fountain was real, but because of the kind of stories the Pryer published. A feature about a non-existent Fountain of Youth was exactly the type of tale that would make the front page.

Or was she making excuses because she liked him? No matter how chivalrous he seemed, believing him meant letting a reporter hang around. No, it meant letting Jack hang around, an altogether different proposition, and one that might be more dangerous.

Harey emerged from under the porch, his overgrown tooth protruding from his mouth. Besides giving him a sinister appearance, the long tusk kept him from eating properly. She and Cori had intended to trim it, but Cori had to rush to the hospital before they’d had time. She couldn’t nip off the extra length of tooth by herself, as she’d discovered when the squirmy little furball twisted from her grasp and fled across the yard.

“You’re looking for the Fountain of Youth,” she said.

. I am not here about Bradley, whoever he is,” Jack said. “I give you my word. And I would like to help.”

She wanted him to stay. She couldn’t deny it. She just hoped she wouldn’t regret it.

“Then you can start by holding Harey while I trim his tooth.”

“Trim his tooth? You mean that fang?” Jack eyed the rabbit. “Does he bite?”

“Of course not. Come on. The nippers are in the greenhouse.”

She picked up the rabbit. Jack followed as she rounded the corner of the porch and headed toward the long glass-paneled building where she and Cori ran their herbal business.

“Are you sure he does not bite?” Jack asked.

“I’m sure. When we’re done, he’ll be able to eat normally again. And he loves to eat, so that means he’ll be your friend for life.”

She pulled open the door to the greenhouse.

Jack sucked in a breath. “What happened in here?”

*****

***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is the pen name of a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.

Also by HL Carpenter:

The SkyHorse. Fourteen year old Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck–until a mysterious stranger says finders aren’t always keepers.

Dream Stealer. Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

*****

Posted in Fiction, Jack Tagged with: , , , ,

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 10

Jack Cover with border small canvas

JACK AND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
by HL Carpenter
ISBN: 978-0-9884095-1-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9884095-0-7
Copyright (c) 2012 by Top Drawer Ink Corp.

*****

Continued from Audio Installment 9
(New here? Choose an installment or start at the beginning)

 

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 10

***

Read along with us!
Below is the text version of the audio.

Four

Nessa sneezed twice as she waved away the milky-blue haze left behind by Sylvester Liaberco’s car. Her eyes watered. Two reporters showing up in the same day, both asking questions about the Fountain of Youth? What were the odds?

Not that she’d fallen for that tall tale. Of course they both wanted to write about Bradley. After the way the press had hounded him during the trial there was no question about that. But of more importance now was the question of who could have tipped them off about her brother’s upcoming release from prison? And why?

She stuck her phone back in the holster.  “You were leaving too, weren’t you, Jack?”

“I would rather stay, mi hermanita.”

“And I’d rather you didn’t.”

“Mr. Liaberco will not give up, you know. He needs this story to keep his editor happy. He will be back tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that.”

Her shoulders slumped. That was exactly what had happened during Bradley’s trial. The constant questions and speculation had driven both her and her sister into hiding. They’d retreated to the farm and made it through the worst of times by relying on each other.

What she wouldn’t give to lean on Corinda now. But she had to be strong for both of them. Her sister was busy taking care of her tiny new baby. Holly Marie Owens Tagg had arrived Saturday, six weeks early, in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Kyle. Since Holly’s birth, Cori hadn’t left Everyoung Memorial Hospital.

Cori had enough problems to deal with. She didn’t need to know about this one.

Nessa squared her shoulders. She was strong. She could deal with sparking skin and with reporters. “There’s no story here. Not for you, and not for Mr. Liaberco.”

“That will not stop him.” Jack tipped his head. “If you let me stay, I can help you.”

“Help me? How?”

“However I can. Maybe just by being here. Mrs. Kuhn told me your sister’s baby was born prematurely and your sister’s staying at the hospital with her. You have been left to run the herbal business the two of you started after your parents…I’m sorry.”

Mrs. Kuhn talked too much.

“It’s all right,” Nessa said. “The car accident happened seven years ago.” It felt like yesterday. “We’ll always miss them, but Cori and I have learned to take things one day at a time.”

Jack stepped closer. Though he didn’t touch her, the warmth of his body flowed around hers. She wanted to lean into that warmth.

“I should have thought before I spoke,” he said. “I know what it is like when someone you love dies. You think the pain will never end.”

The pain never did end. Mostly it struck at odd moments, like now, when sympathy was offered.

“Your parents?” she asked.

“My twin sister.”

“What happened to her?”

*****

***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is the pen name of a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.

Also by HL Carpenter:

The SkyHorse. Fourteen year old Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck–until a mysterious stranger says finders aren’t always keepers.

Dream Stealer. Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

*****

Posted in Fiction, Jack Tagged with: , , , ,

Hi, there!

We're glad you're here! We love readers!

We’re HL Carpenter, a Florida-based mother/daughter duo. We write from our studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue. When we’re not writing, we enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.

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Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck—
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