JACK AND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
by HL Carpenter
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9884095-0-7
Copyright (c) 2012 by Top Drawer Ink Corp.
Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 8
Read along with us!
Below is the text version of the audio.
“You won the Pryer’s Best Herb Tip Contest.” He tapped the envelope. “You are Nessa Owens, right?”
Her lips thinned. “So you found out my name.”
“Mrs. Kuhn told me.”
Her eyes glinted in the morning sunlight. They were brown, the same as his. The same as Maria’s.
Jack handed over the envelope. “I guess you read the gossip rag I work for.”
Her face flushed. “I read anything I can find about herbs.”
“You must know a lot about them, since you won the contest.”
“Herbs are our business. My sister and I grow them, dry them, make wreaths out of them.” She waved the envelope. “Thanks for the check. Goodbye.”
“There’s something else—”
“I knew it.” Her hands tightened into fists, crumpling the envelope. “You’re here about Bradley, aren’t you? Too bad. You can forget you ever heard his name. You’re not getting the story from me.”
What story? Who was Bradley?
“No, that is not why I am here. I just want to warn you.”
Harey the rabbit peeked out from under the porch. One ear — the black one — curled toward Nessa. The other, a blended mix of white and charcoal-colored fur, lay flat against his neck. His small dark eyes glittered. His whiskers trembled and his mouth opened, revealing a wicked curving tooth.
During his six weeks at the Pryer, people had thrown temper tantrums when Jack tried to interview them. He’d been yelled at. He’d been cursed. A farmer had threatened him with a pitchfork.
But he’d never been confronted by a bunny with a tusk.
The rabbit scooted back under the porch.
“Warn me?” Nessa said.
“Sí. You have the wrong idea, mi hermanita. I am not here about Bradley, whoever he is. I am here about the Fountain of Youth.”
“That’s a good line.” She stuck the wrinkled envelope in her pocket and crossed her arms. “Why are you calling me your sister? Is this a joke?”
“No.” He only wished it were. “Someone told the Pryer the Fountain is on your property.”
“The Fountain of Youth. On our farm. Imagine that.” Nessa sank onto the porch steps. “I’m sorry to disappoint you. I don’t have a clue where the Fountain is. Of course, ever since Juan Ponce de León came through here in 1513, there have been rumors. I can see how anyone might be taken in.”
She spoke slowly, kindly, as if she thought he was crazy.
“I know it is a funny story. But my editor is convinced it will sell papers. That is what I want to talk to you about. You ought to know other people may come searching too.”
A car engine grumbled behind him.
“Is this one of those other people?” Nessa asked.
***** 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?