Arriving in Albany, tired and a little disheveled, Amanda and
Trisha found their shuttle to the hotel waiting for them.
“I can use a shower, like, yesterday”, Trisha groaned.
Amanda muttered an agreement and hurried to help Trisha and the
driver to load the van. Their carry-on bags were a mess after having to go
through them multiple times for one thing or another. The coach seats on the
train were comfortable enough, unless you were sleeping in them. The two
travelers tossed and turned in them all night.
“Remind me to get the sleeper car if we ever do this again,”
Amanda grumbled as she slid in next to Trisha. "It would have been worth
the extra, especially if we split the cost."
“I know, right?” Trisha respond, shifting in her seat.
"Definitely not worth the savings."
They decided it was best to spend most of the day in town first.
Amanda made sure to find a hotel that was in walking distance to some shopping
and places to eat. They'll turn in early and then pick up their rental car and
head immediately towards Vermont.
Amanda decided that she would call her foster parents at the hotel
to let them know that they'll be in the area. Then they'll go a little farther
north, by lake Champlain, in the area where she was found. Whether or not it
all goes well, Amanda promised Trisha to visit both sides of the lake so she
might be inspired by the view.
The driver got into the car and turned the key.
He tried again. Still nothing.
The driver cursed under his breath and turned towards the women.
“I'm sorry, ladies, but it appears this one is acting up again.”
“Again?” Amanda responded wearily. She was too tired to be
“Yeah, it's happened to this car before, and they did something to
fix it and it only took a few seconds, but I'm not sure what they did to get it
to work. We'll have to wait for the company mechanic to come out to fix it.”
Amanda thought for a moment. “Check the terminals on the battery,”
The driver shrugged, pulled the lever for the hood, and got out of
the van. Amanda got out as well and they both met up in front.
The driver opened the hood and saw that one of the terminals on
the battery was caked in a white crust.
“See if you can get most of that white stuff off,” Amanda said.
While the driver worked on the terminal, using his multi-tool that he had in
his pocket, Amanda explained, “My foster father had the same problem. I guess
there's something wrong with your electrical system for it to corrode like
The driver finished, and then they both got back in. He turned the
key and the van started right up.
“You just saved us 20 minutes for the mechanic to come out,” the
"Yeah, but, you still have to take the vehicle in."
Amanda responded. The driver didn't seem to hear, but she didn't care. She was
looking forward to that hot shower.
No one noticed the black sedan that followed them to the hotel.