Chapter Seven

Lori drove up to a road the curved around in front of Goods Candies and drove down it.

"This…" she said, pointing to a barren patch of land as they neared the outskirts of the town, "used to have a grain elevator on it that no one used in years. The whole thing was falling down and finally, FINALLY, they tore it down two years ago. I think because kids would go inside and end up getting hurt. But it was another lovely eyesore in this town. Oh!" she said as she slowed down and stopped just beyond the outskirts. "Aha, see the empty house in the middle of the dirt field," she said, pointing to a prefab house sitting in the middle of two acres of dirt off to the Doctor's right. "Some idiot had the bright idea of trying to build a housing development here in Kennard. He got as far as building one house before he discovered a problem. When it rains heavily, this whole field floods completely and turns into a small lake. So basically you have one house and whoever is in it marooned inside a tiny lake until the water goes down and then you have mud all over the place till it dries out."

The Doctor giggled at that.

"There's no road leading to it," the Doctor said, pointing to the house.

"I know, that's because they discovered the slight problem before he built the nice little road for his housing development. And…no one wants to live in a dirt field that floods at the slightest downpour, so there goes the idea of building the Great Kennard Housing Development!"

The Doctor giggled again as Lori drove on.

"So…the house adds to the collection of derelict buildings in the town, eh?" the Doctor said to her.

"Yup!" Lori said while the Doctor laughed. "Aren't ya glad you can time travel and not live in Podunk Central?"

"Very glad," the Doctor said.

She drove on past a few more farmhouses until she reached a junction.

"Oh! Must show you this too," she said, turning down a road to her left. "You have to see Grant City."

"Grant City? There's a city out here?" the Doctor said.

He snickered when Lori snorted at that. She drove a mile down the road until she reached a hill. On top of the hill on the right side was a small church and across from that was a house. Next to the church was another road with two more houses on either side of it. Lori stopped on top of the hill.

"Welcome to Grant City," she said, pointing to a road sign beside the church.

"What? This?" the Doctor said, looking around.

"Yeah, three houses and a church is a city out here. Isn't it lovely? Well, let's move on," she said while the Doctor chortled while Mandy giggled.

She turned into the tiny church parking lot and went back the other way.

"Next on our Hillbilly tour of Indiana is Shirley, Indiana. Once headquarters of the KKK," Lori said as she drove.

"Seriously?" the Doctor said, "when was this?"

"The 1930's and thereabouts."

"What's the KKK, Mommy?" Mandy said to her.

"A very hate filled group of people who don't like whites and people who aren't like them and don't think like them," Lori said, glancing over her shoulder. "And speaking of that, the charming cousins aren't the only racists here. There are no minorities that I know of within a ten mile radius. They're all in New Castle and the bigger cities because there are a lot of jerks like Jack and Randy who would give them hell. When Brit was in kindergarten, a black family did move into Kennard and the daughter was in the same class as Brit. They were a novelty for the children, to say the least. They didn't stay very long though. And when I was a kid, a black family tried to move to Kennard and the night before they moved into the house, someone blew it up."

"Blimey," the Doctor said.

"Yeah," Lori said, rolling her eyes. "That's another reason why the children don't talk about you to outsiders. Not just you being alien but I'm sure some of them don't like British people either. But yeah, if they knew about you, the FBI would be out here before you could blink."

"I'm glad you're not like that then," the Doctor said.

"My family didn't believe in that and I was raised to be tolerant," Lori said. "Jim's family did but he thought it was stupid and he didn't follow their example. Believe me; I wouldn't have married him if he was racist. Ah…" she said, slowing down when they reached a bend in the road.

She pointed to the right and the Doctor saw another farmhouse. Beside it was a fenced in area and there were ten bison inside grazing. In the huge yard was several collapsed amusement park rides.

"They raise bison for a living," Lori said while they looked at the house. "And they run amusement park rides for the carnivals and state fair. That's why they have those rides in the yard. That's their summer income. They're nice people. Sometimes they slaughter one of the bison and sell the meat at a farmer's market outside Knightstown."

Lori drove on. About a half mile after the house, she turned left and the Doctor saw another town up ahead. Houses were crowded close together on either side of the road with trees in between them. Lori slowed down again at the outskirts of the town and pointed to a tiny white house.

"Last year, a six year old girl was getting off the bus and went back to retrieve a piece of paper that went under it. The bus driver didn't see her, ran her down and killed her. She lived here," Lori said.

"That's horrible," the Doctor said.

"I know. And because very little happens around here, it was major news for a few weeks," Lori said with a sigh as she drove on. "And everyone from kindergarten to twelfth grade had to watch a film about bus safety."

About a half mile later, they drove out of the wooded area and into the business district of the town. Lori slowed down and pointed to a gas station.

"Gas station here," she said, stopping for a moment. "And over here," she said, pointing to a tan building at the end of a long road, "is the grocery store. Beyond it is the baseball field. Little league plays there and they have a Founder's Day festival there in the fall. In front of us," she said, pointing to hill with railroad tracks on top, "is a working railroad. But it's only used for a passenger train that goes between here and Knightstown on the weekends."

