Today I'm introducing you to Elly, the main character in my WIP -tentatively titled ELLY AND THE GERIATRICS. (Of course, that may change!)
I hope you enjoy this snippet. As always, your comments are sincerely appreciated.
~ Sandy Nachlinger
If I can just make it to the gate, no one will guess.
Elly pulled the yellow plastic hood over her head and tucked in a stray curl. Her feet planted on the golf cart’s floorboard, she turned the key, shifted into forward, and floored the accelerator. With a look over her shoulder, she sped out of the carport and onto Bluebonnet Lane.
A light spritz of early spring rain sprinkled her face and turned the roads into gleaming pathways. Rows of pastel-hued mobile homes lined the street like keys on a piano with blacktop driveways separating each one. Hundred-year-old oaks shaded the retirement village, giving the homes on wheels a feeling of permanence. This morning, a row of hyacinth poked through the black loam in a nearby garden, backed by orange tulips the color of a Texas sunset. Elly scanned the streets and sidewalks, relieved that no Sunset Acres residents were out and about. Once again she wondered how long she would be able to masquerade as her grandmother.
She jammed her foot down as far as it would go, and the electric cart responded with a lurch. The surge of power pleased her—made her glad Granny had hired that retired NASCAR mechanic to improve the machine’s speed. Not exactly a Ferrari, but the cart was still better than carrying home bags of groceries on foot, especially in the drizzle. A raindrop fell from the canopy’s fringe and splashed her nose. A geezer-mobile definitely was not her style.
She pushed the button mounted on the dashboard, waited while the iron gate scraped open, and sped toward the gap. Peering from beneath her slicker’s hood, she saw a man standing under a gigantic tree, his features shadowed by the thick low-hanging branches.
He raised his hand as she neared, and she sneaked a glance, then ducked her head. He paused and moved back into the gloom.
Elly’s heart spun as fast as the golf cart’s wheels. She took a deep steadying breath and eased the vehicle through the gate, forcing herself to stare straight ahead. Had he seen her face? Probably not. Sweat pants and the yellow raincoat covered her from head to toe, and the only things visible were her hands. Granny said people saw what they expected to see. Elly hoped she was right.
She listened for the screech as the gate eased closed behind her.
“Safe.” She whooshed out a breath. With a firm grip on the steering wheel, she revved the cart’s engine and turned left toward her destination.
What a life. Not what she’d expected to be doing at age twenty-five. Instead of a high-rise Dallas apartment, she lived in a cramped mobile home in small-town Shannon Ridge, Texas. Instead of working as an interior designer, she spent her days doling out her grandmother’s medications. Instead of driving around in a decent car, she relied on a tricked-out geriatric golf cart for transportation.
If Granny hadn’t tumbled off that curb—if Rick hadn’t turned out to be such a shit—if she’d been born an heiress to a great fortune. It sometimes seemed ifs ruled her life. But the immediate problems were not just ifs but what ifs. What if Rick showed up? What if she got caught living in a retirement village where she wasn’t supposed to be? And if she was discovered, what would Granny do without her?
She sighed. At least the situation was temporary, and right now there wasn’t an alternative.
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