Monday, August 21, 2006

Evangeline (Part Twenty One)

Tucker and Prissy discovered the hideout completely by accident. Hiding their relationship from Prissy’s father had forced them to look for secret meeting places. On one such adventure, they stumbled across an abandoned fallout shelter.

At first they thought it was just an old garage, but once inside, they found a door in the floor that opened to a 10 x 10 concrete room, complete with musty old cots and a few rusted tin cans.

The hideout was deep in the woods behind Grandma Shaw’s farm. At one time, there had been a house on the property. But now, only the crumbled outline of the foundation remained.

Tucker pulled Prissy’s car in to the garage, making sure to leave room to open the door in the floor. The garage was so overgrown and surrounded by thick pine trees that it would be almost impossible to see it from the air. Tucker’s only worry was that someone may have seen him turn on to the old logging road. His tracks would be fresh.

Prissy and Tucker had stocked the fallout shelter with enough food, water, beer, and toilet paper for about two weeks. Prissy had also insisted on new blankets, oil lamps, bug spray, folding chairs, and a large mirror to hang on the wall (to make the room look larger). She couldn’t imagine being down in that hole for two weeks without a shower, so Tucker had rigged up a small camp shower behind the garage, on the promise that she would only shower at night, in the dark, and no more than every three days. Prissy reluctantly agreed.

Tucker had also been thoughtful enough to hang a blanket across one corner of the room and had designated it as the unisex bathroom, complete with a portable potty (he couldn't wait to tell Prissy it was her job to empty it).

The wind began to howl through the old garage as the three descended the creeky wooden steps in to the darkness. Tucker’s flashlight threw a halogen beam into the black velvet of the fallout shelter, highlighting newly spun cobwebs and their own reflections in the cracked mirror on the wall.

The plan was in motion. Too late to turn back now.

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