It Wasn’t Suppose to Happen

by: KK Duke

They Came Upon an Accident

May, 1983

It had all started with a crash. How it happened no one knows? Maybe a blown tire or complete engine failure. Whatever happened, within moments the damage had been done. No one in Hazzard dies instantaneously. Or it’s not supposed to happen. Everyone is supposed to live for a very long time and happily forever.

KK and her best friend Matt were on their way home from school. It was a beautiful spring day, with the thermometer was reaching the upper 70’s. They had been walking home with Aaron and Karen, who were KK’s sisters. When they reached the road that Aaron and Karen lived, the third graders said good-bye and the kids went their separate directions. Nine year old Matt and seven year old KK didn’t have a clue to what they were about to see or how their timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

KK and Matt were mumbling about the assignment that their teacher Mr. Gleason had given them. He expected a lot out of the pupils and knew that they were capable of doing anything that they put their mind to even if his student didn’t yet believe in themselves. They had just finished a segment in science/health regarding what to do in an emergency. Being so small and light, KK had struggled in the execution of what to do and felt that she would be no use at all if it ever came down to it.

Walking and talking it took the kids a few minutes to recognize that it was not the intention of the General, nor Bo or Luke to park the car or crash it into a mammoth oak tree.

“KK, doesn’t that look odd to you?” Matt asked.

“What?”

“Look,” Matt said and pointed in the direction the General Lee. “Why is The General sitting there running?”

KK started running. Matt followed her. She knew something was wrong. As she got closer she could see the amount of front end damage. She could also sense that the tree was going to fall. She knew she should never move someone incase of a spinal injury, but there something that told her to get the boys out of the car.

“Matt,” she screamed.

“Calm down, KK. What?”

“We have to get them out of here.”

“What? No KK. We can’t. What if…”

KK interjected. “Listen, that tree ain’t gonna last too much longer.”

Suddenly, a fierce wind blew. Matt watched the tree and could hear the insides of it snapping as it began its swan song. It they didn’t hurry, the tree would soon smash all of its body weight right on top of The General Lee.

“Listen, Matt we don’t have time to call for help. We have to do this together.”

KK had never been real religious, even though she went to church every Sunday with the family. She had talked to Uncle Jesse about it. She asked him why she had to go to church every week. He had told her that it showed God how much you love him. She had not quite bought it, but recognized that it was important to him, so she just accepted it. Panicking, KK blurted out, “God, help us.”

Matt piped in, “And make everything all right again and help Bo and Luke get better soon. Amen.”

KK said her own “Amen.” Together the kids somehow got both Bo and Luke out of the car and were able to carry them some fifty feet. Far enough away so if that tree would snap, it wouldn’t injure them any further.

Matt didn’t see what KK was doing at first, but then recognize that she was running back towards the General Lee. “KK get away from there,” he screamed but KK ignored him. She knew that she had to radio for help, or it was a mile run home.

Crying and screaming into the CB, “Uncle Jesse, Daisy, anyone out there?” KK prayed that a voice would come on.

“KK? What’s wrong?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“I’m a mile away on Ridge Road. There’s been an accident…” KK was saying.

“KK, run. The tree is going to go!” Matt screamed at her.

KK did just that. Instead of running away from the tree, she went the other direction and passed the tree. In order not to be hit by the tree as it fell she lunged forward in hope that her body’s speed would slide her away from the tree.

“KK!” Matt screamed for her but she didn’t respond.

Seconds later, he screamed her name again.

KK screamed in pain. “Oh! Thank goodness!” Matt said as he to where she was laying on the dirt road.

When he finally caught up to where KK was, he could tell she had disappeared into herself. “Damn autism,” Matt thought to himself. “Come on KK,” he said as he picked her up to carry her, “We’ve got to get you off the road before someone rolls you over.”
Uncle Jesse was panicked when he over heard KK’s friend Matt screamed, “KK, run.” He didn’t know why KK had called him on the CB’s in the scared and frightened voice she had. He was also worried because he didn’t know if she was okay. He CB’ed everyone he could get a hold us to send emergency personnel to where KK and Matt were.

“Sheppard to Bo-Peep, Crazy Cooter; anyone out there?” Uncle Jesse asked, silently praying for anyone to be out there.

“Bo-Peep here”

“Crazy Cooter as well. What’s up?”

“Head over to Ridge Road, ‘bout mile away from the farm. I just got a distress call from KK and I’m not sure if she’s okay.”

“I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

”I’ll bring the tow truck and meet y’all out there.”

Uncle Jesse began the short trip to the site. He tried to CB’ed Roscoe and Enos. Being the only lawmen that Hazzard has, they should be notified. “Roscoe, Enos? Are y’all out there?”

“What is it?” Roscoe asked like Uncle Jesse was disturbing something important. “And it better be important!”

“Roscoe, my youngest niece KK just CB’ed me in distress telling me that there was been an accident on Ridge Road, about a mile or so away from the farm. Can you send an ambulance out that way and meet me out there?”

“Enos, meet me out there.”

“Yes, sir”

“Jesse will be there in a few minutes.”

Steve Gleason, KK’s and Matt’s teacher had over heard the panic called that KK had made and all of the responses that followed. He decided that he too should go to the site to see if he could help.

Uncle Jesse went around the last bend and was speechless at what he saw. He saw his two nephews, unconscious at the side of the road, a mighty tree that had fallen on the General Lee, his youngest niece bleeding from head to toe and her best friend trying to comfort her.

“Mr. Duke, am I glad to see you,” Matt said trying to keep his emotions in check.

“How’s KK?”

“Scared,” Matt looked down at her. “I don’t know what all happened. It hasn’t sunk in yet.”

“It’s okay Matt; you guys just probably saved their lives.”

As others were pulling up, Matt commented, “Mr. Duke – give the credit to KK, there was no way I would have known that tree was going to collapse like that.”

Uncle Jesse wanted to comment back to Matt, but the sirens had spooked KK. She left Matt’s arms and started running away. Matt, really knowing that it wasn’t going to help, tried calling out to her. She wasn’t answering and just ran farther. Fortunately, Steve had arrived at the scene. He got out of his car and started to chase her down. It didn’t take more than 30 seconds for him to catch up with her to stop her.

“KK…KK,” Steve tried to grab her attention, but he could tell that she was too shaken up about what happened and that she would need time to put it all in her own perspective. Instead, he picked her up, rubbed her back and said calming words to her in hopes that she would fall asleep and let her body and mind relax for awhile.

By this time everyone was there – Uncle Jesse, Daisy, Cooter, Steve, Roscoe, Enos and the emergency personnel. Roscoe needed an account of what happened and wanted to interview Matt and KK.

“Roscoe, I can tell you everything. There’s no need to talk to KK,” Matt tried to bargain with him.

“Matt, I need to hear from her too,” Roscoe firmly told him.

Having autism was something that KK didn’t want many people to know. She didn’t know why she felt that way except maybe because she didn’t want to be singled out by others and treated different.

Knowing that KK wouldn’t want him to know about having autism, Uncle Jesse butted in. “As her guardian, I refuse for you to talk to her right now.”

“Jesse, I need to talk to her as well.”

“Roscoe, it’s been a traumatic day for her. To find her cousins the way that she and Matt did must have been difficult. Give her some time, please Roscoe.”

“All right, but I want to see her sooner than later,” Roscoe said and walked away.

“Matt, when you talk to Roscoe, don’t let him know about KK and her autism. Just be careful of what you say.”

“Yes, sir, I know,” Matt said. Uncle Jesse turned around and walked quickly back towards the ambulances.

Jesse went over to see his boys. He hadn’t had a chance to seem them. He also needed time to think over what Matt had said about KK knowing the tree would be come down on the car. Uncle Jesse’s parents stopped speaking to his brother Jackson, KK’s grandfather, because he claimed he was psychic. Uncle Jesse was firm in his belief that only God new a person future but maybe there was something to this? But recently KK had been able to tell what would happen before it actually happen. Thinking about all of this shook Uncle Jesse up more.

“How are they?” asked when Uncle Jesse when he arrive to where the boys were being treated.

“They’re unconscious and that’s really all we know. We’re taking all the precautions as if they had a spinal cord injury. I’m not saying that they have one, but were acting as if they have one. They’ll be able to tell you more at the hospital after tests have been ran. I’m sorry I can’t tell you more, but I don’t want to give you wrong information,” the one of the many Emergency Medical Technicians said.

Another EMT commented to Uncle Jesse that he may want KK to be looked at. He had totally forgotten KK physical injuries because his boys were hurt and also that Roscoe would learn she was autistic.

“Yes, I would. She’s quite scraped up.”

Uncle Jesse turned and motion for Steve to bring KK over to where he was standing so that the medical personnel could take a look at KK.

As Steve and Matt were bringing KK over, it was asked, “Was she involved in the accident as well?”

“No,” Uncle Jesse stated. “She and the boy were walking home from school when they came across the accident scene. They got the boys out of the car before the tree fell. She had CB’ed me telling me what happened and then when the tree gave way she had to run for it. I’m guessing she slid on dirt road and that why she’s all scraped up.”

“Okay. Let’s see what I can do for her and then we’ll make a determination if she needs to go to the hospital,” the guy said.

Uncle Jesse motioned for the guy to follow him away from the crowd a bit. “Listen; just patch her up as best as possible. I will take her to the hospital for further care if needed. Once you look at her you’ll know what I mean.”

When Steve and Matt got there, Steve was hesitant on letting go of KK to the EMT. “It’s okay Steve.”

“Just please don’t blare the siren until we’re out of here,” Steve pleaded.

When KK sat down in the back of the ambulance the EMT noted to Uncle Jesse, Matt and Steve that he also had a brother who was autistic. That comment made everyone feel a little bit better. It didn’t surprise the EMT that she never flinch when he cleaned out bits of gravel and dirt out of some of the wounds. What surprised everyone was that KK got away and went over to where Luke was laying. She grabbed for his hand in hopes of some type of reassurance that he would be okay. But in returned all she got was a cold hand that didn’t wrap around hers.

Steve wanted to get her out of the way, but Uncle Jesse told him to wait. “Steve, hold on for a moment. Let her see Luke.”

After a moment Uncle Jesse motioned to Steve to get KK. Steve tried to talking to her, “Hey.”

“I’m scared. What if they die?” KK asked and broken down in Steve’s arms.

“They’re not going to die,” Steve said consoling her.

Uncle Jesse, whose heart was breaking, asked if they were finished with KK. He said, “I’ve gotten what I could get out. I would recommend taking her to the emergency room and have them take a look at her there. If there is still debris in her, it could become infected and would cause her quite a bit of pain.”

Uncle Jesse told the man thanks and turned his attention to KK who had calm down. While this was happening the ambulances quietly made their way to County General Hospital.

“Hey, you,” Uncle Jesse said as he took KK from Steve’s arms and into his own. “We have to take you the emergency room, kiddo.”

KK busted in tears again. “No!” she said in between sobs.

“I know, but you need to be looked over. You may still have cuts and bruises that we don’t know about and there could be rocks and all that yucky stuff in it. And if it’s not taken out now, then you could be in a lot worse pain that you are physically in now.”

“I’m scared,” KK tried bravely saying.

“I know. Steve or I will be with you at all times. Okay?”

KK nod her head yes and the sobs subsided. She knew she had to go through with it even if she didn’t like it.

After a few moments, Uncle Jesse knew that KK had fallen asleep. With her safely in his arms he went over to see how Cooter and Daisy were doing with trying to untangle the General from the fallen tree.

Quietly, Uncle Jesse said, “How is it going?”

“They’re fortunate to be alive. If they didn’t get out of that car they would probably be in worse condition than they are.”

“What happened anyways?” Daisy asked

I don’t know what caused the accident, but what I do know is that KK is totally responsible for getting them out of the car before the tree fell. If it was me, they would have been in the car when the tree fell,” Matt commented.

Cooter lightly played with KK’s hair, “That’s one heck of a kid you have there.”

“Yeah, but this ordeal ain’t gonna be over for her until Luke wakes up and she’s confident that everything is okay,” Uncle Jesse said.

End of Part 1

“At the Hospital”

“The medical technician suggested that I take KK to the emergency room just to make sure that all the debris is out of those cuts and scrapes.” Uncle Jesse said.

Cooter spoke, “Listen, I’ll take the General back to the garage and then meet you at the hospital.”

KK awoke from her dead sleep and asked, “You can fix him, can’t you Cooter?”

“Yes, sweetheart, I can fix him,” Cooter told KK. KK then fell back asleep.

A few moments later when Uncle Jesse was assured that she was back asleep, “You’re not pulling her leg, are you?”

“I wouldn’t do that to her. No, it needs some body work, but I think it won’t be that much to fix him.”

“She’s already stated that when she turns 16 it’s hers, much to chagrin of Bo and even Luke,” Uncle Jesse chuckled at the statement he had just made.

“So I will see you at the hospital as soon as my patient is tucked in for the night,” Cooter said. He put the finishing touches of hooking up the General to his tow truck and proceeded to go into Hazzard to his garage.

After Cooter left, Matt asked, “Is she every really sleeping?”

“What do you mean Matt? Who’s every really sleeping?” Uncle Jesse inquired.

“KK. That’s the second time that we all thought she was sleeping when she asked a question that dealt with what were talking about. How would she know we were talking about the General coming out of a dead sleep?”

“Who knows Matt? But I get were you’re coming at,” Uncle Jesse commented. “Steve, I’ll take KK and you take Daisy and Matt. I’m gonna have her checked out and then we’ll meet in the emergency room waiting room.”

The gang was in agreement and soon was off to the emergency room.

KK was not too sure of this. She had not liked the emergency room physician that was in charge of her care. He was not particularly nice or patient and that was one thing that KK liked in people. She couldn’t wait for this to be over. Uncle Jesse could even read it in her eyes every time she looked at him, like this was somehow his fault. She knew it wasn’t but it just felt better to blame someone.

When the physician left the room, KK had to asked, “When in the world can we get out of here?”

“As soon as he lets’ you go. I know KK, you don’t like him. Neither do I, but put up with it for a little bit more and then you should be done.”

“You know when the boys get better, they’re gonna owe me!” KK laughed.

Laughing with her, Uncle Jesse said, “I know kiddo, I know.”

“I know what the price will be.”

“What’s that?”

“Currently, it has a little bit of body damage, but it’s this bright orange-red color and has the number ‘01’ written on the side.”

“Very funny KK.”

Suddenly the physician came back into the room.

“How much longer will you be with me?” KK asked.

“Until I check you out completely.”

“What do you mean check you out completely?” Not knowing if she really wanted to hear the answer to this question.

“I need to make sure that your fit to go. That could mean a number of tests,” the doctor said.

“Listen, doc! She just needs to make sure that all the debris from her dive on a dirt road is removed,” Uncle Jesse stated.

“When you have a medical degree, you can play doctor. Right now…”

“Listen mister, I don’t give a care what type of degree you have. I have more pressing issues going on right now and don’t need you’re egotistical attitude about how great you think you are because you have survive school long enough to become a doctor. And no one talks to an elder like that unless you’re thriving for a whipping. No matter how annoyed you get with them. Now I think you owe my Uncle Jesse an apology,” KK stated.

Both Uncle Jesse and the doctor was shocked. Uncle Jesse didn’t know what to say after that speech and the doctor was shocked by what had come out of her mouth.

After a few moments of silence, “Well, do I have to call a supervisor or can you quickly finish what you’re doing, give me some antibiotics to make sure an infection doesn’t develop and we’ll consider that we never met. Deal?” KK suggested.

All the doctor could do was nod. He couldn’t believe the words that came out of his mouth. He wasted no time in finishing checking KK over to make sure that there wasn’t any more debris in her body and gave her a prescription of antibiotics in order to make sure no infection would develop.

By the time KK and Uncle Jesse appeared in the emergency waiting room, a bit after 7:00 p.m., Cooter had arrived.

“Any news yet?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“No, nothing yet. They told us they were still working on them and preparing them for some tests. As soon as they had some answers they would let us know,” Daisy said.

KK went over to a long bench that sat underneath the windows of the waiting room. She knew she was being stared at by those in the room, but she just ignored them. She couldn’t believe that this had happen. “What in the world had happened? ” she began to think to herself as the sun set on another day in Hazzard County. “If this is foul play, then who and why?” There wasn’t much going on in Hazzard – Boss nor Roscoe hadn’t been after them for something that they didn’t do and they would never not stop if something had happened. This just didn’t make any sense to KK.

She hadn’t even recognized that they sun had gone down, much less that it was now after 9:00 in the evening until Uncle Jesse walked over to talk to her.

Jesse sat on the bench, trying to get her attention. “Hey K, what ya thinking about?”

“Oh, Uncle Jesse,” KK said like she was being awaken from a sound sleep. “I didn’t even recognize you were even there. I was just thinking about the day’s events. Something doesn’t add up Uncle Jesse. Why would the General just hit a tree? The road was in fine condition – why didn’t they even try to brake? Am I thinking too much on this one, Uncle Jesse?”

“No, darling your not. Now that you mention it, they would have tried to stop or at least swerve out of the path of tree.”

“But there was no signs of that either. What gives?”

“I don’t know right at the moment. Listen, Steve is going to get something to eat. Do you want to go with him? I’m staying here to hear for any news.”

“No, I just don’t want to leave them.”

“KK, there’s…”

KK interrupted him, “I don’t want to go, okay?” KK said beginning to cry and walked away, to the other corner of the room. She didn’t care that she was making a scene; she just didn’t want to be too far away from either of them.

Uncle Jesse didn’t know what to do. He was worried about her and how this would affect her. When her autism would kick in, Luke would be her rope back to reality. Now he wasn’t able to provide that and he didn’t know if he had the power and the strength to do it. He decided to let her be and told Steve and Matt to pick something up for her as well. “She’s gotta eat sooner or later,” Uncle Jesse commented.

“Steve, are they going to be okay?” Matt asked as they drove down the road.

“I don’t know Matt. I don’t know what the severity of their injuries is,” Steve responded.

“What if it’s never the same again? What if Luke isn’t able to be there for KK? What would happen to her?”

“Matt, we have to pray that they’ll be alright and leave it up to the Lord’s hands. If its their time to go and then we have to accept it. It will be difficult, but it will work itself out in the end. As for KK, we have to make her strong enough to fight her own fight. That’s what childhood is about. You learn how to make the right decisions and how to be your own person without your parents guiding you.”

“Steve, do you think KK is special?”

“What to you mean by that?”

“Do you think that KK has a special gift? Is she able to predict what will happen in the future?”

“You mean a psychic?”

“Yeah?”

“I don’t think so Matt.”

“Why is everyone so negative about this? Steve,” Matt said pleading, “How did she know that the tree was going to fall? There was no way by visually looking at the tree that it would have happened.”

“Matt, you have been through a lot today. Are you sure your mind wasn’t playing tricks on you?”

“Listen, KK has some type of ability. I don’t know what, but whatever it is, God’s knows when to tap into it.”

Steve and Matt returned from buying dinner for everyone. Matt took his and KK’s dinner to her, hoping to get her to eat. Steve found Uncle Jesse and Daisy.

“Steve, I’m worry about her KK. She’s never been “alone” in this world. Luke has always been by her side.”

“Has she moved since we left?”

“Not an inch. She just seems to stare off to space. She probably doesn’t even recognize it’s after 10 now. I’m afraid that with all the work that everyone has done to help her, will go down the drain if Luke isn’t okay.

Meanwhile, over at the opposite corner, Matt was trying to enter KK’s world.

“Hey, K. I’ve got something for you to eat,” he said as he twirled the bag of food in front of her. He waited for a moment and tried to talk to her again. “KK, come on now. You’ve got to eat something.” Still, no response.

Matt put the food down and picked up KK, put her in his lap and gave her a big bear hug. He tried to console her as best as he could be whispering in her ear that they would get better soon. Suddenly, she had gone limp in his arms and he knew that she had fallen asleep. With her in his arms, he stood up and laid her on the empty couch that was in the middle of the room.

Walking over to where Daisy, Steve and Uncle Jesse were, Matt said, “She just fell asleep in my arms. I felt that the couch would be more comfortable than that hard bench for her.”

“It’s been a doozy of a day for her. I could tell by watching her that she was struggling not to let her autism bother her,” Steve commented.

“Yeah, she’s probably exhausted and will hopefully sleep for a little while,” Daisy said.

The group was eating and chatting away when the doctor came to look for the Duke family.

“Mr. Duke,” Dr. Jorgersen asked.

Jesse wiped his hands on his napkin, stood up and put his hand out to shake the doctor’s hand. “ Yes, I’m Jesse Duke. This is my niece Daisy,” who shook the doctor’s hand as well, “the little one on the couch sleeping is my other niece KK. This is Steve Gleason and Matt Matthews, friends of the family. So what’s the verdict?”

“Well, Mr. Duke,” their conditions are critical. Both of them have internal injuries that are being repaired in surgery right now. Also, both are unconscious. I am really concerned with Luke because from the looks of the tests that we have run he probably has a closed-head injury. What the unknown factor is how much damage was done.”

Uncle Jesse couldn’t believe it. What in the world would he tell KK about Luke’s condition? How would she cope if Luke wasn’t the same Luke that she saw when she left for school this morning?

“Dr. Jorgensen,” Steve inquired, “What is the worse case scenario for Luke?”

“Well, death would be the worse-case, but also he could be in what is called a vegetable like state.”

Everyone was stunned and looked to the peacefully sleeping seven-year-old who was on the couch.

End of Part 2

“The First Visit”

“I’m sorry the news is depressing, but I would rather tell the truth up front then have you be heartbroken at the end,” Dr. Jorgensen said.

“It’s not that. We’re mostly worried about her,” Uncle Jesse said pointing at KK. “She has autism and Luke is her rock. We have to some how explained to her that there’s a chance that Luke may not be the same person that she has come to know and love and hope to God that she can adjust to that idea.”

“Although it might be difficult, she needs to be told. She needs to know what’s going on and not feel that you’re trying to keep something from her,” Dr. Jorgensen suggested.

“Will we be able to see them tonight?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“I don’t know how much longer their surgeries will take, but I am sure I can arrange something to see them. I can’t promise you’ll be able to stay for long, but I can assure that all of you can at least see them for a few minutes.”

“That’s including KK, right?” Daisy asked.

“Yes, including her. She’s the talk of the floor. She was the one that stood up to Dr. Grey earlier today. No one particularly likes him and we’re sick of his bedside manner, if you understand what I mean. But for a seven year old to say that to him, sure made him think about how he treats people. Anyways, let me see what’s going on and I’ll come back later for y’all,” Dr. Jorgensen said and left them standing there.

A few moments later Dr. Jorgensen came back in a rush. He had told Uncle Jesse, away from earshot of the gang that the boys needed emergency surgery. He said he couldn’t go into much detail at the moment because he was needed in surgery, but he would explain everything afterwards. Uncle Jesse gave him his blessing and any other prayers that he could think of and hoped for the best. He decided that he wouldn’t tell the others; just keep it to the point that test were still being run if anyone asked.

It was almost 11:00 p.m. and they were the only ones left in the waiting room. Visiting hours would be over soon and everyone else in the room had gone home. There was an eerie silence that swept across the waiting room. So much to say, but no one wanted to face reality. How to tell a shaky, emotional child that her beloved Luke may not be the man that he once was. Everyone understood it would be difficult thing to do but that it needed to be done.

Uncle Jesse was so deep in thought that when Steve approached him it scared him. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. Do you need me to stay?”

“No, Steve. Thanks for coming. I know that you have to get up in the morning and go and teach. I’m not too sure if KK will be there. I’ll let her decide. I’ll try and encourage her to go, but she may still be in shock from today’s events.”

“I’ll take Matt home with me as well. I know that his mom is probably not there and if she isn’t then he’ll stay with me. Matt’s also worried about KK emotional state as well. He hates to see her in pain like this.”

“Don’t we all Steve.”

Suddenly KK threw herself off the couch. She was caught up in some type of nightmare. She began to violently cry and throw her legs and arms around, but was still sleeping. Steve picked her up spoke her name in her ear so that she would wake up.

“KK, come on wake up. It’s only a nightmare,” he said rubbing her back.

It took a few minutes, which were the scariest few minutes for the Duke clan, for her to wake up from the dream that held her so. When she did, she quickly threw her head around the room, making Steve whiplash his head back so she wouldn’t hit his. After she did a full 360 degree check of the room, she put her arms around Steve’s neck, buried her head in his right shoulder and balled her eyes out. Steve rubbed, with his left hand, her back and slowly walked around the room in hopes of calming her down. Ever so often he would tell her comforting words so that she would feel safe in his arms as well.

Once she calm down, Steve tried to put her on the couch but she would let go. All she could do was scream “No.”

“Okay, little one. I won’t put you down.”

She moved her head to his left shoulder. Her entire face was beet red from all the crying she had done. Daisy wanted to walk over where Steve had KK but Uncle Jesse held her back.

“Daisy, hold on for a moment. I don’t know if KK is quite awake or is lost somewhere in thought. I know you’re trying to help, but I don’t know what kind of state KK is in right now.

Steve sat down on the couch and put KK in his lap. “Hey, kiddo,” Steve said brushing her hair of her face. “Are you okay?”

What ever the dream was it had really spooked KK. Steve could feel her small fingers working the back of his collar of his shirt. It was like she was giving his shirt a massage. She continued to look around the room, like it was all a dream. She wasn’t too sure where she was at, but she knew that the people around her cared for her. It took her a few minutes to actually recognize where she was at. Steve could tell that she was becoming more calmer because her breathing slowed and her fingers soon ceased the massaging of his collar.

“Walk up to her slowly Daisy and just comfort her.” Uncle Jesse had been through this before with her. When something happens to her that upsets her emotionally she has violent nightmares. Both he and Luke had burned the midnight oil with her in order to calm her down and bring her back to reality. At the moment Steve seemed to be able to calm her down.

After assuring herself that everything was fine, the tears subsided and KK rested her head on Steve’s right shoulder. Daisy sat to the left of Steve so that KK could see her. Slowly reaching across Daisy gently rubbed her left hand across KK’s red-beaten face. “You okay, now?” Daisy asked. KK nodded. “That must have been some nightmare that you have.” KK nodded and then fell back asleep on his shoulder, exhausted from the wranglings of the nightmare.

Steve wanted to make sure that all the ghost and goblins in her dreams were gone for the night. He put his head on top of hers and rubbed her back. Knowing full well that this wouldn’t necessarily prevent the nightmares from coming back but at least it made him feel better that if they came back soon, he could protect her from them.

No one knew but Steve had shed a tear for KK. He couldn’t believe what she must go through to live day-to-day. He only got such a small sampling from what he witnessed in class. She had her good and bad days, but he never got to see the whole KK. She was fighter and definitely a Duke.

Startling Steve, Uncle Jesse said, “I think she’ll be okay, if you still want to go home.” Uncle Jesse could tell by Steve’s fierce grip on KK that she could rely on him if need be. “I hate to put her down, but I do need to get home and to bed. The color in her face seems to be draining, so I think she’ll be fine,” Steve said hating that he had to leave her. “Listen, if anything changes let me know right away.”

“Sure, no problem,” Daisy said.

“Why don’t you and Matt come over for dinner tomorrow, after school?”

“That’s fine with me. I’ll ask Matt on the way home,” Steve said and turned his attention towards KK.

Whispering in her ear, Steve told KK that he was leaving and would see her tomorrow. KK woke-up and lifted her head. “I don’t want you to go,” KK said

“I know sweetie, but I have to go to work tomorrow.”

“Okay.”

Steve gave KK one last hug and handed her to Uncle Jesse. He and Matt and went home.

It wasn’t until 1:00 a.m. when Dr. Jorgensen returned to the waiting room. Cooter had also left when Steve and Matt did leaving Daisy, KK and Uncle Jesse in the waiting room. Daisy and KK were asleep, but Uncle Jesse was afraid to. He felt that something might happen to the boys if he did. He watched KK fall into a peaceful, deep sleep and hope she would stay in that state. He couldn’t resist not holding her. He felt that it was a way to keep her calm and help prevent the violent nightmares from returning. He often wondered, as did Luke, if KK had a form of post traumatic syndrome. Not that she could remember anything of her life back in Michigan, but the subconscious had a way to meddle into dreams. They wonder if the violent nightmares that she sometimes had was from the abuse that she had as an infant.

“Mr. Duke,” Mr. Jorgensen interrupted Uncle Jesse’s train of thought. “I’m sorry, but there was emergency surgery that that was preformed to help stabilize the boys and there was more damage then expected. They are both critical, but stable at this time. They’re in the Intensive Care Unit so that they can be watch for the next few days. If everything goes well, then we can move them into their own room.”

“Can we go and see them?”

“Only for a few minutes. I need to tell you that there are several I.V. lines hooked into them and their bodies are swollen from the surgery and the trauma. They also have breathing tubes in them and other tubes in order to keep them alive. They’re pretty banged up. It will be difficult at first; you may not even recognize them. You need to prepared yourself and your nieces for what you’re about to see.”

“Prepare us for what?” Daisy asked, waking up.

“When we see Bo and Luke.”

“I’ll give you a few minutes so that you can explain the situation, Mr. Duke,” Dr. Jorgensen said and left the waiting room.

“I don’t know if I really want to take her in there, Daisy,” talking about KK.

“Uncle Jesse, she would be heartbroken.”

“I know that, but I don’t need her to scream her head off because she gets scared. There in pretty bad shape, Daisy. The Doc said that their bodies are swollen from the surgery and trauma and they have several tubes in them, including one to help them breathe.”

“Uncle Jesse, she’s a pretty smart kid. Prepare her for what she’s about to see and pray for her to understand and be able to cope with it.”

Uncle Jesse knew that KK would forever be hurt if she wasn’t allowed to go and see them. But he was also afraid of her reaction to what the boys looked like. He didn’t want her to scream her head off and disturb the other patients.

“KK, wake up.”

Slowly, KK woke up. She rubbed her eyes in a feeble attempt to adjust to the bright lighting of the waiting room.

“What?”

“Hey, we can go see Bo and Luke.”

“We can?” she said excitedly.

KK sat up on the couch and swung her legs over the edge. Uncle Jesse crouched down on his knees and grab KK’s arms so that he would have her full attention. “KK, you need to listen very carefully to me, okay?”

KK nodded her yes.

“I want you to fully understand what’s going on here. I know it must be scary for you to comprehend all of this, but you need to know as well. Some of this news you will not like. You may even be terrified, but you have a right to know as much as the rest of us. Okay?” Uncle Jesse could see KK trying to be brave, but the wiggle of her chin and the silent tears that fell showed him that she understand the severity of the situation. “It’s okay sweetheart,” Uncle Jesse commented, while brushing tears from her eyes. “I know you’re frightened about all of this and so are we. What you need to know is that there are many machines that are keeping them alive. There’s a machine that helps them breathe as well. Their bodies are pretty swollen up to from the surgery that they had and also from the blunt trauma.”

Uncle Jesse paused for a moment to allow KK to get her breath. This was a lot of news to digest at one time and he wanted to make sure that she had a moment to realize what was going on.

“We’re gonna take it very slowly in there. We’re all really nervous, but it is important for the boys to know that we’re there for them.”

“Just like Luke is when I need him, right?” KK asked.

“That’s right, KK. Remember you need to be calm when you go in there. You can not be loud. There in a place called the ICU – short for Intensive Care Unit. This is a place where people who are really sick stay. That way they can be monitored and helped if necessary. You need to understand that they probably look different then your used to. If something happens and doctors or nurses ask us to leave, then we leave. No if, ands, or buts.”

“Okay. Can we do something when we’re in there?” KK asked.

Uncle Jesse was a bit confused. He wasn’t sure what KK’s intentions were. “What?”

“Luke told me once that if I ever needed something and he wasn’t able to be there is to ask God. Do you think God would mind if I woke him up and asked for Bo and Luke to be okay?”

Uncle Jesse was thrown for a loop. KK didn’t quite understand the ritual about going to church every Sunday. She couldn’t understand why people just didn’t pray privately in their own homes. He wasn’t even sure if she understood who God was. It wasn’t that she was against going to church; it was just that she was a very inquisitive child and wanted to know the whys of everything. Apparently Luke had done some explaining to her about what faith was all about. “No hun, I don’t think God would mind. After all that is what he’s there for. To hear our prayers or concerns in time of need.”

Uncle Jesse stood straight up and KK got off the couch and held his hand very tightly. Dr. Jorgensen had come back and crouched down to KK’s level. A little nervous about whom this man was KK instinctively hid behind Uncle Jesse. Knowing that she was a bit fearful, Uncle Jesse said, “Its okay KK. This is Dr. Jorgensen. He has helped take care of the boys.” Even after the reassurance, KK stayed behind Uncle Jesse. She still didn’t trust this guy even if Uncle Jesse said that he was helping the boys.

Understanding that she was fearful of him, Dr. Jorgensen gave up trying to talk to KK and stood back up. “Follow me,” he commanded and the trio followed him.

As they went farther and farther down the hall, Uncle Jesse could feel KK’s grip tighten and her palm become more and more sweaty. Or was that his grip and his palm?

Dr. Jorgensen stopped at the entrance of the ICU. KK now wasn’t really sure if she wanted to go through with this. She had an awful feeling at the pit of her stomach and it felt like she was going to become sick. She knew she had to go through with this, to be strong for Luke. This was her moment to shine and let the world know that she could be counted on when the chips were done. Breaking her trance, “Are you sure you want to go through with this, KK?” Uncle Jesse asked.

It took a few moments for her to regain her composure. “I have to Uncle Jesse. Let’s go.”

Uncle Jesse looked at Daisy who shrugged her shoulders. Uncle Jesse knew that she may have autism, but when she put her mind to do something, she did it. And in her mind, this was something that she had to do.

End of Part 3

“Intensive Care Unit”

Dr. Jorgensen opened the doors of the ICU and walked ahead of them to the nurse that was on duty.

“This is the Duke family. They haven’t had a moment to see their kin folk since they were brought in. I told them they could see them once they were settled in,” Dr. Jorgensen said.

“Sure, not a problem.”

The three of them step in the room. KK stood behind, grabbed Uncle Jesse’s left overall pant leg, and peeped around Uncle Jesse’s left leg. She was frightened by all the different noises that she heard but didn’t make a peep. She now understood why Uncle Jesse had prepared her for what was to come. She slowly scanned the room until she spotted both Bo and Luke. Bravely she let go of Uncle Jesse’s pant leg and walked calmly to where the nurse was sitting

Hi. My name is KK Duke,” she said in a low whisper as she put out her hand to shake the nurse’s. “I’m here to see my two cousins Bo and Luke Duke.”

“Nice to meet you. I’m Nurse Kristen. Your two cousins are fortunate to be alive you know,” the nurse said in a low whisper back to her.

“Yeah, I know. Can I see them? I need to tell them that I love them and that I want them to get better soon.”

Uncle Jesse didn’t know where KK’s sudden bravery came from. Heck, he and Daisy were still in shock at the condition of the boys. Luke was much worse off than Bo. He was practically wrapped from head to toe in bandages and there were definitely more tubes coming out of his body than Bo’s. But that didn’t stop KK from approaching their bedsides. Uncle Jesse realized that he had asked KK about anything that she saw. He wondered who was behind the wheel of the General; wondering if Luke was, which lead him being worse off than Bo. He also remembered that at some point in the near future she would have to talk to Roscoe about it as well. But that was for tomorrow. Right now, all of them needed a few minutes to tell the boys that they were loved and that to rest and get well soon.

KK saw all the machines and wanted to know what each one did. Nurse Kristen briefly went over what machine did. She explained how one machine made sure that they had enough oxygen to breathe and that one monitored the rhythm of their heart. The one thing that fascinated KK more than anything was a tube that was in Luke’s chest, near his arm. Nurse Kristen explained that it was a chest tube that helped keep Luke’s lungs inflated. Once all the fluid receded from the lung area then it would be taken out[1].

Once Uncle Jesse saw that KK didn’t have a problem with seeing Luke and Bo in the state that they were, he took Daisy by the hand and went up to where Nurse Kristen and KK was.

“Now KK, and…” Nurse Kristen paused because she hadn’t yet knew Uncle Jesse and Daisy’s names.”

“Oh, pardon me. I’m Jesse Duke and this is my niece Daisy,” Uncle Jesse said.

“Yes,” she began again. “I was just explaining to KK that Luke has a collapse lung that’s why this tube is here. He also has a closed head injury.”

“What’s that?” KK asked.

“When the accident occurred, his head was hit by something. He could have smacked it on the steering wheel if he was driving or on the dashboard. It’s considered a concussion, but it can be serious.”

“How serious?”

“Very serious. KK, I’m going to tell you something that you need to understand and you may not like it. I don’t like telling family members either, but there could be a chance that he may not wake up.”

“Yes, I know. There may be a chance that he will never be the person I grew up with. He may forever be in this state. It’s up to the good Lord to take care of him and Bo. It will definitely take time for him to recover fully, but I have good faith in God that he’ll be back to his old self soon enough. So I have to think positive and make sure those around them think the same way I do. Even if the worse case scenario happens, I know that it was God’s decision. We, as humans, did everything possible, but God was ready for him. I have to accept that. That’s what he told me. That we may never fully understand God and his path for us in life, but one thing I know is that if he goes to Heaven he’ll always watch out for me.”

Uncle Jesse and Daisy were moved to tears. Once again they were surprised by how much KK had absorbed from listening to Luke.

“I’ll let you have some time with them. If you need anything, please let me know,” Nurse Kristen said who was trying to cover up her tears as well.

“Uncle Jesse.”

“Yes, KK.”

“What would happen if Bo or Luke or both never come home again?”

“Well kiddo, I don’t know exactly. I’m sure that we would survive somehow.”

“I would still be able to live with you and Daisy, right?”

“Of course, KK. Why wouldn’t you?”

“I don’t want anyone to take me away. It would be bad enough to lose Bo and Luke, but my entire family would be something that I couldn’t handle.”

“KK – no one will ever take you away from me, Daisy or the boys. Why are you even thinking that?”

“Can I talk to you later about it? I need to focus my energies on Bo and Luke.”

“Sure.”

“Thanks. Can you pick me up? I’m too short to be able to look over the bed.”

Uncle Jesse picked KK up so that she could see Luke. “Dear Lord,” KK began and both Uncle Jesse and Daisy bowed their heads and closed their eyes. “We need your healing spirit to hover over my cousins Bo and Luke in order for them to recover fully from their injuries and to be the person that they were before the accident. We also need answers as to why this happened. We need the answers in order to accept the reasons of why this accident occurred. If the answers are not what we had wished for, please help us learn to accept the answer. I ask, in your name, Amen.”

Daisy and Uncle Jesse repeated “Amen.”

“KK, I’m going to put you down for a moment.”

“Okay.”

“Now Luke, you rest. You worry about getting better and nothing else. I’m going to tell Bo the same thing. Neither one of y’all worry about the farm, KK, Daisy and I have that under control. If I have to I will call Coy and Vance to come help out. Just know that I love you.”

Uncle Jesse then went to Bo’s bed. “Don’t think we were ignoring you. I am as much as worried about you as I am about your cousin. You don’t worry about nothing except for getting better do you understand me? You better. And of course, I love you too.”

Daisy told them to get well and that she loved them too.

While Uncle Jesse was talking to the boys, KK went over to Nurse Kristen and asked if there was a stool or something that she could stand on. She didn’t have a step-ladder, but instead offer her chair so that she could be able to see her cousins.

“Uncle Jesse, Daisy. Please pardon my rudeness, but can I have a few minutes alone with them?”

“Sure. Make it quick though, I’m exhausted.”

“Thanks,” and she kissed both of them.

KK got on the chair hoping that she wouldn’t fall off. She began with Luke. “Luke, you need to get better. I know that it may take time and I also know that you may not be the person you once were. I know I have to accept that. Whatever God wants, I know that’s what will happen. He knows that I still need you. Someone to tell my fears and triumphs to. Take as much time as you need to get better. I love you.” KK then carefully kissed him on the cheek so not to jostle any equipment.

