Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Installment 18

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Jack Cover with border small canvas

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 Installment 17


“Not a chance, kid.” Jack grabbed the bicycle with one hand and the boy with the other. Half-carrying, half-dragging his still-struggling captive into the clearing, he stopped in front of Nessa and the sheriff. “I may have found your vandal.”

Nessa said, “No, you found my neighbor.”

“You know him?” Jack set the bike down, keeping a grip on the boy’s arm.

“Everybody knows Tenspot. The real question is how he manages to show up wherever I go.” Sheriff Garrison eyed the boy. “Why were you hiding in the woods?”

“I wasn’t hidin’. I rode over on my bike like I always do.” Tenspot tucked his chin, looking up at them through long, dark lashes. “I know Cori’s stayin’ at the hospital until the baby’s big enough to come home, so I came to see if Nessa needed chores done.”

“Thanks, Tenspot.” Nessa smiled, and the boy grinned shyly back. She said, “I’d appreciate it if you’d put Harey in his cage and feed him. He’s in the greenhouse.”

“Okay.” Tenspot threw a disgruntled look at Jack. “I’ll do it as soon as this overgrown ape turns me loose.”

Jack said, “You better be careful who you insult, Tenspot. I don’t like sneaks.”

“I’m no sneak.” Tenspot curled his lip. “Don’t bother trying to scare me, Jack. Nessa wouldn’t let you help with Harey if you were dangerous. Whaddya think? I’m stupid or somethin’?”

“There’s no such thing as a stupid kid.” Jack let go of the boy’s arm, and tousled his hair.

“I’m not a kid. I’m nearly eleven.” Tenspot glared at Jack over his shoulder as he marched away.

When the boy was out of earshot, Jack glanced at Nessa. “Does he hang around here a lot?”

She shrugged. “He helps in the greenhouse whenever we have odd jobs for him.”

“So he might have heard—” Jack broke off and looked at the sheriff.

“Heard what?” Sheriff Garrison asked.


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

HL Carpenter is the pen name of a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes from their home 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.

The Demise of Fyne Literature. Who killed Fyne Literature? The Fictional Book Investigation Agency is on the case—and the lead investigator is closer to the culprit than he realizes.

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

Walled In. When her father is accused of fraud, seventeen year old Vandy Spencer discovers her entire life has been built on a heart-shattering deception.

Taxing Pecksniffery. Flying frizzles! The year is 2176, a rebellion is brewing, and the boss wants a recon report. Ichann Count is all wet as a spy, but she plunges into the fray. Will she emerge with her memory banks intact?


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