12 Days (pt. 9/12)


Ian and Lila raced from the exhibit hall to try to catch up with Mitchell. He was nowhere to be seen.

“I’d like to know exactly what he meant by three towers,” Lila said thoughtfully as they walked slowly toward their car. As they got closer to it, she saw a white piece of paper underneath the driver side wiper blade. Leaning over, she lifted the wiper blade and pulled the paper from beneath it.

Smoothing the paper flat against the side of the car, she studied a simple hand drawn map in black ink with two lines indicating what appeared to be a road, a dividing line with CA / NV written on either side of it, and three towers off to the side of the road. There was a small compass in the right corner of the paper that indicated the towers were on the north side of the road.

Lila wore a puzzled expression as she tapped the paper a couple of times before turning to Ian. “You know where this is, don’t you?”

“Not really. I mean, I can tell that it’s close to the California-Nevada border, but aside from that…” Ian’s voice trailed off and he shrugged.

“It’s in the Mohave Desert next to the interstate. I see it every time I’m driving to Vegas,” Lila said with conviction.

“You’re sure you can find it?” Ian looked at her skeptically.

“Absolutely. You’ll know it when you see it,” she said confidently.

Clutching the map, Lila hopped in the passenger side and looked up at Ian expectantly. “Let’s go!”

Twilight was falling over the desert when less than three hours later Ian pulled onto the shoulder of northbound I-15.

Lila pointed to the other side of the freeway at the three glowing towers. “There they are,” she said triumphantly.

Ian gave a low whistle. “Nice work. Let me see the map one more time.”

She passed it over to him.

“It fits,” he agreed, and gave the map back to her.

Easing back onto the road, he continued until they reached the exit for the tiny town of Primm situated near the Nevada border. He took the exit and drove across the road to the southbound on-ramp for I-15 where he merged back onto the interstate.

As they closed in on the area near the three towers, Ian pulled as far off the road as possible.

“Lucky there isn’t more traffic,” Lila commented in a low voice.

Ian nodded, all his attention focused on the three towers. “Can you get the binoculars from under the seat?” he asked Lila quietly.

She reached under the seat and grabbed the digital camera binoculars.

Ian reached up to turn off the dome light so that they wouldn’t be illuminated as they opened the car doors. As they exited the car and began walking toward the towers, they heard a voice behind them.