KK then rolled the chair over to Bo’s bedside. “Bo, Bo, Bo. What am I going to do without you? You are my laughter. When I need cheering up, you are there. I need you as much as Luke. Don’t think that you’re any less special to me than him. When I need a break from the seriousness of life you’re there for me. Like I told Luke, take as much time as you need to get better. I love you.” And just like Luke, KK carefully kissed him on the cheek so not to jostle any equipment.

“Okay, boys. Y’all be good and don’t pull any surprises on us. We all love you. See ya tomorrow.” KK than pushed the chair back to Nurse Kristen and went over to where Uncle Jesse and Daisy were standing.

“Uncle Jesse,”

“What is it KK?” he asked as he picked her up and she tried to cover-up a yawn.

“Everything will be okay. It may take a while and there will probably be bumps along the way, but everything will be.”

“How do you know that?” Daisy asked.

“I can’t explain it to you. It’s just a feeling I have,” KK said. She then put her head down on her Uncle’s right shoulder and fell asleep.

“Thank you ma’am for letting us in way after hours.”

“No problem,” Nurse Kristen said.

As they were leaving the ICU and the hospital, Daisy was curious about what KK had said about the boys being all right.

“Uncle Jesse?”

“What is Daisy?”

“Why would KK make such a strange prediction like that?”

“Daisy, I’ll explain it to you on the ride home.

End of Part 4

“Home On the Range”

Daisy and Uncle Jesse, with KK in tow walked silently in the hospital parking lot to the pick-up. It was an eerie feeling of going home to an empty house. It was just strange that neither Bo or Luke wouldn’t be there to greet them.

“Daisy you get in and I’ll pass KK to you,” Uncle Jesse said.

After getting situated, Uncle Jesse started the engine of the pick-up. “You know Daisy, until today I never believed in something. But because of that seven year-old I beginning to do so now.

“What do you mean, Uncle Jesse?”

“Your cousin, I believe, has a gift. A gift that was not accepted in my family. It started with your Uncle Jackson, then John was said to have had it and now KK is following in the same peculiar path that Jackson did. It’s a gift that wasn’t appreciated by the family and because it wasn’t appreciated it may have led to the demise of your Uncle Jackson.”

“If it was such a gift why did everyone despise him?”

“The reason for that is because Uncle Jackson was thought to have predict the future. Me and my siblings were told that he was sick in the head and have nothing to do with him. That we shouldn’t believe him or anything he had said. Soon enough Jackson left the family for good. He was always upset at my parents for not supporting him. Once he understood that no one cared for him, he felt he had the freedom to do anything he wanted. Since he had no worries, he decided he could tell anyone what they wanted to hear even if he didn’t mean it. He told John’s mother that he loved her and would stay with her for the rest of her life. They never got married, as John’s mother would find out later. The civil ceremony was all a sham. He had his best friend performed the so-called ceremony. Anyways, after John was born he ran off. He tried to be involved but because of the rejection that he had gotten from his own family, and even some from John’s mother side, he felt that he couldn’t get close to anyone because in the end he would just get hurt and that was a risk he wasn’t willing to take.”

“So what you’re saying is that KK has some psychic abilities?”

“Maybe. I don’t want to call it anything until I’m absolutely sure. And even I learn what it is, I don’t know if I want to know.”

After their discussion about KK, Uncle Jesse and Daisy were silent the rest of the way home. Both were lost in thought of the activities of the day and the discussion that they both just had. When the reach the farm, Uncle Jesse carried KK into the house. Once they got in, Uncle Jesse said, “Daisy, its 2:30 in the morning and K just fell asleep an hour or so ago. I don’t plan on her going to school.,” he said as he turned the light on.

“Okay, Uncle Jesse. Do you want me to put her to bed?”

“No, I’m gonna stay up for a little while longer. Go ahead and get to bed. You have to work tomorrow?”

“Yeah, I do,” Daisy gave Uncle Jesse a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll see you in the morning.”

“If she should wake up, I’ll be here for her. There’s no point of waking you up as well.”

Uncle Jesse placed KK on the couch while he went to his room and put his sleeping clothes on. “Lord, I couldn’t tell you this in front of the girls, but I need my boys. All my kids are my life. I don’t know what I would do without any one of them. I know that KK would be heartbroken if Luke wasn’t okay. I know that Steve and Matt would be there for her, but she needs someone that gives her their full attention. Both the boys in their own way can provide that for her. But like KK said, if it’s your will then it is.”

When Uncle Jesse returned to the living room KK was still sleeping peacefully on the couch. Uncle Jesse placed a blanket over her and then sat in his rocking chair, directly across from the couch. He couldn’t believe the day’s events. He finally had the time to reflect and relax for a moment instead of trying to respond to every little thing. He decided that he would call Coy and Vance to come and help with the farm. He knew that KK would object for Coy and Vance sleeping in the boys’ room, but where else would they sleep at? It would take time for her to adjust to these two strange people, but he hoped in time she would. After all they were family too. Eventually fatigue over took Uncle Jesse reflected and he fell asleep rocking in his chair.

End of Part 5

School

The next morning KK woke up at 6:30 a.m. and wondered why she wasn’t in bed. Then she remembered what had happened. She didn’t expect herself to have any physical pain, but she was paying the price for that tumble she took yesterday. She had bruises all over her body and she ached all over. She saw that Uncle Jesse had fallen asleep in his rocking chair. She quietly went into the room she shared with Daisy to get her clothes on and get ready for school. There was no sense for her to wait around for news that probably wouldn’t come regarding the boys.

After getting dressed, KK quietly walked to the kitchen to find something to eat. Looking around in the cupboards and refrigerator the only thing she could find was a left over blueberry muffin. Anything else in the house she could either eat because of her allergies or it involved using a sharp knife or needed to be cook. After telling God thank you, KK dug into the muffin. It was then she realized that she never ate any dinner because she was entirely too upset to eat.

While KK was eating, Uncle Jesse woke up. He too was a bit confused about where he was at. Then he noticed KK was dressed sitting at the table, eating something. KK could hear Uncle Jesse moving about behind her. She turned around in her chair and said, “Good Morning.”

“I take it you want to go to school?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“Why wouldn’t I? There’s no point of staying home is there?”

“No. I doubt there will be any news on the boys. If something should happen, I promise I will come and get you out of school.”

“Deal. Uncle Jesse, can I talk to you about something?”

“Yes, anything.” Uncle Jesse responded and sat in the kitchen chair next to her.

“You know that route that I took yesterday to get home from school wasn’t my normal route. I usually take Old Mills Road all the way home. But for some reason, Matt, Karen and Aaron all wanted to walk together. It kinda creeps me out that Matt and I just happened to be there. What if..” KK started to cry. “What if we didn’t go that route, they could have died.”

Uncle Jesse gathered KK in his arms and tried to calm her down. He got up himself, picked her up and pace with her in his arms. “KK, for some reason you were directed to go that route. We don’t know why and when we stop to think about it, it’s a scary revelation to realize that you just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

KK stopped crying, but still had much on her mind. “I’m also scared, Uncle Jesse.” Uncle Jesse, with KK in his arms, walked over and sat on the couch.

“Scared about what?”

“Matt was right. How in the world would anyone know that tree was going to fall? It was a feeling that I had. There was no evidence what so ever that that anyone could visually see that the tree was going to fall. I feel like I’m an oddball or something,” KK said still clinging on to Uncle Jesse.

“KK, I’m going to tell you something that I told Daisy last night. You are a special person. You have a gift that not many have. You were confident last night that the boys would be okay. Where did that feeling come from?”

“I don’t know. It’s a persistent thing that I know it won’t be an easy path, but in time they’re be okay.”

“KK, I’m just thankful that you were there along with Matt to help at the accident scene. Be a kid for once and don’t worry too much about adult stuff, okay?”

Sniffling, “Okay.”

“I love you,” KK said hugging Uncle Jesse.

“I love you too, K. Now listen we’ve got to get you to school. Steve and Matt will be happy to see ya.”

As KK got her belongings together she said, “Uncle Jesse?”

“What?”

“I forgot to do my homework. Do you think Steve would be mad at me?” KK asked sincerely.

“Hunny, I think he will understand why. Now come on and let’s get going”

KK hurried up and Uncle Jesse drove her to school.

At school, Steve checked with the office to see if Uncle Jesse had called to say that KK was out for the day. “No, Mr. Gleason,” the secretary said. “Mr. Duke has not called today. Should I notify you if he does?”

“No, that won’t be necessary. Thank You,” Steve said and left the office.

Matt was waiting outside the door and he too was curious to see if KK would be at school or not. “Any word, Mr. Gleason?” Matt asked.

“No. I thought for sure Uncle Jesse would keep her home. I guess not.”

“KK enjoys school. To her it’s a break from farm life.”

“I know. Just keep an eye on her will you.”

“Sure not a problem.”

“You’re sure about this, K?”

“Yes, Uncle Jesse. I need some type of normalcy.”

“Hey, we’re gonna need to talk after school. Don’t panic I just need to tell you what my plans are for keeping the farm going.”

“Okay.”

“Do you want me to pick you up today?”

“Would you please?”

“Not a problem. See you at 3 o’clock sharp!”

“Thanks,” KK said and got out of the pick-up.

Just as Matt and Steve were walking into the classroom, they saw KK running up.

“So you made it after all,” Matt teased her.

“Why wouldn’t I come to school? It’s not like I have anything better to do!” KK said smiling.

Steve crouched down to KK’s level. “Did you finally get to see them?”

“Yeah, but it wasn’t until really late. They didn’t look to good though,” KK started to cry.

“Hey there,” Steve said giving her hug. “It’s going to be okay. They’ll pull through. You just have to think positive, okay.” Steve let go of the hug. “If you need anything let me know.” With that being said they turned the corner to go into the classroom.

The bell rung and the class settled down. “Okay class, turn in your homework,” Steve said.

“I totally forgot about it. I take it you didn’t do yours either,” Matt commented

“Like I had time yesterday. No, of course I didn’t do it.”

“KK, Matt, may I see you out in the hall for a moment,” Steve asked.

“What did we do now?” Matt whispered to KK. KK just shrugged her shoulders indicating like how in the world was she suppose to know.

Matt and KK followed Steve out to the hallway. When kids needed a moment to calm down, he took them out there to talk to them without having the feeling of 25 pairs of eyes looking at them. “Monday. Do I make myself clear?”

“Monday?” KK asked a bit confused.

“Homework due today? Due Monday. Okay?”

“Thanks,” they both said and they all walked back to class.

“Hey, Uncle Jesse. Where have you been?” Daisy asked when Jesse returned to the farm.

“KK wanted to go to school today, so I took her. Hey I need to talk to you for a moment.”

“Sure, Uncle Jesse. What do you need?”

“I’m going to call Coy and Vance to stay for awhile until Bo and Luke get back on their feet.”

“Fine with me. I haven’t seen them in a few years.”

“The problem is going to be with KK. It will take her a while for her to warm up to strangers, even if they’re family. She’s not going to take it very well that they will be sleeping in the boys’ room.”

“She’ll just need to understand that to keep a roof over her head that this needs to be done.”

“Daisy, it isn’t that simple and easy when it comes to KK.”

“I know it isn’t that easy for her to accept. She’s trying to put up a front. I don’t think the whole thing has hit her yet.”

“Neither do I. But when it does, we need to be there. I just pray to God to give the strength to accept what ever happens.”

“Amen to that, Uncle Jesse.”

“I haven’t called them yet. I figure I owe it to KK to tell her first so she doesn’t feel left out of the decisions regarding the boys. She’s just as much a part of this family as anyone else. I’m also gonna talk to Steve to alert him of the situation. Sometimes he can read KK better than any of us.”

“You know Roscoe gonna want to talk to her. Is there anything you want me to tell Roscoe if I see him?”

“Yeah. Tell him I’ll bring to the station today, after school. Make sure you tell him on the condition that she is ready to talk about it. I know he needs a statement from her and Matt, but KK’s emotional state is more important than his dang statement.”

“Well, I’m off. Let me know if anything happens. I just hate this feeling of the unknown and wish I could do something about it,” Daisy said and she was out the door on her way to the Boars Nest.

Uncle Jesse was alone in the house. He half expected to hear the General and Bo and Luke bickering about something. It was just the normal routine to him. It was an odd feeling knowing that it wouldn’t happen today, or for a long while.

Looking outside the door, Uncle Jesse jumped when the phone rang.

“Hello, Mr. Duke. It’s Cooter.”

“Hey Cooter, what’s up?”

“The car should only take about a week or so to repair. Do you want me to bore you with all the details?”

“No, I trust you. How much will it cost?”

“Don’t worry about it. That car means everything to KK. I’m just happy to do something that will make her happy.”

“Cooter…” Uncle Jesse hated to be a charity case. But he couldn’t really refuse because the cost to repair it would probably be over $1,000 dollars.[2] That was money that he didn’t have. “Cooter, you know you don’t have to.”

“Yes, I know. But all of you have done so much for me over the years. I’m just glad to return the favor.”

“Thanks Cooter. Let me know when he’s ready to come home.”

“Okay, class. It’s 10:15 a.m. Let’s go and have recess now and then we’ll come back in and work on math.”

Mr. Gleason’s class couldn’t be happier. It was a nice day outside and the kids were all itching to get some fresh air. He opened the door and all but two students ran for freedom.

After everyone had left, Steve turned around to Matt. “Is she sleeping?”

“Yeah, she’s been out for about 15 minutes.”

“I hate to wake her up, but I also don’t want her to have an embarrassing moment in front of the entire class,” Steve commented.

“Yeah. Aaron Freemont would have a field day with it.”

Steve walked over to KK. “Hey, sleepyhead,” he said trying to wake her up.

“Unh?” KK said, again confused where she was at.

“Why don’t you go home and get some sleep, K.”

“No,” she cried. “I can’t go home. I can’t stand the quietness of them not being there,” she began to cry.

Steve picked her up and walked to his desk. He sat down and put her in his lap and tried to calm her down. “KK, its okay sweetheart. I just figured you would rather be sleeping in your own bed instead. Why don’t you go home and just relax. K, you’ve been through a lot the last 24 hours and I know that school was probably the last thing on your mind.”

“No. I don’t want to go home,” KK stated authoritatively.

“Then what do you want to do?” Matt asked.

“K, if you stay here, you have to stay awake. I can’t allow you to fall asleep if no one else is allowed.”

“I know. I didn’t mean to,” KK said calming down.

“I know you didn’t,” Steve said.

“Do you think Uncle Jesse would mind if I came home?”

“No, I don’t believe so.”

“Can I ask you guys something?”

“What,” both Matt and Steve said at the same time.

“Do you believe that they’ll be okay? I mean what would I do without them. I feel like they’re my crutch to survive this crazy world. They can explain things about me that I can’t. They know when I’m happy or sad or whatever mood I’m in. I know I have a problem expressing how I am and that’s because of the autism. I know that, but that still doesn’t make it any easier for me. Birthdays – I don’t get all excited like other kids do. I just don’t get it. Christmas either. There’s this void that I always feel. I can’t get excited about anything.”

Steve gave her a hug. “Hunny, they’ll be okay. You have to believe in them and the power of God,” Steve let go of the hug. A few moments later, “Are you sure that you want to go home?”

“Well, what I want to do is run and never look back. I’m scared of what will happen. But since I can’t do that I guess I’ll go home. I can’t sit still and pay attention to anything anyways.”

“Okay. I’ll see you later. Your Uncle invited both me and Matt over for dinner. Until then, go get some sleep, okay?”

“Bye, K,” Matt said and gave her a hug.

KK got down and walked to the office to call Uncle Jesse.

“Duke farm, Jesse Duke speaking,”

“Hi, its me.”

“Hi sweetheart. What’s wrong?”

“Can you come and get me?”

“Sure. I’ll be over in a few minutes. Okay?”

“Okay,” KK said solemnly.

“Are you okay?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“Truthfully, I don’t know. The secretary needs to speak with you for a moment.” KK handed the phone to the lady that was standing on the other side of the counter.”

“When you come, you will need to come in so we can verify that it’s you,” the lady said.

“Sure not a problem.”

“Thank you, good-bye.”

“Good-bye,” Uncle Jesse said and hung up the phone.

KK walked over to a row of chairs that sat a few feet away from the counter. KK went into one of her withdrawal times. That way she couldn’t feel anything. The pain that she now beginning to feel was tearing at her heartstrings, but she figured if she could keep it together until Uncle Jesse got here, everything would be fine. If she could hold her feelings in until she and Uncle Jesse were out in his pick up then everything would be fine. At least crying in the pick-up wouldn’t cause a scene in front of everyone in the school’s office.

Uncle Jesse was concerned for KK emotional status. He knew that she would be emotionally shut down when he would pick her up from school. This was going to be the toughest talk that he had to have with her about inviting Coy and Vance to come and help on the farm. That was the whole point of having Steve and Matt over for dinner. He had wanted to talk to Steve after school today to prepare him for what he was going to tell KK. He never had to bring KK back to reality, as Luke called it. It was always Luke and sometimes Bo that threw out that fishing line for her. He just hoped that she would be okay with the temporary help until the other two came back into their lives. He got into his pick up and left for the school.

If he would have waited another minute, he would have gotten the most frightening call of his life. It was the hospital and it wasn’t looking good for Luke.

End of Part 6

The Emergency

The phone rang and rang at the Duke farm, but Uncle Jesse had already left for the school to pick up KK. He had figured that she wouldn’t stay the entire day, but was proud of her for at least going for part of the day. She was probably down right exhausted since she was use to getting around 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night. No matter what, she had some type of internal alarm clock and was up at 6:30 a.m. every morning.

When he got to the school he found a sullen face KK blankly staring out the window. He had figured as much. She was hiding away from the world and trying to run away from the pain in her heart. He wanted to take her out of the school and into the pick-up hoping that she would come out of that shell and talk about how she really felt.

At the Boar’s Nest, Daisy received a terrifying phone call. It was the hospital telling her that she needs to come to there quickly and to find Uncle Jesse. Luke was fading fast and they weren’t sure if the operation that they were about to perform would help him out in any way.

Daisy tried the phone to call home. There wasn’t any answer. “Where could he be,” she thought out loud.

“Where who be,” the bartender asked.

“My Uncle…”

“Try the school. Maybe…”

“Thanks, she cut him off.”

Daisy quickly dialed the school’s number. It was a good thing she had the sense of mind to take it with her today. “Is Mr. Jesse Duke there?” Daisy asked, praying that he was.

“Um, yes he is. One moment please,” the receptionist answered the phone.

“Mr. Duke,” she stated after she walked to where he was standing. “You have a phone call. Follow me please.”

“Uncle Jesse, it’s me Daisy,” she began to cry

“What’s wrong.”

“Its Luke, they just told me to go to the hospital, he may not make it.”

“Alright, Daisy I’ll meet you there,” and Uncle Jesse hung up the phone.

“Is she all set?”

“Yes.”

“Come on KK we’ve got to hurry.”

“What,” she said snapping out of her haze and followed Uncle Jesse quickly outside

As fast as her little legs could carrier her, KK followed Uncle’s Jesse lead and got into the pick-up as fast as she could. Throwing her backpack on the floor of the pick up she asked, “What’s wrong?”

“KK – it’s Luke. The hospital called Daisy and said that he may not make it.”

KK was stunned. Sure they had told them this may be a possibility, but when you’re told its not quite accepted. She had totally believed that he would be okay. “Maybe this was just a bump in the road?” she thought to herself. “But if this is a bump, this is a pretty big one.”

“Uncle Jesse promise me one thing?”

“K, not now.”

“Yes, now.” She couldn’t believe that she just back talked to her Uncle. But it was important for her. “Please don’t hide anything from me. I might be young and autistic, but I need to know what’s going on.”

“K, I promise I won’t.”

The rest of the ride to the hospital was in silence. Both were lost in thought and prayer for the recovery of Luke.

Daisy had arrived before Uncle Jesse and KK arrived at the hospital. The staff at the hospital had immediately whisked her away to a private room off the emergency room waiting room where Dr. Jorgensen said he would be right back. Daisy couldn’t stand being in the confines of a small room and not knowing what was exactly going on. “At least he didn’t say he was dead. That’s a good sign isn’t it?” Daisy asked the question to no one. She would sit down for a second and then get up again and pace the small room. This waiting was getting to her.

Not a moment later the door clicked open and Uncle Jesse and KK walked in. The page that ushered them in stated that Dr. Jorgensen would be in the room in a moment.

Daisy and Uncle Jesse hugged one another relieve that they were once together during hard times. KK found solace by crawling underneath on her stomach under the file cabinets that were flushed around three of the four walls of the room. She didn’t know if she wanted to exactly hear this news. After all, this was the news that could potentially change her life forever.

After regaining their composure, they sat down and Uncle Jesse asked Daisy what the person from the hospital had exactly said. “All I know is that they were going to do some type of operation on him, but they weren’t sure if that would help him to survive. Where’s KK?”

“She came in with me,” he said looking around. “KK come out now,” Uncle Jesse demanded.

“No,” a teary voice said. “I’m never coming out.”

Standing up, Uncle Jesse said, “Come out from under there now, K.”

“No, no, no,” she screamed in a teary voice.

Dr. Jorgensen came in the office. He could tell that both Daisy and Uncle Jesse were visibly upset. They had every right to be.

“Hello, Mr. Duke, ma’am. Let me explain what has happened. The boys were fine during the night. This morning one of the monitors that was watching the pressure in Luke’s brain started to slightly rise. This can happen and it was in what was considered the normal range so we weren’t too concerned about it. We provided medication in hopes that it would start to decrease but it did not work. What we have learned is that there was a build up of excess fluid…”

Suddenly KK came out from underneath the filing cabinets to say, “He has hydrocephalus.”

“How do you know that term young lady?” Dr. Jorgensen asked.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you,” KK said as she went around the desk to sit on Uncle Jesse’s lap. Uncle Jesse situated her so that she could face the doctor who sat on the other side of the desk. “I learned it in school. It means water on the brain. If not treated, the pressure that it causes the brain can irreversible damage to the brain[3],” KK finished and started to cry.

“Is what she said true, doctor?” Uncle Jesse asked as he turned KK around to settle her down, resting her head on Uncle Jesse’s right shoulder.

“Unfortunately it is. What we don’t know is the amount of damage that it has caused. There’s also a chance that it will not work. There could be mechanical failure, infections, obstructions, and the need to lengthen or replace the catheter.”

“Doc, I need you be honest with us. How much of a chance does Luke have to survive this ordeal?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“Honestly, I don’t know. I would say that he has a pretty good chance to survive. The key point is how much damage has been done and what his life will be after this.”

“Is it worth it to keep him alive?” Uncle Jesse hated to be that blunt, but he needed to know what he was faced with. KK started to cry harder than she did before. “KK, I’m sorry but we have to do what’s best,” Uncle Jesse said trying to console her

“No,” she screamed, which could be heard throughout the waiting room. “You can’t let him die,” she screamed, wiggled out of Uncle Jesse’s hold and ran out the door of the room and the emergency room door as well.

“Daisy, go after her.”

“Sure,” Daisy left trying to follow KK.

“Doctor, I have my hands filled with KK and two very sick boys. I need to ask you, what would you do?”

“I would do everything in my powers to do what ever I could to have Luke survive. We don’t know the unknown factor about what damage was done. If you don’t do it for him, I would do it for that little girl that loves Luke more than anything else in the world. If you do all you can do, then she will accept it. If you just write him off now, she’ll probably never forgive you. I had a similar situation in my own family, except that it involved my wife and my son who is autistic. My wife was in a terrible car accident and I went through similar tantrums with him as you are going through with KK. At first I wanted to pull the plug and let her die. It took a little bit to understand the selfishness that I had. My son wanted everything to be done before we decided that it was enough. After I sat down with him and discussed the options he understood where I was coming from and understood why she was going to die. Give KK that. Give her the understanding that here’s how far treatment should go. Let her be involved. I can’t decide for you how much you want to try before you let go, but let her know.”

“Thank you,” Uncle Jesse got up and shook his hand. “Is there a chance I can see both of them?”

“I don’t know about Luke, but I can have someone take you to see Bo. Just let asked the staff where ICU is and ICU will let you in.”

“Thank you,” Uncle Jesse said and Dr. Jorgensen went on his way.

Daisy finally caught up to KK outside the entrance of the emergency room waiting room. KK slid down the back of the wall so that she ended up in a crouching position. Daisy crouched down and beside KK. Knowing that KK was frightened by the thought of Luke dying, Daisy tried to calm KK down by reassuring her that they would make the decision as a family about Luke. She also tried telling her that Luke wasn’t dead yet and not to give up on him.

A few moments later Uncle Jesse went to look for them. “Is she alright?” he asked once he found them.

“I don’t know Uncle Jesse,” Daisy said as he picked KK up. Within a few moments KK was sleeping and Uncle Jesse walked back towards the entrance of the hospital with Daisy behind them. “Kiddo, what am I going to do with you? How am I going to be able to tell you that I’m gonna have to have Coy and Vance live with us for a while? What am I going to do if we have to let Luke go? Uncle Jesse became teary eyed. This was a lot for any family to handle. “Honey, I wish you didn’t have to go through this. I know that you miss them terribly and don’t know where to turn your anger and frustration at.”

Daisy interrupted his train of thought. “Do you want me to take her?”

“No, Daisy. She’s fine in my arms. I just hate to see her in this state. She’s upset, confused and probably so exhausted she can’t think straight. She will have a hard time adjusting to all of this. Actually, I know that we are all having a hard time, but she probably can’t express herself about the way she feels.”

A few silent moments later, Uncle Jesse continued, “Let’s go and see Bo. If were lucky we’ll be able to see Luke too. I hope they will let us for KK sake. I think she needs to see him.”

Daisy and Uncle Jesse with a sleeping KK in tow asked for directions to the ICU unit of the hospital. The young attendant told them where to go. Following the instructions, Uncle Jesse pressed the elevator button that sent them to the fourth floor. Once they stepped out of the elevator, they were suddenly realized the seriousness of the situation. There were doctors and nurses that were doing their job at lighting pace – ordering tests that needed to be done, walking in and out of patients’ room checking their charts.

Suddenly a nurse saw them and asked, “Can I help you sir?”

“Uncle Jesse snapped out of his haze to say, “Ah, yes. I have two nephews here. Bo and Luke Duke. I understand that we could see Bo, but maybe Luke.”

“I’m sorry but the child will not be able to visit. It’s hospital policy.”

Uncle Jesse had a sense that this was going to happen. Ma’am, I hate to do this but I’m going over your head. Can I talk to your supervisor, because I know you have to follow policy.”

“Sure, just a moment,” she said and dialed the phone and then hung-up. “I paged Dr. Jorgensen and he will give you a final answer.”

“Thank you,” Uncle Jesse said and then they sat on a bench that was across the aisle way from the nurse’s station.

A few moments later Dr. Jorgensen appeared. “Yes, Michelle its okay for the kid to go in when ever she wants to.”

“Thank you, doctor.”

Nurse Michelle called over for Mr. Duke, “Okay, sir. You guys can go in there now. I take you in there so that the on-call nurse won’t have a problem.”

“Thank you ma’am,” Uncle Jesse said and they proceeded to follow her into the ICU unit.

“Kristen, this is the Duke family.”

“There’s no need for introductions. We met last night.”

“Okay, then. If you will excuse me.”

“Thank you again,” Uncle Jesse said to Nurse Sarah and she left to go back to her post.

“Mr. Duke, I’m so sorry to hear about Luke.”

“Thank you.”

“How’s the little one?”

“Not doing so well. She’s hasn’t had much sleep and she’s extremely close to Luke.”

Uncle Jesse could feel KK moving, like she was waking up.

“Hey, are you awake up there?” Uncle Jesse could feel KK nodding her head yes. Uncle Jesse continued, “Hey you want to go and see Bo? Why don’t you go with Daisy and she’ll take you over there.

Uncle Jesse put KK down. Her left hand rubbing her left eye, she sleepily walked towards Daisy. Daisy grabbed her right hand the guided her towards Bo’s bed.

“Is there any chance that we can see Luke?” Uncle Jesse asked Nurse Kristen.

“I don’t know. I believe that the operation is over, but I’m not sure of his status at the moment. Let me see what’s going on and what I can arrange,” she said and dial the phone.

Uncle Jesse joined Daisy and KK at Bo’s bedside. Daisy was telling him about had happened recently. “I don’t know Uncle Jesse if this is helping any, but I remembering being told once that even though they’re unconscious that they can still hear you.”

“I’ve heard that too,” KK chimed in.

“Well then talk away,” Uncle Jesse said.

They all took turns talking to Bo, hoping that he would come out of his coma. Uncle Jesse silently prayed that he would wake up soon. At least they would have the relief that at least one of the boys made it. He truly wanted both, but he didn’t think that Luke would make it. If he did make it, he probably wouldn’t live the life that he once lived. But Uncle Jesse had to admire the faith that KK had. She truly believed that he would be okay, he only hope so.

After a few minutes Uncle Jesse noticed that Nurse Kristen was off the phone. He walked over to her desk wondering if she had any news.

“Its going to be a little while before they’ll bring Luke back in here, but they’re hoping within the hour. He’s still in recovery and they want to make sure the shunt is working before they do anything else.”

“We’re you here when it happened?”

“No. I wasn’t supposed to be here today, but someone called in sick at the last minute so I’m back here for a few hours until they can find someone.”

“How is Bo doing? I mean is he close to waking up?”

“I think he’s a bit away. Let me check his chart for a minute,” Nurse Kristen said and took a few seconds to locate it. “Oh, here it is. They have him in a medically induced coma so that his body can rest and heal. I only believe that this will go on for a few more days and then the doctors will wean him off the medication.”

“What are his injuries? I’ve been more concerned with Luke that I haven’t even had a chance to find out.”

“It looks like he did hit his head on the either the dashboard or steering wheel, but it wasn’t a direct hit. Do you know who was driving?”

“No. KK might. She’s the one along with her friend Matt that found them.”

“Anyways he has a bruised spinal cord and that’s why the c-collar is around his neck. That is the primary reason that we are keeping him in an unconscious state as well. Its giving time for that spinal cord to heal. He’s very lucky to come out of this without any paralysis. He also has a few broken ribs and some scrapes and bruises to the chest area. That’s why we’re supporting his breathing. Because his chest is swollen it can make it difficult to breathe. It shouldn’t be too long before he’s weaned off the ventilator and out of the ICU.”

“So he’s not really unconscious by his own doing, like Luke is?”

“Well I can’t say for sure but more than likely once the medication is out of his system, he should awaken.”

“I’m not saying anything to KK until I know for sure. If I get her hopes up now and they fall, then I could never forgive myself.”

“Sure not a problem.”

Uncle Jesse went over to Bo’s bed. Come on kids, lets go get something to eat and then we can come back. Okay?”

“That’s sounds like a plan to me,” Daisy said. “What about you, KK”

“Go without me. I just want to stay here and keep Bo company.”

Daisy and Uncle Jesse looked at each other. “I don’t know if I can let you stay here by yourself,” Uncle Jesse said.

KK ignored them. She needed to stay near Bo. He was her only linked to Luke. Or at least she felt that way.

“KK,” Nurse Kristen said calmly. “Listen to your Uncle. I know that you’re close to them, but you need to eat something. I know what you’re thinking why is she giving me advice, but I know that you didn’t sleep well last night and you want to see Luke so I would recommend you go and eat. I can’t promise that you’ll be able to see Luke, but I will wait until we know for sure.”

“Promise?” KK asked hesitantly.

“I promise.”

Reluctantly, KK agreed and hopped off the stool that she had been sitting on and grabbed Daisy’s hand.

“Daisy wait for me by the elevators, I need to ask Nurse Kristen something.”

“Sure. Come on KK lets go,” Daisy said and they walked out of the ICU.

“Ma’am, what are the chances of Luke even leaving this hospital?”

“Mr. Duke I’m not sure what damage has been done. The brain works in mysterious ways. Sometimes it can find ways to repair itself so that the person can resume a normal life. Then again, the other side of the coin is that he could remain a vegetable the rest of his life. I don’t think we’ll know the real truth until he wakes up, if he does.”

“Thank you again for all your help especially with KK.”

“Oh, she’s such a sweetheart. You can’t not help her.”

With that being said Uncle Jesse left the ICU and met with Daisy and KK at the elevators.

End of Part 7

Afternoon

Dr. Jorgensen recommended that they didn’t see Luke. He was still in recovery and he didn’t know how much longer they had planned to keep him there. He also told them that it may not be until Monday that they could seem him because of the constant observation that he would be under to see if the emergency surgery was a success. KK was not pleased. She didn’t care what he looked like. She couldn’t understand as to why the doctor wouldn’t allow them to see him. Even Nurse Kristen had her hands tied and was almost brought to tears when KK cried because she was unable to her beloved cousin.

Before KK could scream her head off and make a scene, Uncle Jesse picked her up and took her out of the ICU area and to the bench that was down the hall in front of the elevator.

“KK, honey, you have to calm down,” Uncle Jesse tried telling her but was drowned out by the sound of her crying as he could feel the warm tears through his shirt. Rubbing her back and rocking her he said, “We have to listen to the doctor. I know you’re upset about it, but..”

“But what?” she asked, lifting her head and looking him straight in the eyes. “What happens if he dies Uncle Jesse? What if I’m not given that chance to say goodbye? I need to be able to tell him that I’ll be okay here without him. He needs to know that. I’m afraid he’ll try to stay with us even if he’s in pain so that he knows I’ll be okay. I don’t want him in pain Uncle Jesse,” KK said and continued to cry.

“KK, don’t worry about that. If Luke wants to go home then he will. Don’t feel guilty that you reasons are as to why he’s staying alive and in pain. Maybe he’s just stubborn and has a strong will to live.”

“Okay,” KK said weakly as she nestled into Uncle Jesse’s loving embrace.

“Why don’t we go home and get dinner ready. I invited Matt and Steve over, okay?”

“Okay,” KK said and gave her Uncle Jesse a hug and closed her eyes.

Daisy soon came out of the ICU Unit. “How’s she doing?”

Uncle Jesse knew that she was sleeping because she was limp in his arms. “She’s struggling with the idea of death. She understands that Luke may die but she’s afraid that she would be primarily responsible for him staying alive in pain until she tells him that she could survive without him.”

“Where in the world does she come up with these questions? I wouldn’t have even thought of that and I’m an adult.”

“Well, there’s no point of waiting here. We need to get home and start dinner going. I invited Steve and Matt over to help cushion the blow in telling KK that I invited Coy and Vance to stay with us until Bo and Luke are back on their feet,” Uncle Jesse said.

“When are they coming over?”

“Tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow?”

“I’m gonna let KK do her thing. What ever makes her feel comfortable. I’m sure that it will take a while for her to get use to them.”

“I just hope she can handle all of this.”

“Worse case scenario would be that she would stop speaking to anyone of us. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.”

The rest of the journey home was in silence, trying to figure out how KK would handle everything.

Uncle Jesse knew that the worse case scenario for KK would be more than what he had said to Daisy but he had to tell her something so that she wouldn’t worry. He had enough worry about KK for everyone in Hazzard. He knew that the longer that he waited to tell her about Coy and Vance the more he would be regretting it but he needed to tell her in a controlled environment. Somewhere that he knew that she would be comfortable. That’s why Steve and Matt had been invited for dinner. He figured that she wouldn’t open up for him that she would at least talk to Steve or Matt.

When they got home from the hospital Uncle Jesse carried a sleeping KK to her bed and let her finished her nap. He knew that she would probably be up all night, but right now he needed peace and quite for him to get his thoughts in order. He asked Daisy to start dinner so that he could go outside and think things through.

It must have been a half-hour later when Daisy came through the door announcing dinner was in the oven. She about scared him half to death because he was so deep in thought about how KK would handle everything. “Now Uncle Jesse, if the worse thing KK could do was hide in that shell she can put herself in, then there would be nothing to worry about, unh?” Daisy asked. Uncle Jesse knew that his one liner earlier hadn’t fooled her.

Daisy had sat down on the swing, next to Uncle Jesse. A few moments later KK appeared and wanted to sit on Uncle Jesse’s lap that didn’t allow Daisy to ask any questions about what KK could turn into once she heard the news. Uncle Jesse picked her up and laid her on his lap and coaxed her back to sleep.

“You know, she ain’t gonna go to sleep tonight, Daisy said.”

“Yeah, I know but she really hasn’t slept much since the accident happened. I figure she couldn’t even stay awake if we forced her to.”

A few peaceful minutes had passed and Uncle Jesse started talking “You know I could either cry or laugh when I look at KK,” he said as KK was sleeping on her back with her lips part ever so slightly. “Sound asleep she looks like any other child – innocent as can be. But then I look at her again realizing that she’s different from all the other children. Have you ever watched her at her and her sisters’ birthday celebration? She never smiles or gets excited about it. Same with Christmas. She doesn’t understand what the fuss is all about. Luke told me that. He told me that she was afraid that I didn’t understand how much she appreciated everything even though emotionally she couldn’t show it. Luke also told me that when they do the school pictures she has to remember to smile. It’s not something that comes naturally for her.”

“To me, K has two sides of her. She can be part angel and also part devil. When she an angel she peaceful and everything is okay in her world but when something drastically changes on her she can’t go with the flow and her whole personality changes.”

“That is true but as she gets older hopefully she’ll learn how to handle situations better. She’ll figure it out on her own due time.”

“I have to go back in and check on dinner. Steve and Matt should be over soon, school has been out for about 30 minutes. Do you want me to take her back in?”

“No, she’s fine right where she’s at. I’ll wake her up in a few minutes.”

“Okay then,” Daisy went back inside to finish dinner.

A few moments later Steve parked his car in front of the house. “Hello, Mr. Duke,” Matt said quietly when he saw KK sleeping. “How is she?”

“She’s not doing well. It’s been an emotional exhausting afternoon for all of us. I’m not even sure if I want to wake her up for dinner, but I need you here to reassure her about what the plan is.”

“Mr. Duke,” Matt asked, “Does she know what’s going to happen?”

“No. I’m worried about that, but it needs to be done. If I don’t tell her I may lose her forever.”

Daisy walked back outside. She could hear Matt’s voice from the kitchen. “Excuse me, dinner should be ready in an hour or so.”

“Thank you, Daisy.”

“Well if you pardon me again, but I need to finish preparing dinner,” and tried to go back into the kitchen.

“Daisy, wait a minute,” Uncle Jesse said. “Let me put her down and I can discuss what I want to do.”

Uncle Jesse took KK and placed her in her hammock.

Uncle Jesse reminisced about why KK slept in a hammock instead of a bed.

After KK had surgery on her right ankle, he and Luke had decided that she was a “big girl” now and needed a bed to sleep in. KK’s triplet sisters mother Ms. Zang had given Uncle Jesse a small bed because Aaron had grown right out of it. Ms. Zang and everyone else wondered why Aaron was so much taller than the average height of kids their age. There was no rhyme or reason for it. Karen was average height and KK’s slow progress was attributed to her injured ankle. Uncle Jesse and Luke laid her down the first night she was home from the hospital in her new bed but she didn’t fall asleep in it. For a few weeks KK would be placed in the bed but when Luke or Uncle Jesse would go check in an hour or so and would find her sleeping in the rocking chair in the corner of the room.

After a few weeks of this Luke decided to stay in KK’s bedroom one night but in the shadow so she wouldn’t see her. Luke was amazed at what he saw. Once everyone was out of the room KK would literally fall out of bed, crawl over to the rocking chair, climb up on it, and then rock herself to sleep. Luke was amazed, but he felt that she needed to be broken of this habit because people plain and simply don’t sleep in rocking chairs. After she had fallen asleep he quietly left the room to go and tell Uncle Jesse what he had found out.

“Sure enough Uncle Jesse. She’s waits until everyone leaves and then crawls over to the rocking chair.”

“Luke, some kids who are autistic like the rocking motion. KK is just one of them. We’ll rig up a hammock then.”

“What? You have got to be kidding?”

“No, Luke I’m not. She’s been through so much, putting a hammock in the room is the least we could do.”

Uncle Jesse placed a feathery kiss on KK’s forward head, whispered “sweet dreams,” to her and laid her down in her hammock.

