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Week 1 (June 1-June 7) 

Midland, Texas


On the side of the road a four-person pickup truck sat.  Two ATV’s sitting on the bed of the vehicle which had no inclination of moving any time soon by the looks of the pair working on the outside of the vehicle. "I tell you what if the Oklahoman wasn’t in office, we wouldn't be having these problems."  A hefty and rapidly balding man called out to his scrawny friend who was presently hunched over the hood of a car.  The engine was visibly smoking obscuring the family inside from view.  Not that had any effect on the pair’s conversation.


"Weren't it too long ago you voted for him Bill?"  The scrawnier man called back as he tooled around with the truck.


"Oh, shut yer trap."   Bill retorted. 


The family inside the vehicle was doing their best to ignore the discussion outside.  That was aside from the metallic teenager.  Who was waiting for them to blame the vehicular mishap on her? Of course, it was her fault.  Why wouldn’t the metal girl be too heavy for the pickup truck to haul the fifteen-minute drive from the Midland airport to Odessa.  Never mind that as heavy as a girl made out of metal was, it wasn’t as heavy as the two ATV’s the family had attempted to haul. “So how was the school year?”  Bill Hannigan, notably not the Bill outside of the truck, asked the pair of youths sitting in the back seat.  Tremayne Hanningan leaned forward with excitement not having seen his family since the last school vacation. 


“It was amazing!  I got my license.  I can drive us the rest of the way if you want.  Could probably power this thing.  All y’all can just sit back and let an expert at the wheel.” Bill looked over at his daughter expecting an answer of similar enthusiasm only to be greeted with continued silence.  Tabitha Hannigan wasn’t exactly fishing for what she assumed was fake interest from her father.  Yet another person who resented her for sending the school’s wide receiver halfway across the country.  She didn’t know what lie her father had told.  But, there was no way, people weren’t going to assume it didn’t have something to do with the Hannigan family’s kidnapped daughter coming back made of living metal.


“Young lady, now I know you heard your father.  Don’t think you’re too big to answer him.”  Tandy Hannigan called from the passenger’s seat.  The middle aged school teacher was currently reviewing her lesson plan for the next semester.  Part of her felt guilty about the fact that she was grateful that her kids were going to school across the country.  Rather than risk becoming another statistic in Midland-Odessa’s alarmingly high drop out rate.  Not that she would’ve let either of them even consider dropping out of school.  Bill, the one outside the vehicle, walked to the side of the driver’s window and tapped on it.  “Found the cause mister.  Yerr truck’s transmission is shot.  Probably driving past the payload.  I can have you fixed up real quick.  Just call for a tow, alright?”


“It was fine, papa.  Lulu’s nice.”  Tabitha finally spat out.  Before sinking further into her seat and reaching for her wireless headphones.


Edited by HGM
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