Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Words on Wednesdays--novel excerpt #5

Next Wednesday, I'll share one final excerpt from Kidnapping the Lorax. This excerpt takes up where last Wednesday's left off.  
It wasn’t until they’d turned up the old, washboarded logging road that the woman under the blanket moved, finally, stretching her legs and straightening her back. Maggie was glad to see the movement. It had occurred to her that the old lady—what was she? Maybe fifty? Walden would know; he had researched all kinds of details about her—the old lady might have had a heart attack and died under there, for all they knew. Now her ankles and blue high-heels stuck out from under the blanket, but that wasn’t a problem. There was no one now, no one for miles around who might look into the car and see her. They jolted along for several more miles, before taking another road, even older and less-traveled, and then another. Maggie breathed a sigh of relief when, at last, they reached their destination. 
“Okay, Fern,” said Walden. “You help our guest out, and Tracker and I will start camouflaging the car.” He glanced down at the high-heeled feet, still protruding from the blanket, and added dryly, “And try not to get a run in her stockings, will ya?” 
Tracker had backed the car into a gap among the trees, where it couldn’t be seen from the road. Now he and Walden grabbed tree limbs from a waiting pile and began further concealing the vehicle. 
Maggie stared down at the immobile figure in the foot well. “Uh, Lorax, I’m going to pull the blanket off you now. It’ll be a relief to get that thing off, won’t it?” She reached over and gently tugged the wool off the woman, who sat squinting and blinking in the sudden light. This was Maggie’s first really good look at her. She stood, Maggie already knew, about 5’4” without the heels on, and, while Maggie would not have described her as stout, she did look plump, especially stuffed down there in the foot well, in her pale blue business suit. Silk, Maggie guessed. Unfortunately, the Lorax’s nice hairdo was mashed down, the once-pouffed brown hair now lying flat against her head. Not that appearances mattered much, out here. 
Maggie was relieved to see that apparently the woman hadn’t been crying after all; there was no sign of tears. Still, she spoke quietly, soothingly, as one might to a small animal or a frightened child. “Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. While the guys are concealing the car, let’s get you into some clothes you can walk in. We’ve got a little ground to cover before nightfall.” It was disconcerting that the Lorax didn’t say anything in reply. She just gazed around her, as if trying to get her bearings, and then startled when some brush landed, thunk, on the hood of the car. 
Maggie slowly reached past her, and opened the car door, saying, “I’ve got some boots for you that will be more comfortable than—” and the Lorax took off running. She bolted out of the Volvo faster than Maggie imagined an old lady could run. “Hey!” Maggie hollered, scrambling after her.

* * *
Kidnapping the Lorax is available in paperback and for e-readers at 

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