When Uncle Jesse returned from the living room, Steve, Matt and Daisy were all sitting around the table. Matt was talking about how he and his friend Jim Smoke had kicked a homerun while playing some sport called kickball. KK had talked about the sport where it has pretty much the same rules as baseball but it was played with a giant rubber ball. She also said it could rough because fielders could get you out by pegging the ball at you. He had told her never to play again once after she came home with a swollen eye, but he doubted she listened to him. “After all,” she had told him, “I have an ego to protect!” While Uncle Jesse worried about the eye, KK wore it has a badge of honor.

“Okay kids, here’s the plan…” Uncle Jesse began.

End of Part 8

The First Dinner

“KK knows that both you and Matt are here for dinner. I’m sure that she’s expects something to happen, but I don’t think she knows exactly what. I also need to update you on what has happened since KK was in school today.

I was about ready to leave the school with KK in tow when Daisy called me. She told me that the hospital was trying to reach me because Luke needed emergency surgery because he had a condition called hydro…” Uncle Jesse tried to pronounce it but couldn’t remember what exactly it was.

“Hydrocephalus,” Matt chimed in. “Water on the brain.”

“Thank you, Matt,” Uncle Jesse said. “By the way Steve, Dr. Jorgensen was impressed that she knew the term, but does a seven year old need to know that?”

“These two did a report on brain injury for a science project this year. They impressed me with it as well,” Steve said, trying to deflect any blame in teaching his students as much information that he could.

“Anyways,” Uncle Jesse continued, “KK went on to tell him that if it wasn’t treated it could cause irreversible damage to the brain, and that the doctors had put a shunt in the brain to help with drainage.”

A few minutes of silence had passed. “I’m sorry Mr. Duke,” Matt suddenly said. I didn’t know that by doing the science project on brain injuries would cause her so much pain.”

“Matt, come here,” Uncle Jesse said.

Matt went around the table to where Uncle Jesse was sitting and stood in front of him. Uncle Jesse put his hands on Matt’s arm and looked him square in the eyes, “Never apologize for becoming intelligent. How were you supposed to know that this was going to happen? There was no way you could – it was just a fluke. Okay?”

Matt nodded his head yes.

“Matt, you’re her best friend and best friends are supposed to always work together. That’s how Bo and Luke and Coy and Vance are,” Uncle Jesse said and few moments later Matt went back to where he was sitting.

After Matt sat down, Uncle Jesse continued speaking. “She’s upset that we weren’t able to see Luke today. The doctor said that he was still in recovery and didn’t know when he would be back in the I.C.U. so they suggested that we go home. She didn’t know how to take that news. I believe that was her breaking point of the news finally becoming reality to her. She was so frustrated at people telling her no or depressing news that all she wanted to do was scream her head off and run for the hills. Then after I had calm her down a bit I try telling her that the doctor knows best and then she interrupted me.”

Uncle Jesse had to stop for a moment to regain his composure so he wouldn’t start crying in front of everyone. It hurt that his baby girl was in so much pain and he didn’t have the magic words to fix her world. There weren’t any words that he could tell her that could convince her and him that Luke and Bo would be both okay. He silently prayed to God that Luke would be himself again after all this, even if it would take years to accomplish.

“What did she have to say, Mr. Duke?” Matt asked, bringing Uncle Jesse back to reality.

“I told her that the doctor knows best and she was worried about not being able to tell Luke goodbye. She felt that he would stay alive and in pain waiting for her to say goodbye. She also said she needed, if the time came, to tell him that she could survive in this world without him and that she didn’t want him in pain. Now what seven year old would think of that?”

Silence. Daisy decided dinner needed to be checked and stated that it would be ready in about thirty minutes.

“I’m extremely worried about how KK will handle the news that I am inviting Coy and Vance.”

“Who are Coy and Vance?” Matt asked.

“They’re more cousins of KK’s.” Uncle Jesse had almost let it slip to them that it was Coy that had found KK so many years ago and convinced him to take her in. Not that KK ever asked about her parents, but he didn’t want to have to tell her the truth about her parents. He just felt that her life was complicated enough with everything else going on that information wasn’t needed at the moment.

“Okay,” Matt said.

“Steve, how long did it take her to warm up to you?”

“It took a while.”

“Well, yeah, after the loony toon Ms. Kingman,” Matt said.

“She doesn’t take kindly to strangers until she is positive that they are not going to hurt her in anyway. The plan is to be her support when I do tell her. We’ll eat first and then I’ll tell her afterwards. At least when she runs for the hills she’ll have something in her stomach. Anyways, KK understands that the farm needs to be tended to but I don’t think she’s counting on the boys staying here to help out. I know she’s not going to be pleased about all of this and will need time to adjust to this. This way, since you guys are here you’ll know and understand the situation. All I want you guys to basically do is be her support system. Be there when she is ready to talk about what she’s feeling. She’ll also need someone to talk to when they’re driving her nuts.”

Daisy got up to check on dinner and asked for help setting up the table.

“Would you mind boys and help Daisy with getting dinner on the table while I get KK up and going.”

As Uncle Jesse left the kitchen to get KK he silently said a prayer for everyone involved that the transition would be a smooth one. He also hoped KK would understand that this was only temporary and that it was necessary in order to keep the farm going.

He knew that trying to get KK up and going would be a difficult task. She had been so exhausted by the last 24 hours that she really didn’t want to get up. “I know sweetie, but its dinner time and you need to eat.” Still no movement from her. Uncle Jesse than picked her up and carried her into the kitchen.

When Uncle Jesse entered the kitchen with KK resting on his shoulder, Steve commented, “When you want her to sleep she won’t and when she’s shouldn’t she does,” Steve commented. “Would you like me to take her?”

“Sure if you won’t mind. I can help Daisy with dinner.”

Steve took her from Uncle Jesse and sat in one of the two chairs that were the closest to the back door of the farm house. KK settled herself in on his lap, resting her head on his shoulder and tried to fall back asleep.

KK had not realized that Matt had sat in the chair next to them. KK had her back to Matt and when he spoke she jumped and grabbed on to Steve for dear life.

“Hey, K. It’s only Matt,” Steve said and which eased the tension a bit.

Matt then repeated the story about kicking a homerun and also kicking a ball into the face of one of their classmates. He said that he felt bad about it. He continued by also saying that Steve had assigned each student two states to do reports on. One of KK’s eyes opened up and gave him an evil look. “Steve picked for you. He said that you would want Michigan and Georgia. I got stuck with North and South Dakota. What’s so interesting about the Dakotas?”

Steve had not wanted Matt to bring the subject of school and reports that he assigned his students to do. He had wanted to talk to KK privately about it since she struggled when it came to reading and writing. He knew that she had made tremendous progress this school year, but it was still difficult sometimes for her to put a simple sentence together.
KK sat in her usual spot which should had been Uncle Jesse to the right and Luke to the left. Instead Steve sat there which KK wasn’t too sure that she liked, but it wasn’t like he was trying to replace him she thought to herself. She also began to think as to why did Uncle Jesse invite them to dinner anyways?

KK didn’t really listen to the dinner conversation. Everyone knew that she wasn’t really pay attention to what everyone was saying because they were completely ignored when they would speak to KK. KK was lost in her own world. There had to be a reason as to why Matt and Steve were here. If no one else got the message, Uncle Jesse did. He knew that the wheels were churning in KK’s head as to why he had invited Steve and Matt to dinner. At least though he was going to tell her and not keep it a secret from her. That had to win some points against the negative points that he was about to incurred for this plan.

After dinner was done and dishes were in the sink Uncle Jesse announced that he wanted to have a family meeting. He looked at KK who was at the edge of her seat. At this moment Uncle Jesse just wanted to get this over with. He really wished he could get her to understand that this was not a plan to replace the boys. He needed to this so that they could keep the land that they were living on. He also was nervous about telling her that Coy and Vance would be sleeping in the boys’ room and staying with them. Who knows what kind of backlash he would get for this but she would just need to understand that it was only right for him to offer room and board for family that are willing to come and help out on the farm.

“First of all – KK you and I need to see Roscoe to talk to him about the accident,” Uncle Jesse announced.

“Oh yeah,” Matt said. “I have to talk to him too. We can do that together KK if you want.”

“I guess so. I don’t have much to say except for what I saw after the accident happened,” KK responded still not sure what was happening.

“The reason why I invited Steve and Matt, KK was for your benefit.”

“What do you mean my benefit?”

“KK,” Uncle Jesse said, “You’re not gonna be happy with me but I have to have help with the farm chores.”

“Yeah, I expected that,” not sure what conclusion he was going to get at.

“You have two cousins named Coy and Vance who I would like to call and see if they can stay with us and help out on the farm,” Uncle Jesse said.

When Uncle Jesse said “can stay with us” he put emphasis on it so that it stood out in the sentence. This lead to KK realizing why Matt and Steve were actually over for dinner. They were here to help ease the blow that KK was receiving. “Why would they have to stay here?” she asked, as if pleading with Uncle Jesse to forgo this crazy idea.

Uncle Jesse got up from his seat at the kitchen table and walked over to where KK was sitting. Crouching down so he could be at her eye level he said, “K, I can’t ask them to help and not offer them a place to stay.” It hurt to break her heart because he knew that she felt that the boys’ room was sacred ground but he also knew that Coy and Vance would have to sleep somewhere.

The tears were again forming in KK’s eyes. She had finally put the pieces together and she didn’t like the way the puzzle was looking like. “And I guess the only place that they can sleep is in Bo’s and Luke’s room?” KK broke away from the grip that Uncle Jesse had on her and ran out the door to get out of this nightmare.

Steve and Matt both wanted to chase her down and bring her back here but Uncle Jesse told them to let her go. “Just let her go. She hasn’t been able to scream her head off about what has happened. She just needs time to be able to understand everything on her own terms. I promise you she’ll be back soon.”

The looks on Matt’s and Steve’s faces showed Uncle Jesse that neither one was convinced that KK would be okay, but they respected Uncle Jesse’s decision. “Now boys,” Uncle Jesse said catching both of them off guard, “I know you feel the need to go and chase her, but she’s needs time to figure her feelings out. She has been hushed all day long and she needs time to scream out her own feelings. Luke told me that if she’s allowed to throw what he described as a temper tantrum to relieve the pressure building inside of her then she would be okay and able to accept whatever was thrown at her. It’s like she figuring something out in her own language. I believe that the severity of the situation is now just hitting her.

KK ran as fast and as far that her legs could carry her. She figured that she was a mile away from the farm. She looked from where she came from and saw no one chasing her from behind. “Finally,” she whispered to herself and climb up the nearest tree she was standing to. As soon as she was high enough and hidden so no one could find her KK let the tears flow.

“Mr. Duke, do you believe that this is the best way to help KK through this?” Steve asked.

“I do. Let her come to you. Don’t try and force her to talk to you because she won’t.”

“That’s if she’ll ever speak to us again,” Matt commented.

“Matt, I wouldn’t worry about that,” Steve said.

“You’re not her best friend. She’ll probably think that I knew why I was invited here in the first place, knowing what the plan was all along.”

“But you didn’t,” Steve said.

“Does it matter? Have you ever tried to get something through that thick skull of hers? She definitely has the stubbornness of a Duke.”

“Boy, does she ever!” Daisy said. “I thought I was stubborn, but she has me beat and she definitely has Duke’s blood running thick in her veins.”

“KK is definitely one of a kind,” Uncle Jesse said. She has always been bound and determined to do anything that she’s wants to no matter what obstacles are in her way.”

Thirty minutes later the household had been quite for some time. The only sound that could be heard was Daisy doing the dishes in the kitchen. Matt started to do his homework and Uncle Jesse was showing Steve some family pictures.

KK had climb up in the tree, making sure that no one could see her from any angle. Luke had taught her many survival skills that he was taught as a Marine and his experience in Vietnam. Being alone and away from any eyes watching her she was able to deal with this crisis in her own way. A chance to sort out her feelings about what was going on in her life. She knew that Luke would be alright. That strange feeling that always told her what would happen in the future told her that Luke and even Bo would be alright. It had never failed to tell her the truth to her yet. Granted it would be a long and bumpy road but in the end everything will be okay. She just hoped that her feeling wouldn’t be wrong this time.

Matt and Steve left the Duke’s after be assured that KK would eventually come home and that everything would be fine with KK. KK had ran before but she was always home before it was dark outside.

Once they left, Uncle Jesse sat on the couch and called his sister-in-law Rosetta[4], where Coy and Vance were at. Since his brother Irv had leased the farm out and the lessees had hired their own hands Coy and Vance were free to come over and stay awhile with Uncle Jesse.

“Yes, Jesse I have already told both of them the situation and there willing to come over to keep the farm going. I explained that you don’t want KK to know how she came to live in Hazzard until she’s ready to hear it. Coy’s excited in any case to see her.”

“Did you explain to them about her autism?”

“Yes, I did. They’re not sure how to react to KK.”

“It don’t matter because she doesn’t know how to react to them. I told her tonight and she took off. She probably won’t have a high opinion of them nor will they probably be able to speak to her for a long while. She’s easy to hurt and offend.”

“Do you want to speak to them?”

“Yeah, I need to explain what to expect tomorrow.”

KK had lost track of time. She was in deep thought about the past two days events that she didn’t even realize that it was getting dark. She knew that Uncle Jesse had to hire or ask for help for the farm. He couldn’t do it all by himself but why did they have to stay at the farmhouse? So what if they were family? She knew it was being polite but she also felt they would try to replace Bo and Luke. No one could replace them – they were KK’s knights in shining armor. She thought to herself, “Would life would be worth living if they didn’t make it but then again life does go on.”

“Hi Uncle Jesse,” Coy said.

“Do you understand the situation over here?”

“Yeah”

“Coy, I’ve never told KK how you found her nor about her family in Michigan. She’s never asked so I’ve never felt the need to bring it up.”

“I know, I promised I won’t tell her anything.”

“She’s upset as it is. She doesn’t need another issue to compound her stress right now. Don’t feel offended if she doesn’t warm up to you right away. She doesn’t talk to anyone until she really knows that person.”

“I promise.”

“What time are you two planning to be here?”

“Probably around 10 in the morning.”

After Uncle Jesse said good-bye to Coy and hung up the phone, Daisy put the book down that she was reading and said, “Uncle Jesse it’s getting dark and there’s no sign of KK.”

“Daisy, she’s fine. She probably doesn’t even realize it’s getting dark yet. I’ll go out and search for her.”

Before Uncle Jesse had a chance to say something she walked to her room and shut the door to change into something.

As soon as Daisy closed her door, KK came running in from the outside, saw Uncle Jesse sitting on the couch and made a beeline for him. Uncle Jesse put her on his lap and held her as tears rocked her body.

End of Part 9

Two Nephews, One Niece, One Uncle, A Best Friend and KK

Daisy knew that KK had come home and decided to stay in her room. She and KK got along for the most part but at times she still seem to still be nervous around her. Daisy figured that KK would eventually calm down enough and talk to Uncle Jesse. Her being close by and in earshot would make KK keep quite and I’m sure that was the last thing Uncle Jesse wanted. She felt that KK needed to somehow express her emotions although it wasn’t easy for her to do.

Uncle Jesse didn’t exactly know what to do in order to comfort her. At least she was safe in his arms and he didn’t have to worry about her never coming home. He thought about that once in a while but she hadn’t done it yet. All he could do was rub her back and rock her as the tears shook her tiny body.

A few minutes later Uncle Jesse recognized that KK had cried herself to sleep. He had thought about waking her up to talk about what would happen tomorrow but then again he had also realize that she had not gotten much sleep over the last two days and thought it was best just to let her rest.

“Oh little one,” he commented to himself, “What am I going to do with you? I feel terrible about bringing in Coy and Vance, especially since you don’t know them and don’t trust any stranger but what else can I do?” Uncle Jesse asked to no one as he gently danced around the room with KK in his arms.

A few moments later Uncle Jesse knocked on Daisy’s door.

“Hold on one moment,” Daisy said and got up to open the door.

“She’s sound asleep,” Uncle Jesse said about KK. He then walked over to her hammock while Daisy removed the blanket that was there.

“There,” Daisy said as she put the blanket over KK after Uncle Jesse laid her down. Uncle Jesse gave KK a kiss on the forehead, wished her sweet dreams and gently made the hammock sway.

“Can I talk to you out in the living room for a few moments, Daisy?”

“Sure,” she said and they went out to the living room, shutting the door behind them so they wouldn’t disturb KK.

“Coy and Vance should be here around 10 in the morning.”

“What’s the plan for her?” inquiring about KK.

“Pray that everything goes okay. What I am hoping is that she can at least be introduced to them, but that probably won’t happen. She’ll at least try and then when she feels they’re invading her space she’ll run for the nearest tree and watch them from a distance. It’s gonna take her time to feel them out. I just hope they can understand that.”

“I’m sure that they will. They’re gonna have to with KK. KK marches to own beat.”

“Oh that reminds me. The end of this month K has a choir concert. Please make sure you attend because she needs all the support she can get. Sometimes I wonder if she’s makes a sound or just mouths the words.”

“Not a problem. I’m sure she sings. She’s got talent Uncle Jesse and she loves to sing.”

“I know Daisy, but her one true love is the drums. That was the smartest ideal that Bo had. He recognized that she was always tapping her feet or playing air drums. She’s never had smiled when the three of them opened their birthday presents.”

“That all changed last year.”

“No one had ever seen a bigger smile on that kid’s face when she opened the first part of an entire drum set.”

“How did you afford it?”

“With a little help from you, Luke, Bo, Cooter and Boss.”

“Boss?”

“It was reward money from some crazy scheme of his. I actually told him thank you and when he asked what I told him that he was about to make a kid’s dream come true.”

“If he only knew it was for a Duke,” Daisy said giggling.

“Daisy, she’s gonna rely on you, especially when I’m out in the field with the boys. I know you don’t think she likes you too much but she does. The problem between the two of you is that she’s likes hanging with the boys. She’s just a tomboy that doesn’t care about how she looks or what doll she should be playing with. She rather get muddy and roughhouse with the boys.”

“Yeah, I know. She and I have different likes and dislikes. But still I wonder sometimes. It’s not like you can read her very well. She has hiding her feelings down to a science.”

“It’s been a long day today and tomorrow it will feel even longer so I’m going to bed.”

“So am I. I’ll see ya in the morning.”

Daisy closed the door to the bedroom that she and KK shared. The only light in the room was from the stars and the full moon’s light that had crept into the room. The only thing that Daisy could do was stand over her and observe her. She couldn’t keep her eyes off of her and Daisy didn’t know why.

After watching KK sleep peacefully, Daisy looked out the window and realized that it was a full moon. Daisy also remembered that KK and Luke would sneak out of the house in the middle of the night and just watch the night sky.

Because she was curious, Daisy asked Luke one day why in the world would they sneak out at 3:00 a.m., in the middle of the night.

“It just seems to calm her. Actually, we do it more than you think. For K, it’s a time that she doesn’t have to worry about being about anyone but herself. It’s a stress reliever for her.”

Daisy thought, to herself, that this would be a perfect night to have one of those outings. But of course that was impossible. Suddenly the events of the entire day seem to hit Daisy and she allowed the tears to come out but didn’t make a sound. She too wanted Luke to live but how much pain could one person take? “Oh, kiddo,” she said in whisper, “I hope he lives too. What would we do without him?”

Daisy grabbed a tissue, dab her eyes and walked over to her bed and fell asleep.

Uncle Jesse had a restless night sleep and finally gave up sleeping at around 6:30 a.m. He got dressed in his typical fare and walked to the kitchen to make some coffee.

“Three and half hours to go,” he said to no one. He was also surprised that KK wasn’t up yet as well. It never cease to amaze him that KK always woke up at 6:30 in the morning. It was some type of internal alarm that she had. Before he had time to finish his thought out came KK from her room.

“I thought for sure that you would sleep in,” he said to KK.

Not quite awake yet she said, “Unh?” as she walked towards the kitchen.

Once she reached the kitchen table she sat down in her usual spot. “Hungry, kiddo?” Uncle Jesse asked knowing that she was always hungry when she first woke up in the morning.

“Do I have to like these cousins of mine?”

“K, why wouldn’t you like them?”

KK shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know. I feel like they’re taking over. Trying to be something they’re not.”
“K,” Uncle Jesse said walking towards her and crouching down to her height, “Why do you believe that they’ll take over?”

“I don’t know. I just can’t take this. Everything is changing and I feel like I can’t keep up with it. All I want to do is run away from all of this,” KK said.

KK had started to make her fingers into tight fists and then release them and also became figidity in her seat. Uncle Jesse could see that she was under a lot of stress. “K, listen to me,” Uncle Jesse said as he grabbed her hands and rub his thumbs on the top of them, “I’m not expecting you to like them in the beginning. I know sweetheart that you’re not going to care for them in the beginning but I am hoping in time that you will. I know that you have this feeling that they’re trying to replace Bo and Luke, but they’re not going to.”

“I feel that if I get to know them that Luke will get mad?”

“Why?”

“Because Luke is my buddy. I feel that if I tell them anything it would be betraying Luke.”

“KK, by talking to them you’re not betraying your friendship.”

“I know that, but I miss that constant big brother in my life. Someone to go to when I need help on something whether it’s math or a problem at school. I don’t want to talk to anyone else about it.”

“KK – I think Luke would understand if you talked to me or Daisy or Matt or Steve.”

“Yes, that’s logical in your world, but I can’t get myself to do it. I can’t stand change.”

“I know you can’t and I understand that what’s going to happen will probably make you run and hide for a while. All I ask is two things. One is to be home before dark and two is keep your grades up. There’s only a few weeks left until school is over with.”

Uncle Jesse let go of KK’s hands and got back up. KK followed him by standing up on the chair.

“K?” Uncle Jesse tried to ask but she jumped into his arms before he had a chance to say more. All she wanted at that moment was to be held and rocked knowing that there was some sanity in her world.

“Sweetheart, whenever you need me, you just come and get me. We’ll get you through this and you’ll help everyone else get through this too.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too, KK.”

Uncle Jesse decided that breakfast wasn’t that important at the moment and carried KK through the house until she fell back asleep and then laid her on the couch.

It was almost 10:00 and Uncle Jesse and Daisy waited by the back door of the farm house to welcome Coy and Vance. KK was there as well but held on to Uncle Jesse for dear life.

“Whenever you feel like bolting, go. Just remember to be home by the time it gets dark, or call me.”

“Okay.”

Suddenly they could see a beat up blue car coming down the road and KK couldn’t take it anymore. She climbed the nearest tree she could find on the property so she wouldn’t be spotted by Coy or Vance. She had never met these guys before and wanted to be able to judge them on her own terms.

Before Coy and Vance were in earshot, “Is she okay up there?” Daisy asked.

“As long as she can hide and they can’t see her, then she is. I can’t see her and I know what tree she went up,” Uncle Jesse responded back

Coy stopped the vehicle and both he and Vance got out and everyone hugged one another.

“I wish this visit was under better terms, Uncle Jesse,” Coy said.

“Same here cuz, how are the boys doing?”

Uncle Jesse had a suspicion that KK did not want to hear this over again and decided to encourage everyone to go inside so he could explain Bo’s and Luke’s conditions.

As soon as they were all in, Uncle Jesse could hear KK jump down from the tree and run. He then sent a silent prayer up for KK, praying that she remains safe and some point have the courage to meet her cousins.

Once Uncle Jesse walked in the kitchen, Daisy asked if KK was okay and he quietly told her that he would talk to her later about that.

“So, Uncle Jesse what has happened so far?” Vance asked while everyone sat around the kitchen table and Daisy prepared coffee.

“Well, let me explain the situation about KK. She’s very sensitive child and she doesn’t talk to anyone she doesn’t know. I don’t what will happen while you guys are here. I’m sure that Coy told you Vance, but KK doesn’t know anything about her family life prior to living here. She has asked and I don’t have the heart to tell her that she really should be dead because it was her father that killed her mother, etc, etc. She does know that Aaron and Karen are her triplet sisters. I don’t know if they know the truth, but knowing Ms. Zang she probably told them the truth. I requested her to tell the girls not to tell KK until she asks about it.”

“Why? Wouldn’t it be better to tell her the truth?” Coy asked.

“Normally I would have agreed with you but when KK came down here it was a circus for the first few years. She was only down here a month and she had to have ankle surgery, a cast on her leg for three months, and then have the surgery redone because somehow she broke the bone again. On top of all that we all learned what she was allergic to and also taught her how to talk although that’s an on going process for her. She has autism and it makes it difficult for her to express her feelings and to also control herself when she’s very upset. She’s learning on how to, but with everything that’s going on with the boys she just can’t help it.”

“So, how do you treat her?” Vance asked a little unsure about KK.

“Vance, Coy, don’t get me wrong, I love KK. She’s just a handful to take care of and without Luke it’s ten times more difficult. KK is a very intelligent kid, she’s surpassing kids in her class in math and science and is less then a year behind in reading and writing, which is a miracle in itself. She’s also a grade ahead along with Aaron and Karen. That’s because there weren’t any other five year olds so they just decided to start them at Grade 1. What I’m trying to spit out is let KK come to you. Don’t go to her. She has to feel you out to see if you’re okay. It’s a defense mechanism that she has. She doesn’t know who you are right now, so bare with her.”

“How are Bo and Luke doing?” Coy asked.

“That’s another who bag of worms. Bo should be fine. They have him in a medicated coma to allow time for his neck and spine to heal. It was bruised in the crash and they didn’t want him to move because it could cause further damage, so they induced him in a coma. Luke on the other hand is very touchy. He may not make it. Even if he does, we don’t know what type of shape he’ll be in when he awakes. KK and Luke are extremely close and she’s not taking the news very well. Boys, give K some time and hopefully she’ll come to realized that you’re not so bad after all.”

There was a knock at the door. It was Matt.

“Oh, hi Matt,” Uncle Jesse said.

“Hello sir,” Matt spoke through the screen front door. “I was wondering if you knew were KK was?

“Matt, I would like to introduce you to Coy and Vance,” Uncle Jesse said as he held the door open for Matt to come in.

Coy and Vance walked from the kitchen into the living room where Matt was.

“Matt, this is Coy and this is Vance,” Uncle Jesse said as he pointed out who each person was.

“Nice to meet you,” Matt said as they shook his hand.

“She took off already this morning and I don’t know where she went to.”

“So she did come home.”

“Yes, just like I said.”

“Okay then, I’ll just go and look for her. Steve’s looking for her to explain the report that we all have to do. Well, nice to meet y’all and I speak to later Mr. Duke,” Matt said as he walked back towards the door.

“Okay, Matt. Tell Steve I will call him later,” Uncle Jesse said as Matt left.

Once Matt left Uncle Jesse turned around to the boys who wondered what was going on. “That was Matt,” Uncle Jesse explained. “That’s KK’s best friend and Steve is her teacher. There trying there best to keep KK as happy as possible during this time. They’re only a few people that KK will talk to about how she feels.”

“I think we have are own handful with KK and we haven’t seen her yet,” Coy said.

“Well, boys are you ready to go to work?” Uncle Jesse said.

Soon the boys were out in the farm doing the chores that Bo and Luke should have been doing. At least that what KK felt, watching them from afar. Uncle Jesse figured that she hadn’t gone too far and while the boys were busy with their chores wandered over to the tree that he believed she ran up.

“Hey you up there!” He spoke to KK. “You can’t hide on me. Matt was over looking for you. He said that Steve wanted to talk to you. Why don’t you go over there? At least you would be out of the hot sun.”

“Hey,”

“Yes, KK”

“Can I come home for dinner?”

“Since when do you have to ask? This is your home too”

“Do I have to sit by them?”

“No, not now but eventually K, you have to talk to them.”

“I know, but I’m scared of them.”

“Why are you scared of them? They’re family.”

“Because I don’t know who they are and how they will treat me?”

“K, they’re family. They won’t and better not do anything to hurt you. You’ve got to trust me on this.

“I do, but still I’m nervous.”

“Why don’t you go over to Steve’s house? Matt came over earlier looking for you for him. He said that Steve wanted to talk to you. Go over there and stay there in case I have to call you. Okay?”

“Okay.”

“I’ll make sure that Coy and Vance are focusing on their chores while you sneak into the barn, grab your scooter,[5] and go over to Steve’s.”

KK did what she was instructed and made her way over to Steve’s house.

End of Part 10

Talks and the Invite

As the day wore on, Luke was being observed and watched over. Those that were his nurses and attendants felt that it was necessary to keep an extra eye on him. Dr. Jorgensen had ordered this. He hoped that by requesting his by the staff that Luke would be okay. Not that anyone mind, they all had met and felt for KK. The kid who was brave to take down Dr. Grey, but was afraid of her own shadow.

Dr. Jorgensen decided to call his own son to ask him how he felt when his mother had died and if there was anything that should have been done in hind sight in order to make him feel better. Since both his son and KK were autistic this may help KK get through this a bit better. At least it was a shot.

“Andy?”

“Hi Dad. What ya need?”

“I need you to remember a sad time in our lives.”

“When Mom died, right?”

“Yeah. Here’s the situation: I have a patient here who’s the anchor for a seven-year old girl who has autism. She lives with her Uncle and three cousins. Two of them are unconscious and in ICU. One should be fine. They put him in a medicated induced coma to allow his injuries to begin the healing process. The other guy, the one that the seven year old relies on, almost died on us. What makes this more difficult was that she wasn’t allowed to see him yesterday and if she could have gotten away with it would have thrown a very loud temper tantrum.”

“The only thing that seem to work with Mom was dying was that you were there, explaining everything to me. Granted Mom had worked with me more on my communication skills than you had, but that was what worked. The more you involved her the better. The only problem that I can see is how will she act in the future? If she’s that close to him, she could turn inward and never be heard from again.”

“That’s what they’re trying to prevent.”

“Well I figured that. The only thing I could suggest would keep talking to her, keep her informed. If they do that and she hides, then at least they did all they could do.”

“Thanks Andy.”

“Hey, not a problem. If there’s something I can do let me know.”

“I doubt it. She doesn’t like strangers. Just like I was as a kid, unh?”

“Yes, Andy, just like you. Maybe there’s hope for her yet.”

They hung up the phone. “Lord,” Dr. Jorgensen, “If I ever needed a miracle it would be now. The miracle is to make Luke Duke 100 percent again. I know that you hate to disappoint little girls and the one as special as KK needs all the help she can get.”

There was a pounding at Steve’s front door. When he opened it he was surprised to see KK. By the way she acted she was beginning to become impatient.

“Hey kiddo. I take it that your cousins have arrived.”

“Yeah they’re here. Hey, why isn’t anyone investigating the accident scene?”

“What do you mean?”

“Do you really think that Luke would drive the General into a tree purposely?”

“No, KK. Come to think of it, I don’t recall that there were any tire marks showing that they were trying to stop or anything.”

“Right. When I got to the scene, they were in a position like normal. There wasn’t any emergency happening or anything or Bo would have been at the wheel or trying to get to the wheel.”

“I think KK that we need to see Roscoe about this.”

“Roscoe. Steve, I’m smarter than Roscoe and I’m only seven.”

“Yes, KK I’m aware of that, but he’s the law.”

KK gave Steve a look of so what if he’s the law. “Listen Steve, you’re not understanding me. We are going to the crime scene.”

“KK, it’s not necessarily a crime scene.”

“Oh, would you give me a break. Come on or am I going by myself?”

“Bye KK.”

“Fine. But if I get hurt, Uncle Jesse is gonna come after your butt.”

“Oh, I hate when you give me guilt trips,” Steve said as he grabbed his car keys and chased after KK.

“So was that KK that went somewhere on her scooter?” Vance asked.

“Yeah. She’s off to a friend’s house for a while. She might be back for dinner. She’ll tell me one thing and sometimes it just doesn’t go as plan,” Uncle Jesse said. Uncle Jesse didn’t want to explain why KK was going to her teacher’s house. They were friends so at least it wasn’t a lie.

“How old is she?” Vance asked.

“She’s seven, why?”

“She’s seems short.”

“Yeah, she is. She’s growing though, just a little more slowly than her peers. Doctors say that one day she’ll have a growth spurt, but for now she’s just fine. You should see her two triplet sisters, Karen and Aaron. Karen is a bit taller than average height for a seven year old, but Aaron is tall for her age. People, unless they know, believe that KK is the youngest when in reality she’s the oldest by five minutes.”

“Do you ever think that she’ll be comfortable around us?” Coy asked.

“I don’t know. It probably all depends on how Luke does if she’s ever comfortable again.”

They then went back doing their chores.

When KK and Steve returned to the accident scene it looked like nothing happened with the exception of a freshly cut tree stump in the place where the tree that the General hit was at. But KK had a notion that something must have happened. Something wasn’t settling right in her mind. There had to be a reason as to why this happened.

“Steve?” KK asked as they sat in his station wagon.

“Yes”

“Would you think I’m crazy if I told you something?”

“No. Why would I think that?”

“Because what I’m gonna tell you might throw you for a loop,” KK said turning herself in the car so she could face him. The look on KK’s face, at least to Steve, was that she was about to cry. Whatever she wanted to share it was something that was unknown to many. Steve made his seat go back, put out his arms, and KK climbed into them.

“What’s wrong?” Steve asked once KK was situated in his arms.
“I’m scared to tell you this. Please don’t think I’m crazy.”

“Sweetheart,” he said holding her close, “You know I don’t think you’re crazy. You’re unique, one of a kind, but not crazy.”

“Okay. I have, or at least I believe I have a talent of predicting the future.”

“What?”

“See, you’re getting upset already,” KK said upset and tried to get out of his embrace.

“KK, calm down. I’m not upset; I’m just a bit taken back.” She relaxed and stopped squirming.

“I don’t know how accurate it is. Have you ever experience déjà vu?”

“Yeah. I think everyone has once or twice.”

“What if I told you I have predicted a few things and known about things that others couldn’t have known about.”

“I know what you’re getting at. Matt wonders too. He knew that no one could tell that tree was going to fall and somehow you knew that.”

“I feel like a freak, but if I don’t use my knowledge people could get hurt.”

“KK you’re not a freak.”

“Anyways, I had a feeling that told me that Bo and Luke would be fine. It would be a bumpy road, but everything would be fine. I want to, so bad, to believe in it but I’m trying to protect myself from the hurt if it’s not true.”

“I know hun. We’re all trying to prepare for the worse case scenario,” Steve said as he hugged KK tightly.

“Will you always be there for me?” KK asked out of the blue a few moments later.

“Sweetheart, you know I will. You know you can count on me for anything.”

“You know I love you like you were my brother.”

“I love you like you were my little sister. I promise that I’ll do my best to help you through life.”

Steve swayed KK in his arms for a few minutes until she fell asleep. He then gently laid her down next to him and called Cooter on the CB.

“Cooter, are you out there?”

“Crazy C here, Steve is that you?”

“Yeah it’s me. Hey have you started fixin’ the General yet?”

“No, why?”

“Can you have it dusted for fingerprints?”

“Sure. Why?”

“Let’s just play devil’s advocate and see if something comes up. Also, look around the car and see if you see something unusual. Let me know either way.”

“Sure not a problem. Are Coy and Vance in town yet?”

“They’re at the farm. I have sleeping KK with me right now and she’s said they were there.”

“I’ll have to go over there and say hi.”

“Cooter, don’t let them know what I asked you to do. Let’s just say I’m trying to put some fears of a seven year old to rest.”

“Sure not a problem.”

“Thanks. Talk to you later.”

With that Steve put the car in drive and went home.

Coy, Vance, and Uncle Jesse took a break from the chores to come in for lunch. Daisy was in the kitchen sandwiches for them said, “Steve called while you were out. He asked if you would call him. I said that I might give you the message if I felt like it. I guess if it wasn’t in K’s best interest I might never have given you that message.” After that announcement she grabbed her keys and said that she was off to work and then walked out of the house.

After Daisy left with Dixie, Vance asked, “What? Did I miss something?”

Uncle Jesse giggled. I guess I need to explain that entire fiasco. Steve Gleason is KK’s teacher. He started here last school year and just like all healthy males was totally smitten by Daisy’s looks. Anyways, they started going out but Steve realized that as pretty as she is, and don’t get me wrong she’s beautiful; he was simply not interested in her as a girlfriend. Friend, yes, but he felt romantically nothing for her.”

“That musta of hurt Daisy?” Coy inquired.

“It did. He talked to me about it.”

“Who doesn’t come to you for advice,” Vance kidded.

“Tell me about it. Anyways, KK was getting under his skin at this time and coming around to him and not afraid to speak to him. Breaking up was fine but then a week later when he came over and didn’t come over for her, but KK that’s when everything went haywire. Daisy suddenly became jealous of her own cousin because she felt that she stole him away from her.”

“Women!” Coy said.

“Well, I love my nieces dearly, but this was just crazy. I tried to rationally explain to Daisy that KK was only six and doesn’t understand why she was mad at her but she was madly in love with Steve. More than usual I would say and she was jealous.”

“I take it she still mad at him,” Vance said.

“Can you tell?” Uncle Jesse laughed at the comment. “Poor Steve, I had to tell him to watch out for her and that he was caught in a love triangle between two women in this household with one being only six. He thought it was funny, but he doesn’t go near Daisy too much unless he has to.”

While Coy, Vance, and Uncle Jesse were eating lunch the telephone rang. Suddenly the jolly mood changed to an uneasy feeling. Not knowing who this was, they all realized that this could change their lives forever, either bad or good.

“Hello, Duke Farm, Jesse speaking.”

“Mr. Duke, this is Dr. Jorgensen. I just wanted to call you to update the boys’ conditions. I figured you would want to know that we moved Luke back into the ICU so if you wanted to, barring any further complications, that your family could go and visit today. Bo is stable and doing well. We plan on weaning him off the medication that has put in an induced coma probably Tuesday or Wednesday. Will have to see how much the swelling has gone down. We also hope that the ventilator tube will be out before he wakes up but that largely depends on how the swelling in his chest recedes.”

“Thank you very much for calling.”

“Not a problem. I just figured a seven year old would be happy to hear that she could go see her beloved cousin.”

“Would it be possible if she went to the hospital with someone else today?”

“Sure not a problem. What’s his name?”

“Steven Gleason.”

“This way he’ll be allowed in the ICU with her.”

“Is there anything else?”

“No, I just wanted to keep you informed.”

“I sure do appreciate it. I’m sure that I will be up later with two of more of my nephews and my niece. When do visiting hours end?”

“8:00 p.m.”

“Well thanks again, bye,” and both parties hung up their phones.

“What was all that about?” Vance asked.

“That was Dr. Jorgensen at the hospital. He was just informing me that Luke’s back in the ICU and that we could go see them today. They’re hoping to wean Bo off his ventilator and the medication keeping him in a coma either Tuesday or Wednesday.

“Well that’s good news,” Coy said.

“We’ll go up a little later. I want KK to go up there now so she can have first dibs, God forbid something happens. I’m gonna call Steve and KK and let them know the news.”

Steve had just unlocked his door when he heard the phone ringing. In one arm KK was sound asleep on his shoulder and he hoped that the phone wouldn’t wake her up, especially if it was bad news.

He finally got the door unlocked and rushed to answer the phone, while leaving his keys in the lock.

“Hello?”

“Steve, it’s Jesse Duke.”

“Can you hold for a minute? I need to lay KK down. She fell asleep outside.

“Steve, I hate to do this but can you wake her up? Its good news and I think she’ll want to do this.”

“Hey, kiddo Steve said trying to balance the phone between his ear and shoulder, hold KK in one hand and use his free hand to shake KK a bit so she would wake up.

“What?” KK said groggily.

“It’s your Uncle. He wants to speak to you.” KK had a look of terror on her face. “No,” Steve said reassuring her, “its good news. He even said so.”

Even though she wasn’t sure that she wanted to believe him she took the phone from him while he held her.

“Hello?” she said.

“Hi sweetheart. Dr. Jorgensen just called me and said that Luke was back in the ICU and he could have visitors. Why don’t you and Steve go see him?”

There was nothing at the other end of the line. KK had given Steve the phone back and fell back asleep against his chest.

“Hi, Mr. Duke. She heard you but then gave the phone to me and went back to sleep. What’s the news?”

“Luke’s back in the ICU and can receive visitors. I thought that you and she could go now and then I would bring Coy, Vance, and Daisy up after you leave.”

“You think she’ll want to leave? You’ve got to be crazy.”

“Well, she wouldn’t have to leave, but she would have to know that I was bringing up everyone.”

