Cabin Bear Heat Box Set(8)

By: Bella Love-Wins



“No dice,” she said, shifting to park.

“Maybe John and I can help push it out?” Rob suggested.

“We may need everyone out of the car for that,” she answered, squinting her eyes to look around. “Rob, can you get the flashlight in the glove compartment? Let’s grab our jackets in the trunk and check first.”

“Good idea,” he agreed.

“I can probably find your coats from back here,” Trina said. She turned around and reached over her seat to look in the packed cargo section. She grabbed the stack of winter jackets and raised them high so they could see.

“Score! Which of these are they?”

“That navy one is mine,” Abby answered.

“And that black parka in the middle is mine,” Rob told her.

“Hey, leave the car running, okay?” Barb jumped in to give her two cents as the two got dressed.

Abby was surprised she had been this quiet for this long. On their trip home to Reno before Christmas, she had been the most talkative of the lot. She had also been the most self-centered.

“You never know with this cold weather,” Barb continued. “Plus, I’m already freezing back here.”

“Sure thing, Barb,” Abby answered, doing her best to stay positive. “It’s a good idea, too.”

“And we definitely don’t want you freezing, Barb, especially while we’re here in the middle of nowhere, possibly with dwindling fuel, and lost,” Trina shouted from the back seat, clearly annoyed.

“Who in hell asked you anything, Trina?” Barb turned and snapped back.

“Let’s keep it together for now, okay, ladies?” John said calmly. “Everyone’s a little worried. I know nerves are frayed, but we all need to keep calm and things will work out.”

Trina and Barb seemed to reluctantly take his advice to heart. Barb returned to her forward-facing position, although not before shooting an evil glare at Trina, who was now looking away from John and out the other window.

“Let’s go, Rob,” Abby said, opening her car door.

They both got out, and Abby walked around to the front passenger side. It was clear as she held up the flashlight that they had hit the side post of a locked, metal driveway barrier. It had been completely covered by snow, so there was no way to know beforehand. The SUV had made contact with the barrier just above the bumper, which had crumpled the hood.

“Shit. That’s not a little fender bender, Abby,” Rob said, worried.

“You’re right. I don’t think we can drive it like this, even if we could reverse and get out.”

“True. You know, I’m thinking we should turn the engine off. It could be dangerous keeping the car running like this.”

“I agree. Let’s also get Ruth to check and see if this is her grandparents’ place.”

“No need. Look here.” Rob walked up to a partially hidden sign and dusted off the snow. “It’s Broad Oaks Golf and Country Club. My uncle plays here often. They’re closed for the winter.”

“That’s not good.” Abby scratched her head. “Let’s get back in the car and warm up while we weigh some options. We’ll have to move fast, especially if we can’t keep the engine running for long.”

“Are you gonna break it to them?” he asked as Abby headed back to her side of the car.

“Yes.”

“Good,” he shouted above the howling snow. “I don’t want to be the target of Barb’s wrath.”

“If it’s not now, it’ll happen eventually,” she teased. “You’re the one who likes her, remember?”

He nodded. “Touché.”

“I can just imagine how much fun you’d have if she liked you back! Just a little food for thought.”

They got back in the car, and turned the heat up. Abby took a deep breath, preparing her message mentally.

“So what gives?” Barb asked.

“Okay, everyone,” Abby started. She turned to the back so she could face them. Giving bad news without eye contact could prove disastrous, in their predicament. “Before I start, let me ask you, Ruth, how far is your grandparent’s cottage from the Broad Oaks Golf and Country Club?”

“At least a good twenty-five minutes’ drive,” she replied, looking confused. “Why?”

Abby looked at Rob, who shook his head in disbelief. They both had grown up on farms; they understood the implications of her answer. They could be at least five or ten miles away from her family’s place.

“And how many properties do you think are on the way between their place and Broad Oaks?” she continued.

“Seven, maybe eight,” she answered. “But they’re all closer to the cottage than to Broad Oaks. The grounds of that place are massive. But what does that matter? Shouldn’t we be trying to get the SUV unstuck or something?”

Abby returned her focus to the passengers in the back. “We don’t have any good news, guys. First thing is, we’re at the driveway of Broad Oaks Golf and Country Club. Second, the car is really badly damaged. We turned right into the metal entrance barriers. The front fender and hood are crumpled up. We don’t think we should keep the engine running for long.”

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