Sunday, December 25, 2016


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 responded, 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 within 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. After visiting, 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 after some begging from Trisha.

The driver got into the car and turned the key.


Trisha groaned.

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 annoyed.

“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, except there was a lot of banging and scraping. 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,” she suggested.

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 had lead oxide covering it.

“See if you can get most of that white stuff off,” Amanda said, pointing to the corrosion.

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 that.”

The driver finished, and then the three of them 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 driver said. "Don't tell anyone, though. You aren't certified, and neither am I. I can get into some trouble for that."

"Okay, 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.
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