“Okay. Well, I guess I’ll take her relatively soon. I’ve got to get her to wake up first.”

“Steve, see if you can get her to eat something. She must be hungry by now.”

“Sure not a problem. I’ve got enough hot dogs here to feed her with. The only person I know whose favorite food in hot dogs.

“Give me a call later so we know what the plan is. Also, what did you call me about earlier.”

“I’ll talk to you later about it, in person. Okay?”

“Sure, not a problem.”

“All right, talk to you later.” Both of them hung up their phones.

Still in his arms, KK was sleeping. She might believe that she dreamt the whole thing so he waited until she was fully awaked.

“Hey, you want to go see Bo and Luke?”

She smiled.

“I promised your Uncle that you would eat something? How fast can you eat a hot dog?”

“Fast, hurry up and make it so we can go.”

Within 15 minutes they were off to the hospital.

End of Part 11

The Second Visit

Dr. Jorgensen was at the ICU when KK and Steve arrived. KK was now comfortable with him as long as he crouched down to her height.

“Hey there,” he said to her. “He’s doing better and the pressure in his brain is going down slowly so that’s a good sign.”

KK grinned. To her that was the greatest news that she had ever heard.

“Keep praying because it’s still touch and go. He’s right over there, next to your cousin Bo.”

KK could barely keep calm. She was very excited to see her cousins even if they couldn’t speak to her back. Something had once again told her that everything would be okay and there was nothing to worry about.

As KK went over to see her cousins, Steve introduced himself to Dr. Jorgensen. “I’m a friend of the family, but I’m also KK’s teacher.”

“Oh, yes. I remember you from the other night. You had a handful with her.”

“She can be a handful. Can I ask you a question?”

“Sure, go ahead.”

“K seems to have it in her mind that this wasn’t just an accident. It seems to her that this was some type of foul play. Is there any proof of that?”

“Funny you should ask because I have my suspicions as well. The severe injuries to the chest and to Luke’s head show me that they didn’t even try to brace themselves for the accident. It was like they were already unconscious when they were placed in the car and having the car hit the tree to make it look like an accident.”

“The only thing I worry about if they were supposed to be dead and the job wasn’t finished.”

“Shouldn’t you go to the law about your suspicions?”

“Doc, I would except that seven year old is smarter than all of them.”

“You have got to be kidding me?”

“Have you lived in Hazzard long?”

“No, I live in Hatchapeak County.”

“Well, that would explain it. The law is not the most trusted source of protection in this county.”

“This is Roscoe P. Coltrane, calling Jesse Duke,” Roscoe voice bellowed over the CB.

“Yes, Roscoe,” Uncle Jesse said as the boys and him were eating lunch.

“I’m in the area and want to talk to that niece of yours.”

”Yes, Roscoe I know, but she’s at the hospital visiting Luke right now.”

“I know she’s at the farm, you’re just covering for her.”

“Roscoe,” Uncle Jesse said exasperated, “Don’t talk like she’s done a crime.”

“You know I could…” Roscoe said.

Uncle Jesse interrupted him, “Don’t say you can cuff her and stuff her. Heck Roscoe she’s only seven, just a baby. Listen Roscoe, she’s had a real bad time of it since the accident occurred. I’m trying to get her to talk to you, but things are happening on a moment to moment basis with Luke.”

“Can I speak with Matt?”

“If you can find him. He was here earlier but that was like two to three hours ago.”

“Thanks.”

With that said, Roscoe went off to find Matt.

“Listen, I’m gonna give KK some time alone with Luke. She will have to make the choice when we all come up if she wants to stay there or not,” Uncle Jesse said.

“Sure, no problem,” Coy said.

“Well, let’s finish up some small chores and then get cleaned up to go up there,” Uncle Jesse said.

The boys left the table and followed Uncle Jesse back out to the farm.

An hour after they had arrived KK had not stop talking to the boys quietly so the other patients wouldn’t be disturbed. She was in between them standing near their heads, whispering in their ears, while Steve sat on a stool at the edge of their beds. Steve had never seen her so vocal before. Usually KK would say her few words and that would be the end of it. By the look of it, she was trying her best to wake them up by talking to them. He didn’t want to interrupt her because he believed that the more that she talked the better her speaking skills would become.

Suddenly, KK stopped speaking and turned to Steve, and said, “What else is there to tell them?”

Stunned at what she said and not knowing what she said, “I don’t know.”

“I’ve told them everything I can think of,” KK said and turned her attention back to the boys.

A few minutes of silence passed before KK spoke.

“What if they never get better, Steve? What am I going to do?”

“What do you mean, what are you going to do?” hoping that she would tell him instead of her hiding away.

“What I mean is,” but the words wouldn’t come out. She had come to the realization that they may survive but they may be in the coma forever. The tears started to roll down her cheeks. Steve didn’t know how to answer that question for her. He rolled the stool towards her, placed her on his lap and put his arms around her.

“Hunny, I don’t know what to tell you. But somehow we’ll all survive. We just have to find our way. Don’t you worry, because you know Uncle Jesse, Daisy, Matt, and I we’ll all be there for you. Its stinks, I know, but it’s up to God.”

KK seemed to settle down, but did not leave the comfort of Steve’s protection. She just would stare at the boys trying to will them awake. A few minutes later, Uncle Jesse walked in the ICU room and checked in. The nurse pointed to him where the boys were laying and proceeded to walk over to Steve and KK.

“Hey, we just got here. I thought I would come in and tell you guys,” Uncle Jesse said. He paused a moment to look at his youngest niece. She didn’t recognize that he was even there. She just felt she needed to keep an eye on her beloved cousins.

Steve tried to show her that Uncle Jesse was there, but was frustrated when Steve turned to stool away from the boys. She tried to wiggle out of his embrace, but then realized why he was turning the chair when she saw Uncle Jesse.

Then a loud piercing noise came from a monitor

End of Part 12

Emotional Disturbance

Steve grabbed KK while both he and Uncle Jesse got out of the way. KK was frightened by commotion, so Steve took her out of there. Uncle Jesse had a bad feeling about this – he knew who had “flatlined” and he only prayed that they would be able to revive him.

KK must have known as well, because she was becoming hard to handle. Steve knew that she wanted down, but was afraid that she would run back in the room and just get in the way.

The only thing going through KK’s mind was to run, get out of the situation. There wasn’t any rational thinking on her part. She just wanted out of his claustrophobic hold that he had on her. She didn’t even recognized where she was anymore nor did she recognize who anyone else was. In her mind she felt that the person holding her was a bad guy and she needed to do anything possible to get free.

Steve screamed and Uncle Jesse turned his attention to him and away from the door. When he did, he saw Steve holding his right wrist and his seven year old niece run for the nearest staircase crying.

“What happened?” Uncle Jesse asked upset.

Steve had already gone after her before Uncle Jesse asked the question so Coy said, “She bit him as hard as she could, he let go, she ran and he went chasing after her.”

“Oh, jeesh,” Uncle Jesse said. “Listen, Daisy, go and help Steve get her. She’s out of her mind and doesn’t know who’s who right now. Be careful going up to her she might not know who you are.”

“Right,” she said and went down the stairs trying to catch up to KK and Steve.

Thoroughly confused of what was going on Vance and Coy tried to figure out what had just happened. Uncle Jesse went back to the door and realized that they had stop working on his nephew Luke and was checking his vital stats. Uncle Jesse turned his attention away from the door and walked to the bench that Coy and Vance were sitting, sat down and started to shed tears.

“Boys, I have never seen her like this before. She has never shown any violence tendencies like this. Usually, she just hides away emotionally,” Uncle Jesse said as he wiped his fallen tears away and said, “Come on we have to help find her.”

Dr. Jorgensen received the phone call that he was afraid of. He was relieved that Luke was revived but was upset that KK was there and what had transpired. His son had hurt him as well once when he was under great stress. His son reaction when the monitor watching his mother’s heartbeat flatlined was to run away as well. He made the same mistake that Steve had made by holding him and he had bit him as well. He made a mental note to himself to tell that to Jesse Duke when he called. Maybe Andy would be able to talk to Mr. Duke as well so that he had his perspective as well of what KK was feeling.

Steve’s wrist was in pain. He didn’t think that KK did that much damage to it, probably mostly bruised, but she did break the skin and it was bleeding. Not knowing what else to do, he took his shirt off and wrapped it around his wrist. Daisy was not far behind him so he waited for her.

“Do you have a clue where she went?” Daisy asked once she caught up to him.

“No idea. I would check the cars to see if she’s in there, but I doubt it.”

“Yeah so do I.”

“I hate to say this but I think our best bet is to get Roscoe and Enos involved.”

By this time Uncle Jesse, Coy and Vance had met up with them. “Any sign?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“No,” Steve said.

“How’s your arm?” Uncle Jesse asked, apologetically.

“It’s fine.”

“It don’t look to good right now,” Vance said.

“Steve, this is Vance and Coy,” Uncle Jesse said pointing to who each one was.

“Sorry to meet under this type of circumstance,” Coy said.

“Listen; check the cars that you drove in. She might have found some comfort in that. I say we call Roscoe and Enos…” Steve said but was interrupted by Uncle Jesse.

“I’ve got a group better then those two and KK trust this group.”

“Of course. Matt, Karen, Aaron, Kitten, Shane, Jim and the Jamies.”

“Who?” Coy asked.

“There’s KK friends and they have scooters like KK’s. Karen and Aaron are your cousins as well, KK’s triplet sisters,” Daisy said. They can better canvass this county better than anyone else.

Steve put the call out hoping that one of them would answer.

Aaron and Karen were riding around on their scooters when the call came through the CB radio.

“This is Aaron and Karen,” Aaron said. “What’s going on?”

“Were at the hospital and KK took off on us. Where are you at?”

“Near the hospital actually. We’ll round up the rest of the group and meet you there in a couple of minutes.”

“Steve, call Cooter. Ask him if he can keep an eye out for her as well,” Uncle Jesse said

Moments later everyone was there – Karen and Aaron Zang who were KK’s triplet sisters, Matt Matthews, her best friend, Jim Smoke, Kitten Okow, Shane X-teris and Jamie Dquotes and Jamie Dukerd. They had all been friends since last school year with KK and all knew about her autism. What some didn’t know that Bo and Luke were in an accident and the poor condition Luke was in.

“Why were we called, Steve?” Jamie Dquotes asked.

“Guys, for those that don’t know, Thursday Bo and Luke were in a serious accident.” Steve saw the reaction on some of their faces. They weren’t expecting that. “The problem is that Luke may not make it. He almost died a few minutes ago and that’s what spooked KK. We’re afraid that she’ll do something rash believing that Luke died.”

“No one wonder are moods have been sad the last couple of days,” Karen commented.

“Yeah, when one of us is hurting, all of us are affected by it,” Aaron responded.

“Listen, she may not be rational right now. The best thing to do is when she’s spotted call us on the CB,” Steve said. “Also, don’t say anything to any of your classmates about what’s happening right now. Less people that know, the better. If you run into Roscoe or Enos, don’t tell them what you’re doing. Just say you’re riding around. If they start to chase you, call us.”

Everyone wanted to know about Steve’s wrist, but no one dared to asked until Matt did. “Steve,” Matt asked, “What happened to your wrist”

“I’ll tell you later.”

Aaron whispered to Karen, “I bet ya she bit him.”

The troops began there trek from the hospital to the Duke farm where they all planned to meet in two hours. Steve could only hope they would find her all in one piece. He silently prayed that she would be okay once they found her.

KK knew she had something really bad. She didn’t mean to do it, but all she could think of was to run from the situation that was at hand. If Luke was going to die then she would find a place and die and be in Heaven with him. There was no point for her living if he wasn’t gonna be around for her. She really didn’t know where she was gonna go but she kept running and figured she’ll run until she gets tired and then hide somewhere and try to figure out her next step.

Uncle Jesse and Coy went in the pick-up while Daisy and Vance rode in the Jeep. Steve went home to wrap his wrist up. He figured that he was no use anyways because he was the one that KK attacked. He figured that she had now since realized what she had done and felt so bad about it that she couldn’t look him in the eyes. He figured that he would jot down the phone number to his friend who teaches kids with autism in Osage County in case it was needed.

Two hours later, Steve, Uncle Jesse and everyone had made it back to the farm with no luck. They didn’t know where KK was. The weather was starting to look like a thunderstorm was coming from the west and that made Uncle Jesse nervous. Not that it was a good idea to be outside and vulnerable to a thunderstorm, but KK hated these storms. She would hide her eyes in Luke’s chest every time one would come about. It wasn’t the noises that bother her, but the flashes of lightning that would suddenly come out of sky that would make her jump.

What the family didn’t know was KK was right under their noses. She had beaten everyone home and was hiding in the barn. She was surprised that no one had looked in there yet. She figured that they would eventually, but she felt terrible about what happened and refused to be close to anyone, believing that it would happen again. She told herself that if she would be a loner for the rest of her life.

Everyone was upset at the Duke farm. They all were worried about KK, praying that she was okay, where ever she was.

Cooter came by about 30 minutes after everyone had arrived because of a towing job he had. When he arrived he noticed that the barn door was ajar. When he entered the farmhouse he realized that they hadn’t found her yet. “Maybe she was in the barn and they hadn’t thought about looking in there,” he thought to himself.

Cooter went up to Uncle Jesse and said, “Uncle Jesse, sir, when I came up I noticed that the barn door was open a bit. I wonder if she’s in there and afraid to come out?”

“Did anyone check the barn?” Uncle Jesse asked the crowd of people in the house.

No one had.

Uncle Jesse figured he better be the first one in. If it wasn’t Steve that KK had bitten then he would had him go in. At least this way, if she was in there, he could have a handle on what the situation was. He never seen KK violent before and didn’t believe that she had it in her to do such a thing as to bite Steve. He really didn’t know how to handle the situation. He couldn’t exactly punish her because she probably didn’t even realize what she was doing until after the fact. He also knew that she recognized that she did something wrong or she would have been easier to find than this. She probably feels that everyone is looking for her and when she’s found she’s in deep trouble. He also worried if KK was at her breaking point for a nervous breakdown. Every time that she was at the hospital something was going wrong with Luke. He only hoped that KK would be able to handle it if he did die.

“God,” Uncle Jesse said out loud as he went towards the barn, “Please let her be in there and allow me to speak some sense into her. Also, please help her be strong during this time. She needs all the help she can get. Thanks.”

By the time Uncle Jesse was done with his prayer he was at the barn. He quietly opened the door to the barn. He noticed a small something in the corner trying to make herself into nothing. He didn’t know what type of state that she was in so he decided to call her name out.

“KK,” Uncle Jesse said but the object in the corner didn’t move an inch.

“Come on KK, we all know you didn’t mean to bite Steve.”

A soft subtle voice said, “KK bad.”

Uncle Jesse figured he could walk farther in without spooking her. He turned on the light and quietly shut the door. He wanted her to talk about her feelings but sometimes that was the biggest challenge. He walked to the center of the barn, sat down on a stool and started talking.

“KK,” Uncle Jesse said quietly. “What happen today? What made you so upset that you had to get out of there right at that moment?”

Meanwhile, Steve, Coy, Vance and Daisy were outside the door, away from KK’s friends.

“You know,” Vance said, “If any of us had done that when we were kids Uncle Jesse would have put us over his knee and gave us a good whipping.”

Steve had to literally count to three to gain his composure. Didn’t this guy understand anything? I wonder how much Uncle Jesse had told him about KK. Maybe nothing at all, but Steve wanted to set his mind straight.

Except that he was beaten to the punch by Daisy. “Vance, how can you say something like that? You don’t have a clue what that kid is going through right now. Until yesterday, you had only heard about KK.”

“Still, she had no right to…”

“Listen, Vance,” Steve interjected, “KK has autism which is an emotional disorder. She can barely understand why she should be happy on her birthday. She doesn’t know how to speak what she’s feeling – she just gets to the point where’s she so frustrated she doesn’t know where to turn.”

“Well she needs to learn.”

“Vance, it’s not as simple as that,” Coy said.

“Luke is the person she counts on the most to teach her. I can only go so far but sometimes Luke provides that extra piece of information that turns the light bulb in her head. Its not that I’m a bad teacher, it’s just a connection that Luke and KK have.” Luke almost died again today. That’s a lot to take in when you’re seven.”

“Whatever?” Vance said and went back into the house.

After Vance was out of earshot Steve said, “That’s your cousin? He and KK are going to go around and around if he doesn’t get the picture.”

“Unfortunately, he believes that he’s right all the time,” Coy said.

“If Uncle Jesse would say something to him, would he respect that?” Steve asked.

“I doubt it,” Coy said

Uncle Jesse questions went unanswered for a few minutes. If he didn’t know better he would have thought that she had a fallen asleep but a few moments later KK responded.

“I want to die!” KK said in between the tears “Do you know how sad I feel?”

Uncle Jesse knew he was in uncharted waters but he had to help KK find her way. He knew that she was getting more and more depressed but for her wanting to die, that was news to him.

“KK, sweetie, why do you want to die?”

“Because if Luke dies, no one else will understand me.”

“Honey, Luke is not dead yet.”

“Oh yeah, it’s probably just a matter of time.

“KK Duke – don’t you ever think that.”

“Why? He keeps trying to die. Why can’t we let him?” KK said barley getting the last few words out before starting to cry so loud that Daisy, Coy and Steve could hear it from where they were standing. They rushed over to the barn and saw Uncle Jesse crying as well.

Uncle Jesse was at a lost for words. KK saw the world in black and white and to her every time that Luke flatlined meant to her that he wanted to go to heaven. Uncle Jesse heard the barn door creak open and put his right hand up to stop Steve, Coy and Daisy in their tracks.

“KK,” Uncle Jesse said as he walked over to where she was, “Luke,”

“What?” she turned her head so she had eye to eye contact with her Uncle, “Don’t try and tell me everything going to be all right because it won’t be.” KK quit crying and started screaming at her Uncle. “It never will be will it. “He’s gonna die, ain’t he? And there ain’t nothing we can do about it?”

The only thing Uncle Jesse could do was pick KK up and hugs her as tight as possible. He knew that KK needed the comfort of her Uncle Jesse. She tried to resist by trying to kick him in the stomach but she was so exhausted from the day’s events that it was no use.

Uncle Jesse brought her closer to where Steve, Coy and Daisy were standing. He instructed Coy to tell everyone to go home, that they had found KK. Uncle Jesse knew that KK didn’t want everyone to see her like this.

Steve wanted to comfort her. Show her that there weren’t any bad feelings about what happened today. He loved her too much for this to break up their friendship. “Can I see her for a moment, Mr. Duke?

“Sure Steve.”

KK wasn’t sure what Steve’s intentions were. She knew on some level that she hurt him very bad. Knowing this, Steve calmly said, “Its okay baby girl, I’m not mad at you.” With that being said she went willingly into his embrace.

Uncle Jesse told Steve that after the kids had left the farmhouse that he wanted to have a family meeting with everyone including him and KK there. There were a few things that he had to discuss. Daisy followed Uncle Jesse into the house whispering something in his ear. Steve figured it had to be the conversation the three of them had with Vance.

“Me bad.” KK said.

“You’re not bad sweetheart.”

“I hurt you.”

“Yes, you did hurt me, but that doesn’t make you bad. KK you haven’t had a moment to get a grip on your emotions. You need time to do that. I know you’re hurting inside, probably much more that I can imagine. And what happened today with Luke almost dying again sent you over the edge.”

“I scare everyone”

“Yes, we’re all worried about you. We hate to see you in pain, especially if you don’t know how to deal with it.”

“Luke’s gonna die,” KK said and started crying.

“K, he might. Then again he might not.”

“You’ll never leave me, will you?”

“I can’t promise you that. I can’t say I’ll never leave you because anything can happen in this world. I can promise that I will do everything in my powers not to leave you.”

“I’m scared Steve.”

“Scared of what?”

“If Luke dies, I want to die. I know that’s not good but I don’t understand why I feel that way. I feel like I can’t live without him.”

“KK,” Steve was hung up on what to say. It scared that KK had thoughts about death. “I promise I will hold your hand and be here for you if he does die. I can’t promise I would be just like him, but I would do my best to support you the way he does.”

KK seemed content with what he said and fell asleep in his arms.

End of Part 13

Family Meeting

Steve brought a sleeping KK in the farmhouse to attend the family meeting.

“She’s sleeping?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“Yes. She’s really afraid her whole world will spin out of control if the worse happens,” Steve believed that as long as he didn’t say when Luke dies then it wouldn’t happen. “I told her that if something does happen that I would be there for her. I told her that I knew it wouldn’t be the same as Luke, but I would be there for her.”

“I really appreciate it Steve. All that you have done for her,” Uncle Jesse said not knowing what else to say to express his gratitude.

“Oh don’t worry about it. Its all worth the hugs and smiles I get from her.”

“I’ve just received a call from Dr. Jorgensen about Luke’s condition,” Uncle Jesse began. “They’re going to run a few test to see why his heart stopped beating. They don’t have any preliminary reason as to why it happened. They believe that there may be an infection that they didn’t know about earlier.” The other situation is about KK. I’m worried sick about her and the state of her emotions. She has seen Luke die. She’s depressed to the point that I am afraid that if Luke does die she’ll try to die as well.”

A sudden clap of thunder came that startled KK awake from her nap. “It’s okay, sweetheart,” Steve said trying to console her, “It’s only thunder.”

“I don’t like these storms,” she said very quietly to Steve.

“I know you don’t. Hey, why don’t you stay up for a little bit so that we can get your input?” Steve asked her.

“Yes, K. You’re just important as anyone else in this family,” Uncle Jesse commented.

She wasn’t too sure if she wanted to hear all that they were saying but agreed to listen in.

“K, come here,” Uncle Jesse told her. He picked her up and put her on his knee and started talking. “Luke’s still with us. They don’t know why it happened but they’re trying to figure it out.”

“I’m scared,” KK told him

“I know you are but we have to keep the faith that he’ll be okay,” Uncle Jesse said and smiled at her. KK gave a slight smile back and then gave her Uncle a big hug.

The sound of thunder and the flash of lightning filled the room and KK jumped and hid her face in Uncle Jesse’s overalls. “K, it’s only a storm you’re safe with all of us.”

“I know but the not knowing about lighting strikes scares me,” KK said as she sat up on her Uncle’s lap

“It’s the unexpected that scares you.”

“Yeah, like when…” KK tried to contain her emotions but the tears rolled down her cheeks.

“Like when what, KK?” Uncle Jesse tried to get her to talk what she was feeling.

KK didn’t exactly wanted to talk about what she was feeling and Uncle Jesse could tell by the way she had her hands clasped together and was massage one hand with the other. “It’s okay KK to be frightened by what happened today. The only way you’re gonna be able to deal with it is to talk about it,” Uncle Jesse said, rubbing his right hand up and down her back, in an attempt to try to coax her to speak.

“It’s scary in that room. It smells weird. At any minute someone could die,” she said in a very quite voice.

“That’s the truth,” Uncle Jesse responded.

“Would we be okay if the worse happens?” KK asked Uncle Jesse.

“K, I’m not gonna lie to you,” Uncle Jesse said, unclasping her hands and putting one in each of his. “It’s gonna be difficult for everyone, not just you. I love those boys like they were my own children and you and Daisy loves them like brothers. But you know you have two cousins over there,” Uncle Jesse pointed to Coy and Vance, “that love you and would make sure that this farm would continue to strive.” For the first time KK actually looked at her cousins Coy and Vance. In all the hullabaloo that went on today she had totally forgotten about them. Still, she wasn’t too sure of them but she was getting use to them. “You still will have me, Daisy and Steve and all your friends watching out for you.”

“But it won’t be the same without them.”

“I know, but life changes all the time whether we want it to or not. It’s not necessarily for the best all the time,” Uncle Jesse told her.

A few minutes of silence passed and Uncle Jesse didn’t know what was going through KK’s mind. The sign that he got from KK’s body language was that she was trying to think of something to say but she didn’t know what exactly. Without warning, KK got down from her Uncle’s lap.

“Where are you going?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“To my room,” KK responded.

“Why?”

KK knew why she wanted to go to her room. If she could she wanted to run and be able to scream her head off and let go of the frustration that she’d been feeling since she found the accident scene. “Rotten weather,” she mumbled to herself.

“What was that, K?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I was just mumbling to myself. I just can’t handle this right now. I don’t care what decision you guys make, I…” she said and then the lighting appeared again. Feeling like a fool because she was scared of the lighting KK made a mad dash for the room that she shared with Daisy and slammed the door shut. Hopefully that would get the picture across of what she was feeling, since she couldn’t describe it in words.

A few moments passed before Steve spoke up, “She’s frustrated. I’m thinking that if she could she would like to go and just chill out by herself and process what has happen.”

“She could do that in her room,” Coy said.

“She could, but one way to get her frustration out is to scream her head off but the weather prevents her to run outside,” Uncle Jesse said.

KK could care less what they wanted to talk about. She didn’t give a care anymore, it was probably best for everyone’s sake that Luke did die. He had already died three times and they brought him back to life. What was the percentage that the Luke that she said good-bye to on that fateful day would return to her? It wasn’t a good percentage that’s for sure. She would have to almost hope for a miracle at this time.

KK threw her backpack on the table that was setup for her to do homework on. She was already two days behind and Steve normally never gave exception to turn homework in late. She had to get it done might as well do it now. She didn’t care how loud she was being or she was disrupting their meeting. She didn’t even care how much trouble she would be in later, the boiling point for her frustration had reached it point and the steam had to be released.

She hated English although she was able to get A’s in the subject. Then again, Steve probably fudged the grade. She never felt that she should deserve the A exactly, but then again when you have autism, language skills don’t come easy. Maybe on effort of trying to learn new words and use them on a daily basis she deserved the A. But she wondered how many other students had the same struggles she did but didn’t get an A for it because they weren’t labeled “autistic”. She wasn’t complaining or anything. Dukes weren’t suppose to be book smart, necessarily, more street smart but KK seemed to be both those things. Even Aaron and Karen got straight A’s as well. Then again when your mother is an educator, some of those smarts better come through.

KK tried to concentrate on the task of hand. Really all she had to do was read the last chapter from the book that she was reading that she had planned on doing a book report on so that she could work on the report next week, but the book no longer was interested. Actually, Luke read it to her out loud and he would act out all the parts. He would do that if she promised to read it afterwards. Knowing KK, he made sure she read it because he made her read it to him. Now there wasn’t someone pushing her to read it.

Math and Science were her favorite subjects. She was a genius, as some would put it, in Math. Steve had her in the highest level of Math group in the class but it easy as pie for her, no challenge at all. On the side he had started to teacher her more difficult math. He always told her that it was a good thing that he was a Math major in college and minor in Education because he wouldn’t be able to keep up with her otherwise.

After KK’s departure, Uncle Jesse began speaking. “That kid, I’m afraid is gonna blow.”

“Blow?” Vance asked.

“Become so frustrated that she’ll do something stupid,” Daisy said.

“Has she done it before?” Coy asked.

“Once when there was a problem when she was in the first grade,” Uncle Jesse responded.

“What happened?” Coy said.

“Let’s just say that’s how Steve and I met. He was a student teacher in the other 1st grade class and when KK had academic difficulties he was able to give her personal attention in order to catch up with her peers,” Uncle Jesse said.

“I remember that if it was yesterday,” Steve commented.

They could hear the thrashing that was going on in the other room of KK slamming things down on the table or on the floor trying to get situated in the other room. “Is she like tearing the whole room apart?” Daisy asked.

“I doubt it, she just blowing off steam, not knowing where to turn,” Uncle Jesse commented.

“What are we going to do with her? Will she be willing to stay here now that Coy and Vance are here?” Daisy asked.

KK took the book she was trying to read and a picture of Bo and Luke with the General. During the last winter, Bo and Luke had an opportunity to race on the NASCAR Circuit [6] but they were gone for a month. Uncle Jesse didn’t have a problem with it since it was the dead of winter and the farm didn’t need tending to. Luke promised that he would call KK and the boys posed for this picture and gave it to her to keep her company.

With book and picture in hand, KK crawled onto her hammock bed, grabbed the swinging stick so she could keep it moving and stared at the picture. She couldn’t believe that she was upset that they were living out their dreams a short eight months ago. How stupid could she get? She was now thankful that they did have the chance to do that. When the boys were close to home for a race, Uncle Jesse allowed her to miss school for the week to go visit and get a behind the scenes look. She was hooked from the first moment. She loved everything about cars; even though she didn’t understand the difference between a piston from a fuel pump, but that didn’t matter because she was gonna drive one not repair it.

Eventually she put the picture done. “I promised you Luke,” she said out loud, “that I would finish reading this book and a promise I must keep,” and began to read the last chapter of the book.[7]

“Where else could she go?” Uncle Jesse asked

“I’ll take her,” Steve said.

“Steve, she’s my responsibility. Besides, you’ve done a lot for her already.”

“Mr. Duke, it wouldn’t be a bother. Besides you have enough on your plate to worry about.”

“I appreciate it, but…”

KK could hear their conversation about how Steve stated that she could live with him. She didn’t want to leave Uncle Jesse but she didn’t want to stay either. The tension was getting too much for her. What to do? Should she go in there and demand to go with him? She thought better of it and went back to her book, trying to ignore them.

“Let me say this, if you need someone to watch her, even for a few hours, please don’t hesitate to ask me,” Steve said. He didn’t want to sound like he knew what was best for her but he could tell that KK need a break from the situation and be a kid and scream her head off for a while with her friends.

Eventually Steve went home. KK wished she was going with him, but she needed to start conversing with Coy and Vance. She just would be polite and answer their questions. “Nothing more,” she told herself.

A few minutes after Steve left, there was a knock at the door.

“KK?”

“Come on in Uncle Jesse.” Uncle Jesse opened the door and shut it behind him. “What are you doing?” he asked.

“Homework, if you believe. I have to finish this book so that I can work on the report this week at school. Trying to catch up the last two days of homework.”

“You, reading?” Uncle Jesse was trying to make the situation light.

“Yeah, I know. All I ever say is that I hate reading, but I made a promise to Luke about actually reading the book.”

“Yeah? What was that?”

“I promise that I would read the book after he read it to me. But to tell the truth, I just can’t keep focus on it. It’s not that bad of a book but my mind can’t stop thinking.”

“Thinking about what?” Uncle Jesse wanted to know what exactly was going on in KK’s head and since she was willing to talk he figured he take her up on the opportunity.

“The accident scene; all the what-ifs that come with it; the mounting school work; what if Luke dies, what then will I do; and what happened at the hospital today with Steve.” KK was silence for a second and then continued, “Uncle Jesse,”

“Yes.”

“I felt so bad about biting Steve, but when it happened I didn’t even realize who I was let alone Steve. I was so scared about Luke dying that I didn’t want to be there if it did happen. When he grabbed me and wouldn’t let me go to run I did what an animal would do, I bit him. Am I an animal?”

“No, KK, you’re not an animal. You just need to learn a way to ask what you want and not let your emotions get the best of you.”
“I feel terrible about what happen. All I want to do is take a book and pound myself in the head; throw a few things and scream my head off. I feel like I’m gonna explode. Then, on top of it all, I have two cousins who I’ve never met and want to be my friend. I know that they mean well, it’s just I’m not ready yet.”

“What aren’t you ready for?”

“I’m not sure exactly. It’s like if I tell them anything or say anything I’m betraying what we, Daisy you, Bo, Luke and I have, whatever that is. I don’t mean to sound like this, especially since I haven’t even taken the time to know them, but I don’t want to know them or get close to them because I’m afraid I’ll lose something else in the process. I’m not even sure what that is, it’s just something that gnaws at me.”

“KK, you should know that Bo and Luke would never be mad at you for getting to know more family.”

“I know that in my head, but my heart tells me different. I feel like there’s a battle going on in my head.”

“They’re not going to try to be Bo or Luke. No one can replace them.”

“I can ask you something of a serious nature?”

“Anything.”

“I know something happen to my parents and that’s why I live here. I’m sure that you know what happen and haven’t told me, which is fine. I have enough to worry about. But I see everyone else, Aaron and Karen included, that have at least one parent. I don’t have that. Remember first grade and that assignment the first week of school was to write about your family and I had the tantrum that I could barely write my name?”

“Yes, I remember.”

“Prior to that we went around the room talking about our families. I remember talking about how I lived with my Uncle and three cousins and everyone looking at me strange. I didn’t understand at that moment, but a couple kids came up to me later asking why I didn’t have a mom or dad. I didn’t even know what a mom or dad was at the time. As that first day and week continued I became more and more stressed about school, wishing I had a mom or dad to talk to about it. But then Luke came to my rescue like he had so many times before telling me that a family is what you make of it. It doesn’t necessarily need a mom or dad and can be made up of cousins and aunts and uncles or even friends. That our family was as real as anyone else’s and don’t let anyone tell me difference. So in a way, he was that cousin, father and big brother all rolled up into one person.”

“KK you have no idea what you did for Luke.”

“Me? All I thought I brought was trouble.”

“You, trouble? Never.”

“Funny,” KK said with a smile.

“K, I was being serious.”

“Oh yeah. Not everyone has a niece that goes ballistic and bites the teacher’s wrist to shreds and gets away with it.”

“K, you’re unique but you’re never any trouble. A person is never the cause of any trouble when they truly appreciate the help and learn from it. KK you’re learning about how to deal with emotions everyday better and better. You will in time learn to deal with your emotions and to truly understand the consequences of actions. Just no more biting,” Uncle Jesse giggled at his last statement.

“You know I realized what I was doing as soon as I let go but though I was in deep trouble so I ran to the safest place I could think of.”

“K, put your book down for a moment. I think you need to be told what you have contributed to this family. You did more than you know.”

End of Part 14

The Gift That KK Gave To Luke

KK put down her book and stopped swinging her hammock bed while Uncle Jesse pulled up a chair next to where KK was

“You know that Luke fought in Vietnam?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“Yeah, I know that.”

“What do you know about Vietnam?”

“Luke never told me about his experience. I’ve tried askin’ but he’s always changed the subject so I quit askin’. I figured he’ll tell me in good time.”

“When a person went to fight in Vietnam they weren’t expected back the way the left. People who were against the war felt those that fought in it, whether they volunteered or were drafted, were evil people and they should be punished for their actions.”

“Why is that?”

“Well, Vietnam was a controversial war. Many people who were draft age and didn’t want to be drafted and either enrolled in college or went to foreign countries. Those that went to foreign countries were called draft dodgers and weren’t allowed back in this country for threat of being arrested.”

“Uncle Jesse what’s the point of this conversation?”

“K, Luke was drafted into Vietnam meaning he had no choice in the matter. Remember that I told you people who were against the war had a strong dislike for those that fought in the war. There were people even in Hazzard that refused to talk to Luke because he was a veteran of that war.”

“Well that’s there loss.”

“Yes, K you’re right, but it didn’t end there. People didn’t just not talk to Vietnam Vets but threaten them with bodily harm, including Luke. At first Luke shrugged it off like nothing happened but when they were taking pot shots at me or Bo or Daisy he then became angry and short-tempered with anyone who would come in contact with him. He even became that towards his own family. I told him to cool it towards his own family that they weren’t the enemy but I couldn’t exactly put him over my knee anymore. He had grown into a man while he was in Vietnam and saw more death and destruction than anyone in this family had ever and hope ever will.

Eventually the threats towards Vietnam Veterans seemed to die down but Luke’s emotional state went from angry to close off. He wouldn’t speak to anyone unless he was spoken to in fear that his angry side would creep in unannounced. I suspected that he was afraid that he would hurt someone that he loved and if that happened he would never forgive himself. We were all concern for his well being but nothing pulled him out of the funk he was in. Then you came to live with us and suddenly Luke had a will to live and something to live for.” KK smiled at Uncle Jesse. “Luke took over the role that I had with him, Bo and Daisy – the father figure. He wanted you to succeed and be more successful than your sisters and show everyone how great you were. He was the one that would get up in middle of the night and rock you back to sleep. Luke didn’t care what the doctor would say about staying the night in the hospital with you when you had that ankle operation. Not only did Luke stay, but Bo took the opportunity to reaffirm the best friendship that he and Luke had. You were the breath of fresh air that Luke needed and probably the entire family. Once you came to Hazzard Luke’s demeanor towards life changed and his mood changed from dark and depress to happy and joyful. Only you could have done that, K.”

You got your cast off the day before you’re second birthday. You had been quite observant of your sisters and how they walked because you strutted your stuff the next day at your birthday party. Luke’s smile went from ear to ear when he saw you walking towards him. He hadn’t smiled like that since he returned from Vietnam. I was so proud of him being able to help you grow into the person you are today. You weren’t bad yourself. It was his moment to shine for something good and not destructive.”

“You and I will spend some time together after dinner,” Uncle Jesse said. He could see the disappointment in he eyes. Quietly he whispered to her, “I promise. I don’t want ears hearing some of the stuff I tell you that are only meant for your ears that I promised Luke if something happened to him that I would tell you. We’ll go to the Boars Nest or somewhere without the others.”

KK was confused. What would Luke want her to know that wasn’t meant for Bo or Daisy either?

“Dinner will be ready in an hour or so and I expect that book to be finished young lady,” Uncle Jesse said with a smile and a wink letting her know that he wasn’t that serious, but homework needed to get done.

An hour or so later, everyone came together for dinner.

“I’m nervous,” KK said when Uncle Jesse came and got her.

“I know you are. I’ll sit right next to you and Daisy on the other side, okay?” Uncle Jesse said putting his hand out for KK to hold onto. KK took a deep, cleansing breath, grabbed onto Uncle Jesse’s hand and proceeded to go into the kitchen.

Uncle Jesse came in the kitchen with KK trailing behind him. He cleared his throat to get everyone’s attention, “Coy, Vance, this is KK who he lead out from behind him.”

“Hey, kiddo,” Daisy said. “We’re having your favorite: hot dogs,” which put a smile on KK’s face.

KK slid into her seat which normally was between Uncle Jesse and Luke but Daisy was there. KK knew it was better if she was there than the other two. Uncle Jesse had decided that he wasn’t going to force her to talk if she didn’t want to. He was proud of her that she actually sat down at the same table as Coy and Vance. Coy had asked her about school and about her friends. Vance didn’t understand KK and her emotional disorder so it was wise if he didn’t say anything at all. Before Steve left, he had told Uncle Jesse what Vance had said. Uncle Jesse had talked to him but firmly said to him to watch what he says because she has ears like a hawk and does not forgive very easily. Vance didn’t want what happened to Steve happen to him.

Uncle Jesse took Daisy aside to the living room as Coy and Vance were doing the dishes. “Daisy, I’m taking KK out for the evening.”

“Can I ask why?”

“She needs some quality time with me since Luke’s not around. That’s all I can tell you. There’s something that I need to give to her and talk to her about without everyone hovering around her.”

“Okay.”

An hour later Uncle Jesse and KK were at the Boars Nest sitting at a booth away from the crowd. Uncle Jesse was drinking a beer while KK had her special concoction drink. Since she was allergic to anything including corn and corn syrup the bartender had created a drink especially for her.

“Now that you have my curiosity peaked Uncle Jesse, why are we here?”

Roscoe came into the Boars Nest and saw KK. “Uh-oh,” KK said to Uncle Jesse.

“K, you might as well do it now.”

“I guess.”

“Miss. Duke, I have been waiting for you.”

“Roscoe, don’t call me that. That’s makes me laugh.”

“K, he’s drunk.”

“Well, that would explain him being cordial to a Duke,” KK said.

“Roscoe, what in tarnation have you been drinking.”

“This,” he said spitting all over himself and showing Uncle Jesse and KK a bottle of Jack Daniels that was almost gone.

KK had been around when the Bo and Luke had gotten drunk but it sure wasn’t this funny.

“Why’ve you been drinking?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“I’m sick and tired of all this. Something has happened in my county and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

KK’s demeanor changed and she became concerned. KK stood up on the seat and walked slowly towards Roscoe. She put her hand on his shoulder and asked, “What happened?”

“You know what has happened, K. You were there.” KK suddenly got a chill up her spine. KK looked at her Uncle Jesse and knew exactly what he was talking about.

“Roscoe,” K said, “You’re doing all that you can.”

