case of the strange message

The first time I saw him, 
I found myself debating the wisdom 
of giving roadside assistance to a stranger, 
given my city upbringing. 
It was a very hot day in west Texas, 
and the disheveled looking man 
was sitting in the shade of his car, 
which was parked beside the secluded road.
Swallowing my nervous apprehension, 
and steering my car along side him, 
I asked if he needed some help.

“Yes, ma’am,” he said. “Yes, ma’am, I sure do! 
My car ran hotter than a 5-alarm fire. 
I guess my radiator has a leak. 
I’ve been sitting’ here for quite a spell 
in this heat and yours is the first car I’ve seen. 
There’s no gas station around here or a phone booth
 that I can see.”

His accent was pure Texan
 It reminded me of a western 
I’d seen sometime in my childhood.
“Well, jump in!” I said. 
“There is a station about five miles up the road. 
Maybe they will be able to help you get your car going again.”
“Well, thank ya’ ma’am,” he said. 
“That’s so nice of you to give a ride to a stranger. 
Not many folks would do that these days.”
He opened the passenger door and waited 
while I cleared the front passenger area 
from the fast food clutter that occurs during long road trips.
For the next five miles, we chatted about our lives.

“Where are you from?” he asked.
“I’m from Florida,” I replied, and noticed a note of pride in my voice. 
“I’m just out here visiting some of my family members.”
“Well,” he said, “I’m from Dallas. I’m here visiting my sister.”
Our conversation continued along that line until we arrived at the station.
“Here we are!” I said. “I hope they can give you a hand with your car.”
He thanked me and handed me his phone number in Dallas, saying, 
“If you’re ever in town, give me a call and I’ll show you the town.”
Without expecting to ever see him again, I replied with a friendly, 
"Sure thing, and have a nice visit with your sister, sir." 
i went inside and the station just long enough to buy a soda
Then I was back on the road feeling rather happy 
with myself that I could help the guy out. I thought,
 "Well, I suppose that was my good deed for the day!" 
and wondered what would happen tomorrow.

It wasn’t until I was taking my luggage into my sister house, 
that I noticed a piece of paper it was wrinkled 
and it look kind of of jagged, wedged in the passenger seat. 
with the words .please help me.! 
I hadn't seen that before, 
and it wasn't a receipt for fast food. 
What did it mean?
I thought back to the service station, 
where I dropped the guy off,
could anyone have dropped it in my car ,
when I went in to get a soda?
 I was just gone for a second, 
there had been a young girl
,I noticed as I was going inside the station ,
she looked rather scared and dirty,
but as I came out she was gone,
 I hadn't really thought much about it ,
but what if she had put the note in my car, 
was she in trouble? 
the note did read please help me, 
was she being held against her will.
oh dear ,my head was spinning ,
could this little girl have been abducted,
and if so by who ? and where was she now?

I went inside my sister's house ,
so confused what should I do? 
was my mind just playing tricks on me?
 I need to stop and think
 I'm in a strange place ,
I have been driving for two days with little sleep,
may be I was making more out of this note then I should.
the girl could have been the station owners daughter ,
I'll just talk to my sister and brother in law 
about this all maybe they can tell me what to do.
mark, my brother in law said take it easy sis
 we'll get to the bottom of this ,
I'm sure their is a simple explanation for all of this,
I'll look your car over and see if there are any other clues
 in it as to what this note is all about.

so while mark went to check my car 
sis said lets have a nice cup of coffee 
and try to relax .so we did ,shortly mark came back in 
and said, I think I figured out the mystery sis, look at this ,
it was another peace of paper also kind of wrinkled and torn 
with the words find my dog spot. 
boy did I feel so silly 
I guess I thought I was Nancy drew,
well I said now that the mystery has been solved 
I guess I will take a long nap ,
I think it's going to be an interesting week.

written and copyrighted by
Gloria Collins