By D. T. Hutchins
Jackson Lafayette Hill was the last person Buck expected to see in Branson. Jackson was one of his men from the unit, as country and natural as the Ozark Mountains where he was born. That, plus his tendency to hold an old-fashioned corncob pipe in his mouth when he talked, earned him the nickname of “Corncob.” Things were not good the last time that Buck saw Corncob, but things looked much worse now.
“Corncob, if you could help us, I’ll do more than a few dollars,” said Buck as the words came tumbling out. “That big, oversized Elvis stole a little girl from her mother in Alabama and we are trying to get her back.”
“Cap’n Buck, it was a big Elvis alright, but it was a little boy, not a girl,” said Corncob. “They took off in a orange truck with a big, orange guy driving. Almost hit me. They went left,” said Corncob pointing the direction that the truck left.
“Great, Corncob, I owe you another,” said Buck as he handed Corncob a $20. “Can you stay around here a while? I want to talk with you, but a little girl’s life is at stake.”
Sheriff Blinky had already coordinated with the local police, and a helicopter was in the air. Sheriff Blinky and Buck jumped back into the patrol car and everybody took off in the direction that Corncob had pointed.
It wasn’t long before the radio began crackling. The orange rig had been seen moving toward the interstate, and a helicopter was tracking the truck.
“Rock, baby, why is that helicopter following my truck,” asked Twyla LouAnn. “Are we leaking something?”
“Floor it, Twyla,” hollered Rock. “Get off at the next exit. I got a plan.”
At the next exit the helicopter seemed to have disappeared. Rock was relieved –– only temporarily. Just then, the helicopter reappeared along with a swat unit and six patrol cars.
Twyla stopped the truck and Rock climbed down to the pavement. Officers, guns drawn, circled Rock.
“Rock, baby, what is going here?” whined Twyla, still trying to squeeze out from under the under the wheel.
Buck pushed forward and grabbed Rock.
“Where is Roxy?” roared Buck.
“Hey, mister, don’t hurt my husband,” said Twyla as she pushed her 400-pound body between the two men.
Buck just stared.
“In the truck,” said Rock, as police pulled Twyla away.
Buck climbed into the truck and found Roxy still sitting on the truck mattress. Other than the haircut, she looked okay.
Later, at the hospital, Buck called Raquel to tell her that Roxy was fine and he would be bringing her home the next day. Buck could hear the relief in Raquel’s voice, and she had even laughed about the new Mrs. Roddenheimer.
Buck asked Sheriff Blinky to stay with Roxy while he went back to the Stardust to find Corncob. The two spent several hours talking. Afterwards, Buck knew what he must do next.
By D. T. Hutchins
- As The Small Town Turns
- Church Bulletin 8/7/12
Epilogue: As the Small Town Turns
Editor’s note: The News Courier editorial staff chose Karen Bethea’s epilogue for our original novel. Our runner-up this week was D.K. Hutchins. We would like to thank all of our talented authors who contributed to “As the Small Town Turns” over these weeks. It has been a very enjoyable and satisfying endeavor for The News Courier and we hope it was enjoyable for those who participated. In coming weeks we will publish photos and short biographies on all of our authors whose chapters were chosen for the novel. But whether your chapter was chosen or not we would like to say thank-you to all for being such good sports and getting into the spirit of this project.
Chapter 16 As the Small Town Turns
Editor’s note: Chapter 16 of The News Courier original novel, “As the Small Town Turns ...” is written by Karen Bethea. Runners-up are D.T. Hutchins and Cynthia Boris.
It’s time for a bang-up conclusion for the saga of Raquel and Buck. The novel will conclude Dec. 19 and the only thing that remains is the epilogue.
If you haven’t sent in a submission, now is the time.
If you make it exciting enough, we might have to revisit them for a satisfying epilogue. Please see novel rules in this section and we look forward to your conclusion.
Chapter 15: As the Small Town Turns
Editor’s note: Chapter 15 of The News Courier original novel, As the Small Town Turns, is written by Diane Hutchins. This was a week that brought several fine submissions. Runners up Karen Bethea, Cynthia Boris and Elizabeth Carter are printed in this section. It’s time for a bang-up conclusion for the saga of Raquel and Buck. If you haven’t sent in a submission, now is the time. If you make it exciting enough, we might have to revisit them for a satisfying epilogue. Please see novel rules in this section and we will be looking forward to your thrilling Chapter 16.
Chapter 14 ‘As the Small Town Turns’
Editor’s note: Chapter 14 of The News Courier original novel, “As the Small Town Turns,” is written by Karen Bethea. We had three excellent submissions this week. Runners-up are Harriette Rost and Cynthia Boris. The action has turned wild. With only two more chapters, now is the time to jump in for the big conclusion. If things get too hot, who knows? This saga could live for yet another chapter.
Chapter 13: As the Small Town Turns
Editor’s note: Chapter 13 of The News Courier original novel, “As the Small Town Turns,” is written by Cynthia Boris. Our runners-up this week are Karen Bethea and Elizabeth Carter, whose submissions are published in this section. Readers and potential contributors have just three more weeks as we draw the saga of Raquel and Buck to a conclusion with Chapter 16 on Dec. 12. There’s still time to get in on the action.
Chapter 12: As the Small Town Turns
Editor’s note: Chapter 12 of “As the Small Town Turns” is written by Bill Hunt. This week’s runner-up submission is by Cynthia Boris. The News Courier is anxiously awaiting Chapter 13 as the story heats up. Please keep sending submissions. Hint: Wouldn’t it be great if somehow Bobby Tom could meet Raquel’s friend, Maggie…? We’re just saying. Please review the rules of the game in this section and get your submission to Karen Middleton by Wednesday.
Chapter 11: As the Small Town Turns
Editor’s note: Chapter 11 is written by Harriette Rost. Our single runner-up this week is Cynthia Boris. We continue the story as Rock tries to disguise his abducted daughter Roxanne Marie’s identity as he prepares to go on stage in Branson to compete in an Elvis impersonator contest. The law is involved now. The News Courier staff is excited to see how our readers will come to the toddler’s rescue -–– if it’s not too late. If readers have previously submitted chapters that were not chosen to continue the saga of Raquel and Buck, please do not be discouraged. Hint: Let’s not forget Bobby Tom stuck up in a veterans’ hospital recuperating from wounds. Let’s get him back in the action.
Chapter 10, As the Small Town Turns
Editor’s note: Once again, Cynthia Boris has submitted an excellent chapter to As the Small Town Turns. We received no other submissions last week, so there are no runners-up. However, we welcome your Chapter 11 submissions, so please review the novel rules in this section. We continue the story as Rock speeds toward Branson with his abducted 2-year-old daughter Roxanne Marie. As The News Courier looks forward to drawing the novel to a conclusion by the end of the year, please jump in and help us resolve this cliffhanger.
Chapter 9, As the Small Town Turns
Editor’s note: The Chapter 9 submission chosen for The News Courier original novel, “As the Small Town Turns,” was written by Cynthia Boris. As readers will remember, from Chapter 8, Raquel’s ex-husband, Rock Roddenheimer, abducted their daughter, Roxanne Marie, from her bed in revenge for having been thrown out of the house and humiliated by Raquel’s new friend, Buck. Now, as Rock speeds toward Branson in his 18-wheeler, the gravity of his rash actions begins to soak in, and back in the small town, Raquel is devastated to learn that her daughter is missing. Other excellent chapters were submitted by Karen Mastich and Carol Schwarzenbach, which are printed in this section along with rules for submitting Chapter 10.
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