“Do you understand frustration?”

“Yeah, Roscoe I do.”

“Something happened to them but I don’t know what and I can’t figure out why.”

“Roscoe,” Uncle Jesse interjected, “It will in due time. Maybe we all can work together on this to solve it.”

“It’s not fair you know.”

“Life ain’t fair Roscoe,” KK said, “but we keep on going and do the best we can be.”

Roscoe, a little woozy on his feet, finished the last of the whiskey in one gulp. “Roscoe, you ain’t driving are you?” KK asked.

“No, I’ll crash in Boss’ Office. He ain’t even in town to help.”

“Roscoe,” KK said, grabbing on to his shoulders and looking him straight in the eyes, “You listen to me, we will figure out who did this to them, okay. We’ll work together. I know Roscoe that you saw the boys and are worry about there condition just as much as the Dukes are but we’ll solve it. You’ll see. Now,” KK stopped as she worked the empty Jack Daniels bottle from his hand into hers and put it on the table, “Stop this nonsense drinking and go sleep it off. Remember, I have faith in you Roscoe.”

Uncle Jesse then took Roscoe to Boss’ Office and got him settled for the night.
It was getting close to 10:00 p.m. by the time Uncle Jesse returned and the place, for being a Saturday, was dead.

“How’s he doing?”

“He’ll probably have a terrible hangover in the morning, but other than that he’ll be fine.

“Do you think he’s feels that bad about the accident?”

“I don’t know, but Roscoe never drinks excessively like that. There must be something weighing on his mind.”

“You don’t think,”

“No, KK I don’t think he had anything to do with the accident. Remember Boss may swindle people out of money, but he doesn’t want anyone to get hurt.”

A few moments of silence passed before anyone spoke.

“K, do you remember Luke rocking you on the porch, trying to get you to sleep?

“No.”

“You never slept through the night and neither did Luke. Luke would have nightmares about his time in Vietnam and he would wake up moments before you would start crying. He would take you and quietly open the door to the outdoor porch and sit in the rocking chair trying to get you back to sleep. He would quietly talk to you. I’m not sure about what exactly but it would make you sleepy and you would eventually fall asleep along with Luke. In the morning you were never in the same place I put you down at. It was always the two of you together. Luke doesn’t know, but we have pictures of you tow snoozing away.

During one of these rendezvous, I followed the two of you. I was concerned about Luke. I had noticed and I believed Bo realized that something was troubling Luke. He had not been himself for the last few nights and I wanted to know why. The only person that he would be pleasant to was you. I observed him the previous nights on how he interacted with you. He would hold you in his arms, walk around on the front porch and talk to you, telling you whatever was on his mind. It was like you were the only person that understood him.

“Uncle Jesse, if you’re trying to tell you what he said I told you I don’t remember anything. Even if I did I don’t think I would tell you.”

“KK, I would never ask you to tell me. Besides I have my ways of figuring things out. So anyways I went out there and asked him one evening.”

“Why would you do that? Wasn’t he upset at you?”

“Sure at first for spying on him but after awhile he started talking. He never really faced me. Instead he got up from where he was sitting, paced around the porch, carrying you and telling you everything but within ear shot of me. You acted like a teddy bear towards him. You were his security blanket. He was talking about the time he was captured. Actually, K, I think he forgot I was there because after he finished talking you were asleep and he went inside and shut the door, never saying anything to me.”

“Luke, captured? I didn’t know that. Some of my classmates had older siblings that were in the war and they were captured and never came back home. I guess our family was one of the lucky ones.”

“It affected Luke a lot. He was put in a leadership role and felt responsible for the deaths of the guys in his troop.”

“I’m sure that he did what he could do. We all think in hindsight that we should have done this or that, but at that moment in time instincts take over,” KK said and there was silence.

A few moments later KK spoke up again, “You know Uncle Jesse I knew that people didn’t care for those that fought in the war or those that ran away. When Steve taught this in class this year he didn’t have a clue on what he was going to get himself into. There are some kids in my class whose parents have given their own version about Vietnam. Some that believe peace is the answer and some who believe we were wrong to be in Vietnam and should condoned those who fought in it.

At first I wasn’t gonna say anything, it was Friday and why ruin a weekend, but then a couple of kids said that those that fought were going to hell and so forth. Well then I spoke up and said how could they commended people that was God’s choice or something like that. There were a few kids that had siblings that had also fought in the war as well and were upset by the kids’ comments. Poor, Steve he didn’t know what to do, we kept arguing about it for a long time and almost coming to blows.”

“What, you fighting?” Uncle Jesse said, interrupting KK.

“No, but it did come close between me and Aaron Freedmont. His parents believe that Vietnam was wrong and anyone who fought in it, whether drafted or not, committed a sin. Anyways a few words back and forth and we were both out of our seats. Knowing he could get a way with it, he grabbed me and told Aaron to sit back down and told both of us to be quite. It didn’t last long, we both were yapping at each other within minutes. It got to the point that I got myself emotionally upset and sick to my stomach. I slammed my book down on the desk and said, “Luke was man enough to fight in a war that he may not believed in but went when his country needed him.” and ran out of the room crying. After Steve calmed me down I told him he could never tell Luke what happened because I didn’t want him to feel bad about being in the Marines and fighting in Vietnam. I knew that he had gone through a rough time because every time that I had brought the subject up he cringed. I figured that if he heard what had happened in class it would bring back all the pain he experienced.”

“You know KK Steve told me what happened. I couldn’t have been more proud of you, but I didn’t tell you because Steve said he promised you he wouldn’t tell Luke and I was afraid you felt that Steve broke the trust between the two of you when he told me.”

“I know that Steve has my best interest at heart and figured he had to tell someone. I told Steve that he couldn’t tell Luke what happened because at the time he was having a number of nightmares from the war. I think something was triggered in his sub-conscious that brought back those fears. I remember one particular night that he was thrashing around in his bed. I could hear him in the other room and he kept bumping into the wall and talking in his sleep. Usually Bo wakes up and wakes Luke up but Bo had that terrible cold and hadn’t much sleep the previous nights so I walked over there to wake him up. When he woke up he picked me up and we went outside to the rocking chair. Once safely outside he broke down and cried. I didn’t quite understand it at the time why he did this but he cuddled me like I was a teddy bear. “

A few moments of silence passed as more and more people left the Boars Nest. “Listen kid, it’s getting late so let me tell you why we’re here. When you first came here Luke wanted to make sure you were taken care of, if something happened to him. He and I talked about what to do if something would happen to him. He wanted to give you something that was special to him so that you have him to remember by. Now, KK this doesn’t mean he’s gonna die, but this may help you.”

Uncle Jesse took something out from the bag he had brought in and placed it on the table. What KK was given was Luke’s diary from the war, some other mementos including some medals, but also a letters that were written specifically to her about her and what he felt about her.

“Now listen KK, don’t go showing this stuff off. This was meant for you and you only.”

“I know Uncle Jesse. I wouldn’t do that.”

“I wouldn’t recommend reading the diary right now. From what he has told me, it could give you nightmares.”

“I’m sure it would. Can I ask you something?”
“Sure, what?”

“I have a gut feeling that the accident wasn’t an accident.”

“K, I know that as well but I don’t want you to get involved in the investigation.”

“Uncle Jesse,” KK pleaded

“Now listen to me,” Uncle Jesse interrupted. “I know you want to solve this crime just as much as Bo and Luke would but it’s too dangerous for you. We don’t know who would do this to them and I don’t need you getting hurt in the process.”

“Uncle Jesse, do you think Roscoe will be able to solve it or at least figure out what happened?”

“Like you said, K I have faith in him as well.”

KK became absorbed in the letters that Luke had written to her. When she thought about it, KK thought it was spooky that he had written these letters in case something happen to him. She wondered if he had a premonition or something.

“Come on kid, it’s time to get out of here,” Uncle Jesse told her as he finished his beer.”

End of Part 15

Coy Learns About KK

On the way home KK was lost in thought. She realized that she didn’t technically promise Uncle Jesse that she wouldn’t try to solve the crime. He only said he didn’t want her hurt in the process. She made a mental note not to get hurt, but she couldn’t sit on the sidelines and watch Roscoe bumble the investigation like he normally did. It wasn’t fair to categorized Roscoe like that, but he wasn’t the most swift guy on the block. KK knew in her heart that she could solve it, but she would need help. After all every great detective had some kind of sidekick and she knew she could sucker Steve into it. After all Uncle Jesse relied on him to keep KK out of trouble and she knew that.

By the time Uncle Jesse arrived home, KK had fallen asleep. It was midnight, which was way past KK’s bedtime of 8:30 p.m. Instead of waking her he carried her inside the house. When Uncle Jesse went in he found Coy was still up reading a magazine.

“Why aren’t you in bed?” Uncle Jesse asked in a whispered voice so he would wake KK up.

“Couldn’t sleep. I don’t know why, I just get these attacks of insomnia sometimes.”

“She fell asleep in the pick-up and if I were to wake her now she may never get back to sleep.”

“She looks so peaceful when she’s sleeping.”

“Yeah, she does. You wouldn’t be able to tell that her world is crumbling around her.”

“Can I talk to you for a few minutes?” Coy asked.

“Sure, let me get ready for bed and I’ll be right out. KK should be fine sleeping on the couch.”

Uncle Jesse wondered what was on Coy’s mind. He didn’t know what exactly he would want, but it wasn’t important enough that he needed to get it off his mind.

A few minutes later Uncle Jesse returned and he and Coy sat at the kitchen table.

“What’s on your mind, son?”

“There’s a lot on my mind.”

“Like what?”

“One thing is the accident. It’s not like Bo and Luke to run into a tree with the General. I mean I know people can loose control of their vehicles but unless they both had some type of seizure the other one should have at least veered away from the tree. It makes me wonder what exactly happened. I run scenarios through my head of how it happened and who’s responsible.”

“Do that and you’ll become older than your time. Listen Coy, don’t do anything foolish. I’m sure in due time the people responsible will be arrested. You just have to have faith.”

“I have also wondered if sending KK down here was the best for her. At the time I didn’t know what else to do? I mean I’m sure that her mother’s side of the family wonders what happened to the kids.”

“My understanding is that no one came forward to ask. The body was claimed and buried and that was it.”

“Will you ever tell her what happened?”

“It’s gonna come up one day. I always think about what I would say. K has a right to know, I know that, but when is it appropriate to tell her that we all believe that her dad was responsible for her mom’s death. On top of all that, we have suspicion that your father flipped out because of your disability. If I were to tell her that right now it would send her over the edge.”

“But what about her mother’s family?”

“My understanding is that they rather not know about the girls in case her father wants to have them dead and that’s why they never bother to call or anything.”

“Does she ever ask?”

“She got real depress about it when she first started school. She said she wasn’t like the other kids because all of them have at least one parent. It took a while to show her how lucky she was to have a family like ours. On occasion she’ll make a comment like I wonder if my mom did this or my dad did that but that’s about it. She’s too much involved in school and basketball to worry about it.”

“I just worry about her. Especially in the beginning when Luke called me to ask more about her parents and what they were like. I told him all I could but I still feel it wasn’t enough.”

“K is a handful and she surprises us everyday. But she’s a sweetheart and very intelligent kid. She’s too smart in math and science for the average elementary school kid. Every year they see the progress that the students make by having them take a test on the various subjects that is taught. Each student from Kindergarten to 5th grade takes this test. Normally 5th grade students score the highest and are recognized at the honor program the school has at the end of the year but for the last two years KK has out scored them by a mile in both science and math.”
“I bet that threw a lot of people for a loop seeing a five year out smarting kids that are double her age.”

“Luke’s never been prouder of her. He knew she was smart now the whole world knew.”

“She’s so shy towards both me and Vance, how long will it be before she’ll come around?”

“Probably a while. She’s doesn’t take kindly to strangers and to her she’s a stranger. You’ve met Steve her teacher, right?”

“Yeah, after she bit him.”

“Well that wasn’t one of her shining moments but anyways when they first met it took a month before she said one word to him. She has to feel comfortable with the person before she’ll say a word. I didn’t believe Luke when he said she stood stone face to Steve until I saw it. Actually I gave her a lot of credit to actually sit at the same table that you and Vance were at. She actually talked to you which was also surprising but maybe because you’re family she’s believes that you’re okay.”

A head could be seen popping up from the couch. “It’s okay KK,” Uncle Jesse said. KK turned her head around to see where Uncle Jesse was. KK got off the couch and ran to her Uncle. She couldn’t reach him quick enough and held onto him like there was no tomorrow.

“What’s wrong baby girl?” Uncle Jesse asked as he lifted her on to his lap.

“Bad dream,” she said quietly.

“What was the bad dream about?”

Tears dropped from her eyes as she told about her dream. “It was about Bo and Luke and they were in the accident, but instead of living they died and there was nothing I could do about it.” After she finished speaking KK laid her head on Uncle Jesse’s chest and fell asleep to the rhythm of his heartbeat.

A few minutes later, Coy asked, “Is she asleep?”

“Coy, with K were never sure. It’s like she has a radar of some sort on at all times. She seems to know what’s going on at all time.”

“Did you ever get an update on Bo’s and Luke’s condition?”

“No, not yet. I figured they needed to get Luke stabilized again and then I would call. They need to figure out why he suddenly stopped breathing again.”

“I’m afraid if he does die, what will happen to KK?”

“I’m hoping and praying that Bo’s condition will improve much over the next week. They were talking about taking the ventilator out this week sometime. There talking about a range of only another month in the hospital. I’m hoping that they bring Bo out of his coma soon so that KK can see that Bo’s gonna be okay.”

“Yeah, KK and him have a close relationship as well. But still Luke is her go to guy and I would hate to see him not come out of this the way he went in.”

“I hate to say this but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. I really don’t think Luke’s gonna make it.” Uncle Jesse tried to say more but had to regain his composure before speaking. “I look at KK and try to figure out the best way to tell her this. Should I tell her now so she can get over the shock of his death or wait until it happens? Act like I believed all along that he was going to be okay until he did die?”

“Uncle Jesse, you haven’t done her wrong yet and I’m sure that she’ll understand what you do is in her best interest.”

“I know she will. When I look at K I see so much of my brother in her. She and Jackson would have gotten along rather well. It was such a shame that he never got to see her. She has his determination and stubbornness; won’t take no for an answer. She also has his wild streak in her as well, but then again when you live in Hazzard County you’re meant to have a wild streak.”

“If she was old enough she could probably out drive Bo. She can handle her scooter better than most people who race motorcycles professionally,” Coy commented.

“She does. They had a race once for these kids since everyone had one. Luke didn’t want her to enter because he was afraid that she would get hurt and also that I wouldn’t approve. She went over his head and asked me. Well actually she told me she was entering the race and she didn’t care what I thought. When she wants to do something she finds a way to do it. She earned her own money to pay the entry fee by working at Rhuebottom’s during the weekend. She won, much to the chagrin of Boss and Roscoe, and bought herself a guitar. Luke taught her how to play a few simple chords and the rest she taught herself. She’s can play the guitar rather well, but her passion is the drums. She got that last year for Christmas after we received some reward money for finding something that Boss had so-called lost.”

“So that’s what’s under the tarp in the barn.”

“Yeah, I made her practice out there because it was too loud in here. She doesn’t mind. When something is troubling her she’ll go out there and pound for hours on end.”

“I’m surprise that she hasn’t played them since we’ve been here,” Coy said.

“I’m not. She’s probably got a lot on her mind and is trying to sort it all out. I’m sure once things calm down she’ll get back to it.”

“Thanks for chewing the fat with me, but I must say I need to get to bed,” Coy said.

“Yeah, me too. I quietly have to put her in her hammock…” Uncle Jesse started to say when he was interrupted by Coy. “Hammock?”

Getting up with KK in his arms, “The swinging motion puts her to sleep. When she first went from a cradle to a “big girls” bed, she would fall out of it and climb up in the rocking chair and swing it to fall asleep. So we removed the bed and put a hammock in.”

“Goodnight, Uncle Jesse.”

“Goodnight Coy,” and then Coy got up and went to bed.

Uncle Jesse wasn’t ready yet to go to bed. He carried KK and sat in the rocking chair. He gently rocked the chair so not to disturbed KK and quite confessed to her what he had wanted to say since the accident.

“KK, if the worse comes true, that is Luke dies, you know I will be here for you. I know that you will probably run away from your feelings until a time that you can deal with them but I want you to know that you can come to me and cry. There’s nothing wrong with crying. We all will be crying. I have to admit that my faith that Luke will be okay is wavering. How can a man whose heart has stopped at least three times be okay afterwards? Where are you getting that faith from, K? How can you be sure that they’ll be okay? Or is that childhood innocent? I hope for your sake you’re right, but I’ll be there no matter what happens.”

After a few minutes Uncle Jesse noticed that the clock was saying that it was 1:00 in the morning and it was time for him to get to bed himself. He quietly went into K’s room that she shared with Daisy and laid her down in her hammock as quietly as possible, but knew that Daisy had awoken.

“Is she okay?” Daisy said in a horsed whisper.

“Yes, she fell asleep on the way home.”

“Goodnight,” Daisy said and fell back asleep.

“Goodnight my precious baby,” Uncle Jesse said to her and then gave her kiss and proceeded to go to his room to go to bed.

End of Part 16

Sunday Morning

Sunday morning meant only one thing: Church. It was routine every Sunday morning – go to church and then have a picnic brunch afterwards. Except for this Sunday it was anything but routine. Uncle Jesse woke up late and was in a rush, KK didn’t want to go and most of all it would be Coy and Vance, not Bo and Luke. KK couldn’t shake the feeling why she shouldn’t attend church, but something told her gut feeling that she should enter the House of the Lord. She had to think of something quick to tell her Uncle Jesse why she didn’t want to go. She also had to think of how to get Daisy to stay home or go over Steve’s house while they were there.

KK knew that Uncle Jesse wasn’t in a great mood since he overslept but she needed her attention. She tried to be the good little girl and use manners but after being repeatedly ignored from him and anyone else she finally blew a gasket. “I’m not going to church and that’s that,” KK said and left the house.

Everyone stopped what they were doing and watched her go out the door. Uncle Jesse wanted to stop her but he couldn’t catch up to her. Vance did catch up to her and grabbed her arm which was the wrong thing to do. When he saw her chompers come out he let go, avoiding the same fate of Steve from the previous day. By this time Uncle Jesse had caught up to the two of them and was not pleased with his youngest niece actions.

“Young lady, while you live in my house you will do what you’re told,” Uncle Jesse knew that this was not the way to handle this but he was stressed out as much as she was.

KK stared him down. She didn’t want to disobey her Uncle but she couldn’t go to church. There was something that was nagging her, telling her not to even enter the building.

Uncle Jesse took a deep breath and calmly said, “Why, K?”

“I can’t tell you why. Why? What a question. It’s like having a voice inside of me telling do not enter. But why? I can’t truthfully answer that question.”

“Call Steve and see if he can keep an eye on you but later we will talk about this. And, KK, don’t threaten your cousin anymore.”

“Yes, sir,” KK said and went inside to call Steve. Vance was just glad that he survived the ordeal the way he went into it.

Vance was getting more and more frustrated with KK. He couldn’t understand why KK was getting special treatment.

“Vance don’t say one word. I know what you’re thinking and like I have told you before KK follows a different set of rules. I know that you feel that she should be punished for what she just did to you, but I’m not going to.”

“Steve?” KK said into the phone.

“K, is that you?” Steve said groggily.

“Yeah. Can I runaway to your place for awhile?”

“Sure, why?”

“I’ll explain why later.” Before Uncle Jesse could say goodbye to her, KK was off.

“Come on kids, lets go,” Uncle Jesse said to the rest of them and they were off to church.

Half asleep, Steve waited for KK arrived and then intended to go back to bed. While most Hazzard County residents went to church, Steve was one of the few who did not. Uncle Jesse had invited him to go but he always politely declined.

KK rode her scooter to Steve’s house as fast as she could. He seemed to be the only one she could talk to. When KK knocked Steve told her to come in. She hadn’t expected to run up to him and hug him but she did.

“What was that for?” Steve asked taken aback by the affection that KK showed him.

“I don’t know, it just felt like the right thing to do.”

“What’s wrong?” Steve asked why carrying KK to the couch.

“I don’t know where to begin. Everything is.”

“Everything?”

“Everything. Nothing the same anymore.”

“Like what?”

“Bo and Luke for one thing. Another thing is trying to sit still long enough to do homework. Math and science are easy but I can’t get through the last chapter of this book. Then there’s Coy and Vance, well actually Coy seems to be okay, Vance I’m not particularly fond of.”

“Why’s that?”

“He doesn’t like me too much. He thinks I get a way with a lot. Just watch the expression on his face. This morning I got away with a lot.”

“What happened?”

“You know that feeling you get when something tells you to go down a certain path, that nagging feeling?”

“Yeah.”

“Well it told me not to go to church today.”

“K,” Steve said but was interrupted.

“No, Steve honestly. I know, we all know I don’t get church and don’t like to go, but seriously Steve do you think I would risked having my Uncle upset at me.”

“True.”

“Steve, why don’t you ever attend church?”

“Kid, that’s a long story. One day I’ll tell ya, but for now let’s focus on you.”

“That’s what everyone is doing. I’m tired of being the focal point. Someone else can have that role.”

“We’re all concern about you KK.”

“I know.”

A few moments of silence past before Steve spoke up. “K, since you haven’t finished that book, let’s do it together, okay?”

“I guess.”

Steve grabbed a copy of the book and started reading it out loud to her. Steve could tell she was trying to fight off sleep in order to hear the ending but it was a losing battle. After reading about half the chapter KK was out cold. He laid her down on the couch and put a blanket over her and went back to bed himself.

An hour or so later Steve tried to roll over in his bed when he felt that a wall was in his way. He opened his eyes to find KK had snuck in and curled up next to him. Deciding it was time to get up, he maneuver KK in a way to get her under the covers and kissed her head. He then left the room shutting the door part way.

As soon as he got to the living room, the phone rang.

“Hello Steve, its Jesse Duke.”

“Hello sir.”

“Is the little one around?”

“She’s sleeping right now.”

“Oh, don’t bother her then. Did she talk to you about what happened this morning?”

“Only to say that she had that nagging feeling not to go to church. She didn’t intend to get your mad, it was a feeling that she had.”

“That’s what I figured.”

“What happened? She didn’t volunteer any information.”

“She frightened her own cousin by pretending she was gonna bite him.”

“I take that it was Vance.”

“It was and he let go as soon as he saw those teeth coming out.”

Steve laughed and so did Uncle Jesse. It was interrupted when Steve could hear screaming coming from the bedroom.

“Hold on a minute, Mr. Duke,” Steve said and rushed to the bedroom. When he got there KK face was beet red again and she was thrashing around in the covers. She had trashed so much that she made herself trapped within them.

“Come on, K wake up,” Steve tried to gently prodded her to do with no avail. So he started tapping her face, like if she had fainted. KK finally opened her eyes, saw Steve and started crying and saying, “You’re okay, you’re okay,” over and over again.

“Yes, sweetheart, I’m okay,” he kept reassuring her as he picked her up and rubbed her back.

With her in one arm he then went back to the phone. “Sorry about that, but your niece was having a nightmare and she was screaming in her sleep,” Steve told Uncle Jesse when he got back on the line.

“Did she fall back asleep?”

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure.”

“Let her sleep.”

“Do you mind if I keep her for a while? I want to get through that last chapter in that book.”

“Sure. Let me know when she wants to come home.”

“Okay.”

“Listen I want to talk to you later about KK. Right now I have to go and feed the gang over here.”

“Okay, I’ll talk to you later. Bye,” Steve said and hung up the phone.

Steve had KK over his shoulder with one hand while he was speaking with Uncle Jesse. Once he was off the phone, he arranged KK so that she lay in his arms. He could see the color in her face return to normal and figured she was sleeping. Suddenly KK thrusted her arms around Steve’s neck and just stayed there.

“What’s wrong, sweetie?” Steve asked.

“I’m scared, okay?”

“Okay, but of what?”

“That dream was too real.”

“What was the dream about?” Steve asked. He was only met with feeling his neck become wet. He had a suspicion that he had died as well as her cousins in the dream. When KK was scared and needed human attachment she would hide her face in the crooks of a person’s neck. For most people saying that they were scared was easy, but for KK it wasn’t so easy. What she couldn’t verbalize her feelings, she would act out what she wanted.

Steve sat down on his couch with her still wrapped around him. “What happened?” Steve asked again.

“They had died and then you got hit by a car and I saw it all happen. You died,” KK said the last two words to Steve straight in the eyes.

“Well you can see that I’m not dead.”

“Dream was too real,” KK said trying to calm herself down.

“We’ve all had them at one time or another. It’s gonna be okay, now,” Steve tried to reassure her but all KK wanted to was to hold on to Steve.

The phone rang.

“I’ll get it,” Daisy said. “Hello, Duke Farm,” Daisy said into the receiver.

“Is Mr. Jesse Duke there?”

“May I ask whose calling?”

“This is Dr. Jorgensen.”

“Oh, just a moment,” Daisy said, put down the phone and went to get Uncle Jesse who was in the kitchen cooking.

When Daisy reached the kitchen she called out for Uncle Jesse who had the sink going. He thought he could hear someone call his name but wasn’t sure until he turned the water off.

“Uncle Jesse, its Dr. Jorgensen.”

“Oh, thank you. I’ll be there in a moment,” Uncle Jesse said and wipe his hands off with the dishtowel. “This better be good news,” Uncle Jesse hoped and silently prayed. “KK, I and the rest of the family has already had a bad enough weekend.”

“This is Jesse Duke speaking,” Uncle Jesse said into the receiver of the phone.

“Hello, this is Dr. Jorgensen.”

“Thank you for calling, I hope that everything is okay.”

“As good as it can be. I wanted to inform you we believe we found the reason why…” Dr. Jorgensen could not finish the sentence. “Well you know what I mean.”

“Yes, I do doctor.”

“Anyways, the cause of Luke’s demise we believe was due to an infection in his heart.”

“What?”

“I don’t know how or what happened but it looked like he had a deep puncture wound in that part of his chest. Because the injury was not treated immediately it became infected and that’s why Luke had those attacks.[8]”

“So does that mean that you are certain or believe that he won’t die on us anymore?”

“I believe. No one can be for certain for a while. I wish I could say for sure, but right now it’s all a theory.”

“Well we’ll all pray for the best.”

“The other reason I’m calling is that we believe that Bo is ready to be weaned off his ventilator, beginning sometime this week.”

“Well that’s good news. How long before he wakes up.”

“I want to make sure he doesn’t have any trouble breathing before I start weaning him off. His chest, likes Luke was swollen and if awake would be painful to breathe. Once I’m sure that he’s able to breathe on his own, then I will slowly reduce the medication that is keeping him in that coma. The rest is up to him. He may still be in a coma and won’t wake for a couple or so more weeks or he may awake by the weekend. When it comes to comas, there’s no time table.”

“Wow. That would do KK good to see at least one cousin is okay.”

“Speaking of KK, how is she?”

“She’s okay right now, but she was very frightened by Luke’s last medical emergency happened.”

“I bet she was. Luke’s currently back in ICU but on a careful watch. We’re all praying here for a quick recovery for him.”

“Doc, can I ask you a question?”

“Sure, what?”

“What do you think caused the wound?”

“It looks a bit suspicious, to be honest with you. Unless they were roughhousing before the accident and somehow Luke got something stuck in his chest, it was no accident.”

“I really doubt that. I think they were on the way home when the accident happened,” Uncle Jesse said and then he realized something. They should have been home hours before that. They had missed lunch.

“Mr. Duke…” Dr. Jorgensen said, trying to get Uncle Jesse attention.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I just realized that they should have been home hours prior to the time the accident happening. This is looking more and more like this was a setup and not just an awful accident.”

“Yeah, it is.”

“Maybe I should tell the Sheriff about this. I am beginning to suspect that this was a setup. When would it be okay to bring KK back up there to see the boys.”

“Give Luke some time to recover. Actually if we can’t get that infection to go away, then…”

“Yeah I know. I’ll try and have her wait, but I don’t know how long I can keep her away from Luke.”

It was going on 12 Noon and if KK didn’t wake up soon, she wouldn’t sleep tonight.

“Hey you, it’s time to get up.” Steve said waking her up in his bed.

“No!”

“K, its 12 Noon. Uncle Jesse won’t be too pleased with me if you don’t sleep tonight.”

“So?”

“What’s wrong with you?”

“I’m…”

“Mad?” Steve said, hoping that he wouldn’t get his head chopped off.”

“Yeah!”

“Why’s that?” Steve asked hoping she would say why she was feeling angry.

“I’m mad because this can’t be happening. I can’t believe that Luke’s gonna die.”

“Where did that come from?”

“Come on Steve, get with the program. In realistic terms how much of a chance does he have to come home the same way he was when he and Bo left that fateful morning?”

“K,”

“Don’t K me,” KK said as she got down off the bed and paced around the room. “I know the truth, but everyone is skating around it because they’re worried about my emotional status. It’s driving me nuts that no one wants to talk to me about what will happen if Luke does die.”

“Okay, let’s talk.”

“Let’s say Luke does die, Uncle Jesse will probably have Coy and Vance live with us.”

“Yeah, I don’t see how to get around that.”

“Where am I gonna fit in to this situation?”

“What do you mean?”

“Come on, Steve!” KK said, still pacing. “Vance and I haven’t clicked like Uncle Jesse had hoped. He doesn’t understand me and I can’t understand what he doesn’t get about a person having an emotional disorder. Granted it was not very nice of me to threaten him with my choppers,”

“KK!” Steve interjected.

“I know, I knew what I was doing but he did scare me when he grabbed my arm. Anyways, I knew what he said about me when I was hiding in the barn. You guys thought you were out of ear shot but I heard him.”

“K, Vance doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He doesn’t understand you one bit.”

“Does it really matter?”

“Does what matter?”

“That I heard him.”

“Of course, but you can’t take it personally.”

“What?” KK suddenly stopped and looked at him. “Steve, you have kin right?”

“Yeah.”

“Do they accept you for who you are?”

“Yeah.”

“See. There’s no not loving you or liking you because you’re different in a way. It’s not like this was my fault. At least Bo and Luke accepted me for who I was. They didn’t always treat me with kid gloves which Uncle Jesse is doing, although he has enough on his plate and I haven’t helped much, Daisy doesn’t exactly know what to say to me and then there’s you who’s tried his best to keep my spirits up and keep my mind off the situation with piling homework on me,” KK said, laughing at the end.

“It must be difficult.”

“Steve, you don’t have a clue. Have you ever watched someone die before?”

“Actually, the summer between my senior year in high school and freshman in college my grandmother died. I was at the hospital watching her wither away.”

“So you have some experience in death and watching someone die?”

“You could say that, I guess. Where are you going with this?”

“I need questions answers and you’re my best test subject. I just need to know I can go to you with any questions that I have. Have you seen anyone flatlined and brought back to life?”

“Well, no not really until Luke. Then again, I was chasing after you.”

“Me neither until Luke and that was scary. You hear the long beep and then its silence for a moment and then all the commotion starts. I don’t know what’s worse the beep or the commotion.” KK then took a slow and deep cleansing breath, sat on the bed next to Steve and continued, “Steve, I’m really sorry about you’re wrist. All I knew was that I had to get out of there. It was way too noisy for my liking and not really knowing what was going on I felt in danger.”

“K, what point did you snap?”

“Snap?”

“What happened when you didn’t know who anyone was?”

“I blinked and then didn’t know what was going on. The noise in my ears mushed together as one loud, ear aching noise. I couldn’t see clearly either, so I had no idea it was you. It was like I had glasses on that were caked in butter so my vision was blurry.”

“K,” Steve said, taking both of her hands into his, “I’m sorry. I should have realized that was going on.”

“What do you need to be sorry for? I’m the one that hurt you. I should have…”

KK stopped speaking because Steve picked her up and placed her on his lap. “Listen, K, promise me one thing.”

“What’s that,” she said looking up into his eyes.

“Promise me that if the worse case scenario happens and Luke dies, don’t revert into a shell and never to speak again. Luke would never want that to happen. He’ll always be watching over you making sure you’re doing everything right. Also, remember I’ll be here for you as will Uncle Jesse, your sisters and all your friends.”

“I know, but it won’t be the same. It’s like Luke and I have always had this connection. So do Bo and I but that’s on the fun and light side. But Bo is always there when Luke can’t get through to me because he doesn’t have the life experience. Like in first grade, after the first day of school. I was determined not to go back to school because Ms. Kingman’s assignment. Luke said that’s why you go to school – to learn how to read, write, do math, and science. But Luke never struggled and I felt already years behind. Bo was the one to tell me how much he struggled but that you have to take it one day at a time. Don’t worry about grades, worry about learning.”

“Bo’s pretty smart.”

“Yeah, when he wants to be. He’s my stress reliever. What I do without him either, I don’t know. You could be Luke, but Bo’s replacement….that would be hard to find someone like him that I trusted.”

A few moments of silence past when KK suddenly spoke up again. “Steve, can I see what I did to you.”

“K,” Steve said then was interrupted.

“Listen, If I’m gonna be characterized as the kid that chewed the teacher out literally, then I should see what I damage I did.”

“Let’s go in the bathroom, I need to change the dressing on it anyways.”

Uncle Jesse finished cooking brunch for the four of them.

“Where’s KK?” Vance asked.

“Over at Steve’s house,” Uncle Jesse replied.

“Steve’s her teacher, right?” Coy asked.

“Yes, but she’s trusts him just as much as Bo or Luke,” Uncle Jesse said.

“Isn’t that a bit odd?” Vance asked.

“What do you mean odd?” Uncle Jesse asked, even though he knew where this conversation was going.

“The relationship.”

“No it’s not. I’m thankful for Steve. He has always been very helpful and fought through the wall she put up in first grade to become her friend. Steve has always had KK’s best interest in mind. It’s someone that has a different point of view that she can speak to.”

“Okay, but don’t they have a close relationship?” Coy asked.

“They do. KK sees him as a big brother. He was there when Bo, Luke, Daisy or I couldn’t be there for her last year.”

“What happened?”

“We found out the hard way that KK is allergic to bee stings.”

“Yeah, it was pretty scary to see her after the fact,” Daisy piped in.

“What happened?” Coy asked.

“It around this time, if I recall correctly,” Uncle Jesse said. “The class was outside for morning recess when it happened. I don’t think she knew how she got stung. We were fortunate that Steve saw her get stung and knew exactly what to do. He first had Matt run to the office to call for an ambulance because he knew that KK had allergies but didn’t know if she was allergic to bee stings or not. She started immediately showing signs of an allergy attack. He had gotten a card out from his wallet to remove the stingers. He also kept her calm. If she had become upset it could have been a lot worse.”[9]

“Steve refused to leave her side and put Matt in charge of the class. I don’t know what would have happened if he did,” Daisy said.

“We were being chase by Roscoe about 15 minutes later when we received the news from a terrified Matt. He thought she was going to die and was shock that she didn’t,” Uncle Jesse commented.

“When we got to the hospital they were working on her. Steve was relieved when we arrived and he could finally let his guard down. It’s the only time I have seen him cry,” Daisy said.

“When we finally got to see her it was not a pretty sight. Her whole body was swollen from head to toe because she was stung multiple times. Luke couldn’t believe what happened to his baby girl. I think Luke would have fainted if Bo wasn’t there talking to him. He was definitely in shock just as the rest of us were,” Uncle Jesse said.

“She went back to school the next day for a bit just so everyone knew she was okay. As long as no one touched her she felt fine,” Daisy added.

“It took a while for the swelling to go down but it did eventually. We were all relieved when it did.”

For the first time since the accident KK actually felt excited. She really was curious what she had done to Steve. Not that she didn’t feel sorry that it happened, but she liked gory stuff. It just fascinated her, only if it was done to humans. If something happened to an animal that she couldn’t handle and would runoff crying.

“What’s that grin on your face for?” Steve asked as he started to take the dressing off.

KK shrugged her shoulders. She didn’t know what fascinated her more the blood or the damage that she had done.

“It isn’t that gory. You just broke the skin and made it bleed.”

“But come on Steve, who else could get away with that?” KK said smiling.

KK was kinda of proud at the marking she left but was thankful that she didn’t do any permanent damage. “Only you kid,” Steve repeated to her.

After Steve changed the bandage he and KK sat at his kitchen table.

“You must be hungry,” Steve implied to KK.

“I guess I should have one but I don’t. When I’m stress I don’t usually have an appetite.”

“Come on, you’ve got to be hungry for something and don’t tell me hot dogs.”

“No. Not hot dogs. What about chicken?”

“Then chicken it is. Let me finish bandaging this up and will go out to lunch.”

“What was the phone call about?” Daisy asked after finishing the story.

“They believe they have an answer to the problem as to why Luke is struggling so much to get better. They believe that there was an infection due to a puncture wound to his heart.”

“What?” Vance asked.

“This is looking more and more like someone set them up,” Uncle Jesse commented.

“But who would want to do that?” Coy inquired.

“Who knows?” Daisy said.

“What I want to know if they were conscious when the accident occurred? That would explain a lot if they weren’t,” Coy said.

“That would explain why no one tried to stop what was going on,” Uncle Jesse said.

“Who ever did this, do ya’ll think they were aiming for the boys or was it a case of wrong time, wrong place?” Daisy threw in to the mix.

“Everyone knows Bo and Luke. I think maybe somebody was out to stop them from something. But if that’s the truth, what was that something?” Vance said.

“I know that as vile as Boss Hogg and Roscoe can be they would never do something that would harm the boys,” Uncle Jesse said.

“No, I don’t believe that Boss would be involved, but maybe somebody from their past,” Coy said.

“They have found several people that committed crimes and were sent to jail. Maybe it was someone like that?” Daisy said.

“The other question that we’re not addressing is someone after all of us?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“I don’ t think so or I think we would have already seen the trouble,” Coy said. “I really think that it was a situation of wrong place, wrong time.”

“I disagree with you cuz because I believe that they were unconscious in the General when it crashed into the tree.”

“What ever the case is, we need to figure it out before someone else gets hurts,” Uncle Jesse commented.

End of Part 17

Strange Lurkings

“My plan was working beautifully. That was such an awesome idea I had – knocking off Bo and Luke first in order to get to my beloved prize KK.”

“Steve can’t you just tell me what happens at the end. This book is boring,” KK said as they were enjoying their lunch together out on the edge of Hazzard Pond.

“The end,” Steve said.

It took KK a few minutes but she got the jist of the joke. “Very funny. Can’t you just summarize the end for me, please,” KK begged.

“No, you have to read it just like everyone else. Come on, what’s ten more pages?”

“A lot.”

“Why is that?”

“Because Luke would act it out and then I would follow up and read it. I hate to read. It’s something that I don’t get. I can finally read a newspaper on my own but something with a plot longer than a few pages I get lost in. Luke would literally have to do a summary on what the book was about before he would begin on a new chapter.”

Steve thought a lot about what KK had said. There was something in her mind that wasn’t clicking right. She should be able to keep track of a simple story line as this book had. “KK, maybe it’s time for you to move from the newspapers to a reading book. Maybe it will help you recall what has happened in stories without going through all the trouble of having someone else recalling it.”

“It would be nice. I get the general idea, most of the time, but anything to detailed and I get lost.”

A few moments of silence passed. “Steve, are you ready to go?” KK asked suddenly.

“Just about, why do you ask?”

”Something troubling me and I don’t feel safe.”

“Let’s go then.”

“Roscoe, you’re telling me that the reason you’re in here drooling all over the place is because you got drunker than a skunk last night?” Boss Hogg screamed.

Poor, old Roscoe. He was hung over, couldn’t remember on what, and now Boss was back at the Boars’ Nest Office screaming at him.

“Boss,” Roscoe said as quietly as he could, “do you have a clue of what has gone on the past few days?”

“No. Your sister and me were in Atlanta on a shopping vacation.”

Roscoe knew that Boss didn’t want to go but Lulu had threatened him with divorce if he didn’t so he already knew that Boss wasn’t too please. “Bo and Luke were in an accident on Thursday.”

“When are they not involved in some kind of accident or trouble.”

“Boss, I’m being serious. They were in some type of accident that nearly killed them.”

