Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Installment 4

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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 3

 

Nessa called back, “Yes, we’re fine.”

She flicked another glance at Jack. He was fine. Finer than frog’s hair, to use Mrs. Kuhn’s favorite expression. Would the unsettling sense of knowing come back if their gazes locked again? To her dismay—no, relief—he had tucked the notepad in his pocket and was looking at her bike.

She bent to pick it up at the same moment he did, and her elbow bounced off his nose. He let go of the handlebars, muttering a Spanish word that sounded suspiciously like a curse, and the bike crashed to the ground at her feet. She skittered sideways, bumping into him, and automatically reached out to steady him.

He jumped back, clutching his nose as the trickle of blood erupted into a raging river. “Please, two bloody noses a day is my limit.”

“Sorry.” She wished she could disappear. He probably did, too. He kept a wary eye on her as he fumbled his notebook from his pocket, tore out a sheet of paper and tried to staunch the flow of blood. She said, “Tilt your head forward and pinch the bridge of your nose. That’ll stop the bleeding.”

He frowned, lowered the paper and followed her instructions. While he applied pressure to his nose, she let her gaze run across his high cheekbones and full lips. He looked like a young, hot Zorro. All he needed was a black mask, a cape, and a horse instead of the mountain bike.

And she really, really needed to get out of the greenhouse more often.

When the flow of blood ebbed, the Zorro-look-a-like said, “Thanks. That’s a great trick. Even better than the folk remedy of drinking water out of an old shoe.”

“I’ve never heard that one.” Safe on more familiar ground, she smiled at him. “But I’m always glad to be of help to handsome guys.”

“Umm. Well.” His cheeks reddened. He glanced at the blood-speckled paper and shoved it into his pocket. “Maybe there’s one more thing you can help me with. I’m trying to find someone.”

Her smile wobbled. “You are?”

.” He flipped a few pages in the notebook. “Moran Tennies. Do you know him?”

Her wobbly smile vanished. He was looking for Tenspot? Was the kid in trouble again? She said, “Why do you want him?”

“I’m investigating a story. I’m a reporter.”

“You’re a…a what?” She choked out the words.

*****

***** 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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