Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Installment 24

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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 Installment 23

 

Eight

Jack! Where are you?” Mr. Newman’s voice boomed through the receiver of Jack’s phone. He always yelled during phone calls.

Jack winced and held the phone away from his ear. “I’m standing next to a tree in front of Nessa Owens’s house.”

“Good! How’s the story coming? When do I get a sample from the Fountain? I’m looking forward to revisiting my youth.”

“I don’t think that’s possible.” Whatever had happened to Harey, the agua from the Fountain of Youth would not make a person young. The water would only keep whoever drank it from aging further. Jack said, “Anyway, I haven’t located the spring yet, Mr. Newman.”

“What!” Mr. Newman’s voice rose another notch. “You’ve been on the story since eight this morning, Jack! It’s now one o’clock. What have you been doing?”

Jack lowered the phone and checked the display in disbelief. He’d lost all track of time and completely forgotten about the story. Instead of following up with Tenspot about why he’d called in the tip, Jack had spent the morning working beside Nessa in the greenhouse. They’d cleaned up the rest of the mess from the break-in, re-potted seedlings, misted the young plants, assembled herb wreaths to fill outstanding orders, and packed them for shipping.

And talked.

He liked listening to her voice, liked the way she laughed. He even liked the way she rolled her eyes when she thought he’d said something silly. What had ever made him believe he could think of her as his sister? Yet he had no business thinking of her in any other way. Drinking from the Fountain of Youth had robbed him of the chance of having a normal life. Stuck at age eighteen forever, he couldn’t stay in one place long. He and Tia Bella had to keep re-inventing themselves, leaving behind people they’d come to like, moving around so no one would wonder why they never got older.

How could he ask Nessa to live like that?

No, he had to forget this crazy attraction. The best thing he could do for her was keep Sly Liaberco from bothering her, and then get out of her life himself.

*****

***** 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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We write. Visit us in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue.

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