“What?”

“They’re at the hospital in ICU. We don’t know if they’ll live or not.”

Boss was in shock. “I need to talk to Jesse right away.”

“Will you ask Jesse to bring KK by tomorrow so I can talk to her,” Roscoe asked and left the room and went home.

Steve could tell by the look on her face that KK was frightened. He didn’t know by what but he knew not to ignore what she felt. After KK’s revelation to him about knowing what would happen in the future, Steve had thought about it and realized that there were many instances that she did know what was going to happen before it did.

As soon as they were in the car and moving KK seemed to relax.

“K, what’s going on in your head?”

“Steve, I felt that there was something or someone watching me. Creepy?”

“I would say that would be.”

A few moments of silence past before Steve spoke up again. “K, who do you think cause the accident?”

“I don’t know? Someone who Bo and Luke put in jail so many years ago?”

“Could be.”

“Steve, I don’t wanna talk anymore about the accident. I’m tired about talking about the accident. I just want them to get better.” With that being said, KK turned her head away from Steve and turned it towards the open window of Steve’s car and never said another word all the way home.

Steve knew that this wasn’t good. He never wanted her to stop talking but he had to agree with her that enough was enough about the accident. He hoped that Cooter would call him today about what he found in hopes of putting fears to rest.

The phone rang. It wasn’t the hospital but Boss Hogg telling Uncle Jesse how sorry he was about the boys’ condition. He didn’t know who was behind the so-called accident but promised if anything popped into his brain he would let Uncle Jesse know.

“Roscoe asked if KK could come over tomorrow to give a statement about the accident. Was she involved?”

“She wasn’t in the car when it happened. She and Matt were the ones that found them.”

“Poor child.”

A few more comments later they both hung up the phone.

Although Bo and Luke were considered to be rotten apples in Boss and Roscoe’s eyes, KK was not. KK was special to them and treated her like she was their own child. Granted she was a Duke, but both realized that it took a community to raise a child.

KK was unusually quiet. Steve believed that she had allowed her autism to take over for a while and left reality so she could not feel the pain of missing Bo and Luke. He believed that she needed time to rest and recuperate and stop fighting the war within herself. She had done this a few times before so Steve wasn’t too concerned. His only worry was he able to bring her out of it.

He had to stop at Rhuebottom’s Store to pick up a few items that he would need throughout the week.

“Hi Steve.” Mr. Rhuebottom said as he saw Steve come through the door. “Who do you have with you?”

“K. She’s sound asleep and I didn’t have the heart to wake her.” Steve said. Steve knew she wasn’t sleeping but was lost in her own world but trying to tell that to a complete stranger that had no idea what autism was and he would have been there all day trying to explain it to him.

KK could hear the conversation but didn’t have the energy to become involved. She turned her head so that her face was hidden by Steve neck and nuzzled in to him. Steve knew, by KK’s actions, that she was beyond the point of being tired and just wanted to sleep.

Steve got his items quickly but could not leave before Rhuebottom inquired about two things: The bandage on Steve’s wrist, which covered the bite mark that KK put there, and the condition of Bo and Luke. Steve quickly explained that he had scraped his wrist at home and said that nothing had really changed with Bo and Luke. Rhuebottom was satisfied with Steve explanation and let them go, promising to tell Uncle Jesse that if he needed anything to give him a call.

Steve put the two bags over the front seat and onto the back seat of his car through the open window. He planned on laying KK down on the front seat through the passenger side open window and then going around the car and then enter through the door on the driver side. The only catch to the plan was that KK would not let go of him. She held onto him for dear life. Why she was doing this, he did not know. All she was mumbling was “Don’t put me down” over and over again.

Steve didn’t know what to do. The only thing he knew to do was sing to her. It would either put her to sleep or wake her up from the nightmare. He walked around with KK in tow to the driver side of the car. Carefully, he got in with KK holding on to him like there was no tomorrow and went straight for the Duke farm.

What he didn’t know was that there was a strange man lurking around every step that Steve made with KK. He too got into his car and followed.

On the way to the Duke farm, Cooter called Steve on the CB.

“There were some fingerprints but they were unidentifiable.”

“What does that mean, Cooter?” Steve asked and prayed that KK wouldn’t wake up.

“It means that it wasn’t Bo’s or Luke’s, or Uncle Jesse’s.”

“What?”

“They were fingerprinted when they were arrested for moonshining. Their prints are on file.”

“Okay, but that doesn’t prove anything.”

“No it doesn’t. It could have been a stranger or it could have been Daisy’s or K’s. The only way to prove who prints it was would be for them to be fingerprinted and ran through the computer in Atlanta. Sorry, Steve, but it’s a dead end.”

“Terrific,” Steve said sarcastically.

“What’s wrong?” Cooter asked.

“KK’s been acting strange. Feels like someone is spying on her.”

“Steve, don’t let her out of your sights.”

“Why?”

“KK has only had this feeling once before and no one took her seriously.”

“What happened?”

“She was kidnapped.”

“What? Uncle Jesse never said anything about it before.”

“That’s because no one wants to remember it.”

“Unh?”

“Steve, meet me at the hitch and I’ll explain everything.”

End of Part 18

Following

Steve looked in his rear view mirror and did not like the site he saw. A rather large black car kept following him. Steve noticed it when they were at Hazzard Pond and at Rhuebottom that the car was there. This could not be good. He wasn’t going to be a hero and do this alone so he called in the Calvary.

“Cooter, I’ve got a suspicious black vehicle behind that has been following me for a while. I have a funny feeling that they want something that I have.”

“Where are you at?”

“On East Old Mills Road, just outside of town. I was heading towards you know who,” Steve said not knowing if they person or people in the car behind them was listening in and did not want to lead them into Uncle Jesse’s front door step.

“I’ll rouse them up on the CB. You take care of your passenger.”

“Yeah, easier said then done,” he muttered to himself.

“Sheppard, are you out there?”

Uncle Jesse heard Cooter’s voice over the CB radio. “I’m here Crazy C, what’s going on?”

“Steve’s out on East Old Mills Road with KK and he said there was a suspicious vehicle following them and he’s a bit nervous.”

“Cooter you didn’t tell him about what happened?”

“No, but sir, he needs to know.”

“Yeah, I know. I just don’t want KK to know how awful her father is. Listen, we’re on our way to help. What channel is he on?”

“He’s on 19.”

“Alright. I’ll tell him to go to the news channel and we’ll meet up there.”

“Okay. I’ll tell him and we’ll meet back at the hitch,” Cooter said.

Although Steve didn’t want to alarm KK he needed her awake in case something awful was to happen.

“Hey sweetheart,” Steve said, shaking her with his right hand while his left was firmly planted on the wheel. “I need you to wake up and hold on tight.”

“What’s going on?” KK asked.

“I think we’re being followed.”

Before KK had a chance to ask any other channels, Cooter’s voice came over the CB.

“Steve, you still out there?”

“Yeah.”

“Go to the news channel.”

“Go to what?”

“Steve, hand it here,” KK said. “Okay, Cooter.”

“What’s the news channel?” Steve asked KK.

“It’s a code to switch from CB Channel to another.”

“Oh,” was all Steve could say.

KK switch from Channel 19 to 23 on the CB.

“Cooter, you there?”

“Yeah K, I’m here.”

“What’s going on?”

Steve took the mic from KK. “He’s just following me. He’s not making any attempt to get closer. He must realize that I know what’s he doing?”

“You would think.”

“How far are Uncle Jesse and the gang?”

“Where you at Steve?” Uncle Jesse said.

“Coming up on Old Ridge Road”

“We’re coming up on that intersection now. Speed up a bit so we can safely get two cars in between you and black one,” Uncle Jesse stated.

Steve did what he was told and Uncle Jesse and Daisy both got there vehicle in between. Uncle Jesse slowed his vehicle down little bit by little bit to the point where the guy in the black car got frustrated and turned off one of the many roads in Hazzard.

“Okay, guys,” Uncle Jesse said, “I think he’s gone. Let’s go back to the hitch,” and with that three vehicles made u-turns and headed back to town.

The hitch was referred to Cooter’s garage. He usually hitched cars up onto his tow truck so it was just natural to call Cooter’s the hitch when the Duke family did not want to be found.

When Uncle Jesse, Daisy, Coy and Vance all arrived at Cooter’s Garage Steve and KK were already there. All Uncle Jesse wanted to do was to give her the biggest hug possible.

Steve had KK in his arms and she squealed with delight to see her Uncle Jesse.

“Uncle Jesse,” she said holding out her arms, which made Steve almost lose his balance.

“There’s my baby girl,” Uncle Jesse said as he grabbed her away from Steve.

“Uncle Jesse, what’s going on?”

“I don’t know baby girl, I don’t know. What I do know is that you’re safe with us now.”

“I’m scared. Are they after me?”

“I don’t know. Why would anyone want you?” Uncle Jesse asked, knowing full well who would want her. It was becoming clearer to Uncle Jesse. He had a pretty good suspicion of who was behind everything but there was no way to prove it.

Uncle Jesse rocked KK back to sleep. He did not want KK to hear what he was going to tell Steve. Only the Duke family, Roscoe, Boss and Cooter knew this story and this was a story that no one really wanted to hear.

End of Part 19

Kidnapped

As soon as Uncle Jesse was assured that KK was asleep, he laid her down in the pick up truck’s seat and began KK’s kidnapping story.

Cooter put on some coffee because this was going to be one doozy of a story.

“Steve, do you know the story of how KK and two sisters came to Hazzard.”

“No.”

“Coy, you might as well fill him in.”

“KK was always the smallest and the sickest of the three girls. When they were born her mother was overjoyed at having the kids after several miscarriages and told she would never have kids. Their father despised it, and especially KK.”

“Why was this?” Steve asked.

“Because,” Coy began, “John, that’s her father’s name, realized that all her attention would be focused on the girls. As time went on, it became more and more apparent that KK would have some type of handicapped. The doctors weren’t sure what at the time but they were sure that something would hold her back.”

“So her father became jealous?”

“You could say that. He started hanging out at the bar and drinking with his friends instead of being home with Peggy, that was KK’s mom name, and the girls. Actually, when I talked to Peggy the last time she was thrilled that he wasn’t home. She didn’t want him to influence the children negatively anyways.”

“So, what happen? How did KK, Karen and Aaron end up here?” Steve asked.

It was a few tense silent moments before anyone spoke. Of those in the room, Coy and Uncle Jesse knew the entire truth of what happened, Daisy knew some but nothing about the gory details that KK was found in.

“Steve, I’m going to spare you the details just so you can sleep at night. The reason why KK was sent down here was I was the one who went to the house and found the scene.”

“What scene?” Steve wanted to know exactly what had happened.

Daisy, who had heard this before, excused herself, making up some excuse to check on KK. She had heard it once and that was enough for her.

Quieting down his voice more, Coy spoke, “Steve, K’s own father wanted her dead.”

“What?” Steve asked, feeling the color drain out of his face. “How can any parent do that to their child?”

“Steve, he actually hired one of his buddies to go to the house and kill his family.”

“Why were the kids spared?”

“By pure luck,” Uncle Jesse commented.

Coy continued with his story, “KK had an operation earlier that fateful morning and Peggy decided at the last minute to let Aaron and Karen stay over at a neighbor’s house who had a daughter the same age as the girls. John had told Peggy that he wanted to take her away for the weekend to try and rekindle their relationship. I had offered to watch KK for the weekend when she told me this but she said a girl from the neighborhood had offered to watch KK over the weekend and the other neighbor was willing to watch Aaron and Karen. I don’t know what transpired between the couple, but in the end Peggy and the babysitter were dead from gunshot wounds; John was no where to be found and KK was screaming her head off when the Police found her.”

Steve was shocked. He really didn’t know what to think. “Who would want to harm her?”

“That’s would be the one question that I would want to ask John if I ever see him again,” Coy stated.

Daisy, who didn’t want to hear the story again, went over to a sleeping KK. She knew the pain that everybody went through when they had thought they lost KK the last time. No one was sure who caused KK’s disappearance, although KK herself had warned them that something was going to happen. No one, especially Uncle Jesse, believed her until it was too late. Fortunately, for everyone’s peace of mind, KK was too young to remember what happened. KK had nightmares about being kidnapped but no one ever told her why she was having these dreams. They all figured they would go away eventually, which they did.

“Now, what about KK being kidnapped?” was the next question out of Steve’s mouth.

“KK had just turned three. It was a beautiful and sunny bright September morning when she came up to me and said she didn’t feel safe,” Uncle Jesse began. “I thought she was acting crazy but sure enough someone actually grabbed her out from the General and ran with her. Fortunately, both Bo and Luke saw what happened and chased the guy down. Luke only comment was that he heard one guy say, “Forget the kid John, run for it, we’ll try again later.” Ever since then, KK has never been out of our sight.”

“Aren’t you worry about at school, this guy trying to go after her?”

“No, one of us is always there watching over her during lunch and when she walks home. We just don’t try to inconvenience her by letting her know were watching her.”

“Was that what Bo and Luke were doing the day of?”

“Yeah, they were on their way home. Maybe who ever wants KK knows the pattern?”

“Could be; could be,” Steve said. “But why does John want her dead?”

“I have no idea. After the investigation was competed John was never brought up on charges. According to the police there wasn’t enough evidence to charge him,” Uncle Jesse said. “I only found that out a few years ago.

“What?” Steve couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “How can someone go into a house, commit murder and walk away scott-free? Even law is better here in Hazzard.”

“Yeah, I know. They keep an eye on her too.”

“What about her mother’s side? Don’t they wonder about her?”

“They do but they’re afraid of what John is capable of. I have written to them once in a while; send school pictures, etc. but they don’t want to know where we live or anything to endanger her more.”

“Why don’t you tell KK the truth?” that was Steve burning question.

“I don’t think that would be a good idea, Steve. I don’t know if she could handle the emotional baggage that went with it.”

“Eventually, she’ll need to be told, you know.”

“I know, but I hate to ruin her world.”

Daisy came back over to where the men were. “KK is having another nightmare.”

“Thanks, Daisy,” Steve said and went and got her.

When Steve reached her, he could see the tears in her eyes. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, just bad dream.”

“What was the dream about?”

“I don’t remember,” KK said as Steve picked her up.

Steve brought her over to where the gang was sitting.

“Hey, K,” Uncle Jesse said, “I know that Roscoe wanted to see you. Why don’t we call him at home and see what he’s up to. I know that he said tomorrow but this way it’s all done with.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Why not K,” Uncle Jesse became alarmed. “What’s wrong.”

“Uncle Jesse – They’re after me again, aren’t they?”

End of Part 20

Realization

“Who’s after you,” Uncle Jesse responded back. Although everyone was in shock that she even knew someone was after her.

“Like when I was three.” KK responded.

Uncle Jesse knew he was in for a bit of trouble. He didn’t realize that KK remembered.

“You remember that?” Daisy asked.

“Of course I do. I told y’all that someone was after me and no one believed me and sure enough someone came after me. Who would want me anyways?”

“KK, I’m not sure,” Uncle Jesse said. He knew that someone was after her but who he never knew for sure.

“Do you think this has something to do with the accident? I mean maybe they remember Bo and Luke?” KK said.

“It may be.”

“I’m tired of all this Uncle Jesse. I wish life would return to simple Hazzard life, like before the accident.”

“Yeah, I know little one, I know.”

“Do you really know? I don’t think anyone can understand what I’m going through. All I want to do is run for the hills and scream but I can’t because some strangers are after me and with my luck they would capture me,” KK said getting off of Uncle Jesse’s lap. KK was beyond the point of frustration at this point. All she wanted was an end to all this commotion and have life return to normal.

“Calm down. Let’s go back home and…” Uncle Jesse said but was interrupted by KK.

“Go home and what wait?” KK said becoming so frustrated that she couldn’t stand still was becoming over dramatic.

Uncle Jesse grabbed her arms in a point of trying to calm her down. “KK, there’s no reason to become this upset, it’s not going to help the situation.”

“Can I just scream my head off?”

“KK, look at me. Just take deep breaths and try to calm down,” Uncle Jesse said.

KK did what she was told and although it took a few minutes she was able to get her body to relax.

“Listen KK, we’re gonna do everything in our powers to protect you. I have a funny suspicion that we now know who is after you.”

“Who would that be?”

“The same people who kidnapped you many years ago.”

“But who are these people and why would they want me?” KK asked.

Uncle Jesse knew he was up a creek without a paddle. Should he tell KK the awful truth about her father know or should he wait for another time? Granted there would never be a perfect time but he was extremely afraid that telling her this now would lead to questions that Uncle Jesse felt that she wasn’t ready to hear.

He decided to postpone the truth and say, “I’m not sure what their intentions are?”

“Do you believe that it has to do with the accident?”

“That I’m not sure of K, but I have suspicion that it does.”

“Then let’s go talk to Roscoe. You better go and find Matt as well. I wouldn’t be surprise if they go after him as well.”

KK, Uncle Jesse, Steve, Coy, Vance, Daisy, and Cooter all went over to the County Offices in hopes to find Roscoe and talk to him. Instead all they got was Cletus.

“Listen Cletus, I want Roscoe and I want him now,” KK demanded.

“Fine, you call him!” Cletus handed her the phone.

“Fine I will,” KK said with pent up frustration.

When Roscoe answered the phone, KK demanded that he come back to work and talk to her. “Roscoe, my life might be on the line because of this crazy accident and I don’t really want to die just yet.”

“Kid, I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

When Roscoe came in KK couldn’t help but hug him. The only Duke that could get away with that and not try to sucker Roscoe into anything that he wouldn’t want to do. “Sweetheart,” Roscoe said, “we’ll get to the bottom of this, I promise.”

“Yeah, I know,” KK said releasing herself from him, “but Roscoe I’m really, really scared,” KK said with silent tears streaming down her face.

“Okay,” Roscoe said as he sat down and started the tape player to record the session, tell me from the begging what has happen.”

KK told him that Luke was driving the General Lee and that nothing looked out of the ordinary to her when her and Matt pulled up. She realized that the tree was going to fall onto the General and they needed to get the boys out of there. She told Roscoe that Luke was in the driver seat and figured that they were probably both unconscious before they hit the tree because there was no sign that they tried to avoid the tree or brake. She fast-forward to what happened today about the strange car following them but she had no idea as to why anyone would want to capture her.

Roscoe realized what the other adults in the room had realized that the accident wasn’t an accident and it was a precursor to kidnapping KK.

End of Part 21

Frustration Mounting

“Why would anyone want me? Why? Why? Why?” KK said throwing what some would call a temper tantrum but to those who knew her they recognized that she was about ready to explode.

Steve could see KK becoming more and more agitated and knew he had to do something to help KK relieve the stress she was under. He would have suggested they go for a run but what if something happened to her that he couldn’t protect her from. If something would happen he would never, ever forgive himself for bringing harm to her. What could he do?

“KK,” Steve said trying to get her attention. When that didn’t work he walked over to her and grabbed her arms to turn her around to face him and crouched down to her level to see her eye for eye. “Listen to me,” he said in his stern teacher voice and waited for her to focus in on her. He would have like to tell her not to let the autism grab hold but Roscoe and Cletus were in the room that had no ideal about KK’s condition. Instead he just told her to focus on his eyes and listen to him, “KK, listen to me,” he told her calmly. “We’re gonna get to the bottom of this,” Steve told her as she grabbed his arms for dear life.

Steve could tell by the fierce grip that she was fighting the battle but losing it very quickly. “It’s not fair, it’s not fair,” she screamed over and over again at the top of her lungs and tears flowing.

“I know sweetheart, I know,” Steve said with tears beginning to run down his cheeks.

“It’s not fair that Bo and Luke are suffering in the hospital. I need them. I can’t stand to think about not having them be here,” KK said crying. “Who would want to hurt them, Steve, who would?”

“Sweetheart, I don’t know,” was all Steve could tell her before he broke down. He picked her up and wrapped his arms around her as tightly and as close to him as possible.

“What happens if they die? I can’t go on without them,” KK said muffled into Steve’s shirt.

Steve couldn’t respond. He just allowed her tears flowed, which carried out her frustration of the entire situation.

The rest who were in the room stood in amazement of what Steve was doing. Uncle Jesse prayed that Steve would be able to have the strength to protect KK when he couldn’t; Daisy had tears in her eyes; Coy and Vance didn’t know exactly what was going on or what to do; Cooter thought about getting revenge on those that caused this trauma; and Roscoe and Cletus watched as their own hearts dropped to their stomach seeing how much this little girl was in pain.

“KK?” Steve asked a few minutes later when her crying subsided.

“What?” KK responded in a voice that made shocked Steve and made him believe that she was madder than hell. This was not the normal KK who would go to sleep on his shoulder. She was mad and angry and ready to do something about it.

“You ready to get those guys that hurt your cousins?”

“Yeah.”

Before Steve could say anything, Uncle Jesse interrupted. “Oh, no. I’m not letting you get in harms’ way,” he told KK.

“Listen, I’m a member of this family too. Just because I’m only seven doesn’t mean I can’t help. And besides it’s not any of you there after it’s me for some unknown reason,” KK said in a very determined voice.

Uncle Jesse, although against his better judgment, knew that no matter what happened KK needed to be involved. He could see that Duke stubbornness and determination coming through and no matter what he would say to or try to convince KK, she wanted to be involved.

Back at the hospital there was a miracle going on. Although he was still in a medical induced coma the monitors were showing much improvement for Bo. There was more brain activity going on and the swelling in his chest was going down as well. Doctor Jorgensen hoped that sooner, rather than later they could take the breathing tube out and stop the medication that put him in the coma in the first place. Dr. Jorgensen believed that the moment that the medication was out of his system he would wake up.

Luke, although still critical, was making extremely slow but encouraging progress. The pressure on his brain had receded quite a bit. He still had the infection in his heart that he was fighting but hopefully the antibiotics would do its job. Dr. Jorgensen just wasn’t sure that with the entire trauma to his body that Luke Duke would be the same Luke Duke that he was Thursday morning when he left the Duke family farm.

“First of all, I need to know one thing,” KK said looking at her Uncle Jesse. “Do you know why these people want me?”

“No.”

“Are you being honest with me?” KK asked, shocking everyone.

“Yes,” Uncle Jesse said. He really didn’t know what her father’s goons wanted with her or why he wanted her dead.

“I know this has to do something with my parents,” KK said once again shocking everyone. “I’m not gonna ask now, but one day, I deserve the truth. I know I had parents; I just don’t know what happened to them.”

“You’re right,” Uncle Jesse told her. “You deserve the truth, but I can honestly say I don’t know why these particular people want you.”

Satisfied for the time being KK continued. “I’ll be the bait. I want them to chase me and then y’all can figure out what happens next.”

“Great plan K, if you want to get killed,” Vance said.

“Come up with something better, genius,” KK responded back with venom in her voice.

“Stop it you two,” Uncle Jesse said before they were at each other’s throats. “KK’s right – she’ll have to be the bait. There’s nothing we else we can do about that. Just make sure you out run them, okay?”

“I will. Don’t worry.”

“Yeah, me worry about you, very funny young lady,” Uncle Jesse said as he smiled at her.

“Okay….here’s the plan.”

Balladeer: Folks, I don’t know what KK has in mind but I have a funny feeling that it’s not going to go as plan. Let’s just hope everything goes okay.

End of Part 22

The Chase

KK realized that she needed the help of her two triplet sisters and her friends, family, and the law. Although the law wasn’t the best in Hazzard, KK figured that at least they would be there to arrest those that were responsible for injuring her cousins. The basic plan was to let KK be bait and have them chase her all around town until Roscoe, Cletus, and/or Enos arrest them. The rest of the gang was to keep tabs on KK and help in case problems arised.

“KK,” KK’s sister Aaron asked with concern, “Are you sure this is gonna work?”

“Do you have a better idea?” KK responded.

“No, not really, but KK…”

KK interrupted, “Listen Aaron – for some reason they want me. I don’t know why but they do,” and then KK walked away.

Aaron and Karen, KK’s triplet sisters knew what was going on. Their mother had told them after the accident exactly what had happened that brought them here. Aaron went to find her sister and pulled her away from the crowd to a corner of Cooter’s garage.

“What?” Karen asked.

“I’m scared,” Aaron said.

“Scared?” Karen asked with concern. Aaron was always brave – never scared and it bothered Karen that she was.

“I’m scared for KK. She doesn’t know what happened to her family and why these guys are after her. What happens if she’s captured? We’ll never see her again. I don’t think Uncle Jesse understands who these guys in the car are either. There part of our father’s gang and all they want is her dead.”

“I know Aaron,” Karen said, “but have faith in KK. I’m sure that we’ll all capture the bad guys and live happily ever after.”

“How can you be so sure, Karen”

“KK is the best driver around and there’s no way in the world that we’re gonna let something happen to her. And besides – she’s got that determination look in her eyes and when that happens nothing stops her.”

Although Aaron didn’t feel better she realized that there was no way that KK was going to run and hide anymore. Aaron understood that Dukes don’t back down from a challenge and KK definitely fit that role to a tee.

KK knew that she needed more help than what her family, Cooter, Roscoe, Cletus and Enos could do. So, besides her sisters, she called for the help of her friends Matt, Kitten, Shane, Jim and the two Jamies.

“Wait a minute, K,” Matt said worrisome after KK explained her plan, “We’re suppose to let you become bait and let them try and capture you? Are you nuts?”

“Listen, I’m not going to be by myself, someone will be watching over me. I’m maybe nuts, but I’m not crazy enough to think I can out drive them forever.”

“I agree with Matt,” Aaron spoke up, “I don’t like putting you out as a piece of meat.”

“Will you stop worrying?”

Everyone responded, “No.”

“Geesh, okay – worry, but I bet everything will go according to plan.”

“Hello, KK!” Steve said. “Remember, this is Hazzard.”

“Yeah, I know; but maybe once things will work out.”

KK was really afraid to admit she was scared out of her mind. She knew that a million things could go wrong with this plan but she felt in her heart this was the best plan. Even Uncle Jesse knew the seriousness and craziness of the plan but couldn’t think of a better one. It was plan and simple – they were after KK and KK would have to somehow sucker them in order for the Hazzard Police to catch them.

As everyone discussed where they were going to go to watch KK and the plan play itself out, Uncle Jesse took KK aside, away from everyone. He knew by the way she was acting that she was scared and wanted to give her an emotional boost.

“Listen kiddo, I know that your scared of what could happen but I have confidence in you that you can pull it off. You’ll have many eyes and ears watching over you – you just get their attention and let the adults handle the rest.”

“Okay,” KK said and gave her Uncle a hug.

Balladeer: Folks, I’m not sure what exactly KK has up her sleeve but this should be one interesting chase scene. If Bo and Luke had any idea of what was going on they would have never let this crazy scheme hatch, nevertheless let it be played out. When Bo and Luke get caught up in a crazy scheme to clear their names usually KK is left out of it, but I think if this crazy scheme of her’s works, she’ll want to become more involved. I can’t wait until Bo and Luke here about this turn of events, if they survive.

With the General Lee out of commission, Uncle Jesse and Vance went in his pick-up while Daisy and Coy went in Dixie. Cooter went in his truck, Enos and Steve took their own cars while Roscoe and Cletus took Hazzard 1 and 2. The kids were off on the mopeds and KK took the main road out of downtown Hazzard, Georgia State Route 63.

“Okay, K, take it nice and easy, just act like your out for a joy ride. If you spot something, holler,” Uncle Jesse told her.

It was three in the afternoon and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. KK lived for days like these when she could just go and find a field of grass and relax. Let her mind go and not think about a single thing. KK knew that somebody would watch over her but as long as they didn’t bother her she didn’t mind.

Within 30 minutes of her riding around, KK got plum bored with this. One thing she didn’t account on was them not finding her. This was annoying; she just wanted to get this done and over with.

“Uncle Jesse,” KK said over her CB radio,[10] “I’m getting bored.” “Maybe there not out there?”

“K, I’ve got a suggestion. Why don’t we go back to Channel 19 and see if they can hear us. Maybe then they’ll come after you.”
“Okay,” she said sadly.

“KK, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” she said trying to hide how scared she really was.

“KK, if you want to give up this plan, it’s okay.”

“No,” she said as the tears came. “I have to do this. They hurt Bo and Luke.”

“Okay, sweetheart but when you want to stop let us know. When were done, switch back to 23, okay? You ready to switch over?”

“Yes,” KK said with some confidence.

“She’s how old, Uncle Jesse?” Vance asked as he switched channels on the CB.

“7 and almost 3/4 as she would say, why?”

“Do you think she can pull this off without getting hurt?”

“Vance I have confidence in her, but I’m worry sick about her.”

Vance said a prayer for KK and for the plan to go smoothly as possible.

“This is Shepherd to Law Sheep, Jr.,” which was KK CB name, “you out there.”

“Yep,” was all KK said because she wasn’t sure if she was to say real names or not.

“KK, I need to know where you’re at,” Uncle Jesse said, in hopes that KK would follow his lead and say exactly where she was at.

KK took a deep breath in and said, “I’m heading north on Route 63. I’m about 5 miles out of town,”

“Good Girl,” Uncle Jesse thought to himself. “Hey, can you go up to the McGregor’s farm and pick up a package for me?” Uncle Jesse hoped she would understand that this was all in play and not ask who’s McGregor were. Uncle Jesse had just made it up.

“Sure, no problem,” KK said, wondering who McGregor was.

“All right, I’ll see you when you get back home.”

KK waited a few moments and then went back to Channel 23.

Sure enough the two bad guys in a big black car were listening in.

“I think were gonna get our kid, won’t John be happy!” Butch said.

“That he will be. Come on, what are we waiting for? Put the car in gear and let’s get going,” Conway said.

Soon enough the two men were on there way.

Balladeer: On Route 63 there was a section of road that Uncle Jesse prayed that the bad guys wouldn’t meet up with KK. It was a part where 63 had many twist and turns and Uncle Jesse or anyone else couldn’t always see KK. It also met the beginning or the end, matter how you’d looked at it Route 19. Now folks, I know what y’all are thinking. KK may have luck, but at times that luck doesn’t necessarily work in the good sense.

“KK,” Uncle Jesse said, “You’re on your own until you get through these curves. If you see a vehicle let me know.”

“Okay,” KK said.

Unfortunately, for KK sake, Route 19 has a few curves of its own and there was no way that KK ever saw that black car coming around the bend before it hit her.

A few moments of eerie silence didn’t sit well with Uncle Jesse. He was about to call out her to her when he heard a large crash noise. Uncle Jesse and Vance both looked at each other and knew that KK didn’t find trouble, but trouble had found her.

While Uncle Jesse floored it, It would be a moment or two before they got there but as soon as they did they couldn’t believe what they saw. Vance told everyone to meet them at the Intersection of Route 19 and 63 as soon as they could but to stop their vehicles away from the intersection and walk up. Someone had asked him why and all he could say was “Because.” He would have like to try and prepare them for the situation but there was no words that would accurately described the scenery.

Aaron and Karen knew, being triplet sisters with KK, before Vance told them to meet at 19 and 63 that KK was hurt.

“Damn, it K,” Aaron muttered to herself, “I told you it was stupid. I should have never let you do this.”

“Aaron, relax. You knew we couldn’t stop her and she knew the dangers,” Karen said to her sister.

Eventually everyone but Steve got to the scene and was shocked and sickened by what they saw. Steve was hustling but he was the farthest one out on the other side of town. Route 19 ended at Route 63 due to a large rock formation that was too large to blow up to continue Route 19. It would have also put in jeopardy the foundation of many houses and roads that laid south and above Route 63.

When Uncle Jesse and Vance got there, Uncle Jesse got out while Vance called everyone else. In the crumpled mess of car and it’s fluids such as oil, radiator fluid and other liquids that no one knew exactly was Uncle Jesse could see a bit of red – which meant only one thing and Uncle Jesse knew it. The only question was now where was KK? He prayed that she would be found.

Steve fought the tears while he quickly made his way from one end of the county to the other. Steve ended up on Squire Road, the road that ran parallel and just above Route 63. No one noticed him coming up because they were all looking for KK while Roscoe, Enos, and Cletus were working on arresting a daze and confused Butch and Conway. They had tried to ask them where she was at but they didn’t know who KK was from who they were. Steve looked down below and saw the crumpled mess of what the car that followed him and KK in the first place and the bits and pieces of what was left of KK’s moped. He stopped fighting the tears and sat down, allowing himself to shed the emotion that he wouldn’t allow while driving. He wanted to scream at God for allowing a precious seven-year old get killed over something so stupid when he looked up and saw in a mighty oak tree on the shoulder of Squire a body hanging over a tree limb that hung over the road.

“Uncle Jesse,” Steve screamed. “I’ve found her.”

End of Part 23

The Result

Uncle Jesse didn’t realize that Steve had come upon the crash site. “How in tarnation did she get up there? It’s got to be at least 15 feet.”

Steve looked up on the shorter branch above her was the seat of her spree. Steve suspected that the impact from the crash sent KK airborne. He couldn’t definitely explain how the seat landed above her but suspected that she landed originally on the higher branch, the seat stayed put on the branch, she bounced up and forward, off the higher branch, and landed on the next branch below. He doubt that they would know the real truth because he doubted that she would remember any of this.

Roscoe immediately called for an ambulance and one of the County Fire Truck with a cherry picker on it so that the EMT’s could safely get KK down from the tree branch without injuring her further. While Cletus and Enos made sure that the two bad guys weren’t going anywhere.

To everyone it looked like KK was just sleeping on her stomach. Being so skinny her body was firmly on the tree branch with her arms and legs hanging over the side. No one knew if she was dead or alive. Steve, figuring that he was the closest to her, climbed the tree and find out. In stunned silence Steve cautiously climbed up the tree. His stomach in knots and he tried not to throw up. He knew that this could be the end for the little girl that he loved so much and respected. Not many seven-year olds would want to face this situation or even try and resolved it. As he climbed the tree he said a little prayer. Something that he hadn’t done since his grandmother died years ago. He only hoped for everyone’s sake that she at least had a pulse.

When Steve got to the branch he looked down at Uncle Jesse who gave him a thumb up signal. This gave Steve some comfort for some odd reason. Daisy hid her face into Uncle Jesse’s left shoulder while Vance and Coy stood next to her. Karen and Aaron hugged one another, almost afraid at looking at Steve for the worse sign, while the rest of KK’s friends huddle around them.

He gently got on the branch and carefully walked to where KK was. The trick of this was to see if KK had a pulse, not move her in anyway, and not fall off the tree. Steve got on the branch and slowly made his way towards her. When he got to her he gently sat down on the branch so not to jar it; took a deep breath and bent over the small skeleton of KK to see if there was a pulse.

Balladeer: Folks…hold you breath on this one. I only hope that the Duke’s luck hasn’t run out just yet. KK needs a tad bit of it. I just hope it’s nothing too serious. Uncle Jesse has enough on his plate to worry about and then to top it all off burying a seven year old who never should have been in this situation to begin with.

Steve got as close as he dared behind KK and stretch his body over her’s; using one hand to balance himself on the tree limb and the other to check for a pulse. “Come on K,” Steve said quietly to himself, “Please have a pulse.” He placed two fingers on her neck and felt her strong pulse beats. Steve couldn’t say anything; he was too choked up from the emotion and instead gave Uncle Jesse the thumb up sign back announcing that KK was alive. Although thrilled that she had survived, Uncle Jesse and everyone knew that the unknown factor was what injuries she had and would she ever fully recover from them.

Eventually the ambulance arrived and they were able to get KK down in a safe, but quickly manner. Uncle Jesse requested that the EMT call ahead to the hospital and request a Dr. Jorgensen, if he was there, to be her doctor. Uncle Jesse hoped and prayed that he just happened to be on duty. When they got to the hospital, an attendant met them and told them that Dr. Jorgensen was notified and was looking over KK. As soon as he some sort of news he would let them all know.

KK’s friends and two sisters huddled in a corner, sometimes praying sometimes talking about KK and the crazy stuff that has happened to her and the family. Uncle Jesse was glad to see them there all together. Not only supporting KK, but her two triplet sisters as well. KK and Aaron did not usually see eye to eye and many things but if one needed something, no matter how mad they were at each other, they were always there to support one another and this time was no different.

The Dukes, Roscoe, and Cooter sat in the center of the room while Steve stood off by himself, staring blankly out the window, just as KK did a few nights back. Uncle Jesse knew that he was deeply hurt by what he had learned about KK father and the events that had happened since the early afternoon. Noticing this, he excused himself from the group and went over to where Steve was standing.

“What are you thinking about?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“Everything. Everything that has happened today. How can anyone hurt that precious baby?” Steve asked as silent tears rolled down his cheeks. “She’s never hurt anyone; why would they want to hurt her?”

“Steve,” Uncle Jesse said as he put his right arm on Steve’s right shoulder, “I’m gonna tell you something that I don’t think I’ve told anyone, “He wants her dead. There’s no doubt about that. The reason is because he blames her for ruining his life. He doesn’t blame Aaron or Karen because they’re considered “normal” She’s not, according to standards set by the doctors. KK was the one who was always sick, who needed to see a doctor, not doing things that a normal 6 month or 1 year old was suppose to do. Until he’s succeeded, her life will always be in danger. Hopefully something can put a stop to it and she can live her life the way she wants, but until then we have to watch out for her.”

“Why can’t he figure out that she’s out of his hair? Isn’t taking away her mother good enough? It got her sent down here, didn’t it? She’s so sweet, Mr. Duke. I’ve never seen someone try so hard to do so well and please others. All she wants is confirmation that she’s on the right track. Someone to tell her that she did a good job. I know that we all do that but she’s competing not only with her classmates but Aaron and Karen as well. I can see that she’s struggling to break free from them. She wants to be better than them in something, anything, and do something that they don’t do. I know we all try to tell her that she’s a great kid, but I know she doesn’t always believe in herself.”

“Steve, without you being there, KK would have probably been lost long time ago. Sure, Bo, Luke, Daisy and I could tell her how wonderful she is but you’re the one that helps her prove it to herself. You’re the one that is teaching her math and science that no one knew she had a gift in. I know she can be difficult at times but you have always been able to show her how smart and talented she is.”

“I’ve never been one for violence. Fighting is not the answer but I would like to end all of KK’s troubles by the pull of the trigger.”

“Steve,” Uncle Jesse interrupted.

Steve couldn’t help it and begin to cry harder, “She doesn’t deserve this. She doesn’t deserve the fact that she has to watch over her shoulder at all times to make sure that no one kidnaps her. She should be able to be a kid, run around, get into mischief, that sort of thing and not worry about what’s up around the next bend, and get hit by a car.”

Uncle Jesse took Steve in his arms and hugged him. He didn’t know what else to do. After a few moments Steve calmed down and Uncle Jesse released the hold on him. “Steve, she’s a Duke and a fighter – she’ll be fine.”

Steve sniffled and wipe his eyes with his hands, “I suppose so,” and they both silently continued to look out the window.

It was 6:30 p.m. and they had been at the hospital for over two hours now. The kids called their parents to let them know what the situation was and that they weren’t going anywhere until they knew how KK was. Being the dinner hour Coy and Vance went out and got pizza for everyone. Just as they were starting to eat Dr. Jorgensen came out to the Emergency waiting room and everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at the doctor.

“Mr. Duke, can I see you for a moment?” Dr. Jorgensen asked.

Uncle Jesse stepped a few feet away from where everyone was standing to meet up with the doctor. “How is she?”

“We have taken several tests and x-rays but at this moment nothing seems injured or broken with the exception of her head. She has a concussion which is a significant blow to the head that results in unconsciousness[11]. We don’t know how long she’ll be in this state – it’s up to her. More than likely she will not remember much of what happened today, she may as time goes on but how much we won’t know. We have her on monitors to watch for any significant problems such bleeding into or around the brain or brain swelling. We do expect a complete recovery but understand that the after affects of a concussion, can be prolonged dizziness, irritability, headaches, and other symptoms may occur.”

“Can we go see her?”

“Why don’t we do this, let’s have everyone who would like to see her meet me in the conference room to talk about what they can expect. I would encourage allowing only the adults at this time though. Those that have visited Luke know what to expect. The only difference is that KK is not in the ICU. The other news I wanted to give you is that Bo is also out of the ICU as well and we have started to reduce the medication for the medical coma and taken out his ventilator. He should wake up tomorrow. I also thought it would be easier on you and your family to have Bo and KK in the same room together.”

