Campfire songs Chapter 31

Chapter 31

We were already struggling with the travelling. Without decent shoes and with Sasha being so small, without any of us being that big and strong to carry her for anything but small distances, going far on our feet was out. I stopped us when we were far enough away that my fear of fire was fading. We could all see a large amount of smoke though and a fire engine was probably not that far away. I gathered us all together for a group talk. We were away from the road so there wasn't anything to disturb us.

“Alright. Let's have a rest for a sec and go through our options.” I lay my poncho on the ground and sat down. I opened my arms up to Sasha and she came and sat on my lap. Sally, Jo and Abby did like me, sitting in a rough circle.
“Are we safe?” Jo asked.
“Yes. At the moment we are. We need to make plans to stay that way.” I said.
“What do we need to do?” came from Sally.
“I can tell you my thoughts and what I think we should do. But the decisions need to be agreed as a group.”
Abby put her hand up. “Yes, Abby, you have the floor.” I said with a smile. I think she was fooling around a bit to lighten the tension.
“Without you, we would still be stuck in that place. I think we are all happy with you being our leader.” She looked around, there was a subtle nodding from Sally and Jo.
“Thank you. I do think 5 minds are better than 1. If you see any flaws or ways to improve my plans, please tell me. Now, we have a phone. I don't even know who's it is and I expect soon the fire brigade will be called or have already been called, after that the police will be involved. Then this phone will become a liability. So we need to suck its usefulness out of it and then discard it. The simplest plan is, I call Tracy. There are pluses and minuses to that plan.”
“Who is Tracy and is that the plan you want to go with?” from Abby.
“Tracy is my adopted mother and no, I think there is too much risk to call her. I was kidnapped and almost certainly, she will have called the police. If I call her, the police will be involved and I don't know how safe that will be for you.”
Jo put her hand up. “Mark told me he was a policeman.”
“If I can get us all to Tracy without the involvement of the police, I know that, between us, we can keep you all safe. So my plan is essentially to find a place for you all to stay while I sort out the police aspect and then gather you all up.”
“Are you going to tell them that you were at the house?” Abby asked.
“I think there is going to be an investigation there, so no, I need to come up with another story, any ideas?”
“You could say you ran away.” Came from Jo.
“That would be the simplest. Tracy wouldn't believe it. If I can talk her into going with it first that would be a good option, but if I can't separate her from the police then I need another option.”
Abby smiled at me. “How about a crazed fan? I would have been tempted to kidnap you if I could.”
“I would have let you.” I replied with a smile.
“Hey. Stop flirting you two.” Sally said, but she was smiling. I think I was blushing and Abby definitely was. “That could work though. A crazed fan took you, tried to convince you that you were the love of their life, when they couldn't convince you, dropped you off somewhere after you promised not to tell anyone about them. That way you don't have to reveal any details as you are keeping your promise.”
“I like it. OK. I'll go with that. Now the next question is how to get us all safe while I sort out Tracy and the police? This is my idea, see if you can pick any holes in it. We travel cross country using the phone to guide us to the nearest village. When we get close we phone for a taxi. Tell them we are in fancy dress and get them to take us to Oxford, somewhere near a cheap hotel. We can use the phone to chose a destination. I think we need to discard the phone before we travel to Oxford though.”
“Won't the hotel need identification?” Abby questioned.
“You're right. How about a B & B. We can book on the phone and tell them we are locked out of our house until our parents get back in a couple of days. One of us can venture out to a get us all some clothes.”
“Not you Sophie?”
“I might be too recognisable. Abby would be better I think.”
I looked around. Nobody had any objections.

“OK. Let's do this.” I looked down at Sasha who looked up at me with these big trusting eyes. “I'll carry you as much as I can.” I gave her a piggyback and Sally took the phone to start the Sat nav and then the information we needed. I left her to it while I concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. Abby tried carrying her a bit and at some points Jo and Sally went either side of her and gave her occasional swings which had her laughing. Even so, by the time we reached sight of the village all of our feet were sore and we were all tired. Sally had managed to download Uber and arranged a car to take us. She had booked an airbnb flat in Cowley Road in Oxford. We had an access code to enter the flat and the owner was going to be around midday to collect the cash. We were limited in choices as most did not accept cash, weirdly. I always thought cash was king.

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This story is 1032 words long.