A side hustle. Travis slung boxes with his damaged shoulder. The owner likely paid him under the table, their system, undoubtedly less than the minimum wage. Hubert seemed to like the place. Deanna did not. She coaxed Hubert up and out they went.
Deanna returned to her brother’s to grab her SUV and find dinner and a hotel. Instead she found an empty space. Her car paralleled a barren patch of packed earth where the Airstream once stood. Her brother’s trailer was gone.
Deanna sounded off. The whoosh of obscenities startled her friend. Hubert grunted in coarse barks. He turned haphazard circles. His girth knocked Deanna onto her backside. She sat still and silent until Hubert calmed down and settled beside her, panting.
She rubbed Hubert’s head, “Tell me you’re house-trained.” He nuzzled her hand, enjoying the attention. “Only one way to find out.” She ushered Hubert into her pristine Cadillac. He clambered, all belly. Cloven feet scraped the sides as he scrambled. The leather upholstery and door frame suffered. All the same, Deanna heaved Hubert in, “I got you.” The car door squeezed shut behind Hubert. Together, Hubert and Deanna, drove to the trailer park manager’s office.
Wrinkles lined Lanelle’s thin mouth. “You came,” Lanelle said, as if the notion surprised her. Tall and lanky, she rose to her full height behind the desk. The manager inquired about the pig right off the bat, then shushed Deanna, while she called animal control. With that order of business completed, Lanelle turned her attention to Deanna.
Deanna parsed through the woman’s long-winded saga. Her brother had fallen behind. The company had foreclosed. Lot 17, Travis’s lot, and everything on it belonged to them fair and square. Lanelle had mentioned none of this in her voicemail.
“We shoulda chucked ‘im and that hunk of junk out months ago. Clean sweep is best for everybody under the circumstances,” Lanelle said.
Deanna stared the woman down. The manager asserted that she had taken pity on her brother. Lanelle had allowed Travis to stay on until her brother could find someplace else. Jerry entered her mind. More than likely the Sheriff wouldn’t toss his old friend to the curb.
The manager had removed the Airstream posthaste. Lanelle had found a buyer for Travis’s home. Someone who’d eyed the vintage camper for a while, or so she said. Glee infused her words. She was not at liberty to disclose the name, “Got rules.” An utter lack of remorse. Travis’s death was one less problem for the manager. The gritty resolve poured out the woman’s dispassionate eyes. Deanna stumbled backward from Lanelle’s office.