Uncle Jesse shook hands with the doctor. “Doctor, can the two girls,” he pointed to Aaron and Karen, “and the young man to their right” talking about Matt, “see KK as well? The girls are her triplet sisters and Matt was the young man that was here the first night and is her best friend.”

“Sure, but I want to prepare everybody for what there going to see.”

“Thanks, I know they’ll appreciate it,” Uncle Jesse said and went to round the troops together.

While Dr. Jorgensen unlocked the door to the conference room, Uncle Jesse explained to everyone what the deal was. He said that the adults and Matt, Karen and Aaron could see KK if they wanted to. The other kids understood and said they would wait for everyone in the waiting room.

No one was really sure if they wanted to go through with this but they had to for Bo and KK’s sake.

Dr Jorgensen began the meeting by introducing himself. “I’m Dr. Jorgensen and I have been the doctor that has taken care of your family members. I would like to acquaint you on what you’ll see when I take you to see Bo and KK. Both have oxygen supplied to them and both are unconscious. It will seem that all they’re doing is sleeping and all you need to do is shake them to wake up. Don’t shake them because they do have brain injuries. You can hold their hands, give them kisses, but realize that moving their bodies; especially their heads can do more damage then good. That’s why we asked only adults to come in but Mr. Duke requested that you three,” pointing to Karen, Aaron, and Matt, ”be able to visit as well. Most of Bo’s swelling in his chest and head have gone down considerably since you last saw him. KK’s head though is a bit swollen but that’s from the actual contact from the tree than anything else. If there’s no more questions…”

“Is it possible to see Luke?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“This time I’m going to say only adult members of the family.” Silent tears rolled down Aaron’s eyes. Steve wrapped his arm around her. He’s still touch and go right now. I know that you two are family and want to see him, but if something should happen, I don’t want you’re last memories of him in a hospital like that. I promised as soon as he’s in serious condition I’ll let you see him.”

“I know Aaron you want see him, but KK has been traumatized by watching him flatline,” Uncle Jesse said. “Like the Doc said, as soon as he is on the road to recovery will let you and Karen see him.”

“Okay,” Aaron said, barley getting the words out.

“I don’t want everyone in there at the same time, so figured out who’s going to go first,” Dr. Jorgensen said.

“Why don’t we do this, Roscoe, Cooter, Coy and Vance go first. Then I’ll send the three kids in and then Steve, Daisy and I,” Uncle Jesse said.

Roscoe, Cooter, Coy and Vance were lead by Dr. Jorgensen to Bo and KK’s room. They were exactly sure what they were going to see but at least they knew they had to do this.

Coy and Vance went in first. They were at the hospital when Luke flatlined before but they weren’t in the room when it happened. When they went in first they weren’t shocked at what they saw because what Dr. Jorgensen had told them about it looked like they were sleeping was the absolute truth. The only thing that made them nervous what the constant beeps of the machines. They just stood there not knowing what to say. When they approached KK’s bed they each gave her a kiss on the cheek.

Following them were Roscoe and Cooter. They went to Bo’s bedside first.

“Don’t worry about the General, I’ll have her all fixed up before you come home. You just concentrate on getting well,” Cooter said.

“Yeah, and I can’t wait to give you a speeding ticket.”

When they turned their attention to KK tears came to their eyes.

“She looks so sweet,” Cooter said.

“She looks like she’s sleeping,” Roscoe said.

“I know. I just can’t wait until they all get home,” Coy said.

“Amen,” Vance said.

Roscoe gave her a kiss on her cheek and told her to rest and get better.

Cooter gave her a kiss on the other cheek and told her that when she’s up to it she could come and help fix the General.

The four left the room.

Dr. Jorgensen took them back to the waiting room and brought Aaron, Karen, and Matt. The girls held hands, afraid of what they would see in the room. It took a bit of encouragement from Matt, but Karen and Aaron finally made it into the room.

Aaron and Karen told Bo that they loved him and gave him kisses on his forehead. Matt grabbed his hand and told him the same thing.

When they turned around and saw KK, both girls started crying. Matt didn’t get it but he figured it was a triplet thing. They always tended to know subconsciously when one was hurt.

“Hey, there sis,” Karen began. “We need you to get well. We’re a threesome, not a twosome. We need you to get back to us as soon as possible,” and then gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“Yeah, what Karen said,” Aaron said. “I miss you big sister,” and then gave her a kiss on the cheek.

Then it was Matt’s turn. “KK, you’ve got to get better. I need you just as much as you need me. You’re my best friend and I still need you so don’t do anything foolish. I love you,” Matt said and gave her a kiss on her cheek. After saying goodbye to KK they left the room and followed Dr. Jorgensen back to the waiting room.

When they got there, Cooter and Roscoe were leaving and the kids decided to leave before it got too dark. Coy and Vance waited in the waiting room while Steve, Daisy and Uncle Jesse made their visits.

“Can we go see Luke for a moment before seeing the other two?” Uncle Jesse requested.

“Sure.”

When they walk into the ICU Unit they were amazed at what they saw. Luke seemed to have improved a lot since they last saw him the day before.

“It’s still touch and go but the antibiotics for that infection seem to be doing the trick. Let’s keep hoping so,” Dr. Jorgensen said.

“Hey there Luke. You keep getting better. No more tricks, okay. A seven-year old kid is waiting for you to get better,” Uncle Jesse said and gave Luke’s hand a quick squeeze.

Daisy followed, “You just get better. It’s too quite at home,” and then gave Luke a kiss on the cheek.

Dr. Jorgensen then escorted them from ICU to Bo’s and KK’s room. When they got there he told them that if they needed anything to have a nurse page his office.

When they got to the entrance of the room Dr. Jorgensen made his exit to give the family privacy. Uncle Jesse walked in first with Daisy and then Steve behind him. They were all nervous about what they were going to see. To the three of them, Bo seemed to be doing very well. Granted he wasn’t awake just yet but hopefully tomorrow or Tuesday he would be. KK on the other hand looked as white as a ghost. So white she almost blended in to the sheets of the bed. The only thing that wasn’t white was the bruise that went across her entire forehead. It looked terrible and Steve couldn’t hold the tears. He felt foolish for crying over a seven year old but there was a special bond between them. It was like he was a big brother to her, trying to protect her from all the hurt in the world. He knew he couldn’t protect her from everything but still he felt that he failed her each time she got hurt.

Steve pulled up a chair next to KK’s bed, held her hand and just watched her. He could now understand the need that KK had to be close to her cousins. Not that they expected her to die from her injuries, but just in case, he didn’t want her to go out of this world alone. He just sat there and caressed her hand letting her know that he was there.

“Steve,” Uncle Jesse said to him an hour or so later, “it’s getting close to 9:00 p.m.”

Steve hadn’t realized that he had been sitting there so long. “Do you think it will be okay to leave her alone? What if she wakes up?”

“Steve, stop worrying about her. Dr. Jorgensen said that they have her sedated and she’ll sleep throughout the night.”

“I know but I still don’t want to leave her alone.”

Uncle Jesse knew that there wasn’t any use in arguing the point. He remembered Luke years back when KK was in the hospital and refused to leave her bedside as well. “Steve, if you want to stay it’s fine by me. You’ll have to clear it with Dr. Jorgensen, but I’m sure he won’t have a problem with it.”

Steve went to the Nurse’s Station and had Dr. Jorgensen paged to come to the room.

“Dr. Jorgensen, would be okay if Steve stays here the night?”

“I don’t see a problem with that. I’ll just let the nurse know that your staying,” Dr. Jorgensen said and left the room.

“Are you sure about this Steve?”

“Yeah, I’m sure. I’ll just call and leave a message at school so they can get a substitute teacher.”

“I do appreciate it Steve. I wasn’t too keen on leaving her all alone but what else could I do? I have a farm to run and besides I’m getting too old to sleep on a chair through the night.”

Dr. Jorgensen then came back into the room and told Steve to follow him. He needed to get a bracelet like the patients wear so that other hospital staff knew that it was okay for him to be in Bo’s and KK’s room. He asked to use their phone for a moment to call the school to inform that he wouldn’t be there. He just left the message saying that he had a family emergency to take care of and left it at that. He figured people would soon enough put two and two together about what the emergency was. Once Steve returned to the room Uncle Jesse and Daisy stated that they were leaving for the night but would be back first thing in the morning.

Steve knew it was plum crazy to stay there all night with KK. He knew fair well that she wouldn’t remember any of this but what if for some crazy reason she did wake up? If she did wake up and no one was there to comfort her how would she feel? He would feel guilty if he wasn’t there to comfort this child. Besides, he would be here at the hospital tomorrow anyways if there was a chance that she would wake up. He promised her that he would be here for her since Luke was unable to fulfill that role at the moment. She relied on him like she relied on air to breathe.

He scooted the chair as close as possible to the bed and held her hand, running his thumb over her hand in a comforting gesture. He just sat there and stared at her, praying silently to himself.

“God, I know I haven’t talk to you lately, but this is important. You need to help with a miracle. KK, this seven year old laying in this bed, needs it. Her cousin Luke is laying in Intensive Care who is teetering on the edge of life and death. We’re still not sure that he’s going to make it. We need, or I should say she needs your help by having Luke live and be the same guy she said goodbye to on that fateful day. I know it’s a tall order but hasn’t that seven year old been through enough already?” Steve continued to rub his hand on hers until exhaustion took over him.

Matt was not looking forward to school Monday. People would ask about where KK was and he wasn’t sure that he really wanted to explain what was going on. Only her sisters and friends knew about the accident and those same people knew about KK’s accident. He didn’t think more people needed to know.

“Aaron, are you okay?” Matt asked, giving her a hug.

“Yeah, I’m just not emotionally ready to handle the day, if you know what I mean?”

“Yeah, I have to sit next to an empty desk, trying not to think it’s forever,” Matt said.

“Let’s just pray that she wakes up soon so we can put our fears to rest, okay?” Karen said.

“Why are you guys here anyways? I thought you would be at the hospital?”

“What are we going to do there? Anyways my mom will take us there after school. You’re welcome to come along. We we’re going to ask you anyways.”

“Yeah, I would appreciate that.”

The school bell rung meaning the school day was about to begin.

“Listen,” Karen said, “We’ll meet by the main entrance right after school, okay?”

“Thanks,” Matt said and they walked together to the main entrance of the school.

Next to the main entrance of the school is the school office. When they entered they saw Uncle Jesse talking to Mr. Kilgore, Principal of Hazzard Elementary and continued on their way to their classes.

“Hello Mr. Duke. Is there something I can do for you?”

“Yes, if you have a moment I would like to speak to you in your office.”

“Sure, come on in,” Mr. Kilgore said and showed Uncle Jesse into his office, shutting the door behind them.

“Have a seat, Mr. Duke,” he said as he slid behind his desk, “What can I do for you?”

“Mr. Kilgore, my niece KK,” he bean as he took his red cap off and sat down, “probably won’t be in this week.”

“I noticed that she had left early on Friday. Is something the matter?”

“Yes. My two nephews Bo and Luke were in a serious accident on Thursday. KK and Matt found them and practically saved their lives.” Uncle Jesse decided against telling him about the tree it would only make for more questions and confusing answers at best. “Anyways, in relations to the accident, KK was also involved in an accident as well and is currently hospitalized with a concussion.” He purposely left out unconscious because he needed to get out of there and go relieve Steve and see how his baby girl was doing.

“I am so sorry. How long will she be out?”

“I’m guessing at least this week and if not all, most of next week. We’ll have to see how she feels. If there isn’t anything else…” Uncle Jesse said trying to make Mr. Kilgore get the hint that he was in a hurry.

“No, but please keep me updated. Mr. Gleason has also called in for today and soon as he returns I will gather her homework together,” Mr. Kilgore said as he stood up, shook Uncle Jesse hand, and open the door for him.

“Thank you,” Uncle Jesse said and left the school heading for the hospital.

When Matt finally reached his classroom he wasn’t surprised to see that Steve wasn’t in and that he had a substitute. Shane was in the same class as KK and Matt and whispered to Matt, “I take it that Steve stayed the night at the hospital with KK.”

“I would expect so,” Matt said. The bell rang for class to begin and the substitute requested them to take their seats. When Matt sat down he looked over to KK’s desk and commented to himself, “This is gonna be a long day.”

When Uncle Jesse and Daisy arrived at the hospital they found Steve sleeping. He was sitting on a chair; his head was resting on the bed; one am draped over KK’s stomach; while the other one was firmly clasped to KK’s left hand.”

“I hate to wake him up but he would probably feel better sleeping in his own bed,” Uncle Jesse whispered to Daisy.

Uncle Jesse gently shook Steve awake.

“Sorry Uncle Jesse. I didn’t mean to fall asleep on the job.”

“Steve, you didn’t do anything wrong. I wasn’t expecting you to stay up with her all night long. I was just glad to you volunteered to stay the night with her. Why don’t you go home for awhile and get some sleep in your own bed?”

“No.”

“Steve she’s gonna need you when she awakes. Don’t exhaust yourself out now while she’s unconscious.”

“I know, but I want to be here when she wakes up.”

“I know you do Steve. When I talked to Dr. Jorgensen he said that the medication to sedate her would take awhile for it to get out of her system. It probably won’t be until late today or tomorrow until she wakes.”

“Mr. Duke,” Steve said, “I doubt that. I don’t think she’ll actually awake until later this week. I think her body is going to take the time to rest and recuperate. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t until this weekend.”

“I agree with you Steve. She’s been on the emotion roller coaster for three days and needs some time to recharge herself.”

At that moment Dr. Jorgensen came in. “I would have to agree with you. Her concussion isn’t what would be called severe but we can somewhat predict by brain activity when the patient should wake up.” Dr. Jorgensen showed Steve, Uncle Jesse, and Daisy the scans of Bo and KK. “You see KK’s brain is working fine but it’s in a sleep mode. That tells us that it’s resting and the unconscious won’t allow the conscious to wake up yet. On Bo’s scan there’s much more activity and would not be surprised if he woke up today.”

“Would someone just wake up or would there be some clues.”

“Each case is different but there should be some notion on Bo’s part that he’s trying to wake up. It would be good for him to hear your voices to “guide” him back. It can help speed the process. I would recommend talking to him softly because he may wake up with a headache and keep the blinds closed because he may have sensitivity to sunlight. Just be calm with him. He’ll probably be disorientated when he wakes up about what has happened. I would also recommend pulling that curtain until you have a chance to tell him about what has happened to KK.

“Good ideal. I would hate to just agitate him just when he wakes up and sees KK laying there in the other bed,” Uncle Jesse commented.

“When he starts to wake up tell the nurse to page me. I would like to be in the room when he opens his eyes. I won’t be by his bed, but just in case something happens I will be right there to help y’all get through it.”

“How soon doc?” Steve asked.

“Within a matter of hours I would suppose. If you don’t have any more questions for me, I have to see other patients.”

“Oh sure doc. I appreciate everything you have done for us,” Uncle Jesse said and then Dr. Jorgensen left the family to tend to other patients.

“Steve, like I said go home, get some sleep. When he wakes up we’ll call ya.”

“Yeah. He wouldn’t expect me to be here anyways. He would wonder why I was here. He would then know that something had happened to KK.”

Steve then went over to KK’s bed and softly talked to her, “Hey there my precious angel; get some well deserved rest. I love you,” and then he gently kissed her forehead.”

Steve took one last look at her and then headed out the room.

“Thanks again Steve, I do appreciate it.”

“Not a problem,” he said and left the room.

Ever since Bo and Luke had entered in the hospital they were talked to or had heard their favorite music. Poor Steve had to put up with country music all night long because KK was insistent on both of them hearing music that they enjoyed. There had been subtle clues as the coma inducing medication began to wear off that Bo was coming back to life. Ever so often Uncle Jesse or Daisy would speak to Bo and there would be more of a response as time went by.[12]

Around 12:30 p.m. Dr. Jorgensen came back in to the room. He told Uncle Jesse that within a matter of minutes to an hour he expected Bo to awake to full consciousness. The hospital staff had been giving him simple commands such as squeezing hands throughout yesterday and overnight to test how alert he was. Dr. Jorgensen was pleased with the results.

“Within an hour? Are you sure?” Uncle Jesse asked in disbelief.

“I’m sure. Close the curtain so he doesn’t see KK.”

“Well his squeezes are getting stronger as we go on and there seems to be more activity in his face when we talk to him. I’m just nervous about how to tell him the news.”

Uncle Jesse turned back around to face Bo and was shocked at what he saw. One miracle finally happened! Bo was awake.

End of Part 24

Bo’s Awake!

“Just relax son,” Uncle Jesse was telling his youngest nephew who was confused about his surroundings. “You and Luke were in an accident,” Uncle Jesse said.

Dr. Jorgensen slowly made his way to the bed . “This is Dr. Jorgensen, Bo. He’s the one that has helped you recover.” Dr. Jorgensen did a quick check of Bo and found that he seemed to be doing okay.

Suddenly Bo realized that Luke wasn’t there. “Where was Luke?” Bo thought to himself.

Uncle Jesse must have read his mind because he said, “Luke’s was a bit worse for wear when y’all came in. He’s in another room where he can be observed closely.” Uncle Jesse prayed for two things: For Bo not putting two and two together about what part of the hospital Luke was in, which was I.C.U. and that KK was not there either. He hoped that he would believe that KK was at school.

Although his throat was scratchy from the breathing tube and not being used for days Bo wanted to know where KK was. Luke had ingrained in him that if something was to happen to him that he needed to take care of KK.

“Where’s KK?” Bo asked in a whisper.

Uncle Jesse knew that he was between a rock and a hard place with Bo when he asked that the question. Uncle Jesse thought about it for a moment, looked at Daisy and Dr. Jorgensen and decided to tell Bo the honest truth.

“Bo, I want you to listen to me. First of all, thanks to your cousin, those responsible who were responsible for the accident are now in jail and facing numerous charges. I also don’t want you to get upset over what I’m going to tell you because there’s no need to. “

Uncle Jesse paused for a moment before continuing. “Yesterday was Sunday and Steve and her were together eating lunch when KK had a strange feeling. You know how she gets these feelings once in a while.”

Bo nodded.

“Anyways, she felt very uncomfortable, like someone was following her. Sure enough there was. We were all able to get her away from those that were following her and meet back at Cooter’s Garage. We were talking and she said out of the blue, “there after me again, aren’t they.” Bo, she remembered being taken when she was three. I was able not to tell her that it was her father and his buddies but she knows that there are people after her. Anyways, she had enough and wanted to catch these people that did this to her. She was the bait.

“Bait? Why let her?” Bo said in an agitated whisper.

“What was I suppose to do Bo? They knew what KK looked like. Anyways, where Routes 19 and 63 meet it’s very curvy and they all met by accident.” He gave Bo a few moments to digest what he had just said before telling Daisy to pull back the curtain.

When Daisy did, tears came to Bo’s eyes seeing his cousin KK laying unconscious in the bed next to him. Bo made a motion of trying to get out of the bed to go to her but Uncle Jesse held him down. “Bo, you’ve just woken up yourself.”

“Listen,” Dr. Jorgensen said figuring that this would be the situation, “Mr. Duke pick up your niece up and with your other niece’s help will bring her over to your nephew’s bed and just follow what I did to return her to her own bed.”[13]

Once she was placed in Bo’s arms, Dr. Jorgensen watched KK’s monitors for any significant change. He made a mental note that as soon as she was in the hands of Bo that her vital signs seemed to calm down a bit. Dr. Jorgensen believed that although KK was unconscious, her subconscious knew where she was and felt safer in the arms of her cousin. Once she was in his arms, Bo wouldn’t have cared if the world crumbled around him. She was safe and secure and nothing else was going to harm her. He totally zoned out on what the doctor, Uncle Jesse or Daisy had said once he had her. He did not notice that Dr. Jorgensen or Uncle Jesse had slipped out quietly.

“Daisy,” Uncle Jesse whispered in her ear, “I’m going to call Steve to let him know what’s going on. He seems to be so engrossed with KK that he should be okay for a bit.”

As the two men were walking out, Dr. Jorgensen said, “I’ll come by in a little bit and check up on the two. I must say that KK must somehow realize that she was in Bo’s arms.”

“You didn’t miss that either. I noticed that her blood pressure went down a bit among other things once he had her,” Uncle Jesse said.

“If something comes up have the nurse page me. There’s no reason that he can’t cuddle with her as long as he’s careful about her head,” Dr. Jorgensen said and left Uncle Jesse to make his phone call.

As the two men left, Daisy sat down and let Bo reacquaint himself with his beloved cousin. She soon realized that Bo had forgotten that she was in the room as he talked to her. She was use to this. There was a special connection between Bo and KK that no one could exactly explain. Words weren’t necessary between the two. Bo had some type of magical charm, as Uncle Jesse put it once, which allowed him to help KK when no one else, including Luke, could.

When KK first arrived Daisy remembered how jealous she was of KK. Not only did she keep her up throughout the night, but suddenly no one paid attention to her. As time went on and answers to why KK did certain things were answers Daisy realized how silly she was. KK didn’t show love for her family like a normal child did, but if you allowed her to show you in her own way then you realized how much of a heart KK really had.

When Daisy moved out because the boys hovered around her too much it was KK’s idea to teach the boys a lesson on how much work that Daisy contributes she puts in for the family and that she could take care of herself. She remembered the desperate phone call from KK wondering if together they could go out to eat somewhere. Daisy laughed when KK told her that the three men in the kitchen were arguing on the way to boil water. She could hear them in the background. KK said, “Daisy, whatever I have to do to get you back home, tell me. I don’t know how much more I can handle their cooking or lack thereof.” After she arrived home, KK told Daisy the story of how she marched into the kitchen and told the three men standing there, “Whatever you have to do to get Daisy to move back in you better do it. I’m gonna starve to death while the three of you try and figure out how to boil water! In the meantime I’m going to go to Steve’s and see what he’s got,” and actually went to go to Steve’s house.

As Daisy was lost in thought….Uncle Jesse went to a payphone and made a call to Steve.

“Hello,” Steve said groggily.

“Hi Steve,” Uncle Jesse said in a cheery voice.

“Hi Mr. Duke. What’s up?”

“Bo is awake.”

It took Steve a minute to realize what Uncle Jesse had said. Bo’s awake?”

“Yeah.”

“Does he know about KK?”

“Yeah. He asked about her right away. I figured it was better to tell him the truth up front then wait.”

“I agree with you. So…how is he?”
“Bo seems to be okay. Of course there’s gonna be tests that will need to be done to see if any skills are diminished but I don’t believe anything will be different with him. When are you going to be up here?”

“Maybe in an hour or so.”

“All right, I’ll talk to you then.”

Uncle Jesse and Steve said there goodbyes and finished their phone calls.

When Uncle Jesse returned to the room he could hear, but not understand the soft murmuring from Bo to KK. Daisy was looking out the window waiting for Uncle Jesse to return.

Uncle Jesse went to the window and whispered, “How long as he been at this?” meaning Bo talking to KK.

“Ever since you left to make the phone call.”

Uncle Jesse walked over to Bo’s bed not knowing what to do or what to say to him but something to bring him back to reality.

“Bo,” Uncle Jesse said.

Not taking his eyes off of KK, “Yes,”

“She’s gonna be okay.”

“Yeah, I know. I just feel responsible for her. Luke’s not able to take care of her so I have to step up to the plate.”

“I know, Bo.”

“She’s gonna be okay, ain’t she.”

“Bo, to be truthful with you I think physically yes, but mentally is another story.”

“Why would you say that?”

“Because we don’t know what’s gonna happen to Luke. What is the last thing you remember?”

Bo turned his attention to Uncle Jesse and searched his memory bank. The last thing he remembered was screaming at Luke to wake up and then waking up at the hospital. “Luke was unconscious and I yelled at him to wake up and then waking up here in the hospital.”

“He just collapsed?”

“Yeah, we were talking one moment, I looked out the window of the General and it was suddenly quiet. He was limp over the steering wheel. I don’t know what happened after that.”

“The short story is that the General crashed into a tree. KK, Karen, Aaron and Matt walked home together from school. KK and Matt saw the car and pulled both of you out of the car before a tree crashed on it.”

“Whoa. How’s the General?” Bo asked even though it was stupid to ask about the car when his cousins’ lives were hanging in the balance.

“It’s repairable. Anyway, KK had a feeling that the tree was going to fall and the two of them got you out of the car. KK then CBed me letting me know where she was at before the tree crashed onto the General.” Uncle Jesse paused a moment to let Bo catch his breath as to where the story was going.

“Bo, I don’t want you to get upset but you need to know the truth. I don’t know if Luke is going to survive.”

“What?” Bo said shocked and gripped KK a bit tighter.

“Luke has died and been revived a few times. Even KK has been a witness to it. The hospital staff believes that if Luke wakes up that he won’t be the same Luke we have come to love. He’ll be radically different. He may not have the same mentally that he once did. We won’t know the entire damage until he wakes up. KK has the feeling that everything will be alright. I’m not saying that there isn’t a possibility, but the odds are in the favor that if he does wake up he won’t be the Luke we all remember. If Luke is not okay – you know that KK is gonna rely on you like she does for Luke.”

“I know,” Bo said with a tear in his eye. I just hope everything turns out the way KK wants it.

End of Part 25

KK

Steve arrived at the hospital at around 2:00 p.m. Bo had fallen asleep with KK in his arms and no one dare tried and move her.

“How’s he doing?” Steve asked Uncle Jesse.

“Seems to be doing fine. KK seems to be doing better since Bo has woken up. When she was placed in his arms she seemed to calm down a bit.”

“That’s good. Since Bo’s awake, I don’t see the need to stay with her tonight. I’ve got to go to work tomorrow.”

“I figured. I talked to Mr. Kilgore but didn’t tell him that the reason why you weren’t at work was because you were with KK all night.”

“I appreciate that. She’s seems so peaceful in Bo’s arms”

“She does Steve.”

When Bo awoke again around 4:00 p.m. he was satisfied that KK was still in his arms. He was frustrated that she wasn’t up yet but figured that it would take a bit.

“Hi Bo,” Steve said.

“Hey, yourself.”

“How are you feeling?”

“Okay. Where’s Uncle Jesse and Daisy?”

“They went to get something to eat.”

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

“How has KK been? Uncle Jesse said that she saw Luke die in front of her.”

“When it happened all she wanted to do was runaway. Stupid me thought she was going to run back into the room so I held her tight and wouldn’t let her down. She then got so agitated and wound up that she bit me on the wrist and took off. Thankfully Cooter had enough sense to see that the barn door was open and that’s where Uncle Jesse found her. She realized what she did after it happen and was scared. She knew what she did was wrong and felt that we would never love her again. Eventually, she realized that no one was mad at her and all was forgiven.”

“What else is going on?”

“Nothing much. She has spoken a bit to Coy and Vance, but not much. No one is to happy with Vance at the moment. He doesn’t seem to understand the way KK is. Thinks she gets special treatment. We have all put him in his place but I still don’t like him.”

“Yeah I know. He’s bull headed.”

“Bo, she’s not going to wake up probably until weekend, you know.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Her body is taking the opportunity to rest. Her moods have been on the low side and she been upset and worry and not getting too much sleep.”

“Poor kid. Probably didn’t know what to do with Luke around.”

“I’ve been trying to be there for her – especially since Coy and Vance have arrived. She told Uncle Jesse Sunday that she didn’t want to go to church.”

“What? Why was that?”

“Because she had a feeling about it. She told Uncle Jesse she wasn’t going and that was that.”

A few minutes past before Steve spoke up again. “Bo, I know what happened when KK was three. She and I were together when she got a strange feeling that someone was watching her. Within a few minutes had a car follow us from Hazzard Pond to town and through the other side until Uncle Jesse, Cooter, Daisy, Coy and Vance intervened. I’m sure that she knew that people were here after her.

“She’s been through a lot in her young life, hasn’t she?”

“Boy, you can say that again,” Steve said as Bo played with KK’s hair.

When the kids arrived to the hospital after school they were shocked but ecstatic to find that Bo had awakened from his coma. Although Matt was pleased he seemed to be very worried about KK who was in her own bed.

“Matt,” Steve said concerned about him, “She’ll be okay.”

“Will she?” his eyes glistened with tears. “Steve, she’s my best friend. I don’t know if I could go on if something happened to her.”

Uncle Jesse was watching Matt. He knew that the bond between him and KK was something special. Just like the bond between Bo and Luke, Matt and KK had the same thing. Matt’s father abandoned the family right after Matt’s younger brother Mark was born, when Matt was two. Somehow his mother had hooked up with a drug addict and became one herself. When she was at home she was no good because she was so high that she thought everything was a joke. Most of the time Matt and Mark would crash over at Steve’s house or Jim Smoke’s house when they needed to. The only person that Matt would open up to about his troubles at home was KK. Uncle Jesse knew that even though Matt hated to admit it he relied on KK a lot. She was his shining star when he needed to find his way out of the fog. He could always hear them talk about life on the Duke’s front porch swing. Knowing that Matt needed a few minutes alone with Steve, Uncle Jesse hustled the girls out of the room saying it was time for dinner. He whispered in Steve’s ear that he’ll get the crowd out of the way so Matt would talk to him and even Bo. Sometimes even the most maturest kid needs a shoulder to cry on.

One everyone was out of the room Matt broke down and cried in Steve’s arms.

“It’s gonna be okay, Matt,” Steve would repeat to him trying to sooth him. “Listen Matt,” he said once Matt calm down a bit, “She’s fine. We all believe that her body is resting and that’s why she hasn’t woken up yet. Everything is going to be fine.”

“Matt,” Bo spoke up, “Listen to Steve. I’m worried sick as well but I have good faith that everything is going to be alright. She seems to be holding her own.”

“I know,” Matt said as he wiped his eyes, “but there are times when the pressure gets to great and I need her – like now.”

“Tell her what you need to Matt. She can hear you and you’ll probably feel better.”

Matt took his shoes off and got on the bed and lay down next to KK. Granted hospital staff wouldn’t like that he was in bed with her but at moment neither Matt, Bo nor Steve really cared. Matt started talking to KK but soon was sleeping soundly next to her.

“He’s been through a lot hasn’t he,” Bo commented to Steve.

“Yeah. He’s basically on his own. He and KK will sit for hours on end talking. Do you think they’ll end up together?”

“I doubt it.”

“I doubt it as well. KK has said that Matt was her best friend and there was nothing that she was willing to do to screw that up.”

The days ticked on and before anyone knew it was Friday. During the week Bo had been put through some test to make sure that all his mental capabilities had not diminished due to the car crash and he passed them all with flying colors. Technically Bo could have been released on Thursday but he made it clear to Dr. Jorgensen that he wasn’t going anywhere without KK. Dr. Jorgensen understood and said that he could stretch his stay until Sunday. After that he didn’t know if it was possible. Bo agreed to be released on Sunday but said that if KK wasn’t ready to be released he or Steve was staying right with her.

Steve told Mr. Kilgore that he had family issues to take care on Friday so he requested the day off. After school let out on Thursday he told Matt that he wouldn’t be there on Friday because there were indications that KK would wake up relatively soon. Steve knew that Matt had been stressing about KK’s condition ever since the accident and hope that the news would cheer him up a bit.

“Matt, Mr. Duke asked me to tell you that you were welcomed to be there when she wakes up.”

“Really?” Matt’s demeanor seemed to change instantly.

“Yes. He wants you to be there. He knows how close you guys are. Don’t worry, I’ve already talked to Mr. Kilgore and said that you wouldn’t be in class tomorrow either.“

The hospital room was a packed house on Thursday night in the anticipation of KK waking up. She showed the same signs that Bo had earlier in the week just prior to him waking up. Uncle Jesse, Daisy, Coy, Vance, Bo, Matt, Aaron, Karen and Steve were all in the room waiting for her to wake up. As visiting hours came to a close, Daisy, Coy, and Vance left with strict instructions to be called as soon as KK was awake. Aaron and Karen’s mom wanted to take them home but they wouldn’t budge. She agreed to let them stay as long as they promised not to be in the way and that Uncle Jesse would take them home, and to let her know when KK woke up.

As Dr. Jorgensen had encourage the family to do with Bo, they began to talk to KK about anything and everything they could think of to help bring her back to the land of the conscious. By midnight Aaron, Karen and Matt had all fallen asleep, with the promise that they would be woken up once KK was up. Uncle Jesse decided to take a short nap, hopefully to be energized once KK did wake up. The only ones left awake were Steve and Bo. Bo was sitting on a chair keeping physical contact with KK like stroking her arm or brushing back hair off her face while Steve read to her.

Around 2:30 a.m. KK began to stir. Seeing this Bo had gently placed her in his arms trying to make her feel as safe as possible. Steve stopped reading to her and tried to use soothing words to coax her out of her coma.

“Come on KK, wake up. It’s okay baby girl. I’ve got ya,” Bo whispered to her as he gently swayed her.

“Open those beautiful blue eyes, K. You’re safe now, no one going to harm you,” Steve said as he held her hand. Once in a while he would squeeze it to see if she would respond but Steve received no grip in return.

The boys weren’t about to give up. They continued to talk to her in hopes that she would break through the fog and come back to them. Bo knew exactly what she was probably feeling at this moment – totally confused. She could probably hear them talking to her and feel them touching her but she couldn’t respond to them and could not see them. Bo kept telling her to follow their voices and soon she would see them.

What felt like hours was only 15 minutes later at 2:45 a.m. a feeble squeeze of the hand was returned from KK. Both Steve and Bo were encouraged and excited. “That’s my girl,” Bo said. “Its okay, Steve and I are right here waiting for you. You’re safe now; no one is going to harm you,” Bo told her.

As Bo talked to her, Steve would gently squeeze her hand again in hopes to get a response. Sure enough her squeezes were getting stronger with each one.

Five minutes later, Bo and Steve experienced the greatest site they ever saw – KK’s big blue eyes.

End of Part 26
Never Assume

“Hey there sweetie,” Steve reassured KK.

“Am I dead?” was her first scratchy words.

“No sweetheart. I woke up Monday,” Bo told her.

“You know K, Uncle Jesse’s here. So are Matt, Karen and Aaron. Everybody been here talking to you – Daisy, Coy, Vance, Jim, Shane, Kitten, Jamie, Jamie, Roscoe, Enos, Cletus, even Boss Hogg and Lulu,” Steve said running down the list of people who had visited while KK was here.

Uncle Jesse woke up with all the commotion. “She just woke up, sir.”

“Hey baby girl,” he said to her. “How you feeling?” While Uncle Jesse talked to her, Steve went to the nurses’ station to have Dr. Jorgensen paged to come see his young patient.

Uncle Jesse woke Matt, Karen and Aaron up to let them know KK was awake. When Matt came into KK’s view, KK stretched out her arms for him to give him a big hug.

“I love you,” Matt whispered to her as tears rolled down both their faces and KK hugged as tight as she could as Bo hung on to her so she wouldn’t accidentally fall off the bed.

When Dr. Jorgensen came into the room, Matt and KK broke their hug. Dr. Jorgensen was spending the night in his office, knowing full well that KK would wake sometime during the night. Nurse Kristen who KK had met the first night the boys were in the hospital came into the room as well.

“Hello KK,” Dr. Jorgensen said. “How are you feeling?” KK didn’t say anything. She wasn’t too sure about anyone at the moment. Granted she was awake but all sensors seemed to be out of whack a bit. All she wanted to was snuggle up to Bo and go back to sleep. She didn’t know how long she was out for but it felt like it wasn’t enough.

“KK, tell the Dr. Jorgensen how you feel?” Uncle Jesse prodded her.

“Don’t worry about it. She probably still tired and all she wants is to go back to sleep. That’s normal.”

Ignoring everyone KK snuggled up to Bo’s chest, rested her head on his shoulder and promptly went back to sleep.

“Let her sleep a bit more, giving her a chance to get the cobwebs out of her head and we’ll go from there.”

Noticing that his young patient was sound asleep Dr. Jorgensen recommended that everyone but Bo, who technically was still a patient there, leave.

“Come on Karen and Aaron, let’s go. I promise I’ll bring you up here tomorrow when she wakes up again,” Uncle Jesse said.

“Thank you, sir,” Aaron whispered.

“Yeah,” Karen whispered, “It was just nice to be here and know that she’s gonna be okay.”

Both of them went to their sister and gave her a kiss and let KK know that they would be back tomorrow.

Uncle Jesse came over to her and whispered in her ear, “I love you.”

KK responded back to him by opening up her eyes, lifting up her head, and putting her arms out to give him a hug. Uncle Jesse grabbed KK, hugged and rocked her and rubbed her back until she fell back asleep. “You take care of her, Bo,” Uncle Jesse told his youngest nephew.

“I will, sir,” He whispered to his Uncle and the three of them left the room.

Steve and Matt, although they didn’t want to, prepared to leave as well.

“Listen Bo, We’ll get out of here as well to get out of your hair so you can get some sleep,” Steve said.

“Yeah, it’s gonna be a long day tomorrow with her. She’s going to be mighty upset that Luke’s not awake yet.”

“What has the doctor said?”

“It would be better if he woke up. They stopped giving him the coma inducing medication and thought he would wake up relatively soon but nothing. Fortunately, there’s brain activity, the infection in his heart is going away, and the swelling is going down, but the tube to help him breathe is still there because the lung isn’t fully functional yet and they don’t know if his mental capability was compromised in any way.”

“You know she’ll want to see him.”

“I know. So do I. I haven’t been able to go see him either, but I think it would be better if we did it together.”

“Yeah. Remember, Bo, she’s already seen him die once. I don’t want her ever to see that again.”

“Yeah I know.”

A few moments of silence past and Steve and Matt said their goodbyes to the two, and were off.

Bo wanted to put his cousin in her own bed but when he tried to put her down she wouldn’t let go. “Come on sweetie, I think you would be better off in your own bed,” but KK wouldn’t let go of her grip. “What’s wrong?” he asked her in a whispered.

“Don’t let go of me.”

“Sweetheart, you’re okay.”

“Luke’s gonna die ain’t he?”

This was not a conversation that he wanted to have at 4 o’clock in the morning with a kid that had just woken up from a concussion but he knew that she wouldn’t sleep until she got it off her chest.

“KK, we don’t know anything for sure right now. We have to leave it up to the hand of God.”

“They don’t know anything do they?”

“Not much K. There’s not much anyone knows about the brain. It’s more of a wait and see right now.”

By KK’s reaction of squirming out of his hold onto her bed and then throwing the covers over her head he knew she was upset and angry. It would be interesting in the morning which KK would appear but he had a funny feeling that it would be the KK that doesn’t care about anything. When this KK appeared she wasn’t very pleasant to be around. Bo believed that KK’s emotional roller coasters would take a few more twist and turns. In other words, he believed it was going to be whole lot worse before it was going to get better.

Friday morning, around 9:00 a.m. Steve’s phone rang. It was Cooter who was told of the good news about KK and also had good news to tell Steve. The fingerprints that were on the General belonged to Butch and Conway so they could be directly linked to the crime. The only bad point that neither man was K’s father but hopefully in due time they would catch him as well and KK could be able to be kid for once and not worry.

He went to the living room to check on Matt. He had finally fallen asleep, mostly out of pure exhaustion, about 6:30 a.m. against Steve on the living room couch. When he fell asleep he didn’t have the heart to wake him to move him to the spare bedroom that was becoming more and more Matt’s. Grateful that he was still asleep, Steve decided to catch more shut eye himself.

When breakfast arrived the next morning it was all KK could do not to throw up. She was tired, grumpy, ticked and any other adjectives that a person could think of that meant the same as angry.

“KK, aren’t you going to eat?” Bo asked concerned.

KK didn’t respond instead she made a beeline for the bathroom and emptied her stomach of phlegm and bile. Bo immediately followed her and tried to sooth her but she shrugged his hand off her back. She just wanted to be left alone; her head and body hurt. She also knew that her stomach would want to jump through her throat probably again so she drank a full glass of water and went back to her bed.

Bo didn’t know what to do, but he felt he was failing miserably. He searched his memory bank on what would calm KK down but nothing came to mind. Maybe if she just slept some more maybe everything would be okay, maybe.

