Burning Bridges Along the Susquehanna

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Summary

Time Travel, History, Adventure and a little Romance make this a great read for ages 15 and up. Lily is a bored teen. She and her brother travel back in time 100 years, but danger follows them. Lily is a teen girl in Central Pennsylvania. She and her little autistic brother have big problems. Their mother has fallen for a man who is pure evil. They meet a Native American man, Iron Joe, who takes them through a time portal, where they find peace and happiness in the 1900's logging days of Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. However, they find that evil follows them. Lily and her brother, Logan, find many wonderful adventures, and great challenges, in their time travels. This book is full of fantasy, adventure, history and a little romance. Great reading for ages 15 and up.

Genre:
Fantasy / Adventure
Author:
bingley567
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
4
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
16+

Chapter 1.

Lily Hendricks lay on the bank of the Susquehanna River watching two small ducks as they swam past a flock of geese.She smiled. It looked as if the ducks were speaking timidly to the larger birds.

“We don’t want trouble, okay? We’re just passing by.”

Throwing her head back, she closed her eyes. The sunlight illuminated her pale, beautiful face. Her delicate nose hosted a tiny galaxy of freckles.Auburn and curly, her long locks absorbed the summer warmth. Lily was naturally beautiful. She didn’t wear makeup. She saw no need to change her appearance to fit in.

It was a hazy summer day and the humidity hovered over the mountains like a mosquito net. Lily was bored. She loved watching the birds on her tranquil river, but she was sixteen, almost seventeen.She wanted adventure, excitement. Central

Pennsylvania was no place for a teenage girl to find thrills. Her little brother, Logan, watched some bugs crawling on a leaf. Again, Lily smiled. Logan was completely immersed in his silent world of amazement. Autistic and non-verbal, he found pleasure in things that others did not even notice. He was six- years-old and very small. His hair was the same color as Lily’s but lacked the curls. His green eyes showed immense peace. He was far more perceptive than most, perhaps due to his autism. He was especially keen at sensing when someone was upset. He also knew when there was danger present. Once, when he and Lily had been walking in the woods, Logan stopped dead in his tracks. Grabbing his big sister’s hand, he pulled her backwards down the path.

“Logan! What are you doing? What is it?”

Lily saw nothing to be afraid of but she relented and let her brother have his way. Maybe, she thought, a bee had stung him. Finally, he pulled her safely onto a porch and held her there.

Within seconds, a mountain lion appeared where they had just walked.Lily gasped. They stood on the porch until the big cat had moved safely away.She thought of that incident now as he watched the bug. He carefully took the leaf on which the bug rested and placed it in a jar in his ever-present backpack. Lily cherished him.He was her rock. They enjoyed a bond that many siblings never developed.

Her gaze returned to the river. The little ducks she had seen earlier now swam happily along side the geese.

“Come on buddy,” she called to Logan. “We’d better get home for dinner.”

They walked along Water Street, where the old mansions from the Lockport lumber heyday remained.Majestic and well-manicured, they were now homes of retired residents in the community. They crossed the railroad tracks and cut through an alley. Their neighbor, Mr. McKinney, sat on his front porch. A man of eighty, he wore a white tank top and blue jeans. His

head still had a crop of beautiful, thick, white hair. He puffed a cigar. McKinney had been a worker at the old airplane factory. The plant closed when he was still a young man. All industry moved out of the area after the great flood of 1972.Like many locals, McKinney stayed in Lock Haven, hopeful that jobs would return, but they never did. Lifeless, he sat most days on the porch of his rundown house, staring at the old Pontiac GTO that was going to be his pride and joy. Like the old man, the car simply sat in the overgrown yard, resembling a dinosaur skeleton.

“Hi Mr. McKinney! Beautiful day!”

Lily’s cheerful greeting was wasted. The old man simply stared at his yard.Lily grabbed Logan’s small hand, half to keep him moving, and half because she felt an awful sadness for old McKinney. It gave her a shiver.

Further up the alley, they were greeted by their dog, Moses. He was a lazy old dog, mostly Labrador.Each day, he stayed

with them, swimming in the river, until the sun grew too hot. Then he would trot home to rest under the porch. As he approached, Lily immediately knelt to offer him a bit of love.

In the kitchen, their mother, Bonnie, busily prepared dinner.

“Hello you two,” she said. “I was about to send the National Guard for you.”

Lily and Logan washed their hands and began helping Bonnie without hesitation. Logan set the table, while his sister chopped vegetables. Lily glanced at her mother.

“Are you going out tonight?”

Bonnie knew what was coming. Her daughter disapproved of her current boyfriend.

“Yes. I’m going out with Dylan.”

“Thought so,” Lily sighed.

Bonnie pondered the right words to say.

“I wish you’d give Dylan a chance. I know he seems a little rough, but I like him.”

Lily said nothing. Logan finished setting the table and they all sat down to eat. Bonnie clasped her hands and nodded at Lily to say grace.

