I reached 50,000 words on November 28; I’ve posted most of what I’d written through November 27 on the Law of Immediate Forgiveness page. I want to take a breath and re-read the ending I’ve written before I post it here. In the meantime, at the risk of getting more urgent messages from those readers who love Licky, here’s a cliffhanger:
It was hard for Amy June to believe Licky had ever been the professor’s dog, as she completely ignored his commands. Then the girl noticed that Licky’s attention wasn’t on the Dodge, or even the mini mart. The dog was focused on another vehicle in the parking lot, one that seemed to have two people in the front seat.
Professor Fogarty also followed Licky’s gaze to the car Amy June had noticed. “Even better,” he said, and unbuckled himself. “You two stay here. I mean it. I could threaten you, but I don’t think I have to. We’re friends, after all the time we’ve spent together, and friends do as they’re told.”
Amy June disagreed with both statements fairly vehemently, but stayed quiet as the professor got out of the Yukon. Even though he was taller than her, he had to climb down from the giant vehicle.
“Shhh, Licky. Let’s wait here and watch for a while.” Amy June soothed the dog by scratching behind her ears. Licky’s barking stopped but her body stayed tense and her gaze stayed on the car the professor was walking toward.
She saw him talk to the person in the driver’s seat – seemed to be a pretty woman, with long dark hair. Then the person in the passenger’s seat turned to look right at her: a young man, not much more than a boy, with a soft face and scared eyes.
The fear in his eyes made Amy June feel afraid for the first moment since she’d seen the Dodge. She reminded herself her grandfather was here, too, and that meant everything was going to be okay.
Oh, who was she kidding. Her grandfather had let the professor take her. Her grandfather had let Licky go, too, and had let Licky get lost in the snowstorm, and had made Licky move on too soon after the surgery on her leg. Amy June felt another wave of anger. Her mother was wrapped up in herself, her father abandoned her, and her grandfather let her down. Who was ever going to be there for Amy June?
Licky licked the girl’s cheek.
Then the boy in the car in the parking lot let out something like a silent scream in her direction, and pointed in to the mini mart, and then to the road; and Amy June wasn’t going to stay in the Yukon any more. And even if she’d wanted to, Licky was already climbing across her lap, scrambling to get out the door.
They almost tumbled out together, just as Professor Fogarty turned to look their way, and just as another car turned into the mini mart parking lot, at breakneck speed.
The car, the girl, and the dog, were all about to be in the same place at the same time.