She drove up and over the tracks and slowed down when she got to the other side.

"There's a bar right there," she said, pointing to a business off to the right. "Beside it, used to be a very good restaurant that we sometimes went to but the owner died and it fell into ruin."

She drove up twenty feet and stopped at a long tan brick building with a two large plate glass windows and a glass door between them.

"This is now an Amish style restaurant. It is owned by Amish but the staff for the most part isn't and it's very crappy and expensive food. We ate there once and never again," Lori said. "Here," she said, pointing to a brick building across the road, "is their post office. Bigger but still with only one person manning it who is also a hag," she said while the Doctor chuckled. "Okay," she said, driving up slightly to an abandoned building next to the restaurant, "when I was a girl, this was a drug store with a restaurant in it. It went out of business and well…there was some sort of church inside it but I don't think there is anymore."

She drove up another ten feet and parked outside another brick building with a glass door and plate glass window.

"And this is the hardware store," she said, grabbing her pocketbook.

The Doctor unbuckled his seatbelt while Lori got out, shut the door and opened the back. The Doctor waited on the pavement while Lori got Mandy out of the car, took her hand and slammed the door. He followed them inside, a doorbell above the door ringing as they went in. A middle aged woman with black curly hair came out from a back room behind the front counter and smiled when Lori waved at her and put the DVDs on the counter.

"Can we get more, Mommy?" Mandy asked, tugging at her hand.

"Yes, baby, give me a second," Lori said. "Doctor, this is Janice. This is the Doctor, a relative of mine from England. He's visiting us."

"England, wow," Janice said, shaking his hand. "You're a doctor?"

"I am. Doctor is an affectionate nickname everyone calls me," the Doctor said.

"Well, welcome to the middle of nowhere then," Janice said while Lori laughed.

"Lori's been giving me a tour of the area," the Doctor said.

"Must be a short, boring tour then," Janice said.

"Mommy, can we get more DVDs?"

"Just a moment, honey," Lori said to her. "Listen, why don't you go with Doctor and show him where they are while I get something Daddy needs, okay?"

"Okay," Mandy said happily as she let go of her hand and took the Doctor's hand.

They walked through a doorway to the right and the Doctor saw several shelves with DVDs on them at the front while the hardware store continued from the middle of the room on back. Mandy led him to a small wall mounted shelf at the back of the room.

"These are new ones," Mandy said, pointing to them. "We usually take some of these."

"I see," the Doctor said, looking over the selection. "So, what do you want then, love?"

"Cartoons or Disney stuff," Mandy said.

"Cartoons or Disney stuff…hmmm…" the Doctor said, looking at the DVDs. "Ah, how about Cars 3 then?" he said, selecting a DVD near the top that had Lightning McQueen and Mater on the case.

"I saw that but I like it," Mandy said as Lori came into the room carrying a tiny sack and her pocketbook.

"Sorry, had to get some nails for Jim. He's doing a project," she said, coming up to them and putting the sack in her pocketbook. "A friend of his makes homemade bird houses and Jim's going to try it so I had to ask Janice what nails are appropriate for that. Did she choose anything?"

"Cars 3," the Doctor said, showing her the case.

"Is this what you want?" Lori said to Mandy.

Mandy nodded and Lori took it from the Doctor. They selected two more DVDs before Lori took them to the counter. She paid five dollars for two of them and got the third one free. Then they waved goodbye to Janice and she told them to enjoy the tour before they left.

"Okay, so we go back around to the grocery store and get a few things," Lori said to the Doctor. "Oh, up there," she said, pointing up the street, "is the fire station, another bar and a small family restaurant that is good but you have to eat what they feel like cooking on that day. Also they have a tiny antique store in there and beside it is a small knickknack shop. Kennard also has a fire station too and a sheriff but I think I told you once that it would take a nuclear war to get him to move his butt and do anything and even then he'd have to think about it. But Kennard's fire station was that tan building across from the post office. And also that houses the city council, such as it is. But that is the grand tour of Nowhereville, USA! I'm sure you're just awed beyond words now," Lori added while Mandy giggled. "I know it's a lot to take in so you may want to rest when we get back home."

"Yeah, I might have to have another rest after seeing the wonder that is rural Indiana," the Doctor said, picking up Mandy while he walked around the car. "All those skyscrapers and monuments and statues is overwhelming."

"And your eyes might hurt after seeing all the white skin," Lori said while she walked around to her side of the car. "Go ahead and let her stay unbuckled since we're going one hundred feet to the store."

"You got it, in ya go," the Doctor said, opening the back door. "After you, Madam," he said as Mandy climbed inside. "Where will you be going in this limousine then?"

"Huh?" Mandy said to him while sitting on her booster seat.

"Never mind, just teasing ya, love," the Doctor said before closing the door.

He got into the car, shut the door and relax while Lori did a U-turn and went back the other way.

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