“Heavenly Father, we thank you for this food and for all our blessings. Please protect us all.”

She paused and winked at Logan.

“And please don’t let Dylan show up tonight.”

“Lily!’ Bonnie exclaimed.

She took a playful swipe at her daughter. Logan giggled. Bonnie gave out a deep sigh.

“Just what is it that bothers you so much about Dylan?”

“I just have a bad feeling about him. He’s loud and I don’t like the way he talks down to Logan.”

There was silence as everyone thought about Lily’s comment. Logan carefully smashed a potato on his plate. He liked to crush each one and carefully place butter and salt directly in the center, making a neat little potato pie.

Lily dabbed at her broccoli. She was getting more upset about her mother’s date and it was spoiling her appetite. Finally, she felt guilt. She wanted her mom to be happy.

“Alright. I apologize. I’ll try to be patient, and even nice to him.”

“Thank you, sweetie,” Bonnie returned. “I appreciate it.”

Chapter 4.

In the morning, Lily was up early with Logan. She helped him dress, prepared some breakfast for them both, and fed Moses. As she looked out the back window, her heart jumped into her throat. Dylan’s truck was in the driveway.

“Oh God,” she thought. “He spent the night.”

Within minutes Bonnie appeared. She kissed Logan. She approached Lily to kiss her as well, but Lily pulled away.

“Mom. No! You let him stay here?”

“Now, honey, please. We talked about this.”

Lily fumed. “You can’t do this.”

With that, Lily ran out of the house and down the alley. Logan and Moses ran after her. Lily was sobbing. Logan finally caught her and gently took her by the hand. She stopped and sat on a stump by Mr. McKinney’s place.Always aware of someone’s feelings, Logan looked at her with concern. Moses sat by her side, panting.

“Oh Logan. I’m okay. I’m just worried about mom.”

A voice sounded from behind them.

“What’s wrong young lady? You seem pretty upset.”

Lily whipped around. To her shock, it was Mr. McKinney who spoke. In all the years they had passed his house, he had never uttered a word until now.

“Oh, I’m just a little upset Mr. McKinney. It’s no big deal.”

“Well,” the old-timer answered. “It seems pretty big from where I stand. Why don’t you and your brother come up and sit for a spell, and your dog.”

McKinney led them up on his porch. He got a chair for each of them. After disappearing in the old house, he returned with a

plate of cookies and some tea. He brought Moses a bowl of water, then sat in his old rocking chair and lit a cigar.

“There, that’s better,” he said. “Help yourselves.”

Lily looked at Logan in disbelief. Why had this old zombie of a man come out of his trance? They each took a cookie and sipped at the tea. Moses sat happily knowing that everyone was staying in one place. He laid down in a shady spot, finally flopping on one side.

“Now,” McKinney continued. “Why don’t you tell me what’s got you so worked up Miss Lily?”

“How do you know my name?”

McKinney laughed.

“Oh, I know about just about everyone in this town. I don’t like to talk too much but I listen.”

“Well, it’s my mom. She’s going out with this guy who’s really bad.”

“Uh-oh. I expect it’s that Dylan Gurlach fella.”

“Yeah. How’d you know?”

“I seen his big fancy truck comin’ and goin’ with him and your mom in it. That fella’ makes lots of money doin’ some pretty bad things.”

“I know. My mom gets pretty lonely. I think she’s going out with him out of desperation, but now I’m afraid she’s going to let him move in.”

The old man sat silently for a while, puffing his stogie.

“Well, Lily. It may not mean much to ya’, but if you ever need a safe place to go, you and your brother can come here. Your dog is welcome too.”

Lily wasn’t sure what to say. She watched Logan. He was out in the yard investigating the old Pontiac. McKinney chuckled.

“It’s okay Logan. You can climb inside. She ain’t goin’ nowhere but you can pretend.”

“Mr. McKInney,” Lily said cautiously. “How come you’ve never talked to us before? We must have gone by your place hundreds of times.”

“Well, Lily. There’s a right time for everything. When I seen you this morning, all upset, I knew it was time to speak up.”

“I’m glad you did,” Lily said.

The old man smiled.

“You feelin’ better?”

“Yep. I am.”

Logan was at the wheel of the old car, steering, pushing buttons and flipping switches. McKinney gave out a belly laugh.

“We’d better get going,” Lily said. “Come on, Logan. Let’s go down to the river for a while.”

She turned. Hesitating for just a moment, she gave McKinney a big hug. His eyes warmed as he embraced her. He hadn’t felt the touch of anyone in years. It soothed his sad heart. Lily and Logan headed out of the yard.

“See you later Mr. Mckinney.”

McKinney waved from his chair. His hair blew gently in the morning breeze. A small, warm tear ran down his cheek, just a reminder that he was indeed alive. He thought that this would be a good day to shave and get himself cleaned up. He took a sip of tea and put his feet up. The river looked beautiful this morning.

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