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Loss in the Parking Lot

Heirlooming Threat: Chapter 5

By Jesse Terrance DanielsPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 4 min read
Loss in the Parking Lot
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Milo found himself racing back up the granite staircase. Before he could even rethink his plans, he was rummaging through the group’s belongings. He prized out Templeton’s car keys and dashed back down the path that had led them to the heart of the quarry. The teens were too busy swimming to notice.

Milo’s mind was a tangled mess. He knew it wasn’t right to take from others, but what if those others appeared ruthless. Milo couldn’t get over Templeton’s actions, attempting to blow marijuana smoke directly at the baby bird, only for Milo to take the full force of the fog instead. He didn’t want to hurt Bruce or Fern; they had been nice. He didn’t want to hurt anyone. He just wanted to help his family.

Every day that Milo didn’t make money was one less day to save his family. Every hour that passed where Milo didn’t earn a dime felt like a giant waste of time. Milo pushed his feet hard against the dirt path, his scruffy brown hair bobbing and swaying, grass and debris scattering with each step.

I don’t even know what I’m doing, Milo thought. Do I intend on selling the car or just ditching it once I reach Coltshire? He wasn’t sure, but he was sure about the surging sense of urgency he felt. There was no public transportation out in these small towns. Milo felt like his only opportunities lie outside of his reach. He felt like he had to do something now.

The moment Milo reached the end of the path, with Templeton’s car in his sights, his stomach turned, and he felt enormous regret for his own actions. The sobering moment seemed to clear Milo’s mind, realizing this would only drag someone else down in his pursuit to raise his family up. He began to feel so pitiful and worthless in his capacity to help his family that his eyes welled up. A few teardrops rolled down his cheek, leaving streaks free of dirt, unlike the rest of his filthy face. He sat down, feeling overwhelmed, Templeton’s keys sitting loosely on his palm and the fat baby chick nestled in the sweater by his side.

Milo wasn’t quite sure how long he sat there but began to hear footsteps and shouting coming up from behind him. He turned to see Bruce and Fern changing their stride from a sprint to a light jog, almost speed walking. Templeton, however, did not slow down. He dashed all the way up to Milo, charging like a raging bull, and kicked him straight in the gut. Milo felt like all the oxygen had been taken from the world and couldn’t breathe. He reeled over, clutching his stomach until finally, a screech of pain belted from his throat. He continued to gasp for more air.

“How dare you, you little shit!” screamed Templeton standing over Milo, ready to strike him again.

“Stop TonTon!” shouted Fern from behind.

“Whoa, whoa, hold on,” followed Bruce.

“Why should I?” seethed Templeton. “He was ready to drive off in my car.”

“Dude, he doesn’t even know how to drive,” pressed Bruce.

“I could figure it out!” Milo howled in pain defensively, not doing much to help his situation. “I’ve driven a tractor!”

“Shut up,” said Bruce in response. “It’s not the same. I’m telling you, Templeton, he wouldn’t’ve gotten it outta’ the parking lot. Besides, he stopped. He realized it was ridiculously stupid.”

Milo gasped in air once again to speak. “I’m sorry!” he pushed out. “I’m sorry! I‘m desperate.”

“Yeah, well, we all got problems, kid,” retaliated Templeton. “I’m done. Let’s go, Fern.”

“You guys are just out here fuckin’ around. I wish I could do that. I never get to…,” Milo trailed off. “It doesn’t matter. It’s not your fault or your problem. There’s no excuse. I’m sorry.”

Templeton bent over and took the keys from Milo’s hands. He walked back towards his car and waved for Fern to follow. As Fern passed by Milo, she made eye contact, with her lips contorted to side, and shrugged.

“Milo,” spoke up Bruce, fighting off tears of his own, upset from the whole debacle. “I appreciate your circumstance, and I accept your apology. I can’t say the same for Templeton. But, I obviously can’t trust you anymore.”

“I know,” replied Milo. “I don’t deserve your trust.”

“For what it’s worth, I really did wanna’ buy that baby chick. But I’m willing to make a new deal. How about you keep it, and I still give you the five bucks?”


“Because I can. Because I want to. Deal?”

“Thank you, Bruce.”

“Hey, don’t thank me yet.” Bruce fished a five-dollar bill out of his pocket and handed it to Milo. “You’re walking from here.”

“I’m so sorry, Bruce.”

“I understand. But you’re walking. Good luck, Milo. I really mean that.”

Milo’s eyes welled up with tears again as Bruce walked towards his car. Templeton and Fern had already pulled out of the parking lot, but the cloud of dust they kicked up still lingered. Now Milo was alone again, with nothing but what he left home with. His canteen was dirty, and his pouch of dried foods was limited. The chick looked upset trying to upright itself in the sweater, having been turned about on the sidelines of the tussle, and the compass lay untouched in his pocket.


About the Creator

Jesse Terrance Daniels

Jesse is the founder of Pied Raven Games, and his first card game, Hibernation, won Best Family Game in 2018. He currently has a book in the process about game design. The book, titled Make Your Own Board Game, will be available 08/2022.

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