Once he was sure that KK was sleeping again he made a phone call to Uncle Jesse to tell him what was going on.

“I don’t know what to do with her? She’s down right angry and she has that mean streak she tends to get when extremely stressed.”

“Maybe that hit on the head has done more damage than we first thought of.”

“After y’all left she threw the covers over her head which we know is an indication that she’s mad and doesn’t want to talk. She threw up this morning and I tried to comforting her and she shrugged it off. That’s not the KK I know.”

“Yeah, I know Bo but bear with her. I don’t think we have gotten the full wrath yet.”

“Terrific, more of this?”

“Probably Bo. Talk to the doctor when you see him. I’ll call everyone and let them know what’s going on. Just let her get her anger out to the point she’s not hurting herself and hopefully this will pass quickly.

Just as Bo was hanging up the phone, Dr. Jorgensen came in.

“How’s the little one?”

“Well, she’s angry and I don’t think that it’s going away anytime soon. How can I help her get over this?”

“That can be a problem associated with the concussion. Your personality didn’t change – you we’re fortunate. Hers seemed to by what you’re telling me. Unfortunately, it can be permanent but most times it’s not. It may take a while for the pressure in her brain to release. She probably has one doozy of a headache and doesn’t want to be bother until it goes away. She’s also mighty worried about Luke and wonders why none of us can fix him. It’s been over a week now and she’s probably afraid that he’ll never wake up. If he does, she’s probably fretting that he won’t be the same.

“What can we do to make it better for her?” Bo asked.

What Bo didn’t realize was that KK never went to sleep. She tried but could let her body relax enough. Her head pounded after throwing up. She didn’t mean to shrug Bo off the way she did but she needed space and that was the only she could show him at that moment. She knew he would call Uncle Jesse right away – not knowing what to do. Maybe, if she was lucky, no one would visit her. Like that was gonna happen! Instead everyone would be by now to visit since she woke up. “Maybe…” she thought to herself, “I could just get out of here for a bit,” then deleted that thought right out of her head. She didn’t know how she would escape a hospital and besides her head hurt too much to think. “If only I could go away for a little while…” she thought to herself as her body finally allowed her to sleep.

“With KK let her talk it out or show it to you. You may have been hurt by the shrug but she’s telling you that she needs some space. She’s probably hurting more than we can realize. Just keep encouraging her to tell you how she feels. I know it’s not easy for her to do.”

Although Bo didn’t know quite well how that helped he was thankful that it probably won’t be permanent.

Uncle Jesse called Aaron and Karen first to see if they wanted to come to the hospital again. Uncle Jesse explained to them that KK’s personality had changed and that she was mean and angry with everyone in the world, or at least tended to be. They didn’t care they knew they have to be there for their sister.

When Uncle Jesse called Steve at around 10:00 a.m. to let him know the situation was he was shocked.

“She seemed okay when he awoke from the coma. What changed?”

“She’s upset over the fact that Luke’s not awake yet.”

“I’m sure it does. I’m probably guessing right she still has one doozy of a headache and all the clatter and noise doesn’t make you feel any better.”

“I’m sure she does.”

“I’ll come by in the afternoon after Aaron and Karen have had their time with KK. Matt still sleeping and I’d like to keep it that way.

“Sure, not a problem. I’ll talk to you then,” Uncle Jesse said and hung up the phone.

When Vance, Coy and Daisy sat down for a late morning breakfast they were told about KK and her odd behavior. Although Uncle Jesse didn’t really want Coy and Vance to go to the hospital at the moment he didn’t tell them that. It was Vance that spoke up, “Listen Uncle Jesse; we we’re talking on the way home and realized that KK still doesn’t have a clue who we are. We’re gonna wait, if that’s okay with you, a few days before heading up there.”

“Why don’t you come up in the evening? Hopefully everyone else will be gone and maybe her attitude will change.”

“Her attitude?” Cooter asked as he came in the door. Cooter was going to hitch a ride with Uncle Jesse to go see KK.

“Yeah, Bo just called and he states that KK is just not pleased with anyone.”

“She’s probably upset over Luke still. Give her time – she’ll be okay.”

“I know but Bo’s was upset about it. KK threw up this morning and when Bo went to comfort her KK didn’t want anything to do with him.

“Guys, she’ll come around. She just needs some alone time to get her own self orientated,” Daisy said. “You’ll see; she’ll be back to the KK we have all come to love.”

When KK woke up around 10:30 a.m. she knew that Bo was lying next to her. Feeling a bit better, not as angry, just cranky, she turned herself around so that she was facing Bo and took the covers off her head. When she realized that he was asleep she poked him in the arm until he responded.

“KK,” he said to her hoping to get a response from her, “What’s wrong?”

All KK could do was throw her arms around him and cry. Bo responded back by hugging her and rubbing her back and letting her cry. He knew sometimes that this did a world of good for her and allowed the pent up emotions escape. He hoped that the KK that he knew and loved was coming back.

After a few minutes KK finally calm down enough to talk. “I want to go home.”

“I know but we have to see what the doctor says.”

“No. I want to go home,” she demanded.

“KK, listen sweetheart. I know that you want to go home but Dr. Jorgensen won’t let you go until you’re ready. As soon as you are, I’ll get you out of here and go for a hot dog, okay?”

“Okay,” she said quietly.

“Listen, everyone is gonna be by today to see you. I know you don’t feel all that great but just try and be pleasant with them. If it gets to be too much tell me and I’ll send them on their way. Okay?”

“Okay.”

True to Bo’s words Uncle Jesse, along with Cooter, Aaron and Karen came ten minutes later into the room. All the three of them could do when they laid eyes on each other was to hug. Once they let go of each other, KK said, “See Aaron, I’m going to be okay.” That started the tears to fall from her eyes and KK gave her another big hug.

“How are you feeling?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“Cranky,” KK told him.

“Why cranky?” Uncle Jesse asked.

KK knew what game this was and she didn’t want to play it. This was when Uncle Jesse tried to get KK to talk about her emotions and right now she didn’t really want to start screaming at him about how mad and upset she really was. Not at anyone particular – not even God. KK understood that God had his own time table for providing miracles. Maybe he wouldn’t provide any miracles to her but maybe, just maybe if the worse case scenario would happen, God would at least allow Luke to watch over her while he was in Heaven.

“Uncle Jesse,” there was a bit of strain in her voice. Uncle Jesse realized that KK’s temper was short. “Why cranky?”

“Okay, KK, I get the picture.”

KK and her sisters got on her bed and watched some television while Bo, Cooter and Uncle Jesse sat and quietly talked at Bo’s bed.

“She was in tears ten minutes before you came in – so vulnerable, and then her attitude changes,” Bo said.

“I don’t know what to do about it Bo. Just let it play itself out? What did Dr. Jorgensen say?”

“Not much. Just that it’s probably due to the concussion and hope it’s not permanent.”

“Poor kid. Probably doesn’t know what feeling to hang onto and then the next wave of emotions hit her. Do you think she’s angry at everyone, including herself that Luke’s not awake,” Cooter commented.

“What in the world do you mean?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“Listen, she wants nothing more in the world than Luke to be okay. She’s probably telling herself that she would do almost anything to make him awake and well. Then she forgets for a bit about Luke and then hates herself for not keeping it in the forefront of her mind. She probably thinks that there’s a magic drug that Luke can take – does she understand that it’s up to him?”

“Yeah, she knows,” Uncle Jesse said.

“I don’t think so. Watch this.” Cooter commented.

Cooter got up and went over to the KK’s bed. “K, can I ask you something?”

“I guess. What?” she said in a calm voice.

“Don’t get upset with me, I just want to understand something, okay?”

“Okay.”

“What do you think will make Luke wake up?”

“I don’t know. Prayers and medication. Why do you ask?”

“Well that helps but really it’s up to the person to wake up from a coma.”

“Yeah, K Cooter’s right,” Aaron said.

“But wait a minute,” KK said back. “Weren’t Bo and Luke on that coma medication?”

“Yeah we were, but KK that keeps a person in a coma. By reducing it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to come out of it,” Bo said.

Uncle Jesse realized that he was wrong – very wrong assuming that KK understood all of this. “KK,” what’s going through that head of yours?” Uncle Jesse asked, becoming very concern.

KK realized that she was going to have an emotional attack again. The last time it happened she bit Steve’s wrist and ran. All KK knew was that she had to find Bo and hang on for dear life as she dropped out of emotional reality for a little while and allowed her emotions take control.

KK jumped over Aaron and guard rail on the bed in search for Bo. “Bo,” she said in a very worried voice.

“I’m right here,” he said, hoping that his voice would guide her to him. Instead she stopped, crouched down and cried for Bo. Bo realized that she was too far gone at that point to find him and gather her up in his arms. He got on the bed as she struggled to break free of his hold.

“KK,” he said in a stern voice, trying to remember what Luke did when this sort of thing happened. “KK,” calm down it’s me, Bo.

“He’s never gonna wake up is he?” KK said while pounding her fists as hard as she could on Bo’s shoulders. Bo tried to comfort her and calm her by rocking her and giving her kisses on the side of her face. Nothing that Bo could say or do helped calm KK down.

“It’s not fair,” KK seemed to repeat over and over again still why throwing her fists at Bo’s shoulders in a repeated pattern.

Everyone in the room was at a lost of what to do. While Bo loved his younger cousin, his shoulders were becoming sore and bruised rather quickly. He did the first thing that popped in his head. He got off the bed, pulled KK off of him and pinned her arms on the bed. Unfortunately her legs were still free and she kicked them as hard as she could into the bed, repeating the word “Why?”

“Cooter,” Bo said, “Go into the bathroom and get a cold wet towel.” Cooter did what he was told and quickly returned with a washcloth dripping cold water.

Needing a free hand, KK’s hands were small enough that he could hold both of them in one hand. He held onto KK’s hands with his left and grabbed the washcloth with his right. He stared into her eyes and told her to calm down, that everything would be all right. He kept talking to her in a soothing voice, knowing that this wasn’t the real KK. She was hiding somewhere behind her emotions and hoped to reach her soon. “That’s a good girl,” he would repeat so often to her as her legs slowed and then stop violently kicking. He watched as her eyes fight the urge to close. “Its okay, K. Go to sleep. I’m not going to let you go,” Bo would say to her as her eyes would droop and then pop open again.

“Cooter,” Bo whispered, not taking his eyes off of KK.

“I’ll be right back,” he said and returned with another cold, wet washcloth.

Bo picked up KK from the bed, who Bo believed had finally let sleep take over, and with her head resting on one arm and her legs hanging from the other and sat down in one of the chairs in the room. He moved her legs off his one arm and laid them over the handle of the chair. He took the washcloth from Cooter and continued to wipe down KK’s face until Bo was certain she was cooled off and resting comfortably.

A few moments later, “Is she going to be okay?” Karen asked. Knowing that her sister had these episodes and had witnessed them before this time it seemed scarier than the others.

“I believe so. She’ll nap for a few hours and then everything will be fine,” Bo said hoping to convince the girls that everything would be all right.

While the girls went back to what they were watching, Cooter, Uncle Jesse, and Bo talked, while Bo held KK in his arms.

“What have the doctors said about Luke’s condition?” Bo asked, realizing that he hadn’t heard much.

“We don’t know how much damage, if any, has happened to Luke,” Uncle Jesse said. “I’ve been up to ICU everyday and the nurses reassure me that he’s doing as well as can be expected. That’s not much comfort.”

“What do they say is the best outcome for Luke,” Cooter asked.

“That’s the whole point – they don’t know. They tell me that the worse case scenario is that he’ll either die or be a vegetable the rest of his life and the best case scenario is that he’ll wake up and everything will be fine,” Uncle Jesse said.

“A vegetable?” Bo asked.

“Yeah. In other words he might be somewhat conscious but would lie in a vegetated state. Not do anything but lie there. If that’s the case than I would wish God would take him. That’s no way to live life,” Uncle Jesse said.

“I would have to agree with Jesse, Bo on that. There’s nothing worse than to watch someone wither way like that,” Cooter commented.

At that moment Dr. Jorgensen came into the room. “I was notified that there was a big commotion going on in the room.”

“Yes, sir,” Bo said. “K had…”

“Bo,” Uncle Jesse said, “It’s okay he know’s about K’s autism.”

“My son Andy has autism. I take it she had what I would call an attack.”

“Yeah. She’s a smart kid, but sometimes though we forget that she’s only seven. She thought that since theirs was a coma induce drug that there’s was a coma wake up drug. She just is having a hard time accepting that Luke may never be the same again. It’s going to take some time but hopefully she’ll be okay,” Bo commented.

“Do you want me to give her anything?”

“No. Hopefully she’ll be asleep for a little while,” Uncle Jesse said. “I don’t think her brain is comprehending as fast as the world is spinning around, if you understand.”

“Yes. She still has a brain injury and it will take time for it to fully heal. In about a week I’ll estimate she’ll be back to full speed. The only thing is that with KK you have to be a bit more patient with her. Her concussion was a bit more severe than Bo’s. Although kids tend to bounce back quicker, I don’t think that will be the situation here. Just by the bit that I’ve seen her in action since she’s woke up she tends to be quite slow. As the brain heals – she’ll swing back. I’m going to take off and get some sleep. If you need anything just have the nurse page me,” Dr. Jorgensen said.

“Thank you,” Uncle Jesse said who stood up and shook the doctor’s hand. Then Dr. Jorgensen left the room.

“Karen,” Aaron whispered.

“What?” Karen whispered back.

“When we get home, I want to talk to you about this situation. There’s too many ears at the moment,” Aaron said and they went back to watching television.

End of Part 27

Visitations

12 Noon was lunch time at the hospital. Uncle Jesse, Cooter, and the girls excused themselves to grab something to eat at the cafeteria while lunch was being served.

“I’m gonna take the girls to get something to eat. We’ll be back in half hour or so,” Uncle Jesse said.

“Okay. I’m not going to wake her up for this. I don’t think her stomach could handle food anyways,” Bo commented.

“If they have jello,” Aaron said, “Keep it. That’s something our Mom gives us when have the flu.”

“Good point, Aaron,” Uncle Jesse said and they left out the door.

Around this time, Steve woke Matt up and told him to get ready to go to the hospital to see KK.

“Steve.”

“Yeah, what”

“Do you think Luke will ever wake up?”

“I honestly don’t know. Why?”

“I’m worried.”

“There’s nothing to worry about.”

“Yes there is. You don’t know all the sides of KK. Actually I don’t think that KK knows all the sides of her – but I do think that if Luke isn’t able to recover fully…”

“Matt, don’t even go there.”

“Steve, be realistic.”

“Matt, when and if we cross that bridge we’ll deal with it then,” Steve said. “Hurry up and get ready. I want to leave around 1:00 p.m.,” and went into the kitchen.

Soon after the family left to get lunch, Bo’s and KK’s were delivered. Bo adjusted KK’s position in his arms so that he could get up and into his bed. When Bo opened the container and couldn’t believe what he smelled. “It’s a good thing that you’re asleep, K. I think you would throw up again,” he said out loud.

“It smells yucky,” KK quietly said.

Bo put the lid down to the container on the table to give KK his full attention. “How you feeling?” he calmly asked her

“I hurt,” she whispered back

“You hurt? What kind of hurt?”

KK pointed to her heart. Bo figured as much. He knew she was hurting badly but had not he did not have a chance to talk to her alone about it. Luke provided KK with fatherly guidance to KK but Bo was her partner in crime. What Luke couldn’t provide KK was how to show your emotions. Luke was always the one that kept everything inside. Bo was there to pick up the missing pieces – showing KK that it was okay to talk about your feelings. There were times that KK needed Bo to talk to more than Luke, especially when it came to feelings of being stress out. This would be one of those times.

“I love you,” KK said in a weak and scared voice.

“Sweetheart, I will always love you. There’s nothing to be frightened of,” Bo said as he lazily brushed the hair off her face.

“Yes there is.”

“KK, you’ve got to stop being worried. There’s nothing we can do about it,” Bo said and then readjusted her so that she was on her knees and her rested on his right shoulder. “Little bit later, you and I will go together to see Luke. I haven’t had the chance to see him yet because they put him in a special area that only doctors were allowed to go in.” Bo wasn’t sure what KK knew about Luke’s condition so he kept it as vague as possible. “But now he’s out of that area we can go see him. You want to do that later?”

“Yes,” a very quiet voice said.

Bo got up with KK in tow and slowly walked over to the window overlooking the hospital. He knew that KK needed more sleep and wanted her to fall back before everyone came back from lunch.

“Bo?” a groggily KK said.

“What sweetheart?”

“I’m sorry.”

“You’re sorry?” Bo asked, shocked. “What are you sorry for?”

“I didn’t mean to throw a tantrum. I was scared and lost.”

“I know you were. It’s okay. Everything is going to be okay,” Bo said and turned his head to give her a kiss on the cheek. Soon enough KK had fallen back asleep.

Aaron and Karen were able to slip away within eyesight of Uncle Jesse and Cooter who were having their own conversation.

“What did you want to talk about Aaron?” Karen asked while looking out at the window.

“I have a strange feeling about this whole mess?”

“What do you mean?”

“I think our father was involved.”

“What?”

“You know what Mom has said.”

“Yeah, I know, but how can you just come up with that?”

“Who else would want to harm K?”

“I don’t know.”

“Remember Mom said that our biological mother was killed by our father. Maybe he has a vendetta against us.”

“No, Aaron I don’t think us – I think KK.”

“Why?”

“Because KK has always been the sick one and I remember overhearing Uncle Jesse and Mom talking one day after KK was almost kidnapped.”

“We were three – how can you remember that?”

“When Uncle Jesse called to tell her what happened and Mom was scared for us as well, Uncle Jesse reassured her that he wasn’t after us only KK because he felt that she was the fault of making his life unhappy.”

“What ever it is, Karen we have got to watch out for her.”

“I know Aaron, I know,” Karen said and draped her arm around her sister.

Bo looked at his lunch and realized there has to be something better than hospital food and push it aside. The only thing he did keep was the two containers of red jello that was served with the lunch. Maybe later he could get KK to swallow a few bites before they visited Luke. He then lay down and snuggled up to KK hoping to get some shut eye himself.

When Bo woke up everyone had returned from lunch and Steve and Matt had arrived.

“Hi y’all. Sorry, I must have dozed off. What time is it?”

“It’s almost 3:00 p.m.” Uncle Jesse responded back.

He then noticed KK who was still sleeping. “Has she been sleeping the entire time?”

“Yeah. I guess we should wake her up,” Uncle Jesse said.

“I’m up,” KK said.

“Feel better?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“No.”

Uncle Jesse left it at that. He understood that she was tired of everyone prodding her about how she felt. He had to admit it to himself that she was showing extreme patience with everyone trying not to get overly upset at every little thing.

“Do you want to go over there with your sisters and Matt?” Bo asked his young cousin. He knew the answer as soon as the arms went around his neck that for now she just wanted to be held. He kissed her cheek and told her that he understood.

For KK she just didn’t want to talk to anyone right now. Too many emotions were still churning inside of her and she didn’t know which KK would make an appearance if she did speak. She definitely did not want a repeat of what had happened this morning. All she wanted to do was feel safe in the loving embrace of her cousin’s arms.

Bo paid attention to KK more than the conversation that everyone seemed to be having. He just couldn’t keep focused on a conversation about what had been going on in Hazzard County. It was all gossip anyways – who cared!

“K,” he said to her, “you want to talk?”

“Yeah, but I don’t want others to hear.”

“I know what you mean.”

“Do you think they are going to go anytime soon?”

“No. Matt’s here.”

“Yeah I know, but I don’t have the energy. I’m really still tired. Can’t really focus.”

“Why don’t you tell him that so he knows.”

“Okay.”

“Matt,” Bo called him over. Although eyes followed him for a moment everyone went back to there conversation.

“Hey there,” Matt said when he got to the bed.

KK squirmed out of her cousin’s embrace and gave Matt a hug. No words were spoken between the two; none needed to be.

“You know I was so worried about you,” Matt whispered in her ear.

“I know,” she whispered back. “Listen, I don’t mean to ignore you but I’m still too…”

“I know. Don’t sweat it K. I’ll be there when you need me. Go back to sleep and chill for a while. Love you.”

“Love you too.” They disengaged from each other and Matt went back to watch television with KK’s sisters.

While the kids watched television and the adults talked, Bo and KK slept.

End of Part 28

Seeing Luke For the First Time/Fear Factor

When Bo woke up he was a bit disorientated. Everyone had left the room. When he looked at the clock he realized it was 6:00 p.m. He looked down at KK who was still sleeping, or so he thought, and quietly slipped out of bed to use the bathroom. When he returned he saw KK sitting up in bed waiting for him.

“Where’s everyone?” KK asked.

“I don’t know. I just woke up myself,” Bo said climbing back into bed and putting KK in his lap. “Do you feel up to go see Luke?”

“I guess.”

Bo was somewhat telling KK the truth when he told her that the reason why he hadn’t seen Luke was because he was in a special room, but he had been out for days. Bo just wasn’t able to muster the courage up. He knew it sounded stupid and Luke needed him but part of him did not want to remember Luke at his weakest point. Didn’t want his last memory of him in a hospital room. Then again the alternate of that would be slumped over the wheel of the General Lee.

Bo was brought back to reality by the poking of a seven year old. “It’s okay Bo to be scared. I was scared to when I saw him.”

Somehow KK could read his mind, especially when he would go off and be so deep in thought that he forgot about reality.

“What did he look like when you saw him?” Bo asked KK so he could have some idea of what was going on.

“He was all bandaged up and his chest was puffed out. He had all these tubes and things going in and out of him. You had all these tubes and stuff and bandages as well. You didn’t look that great either.”

“Why don’t I page a nurse and see if we can go up there?” Bo asked.

Bo paged the nurse who was more than happy to oblige. Dr. Jorgensen had left strict orders that when Bo and KK were ready they could go see Luke who was still in ICU.

Although Bo hated to admit it he wasn’t ready to walk a far distance and especially with KK in tow opted for a nurse to wheel the two of them to ICU.

When they arrived at the entrance of the ICU, Uncle Jesse and Daisy were visiting with Luke. Noticing who it was, Uncle Jesse whispered something to Daisy and came to where his youngest niece and nephew were at. From their vantage point, Bo still could not see Luke.

“Hi sweetheart,” Uncle Jesse said to KK as he picked her up from Bo’s lap. KK put her arms around her Uncle and hugged him.

“You ready for this Bo?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“No, not really but I need to do this.” Uncle Jesse was delighted that Bo finally mustered up the courage to see Luke. Uncle Jesse believed that all the talk that Bo had heard about Luke’s condition had frightened him a bit. Uncle Jesse knew, eventually, that Bo would come and see Luke.

“KK,” Uncle Jesse said, “Go with Daisy, okay?” who had arrived sometime while Bo and KK were sleeping. Daisy came over to where they were at and took KK from Uncle Jesse’s arms to hers. Daisy tried to reassure KK that Luke didn’t look as bad as the last time but she wasn’t sure so she hid her eyes in the crook of Daisy’s neck. Daisy just rubbed her back and repeated to her “It’s okay” in hopes of encouraging her to take a peep at Luke.

With KK out of his arms, Uncle Jesse was able to help Bo to his feet. “Just take it easy, son. I’ve got ya,” Uncle Jesse said.

Knowing KK was curious; Daisy knew that she would eventually want to see what Luke looked like. Daisy knew that she had to be patience and allow her to do it under her own terms. When KK finally did she let out an audible gasp, “He does look a lot better,” she whispered to her cousin.

“See, I told you,” Daisy sat KK on a stool. KK grinned back with her approval.

Bo wasn’t able to see Luke but he saw the grin on KK’s face. “I think KK is pretty happy,” Uncle Jesse whispered to Bo and hoped for the best.

Bo stopped at the foot of Luke’s bed, put his hands on the foot board, allowing his hand brunt his body weight and allowed silent tears to flow when he saw Luke for the first time.

“Don’t be sad, Bo,” KK quietly said bringing Bo back to reality. “It’s gonna be okay.”

Uncle Jesse put a reassuring arm around Bo’s shoulders. KK got off her stool, walked over to Bo, and he picked her up. KK gave him a hug and he gave her a kiss on the cheek. Daisy came over on the other side and put an arm around him to show support.

Balladeer: Folks, I don’t know what the outcome will be but I do know that what ever it is – Luke will be taken care of because that’s what family does. I don’t think that Luke, no matter how much Duke luck there is in the world, will come out of this the way he went in. I hope for everyone’s sake, especially KK, that they’ll be able to deal with it. Then again, KK could be totally right – a few bumps in the road and everything fine – but I reckon that’s the innocent of childhood – hoping for the best!

At around 7:30 p.m. Uncle Jesse suggested that the family return to Bo’s and KK’s room. Uncle Jesse didn’t say the reason why was because Coy and Vance were coming to the hospital to see Bo and KK.

Uncle Jesse figured he might as well as fess up to it – at lest KK wouldn’t be taken in by surprise.

“Listen, guys,” Uncle Jesse said as they rode in the elevator, “The reason why we have to go back to y’all room is because Coy and Vance wanted to come up and told them around 8:00. Now I know KK you’re a bit nervous around them but they hang in there,”

“You’ll hold me, right?” KK asked Bo.

“Of course I will.”

“Okay then.”

“Okay.”

Instead of going to the room, Uncle Jesse told them that he was going to meet Coy and Vance when they got to the hospital. When he saw them, he wanted to talk to them first before guiding them to the room. “Listen fellas, it’s been a trying day for KK. Let her check you out first. She seems to be okay with the fact that you’re coming but she may hide, so just let her be. Hopefully soon she’ll be used to you.

When Uncle Jesse returned with Coy and Vance she knew she would have to get used to these cousins and tried to be brave.

KK didn’t know what to do – she wanted to be brave but she wanted to hide. Hiding won out but she brought the covers down far enough to see what Coy and Vance were up to.

Coy and Vance first talked to Bo. While they were doing this, Uncle Jesse went over to KK’s bed trying to reassure her that everything was okay. KK moved her arms out from underneath the covers and asked to be held.

“No problem, sweetheart,” Uncle Jesse said and walked over the far corner where he could sit down.

KK rested her head on Uncle Jesse’s shoulder so she could watch her cousins and put her thumb in her mouth. At seven, Uncle Jesse thought she was a bit old for this but figured she’d been agitated enough for the day and just let her be.

Bo, Vance, and Coy were talking when Coy said, “That’s reminds me of something.”

“Oh, yeah,” Vance said. “Daisy called us on the CB when she was on the way over here and said she forgot something.”

Coy pulled out something out of a bag that lit up KK’s eyes. “Teddy,” KK said and reach out to grab it from Coy.

“What do you say,” Uncle Jesse said.

“Thank you,” KK said.

“Your welcome.”

KK tried to stay awake and talk but the topic of the conversation, whatever it was, didn’t interest her in the least. She felt safe with snuggling close to Uncle Jesse; Teddy secured in her left arm, her right thumb in her mouth and the monotone voice of Uncle Jesse lulled her to sleep.

The next thing KK remembered was waking up in a dark room and feeling totally lost and confused. When the family left for the evening at around 9:00 p.m. Uncle Jesse said she would be fine in her own bed by herself but Bo knew better. He figured that KK would wake up in the middle of the night and not have a clue to where she was at. In the end Bo won that bet.

Bo put her hand on her shoulder trying to get her to lay down, “It’s okay KK. I’m right here.” Bo said this while searching in vain with his other arm for Teddy.

Unable to find the stuffed bear, Bo turned on the overhead light that shined like a bright beacon, illuminating the entire room. He knew that it may K miserable but she would be more miserable without that bear to cling to. Sure enough it was on the floor and Bo, like the sweetheart of a cousin he was to that little grouchy angel, got out of bed, his feet going numb on the cold floor, walked around the bed to pick up Teddy and gave it back to the most precious seven year old in the world. He then got back into bed, took one last look at his cousin who seemed to be settling comfortably with her right arm secured around Teddy’s middle and the left thumb in her mouth, and turned out the light. Bo then pulled the covers around them, kissed his cousin goodnight, lightly laid his right arm over her and together they went back to sleep.

When Saturday morning came Dr. Jorgensen wanted KK to go through some testing to see what was going on in that brain’s of hers. The only problem was that KK wasn’t too sure of Dr. Jorgensen and didn’t want to leave Bo. Dr. Jorgensen then decided to put a call in to the Duke farm.

“Duke farm,” Uncle Jesse answered.

“Hello, Mr. Duke, it’s Dr. Jorgensen.”

“Yes, how are you doing?”

“I’m doing fine, thank you for asking.”

“What can I do you for?”

“I was wondering if I could talk to you about KK for a moment.”

“Sure, what’s wrong now?”

“Well, here’s the situation. I don’t know how familiar you are with the effects of a concussion?”

“I know that it’s occurs when the brain has some sort of injury.”

“In KK’s case it has affected her emotional stability. I think with rest and time things will calm down but right now I believe that things are moving to fast for her.”

“What are you suggesting?”

“I need to take an MRI[14] of her brain before she can be released and the only way to do this in her case is to sedate her. As much as I hate to do this, I think it’s the only way.

“What ever is necessary, I suppose. Can it wait until I get there?”

“Sure not a problem.”

“Thanks. I’ll see you there in an hour or so.

When Uncle Jesse arrived at 10:30 a.m. or so, he found Bo and KK sleeping. If KK was agitated, which she seemed to be more often than not, he was sure that she would still be awake. He found the grip that Bo had on her was kinda of tight. Something that made Uncle Jesse suspicious of what exactly had happened.

“Bo,” Uncle Jesse shook him awake. Bo instinctively tightened his grip on KK. “It’s okay, son,”

“Uncle Jesse?” Bo asked half asleep.

“Yes. What happened?”

“Unh?” Bo asked confused.

“Dr. Jorgensen called and said they needed to a MRI on K and they wanted to sedate her.”

Now awake Bo carefully sat up so he would wake KK. Whispering, “The two orderlies or who ever they were didn’t have a clue to what they were doing. You don’t just ripped her out of my arms and expect me to sit back and let it happened.”

At that the moment Dr. Jorgensen came into the room. “Sir,” Uncle Jesse said, “I think what you were told and what happened were two different things.”

“Sir, they practically ripped KK from my loose grip. Half asleep and not knowing what was exactly going on I had to do what I felt was right and protect her. She doesn’t like any stranger touching her or even coming too close. I thought that everyone knew.”

“So did I. I do apologize for this. We still though need to have a brain scan done before I can release her today.”

“Today?”

“Maybe we can encourage her to cooperate if she knows she can go home today.”

Uncle Jesse picked up KK who woke up immediately and started to fight out of his grip, not realizing who it was. “Calm down, K, it’s Uncle Jesse.” When KK was assured of that she completely relax against him. “Listen sweetheart, they need to take a x-ray of your head.” KK gripped Uncle Jesse as tight as she could.

“Listen KK,” Dr. Jorgensen said, “Once we get the x-rays we need then you can go home.” Dr. Jorgensen figured he might as well play the trump card early.
“Can you be a good girl and do what Dr. Jorgensen says?” Uncle Jesse asked his young niece.

Quietly KK said, “Yes.”

“That’s my angel,” Uncle Jesse said to her as he swayed his hips to relax her.

When Uncle Jesse, Bo, KK and Dr. Jorgensen got to the x-ray room KK suddenly backed out of the deal.

“What’s wrong?” Bo asked with great concern watching KK almost hyperventilate.

“I’m scared,” KK said in a whisper being held by Uncle Jesse.

“All that’s happens is that you slide right through the hole,” Dr. Jorgensen said.[15]

“Within a matter of moments it will be all done,” Uncle Jesse said.

“I’m scared.”

“Hey, there’s nothing to be afraid of. We can talk to you. There’s a speaker system set up. The only thing is that you have to lie very still and not say anything back. Do you think you can do this?” Dr. Jorgensen asked.

KK was not too sure about this. Then Bo piped up, “Sweetie pie, I had to do the same thing. It’s only a minute. Not enough time to have a claustrophobic attack. As soon as this gets over with the sooner you get to go home.”

“Okay,” KK said quietly.

“Once the all clear is given, I’ll send Bo out to you, okay?” Dr. Jorgensen said, trying to comprise with KK.

“Okay.”

Once KK was situated on the bed that were put her through the machine Bo and Uncle Jesse had to follow Dr. Jorgensen out of the room into a room with a window where they could see everything.

“Claustrophobic? KK?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“Very much so. Learned one day when we had to go into an elevator. She really thought climbing 20 floors worth of stairs was much better solution.”

“Don’t like elevators myself,” Uncle Jesse commented.

“Okay,” Dr. Jorgensen said through the microphone, “we’ll start.”

The machine smoothly made its way through one side and out the other. When Bo was finally allowed to go in to the room, silent tears had fallen from KK’s eyes. Although Bo knew she was scared, both he and Uncle Jesse were very proud of her.

“That’s my girl” Uncle Jesse said. “I knew you could do it.”

Exhausted by the whole event, KK put her head down on Bo’s shoulder and went back to sleep.

End of Part 29

Visit To the County Jail

It had been almost one week since the accident and Butch and Conway were still cooling their heels in Hazzard County Jail. Roscoe didn’t trust himself nor Enos or Cletus to take these men to the State Penitentiary in Atlanta so he had to wait until Monday before the State could come and get him.

“Come on Sheriff, we all know it was an accident. We didn’t mean to hit that kid,” Conway said pleading his case.

“Save it for the judge,” Roscoe said and turned his back to go back upstairs.

It was a few hours later and Dr. Jorgensen came into the room with some good news. “Well, she still has a concussion, but with rest and time it should go away. Other than that, both of you are free to go. Don’t do anything to strenuous for a while and no physical activities for about a month. Allow time for the brain to heal. Especially her. She has quite a nasty bump on the head.”

As Uncle Jesse shook hands with the doctor, Bo whispered to KK, “Did you hear that, we get to go home!” Bo knew she had heard because she squeezed him as hard as she could.

Finally, KK and Bo were on their way home from the hospital.

Well, almost.

“Uncle Jesse,” KK said. “I need to see who did this to me.”

“What?” Uncle Jesse said, caught off guard.

“You want to know the real reason why I didn’t go to church a few Sundays ago?” KK asked. When she didn’t get a response she continued talking. “Because I just knew that people were out to get me.”

“Why then do you want to face them?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“So I can put some feelings to rest.”

“What feelings?”

“Uncle Jesse, you know as well as I do that I get these strange feelings sometimes. I just need to see their faces of who put me in the hospital. Please,” KK begged.

“It’s against my better judgment but,” Uncle Jesse said.

“Thank you,” was all KK said and Uncle Jesse turned the pick-up around and went towards town.

Uncle Jesse didn’t want her to do this but he also knew that this was a way for her to put this behind her and move on. If he didn’t do this he knew that she would have tried anything in her power to come and see them.

When they finally got to the County Building KK wasn’t as brave as she thought she would be.

“K, you don’t have to do this,” Uncle Jesse said.

“Yes, I do,” and with that she got out of the pick up truck and went into the County Building.

Roscoe was glad and also surprised to see KK. “Hi sweetheart,” he said to her.

Uncle Jesse saw her arms swing open towards Roscoe and Roscoe was glad to take her.
“How are you feeling?”

“I’m still tired but the headache is gone.”

“Well that’s good. I have a funny feeling that you want to see who hit you.”

“I’ve got to Roscoe.”

“I know you do. Everyone is like that. They all want to know who did it.”

“Can we go now before I lose my nerve.”

“Sure, sweetie.”

Roscoe, with KK in his arms lead Uncle Jesse and Bo down to jail where Butch and Conway were sitting in separate cells. When they got down there tears formed in KK’s eyes.

“I knew it was you guys,” she screamed at them. “I knew that you wanted to kidnap me. You thought I would be at Church a few Sundays back but I fooled ya, didn’t I?”

Then it hit Uncle Jesse. Butch and Conway had taken a seat in the same pew that he, Daisy, Coy and Vance had sat in. It gave him a chill up his spine knowing how close KK had adverted danger again.

By the look on Conway’s and Butch’s faces, Roscoe knew that they were surprised that KK had figured out their scheme, but got to Roscoe thinking. How in the world did she figure it out? She had basically said I didn’t go to church and the only other time that she would had seen them would have been at the accident. Roscoe, although spook by all this, kept his mouth shut and just figured that it was miracle that KK was okay after all of this.

It was Conway that spoke first, “Why in the world would we want to kidnap you? It was just an accident.”

Uncle Jesse spoke, “What fools do you take us for? It’s estimated that y’all were going 40 miles per hour at the intersection. What fool does that. You were aiming at that kid and that’s the truth. “

With that the group turned around and headed back up the stairs.

When they returned upstairs KK saw Flash and wanted to be put down. “I bet Flash would love some treats! Why don’t you go with Enos and he’ll show you where they’re at, okay?” Roscoe said to KK.

“Okay,” KK said and follow Enos and Flash to Boss Hogg’s Commissioner’s Office and shut the door behind them.

“Jesse, can I ask you something?”

“Sure, what?”

“Does KK have some sort of gift?”

Uncle Jesse was stunned. He didn’t know what Roscoe was going to ask, but he wasn’t prepared for this. “Roscoe, I’m not sure at the moment but she does have something. She refused to go to church, she never told me why, but she must have had a feeling that it wasn’t safe and those two men sat in the same pew as me and the family. Let me tell ya, it freaks me even out.”

“The judge will be here on Monday, and then the State will take them to Atlanta. I don’t trust any of us to do it. If something would happen and they escaped I would feel so guilty that I don’t think I could face any of y’all.”

“Will you need KK,” Bo asked.

“I’m going to say yes. She’s not a witness just the victim but that may help the judge to realize how much these two deserve to be off the street. Speaking of that, do you know what happen and why you ended up in the hospital, Bo?”

“No, Luke was driving, we were talking, I looked out the window, Luke was bent over the wheel and unconscious and then slammed into the tree. I don’t know why Luke went unconscious.”

“That’s because Luke had an infection in his heart from some type of puncture wound. At least that’s what the Doc said,” Uncle Jesse said.

“Yeah I know that.” Bo stated.

“Then the only question is how did he get the puncture wound?”

Bo started searching his memory bank. The whole day that the accident happened was really fuzzy. He tried to think if he heard anything or saw anything unusual but nothing came to mind.

“Don’t worry about it Bo. I’m sure in time it will come to you,” Roscoe said. There’s no point of stressing over it.

“Come on, we have got to get home,” Uncle Jesse said.

When the opened the door to the room they found one broken treat in one of KK and both dog and kid sound asleep on the floor. Flash was sprawled out on the floor, while KK rest her head on Flash. Gently, Bo pulled KK’s fingers away from the treat and picked KK up. Flash growled and then stopped, realizing who it was.

“In all the years that I have owned Flash, she’s never growled at anyone, no matter who was in danger.”

“Once she knew who it was, everything was okay. Besides, I gave her the rest of the treat that was in KK’s hand,” Bo said. “She must love KK too.”

“Well, Roscoe,” Uncle Jesse said, “Thank you for everything. What time on Monday?”

“The trial will start at 10:00 a.m., so around 9:00 would be good.”

“Okay, then. We’ll see ya then,” Uncle Jesse said and the Duke family went home.

When the threesome arrived home, Daisy had prepared a small snack for them. Coy and Vance were out in the fields doing chores.

“Uncle Jesse,” KK said.

“What sweetheart?”

“What’s gonna happen?”

“What do you mean?” Uncle Jesse asked, walking over to where KK was sitting and pulling up a chair next to her.

“What’s gonna happen?” KK asked again frustrated that Uncle Jesse didn’t understand.

Uncle Jesse took a moment and thought about what KK was asking knowing that she was getting more and more frustrated by the moment of him not answering. After a moment he said, “KK, I don’t know. It’s up to the good Lord.”

“Do we live like this forever? Lives hanging in the balance by one phone call that can either put your mind at ease or put your life into chaos. What if that phone call never comes?”

“K, you know that Luke would want you to live your life to the fullest with or without him. He’s not gone from us yet.”

“Yeah, but he might as well be.”

“KK!”

“Come on,” she yelled and then regretted it. Her head pounded and stomached turned upside down over and over again. Whispering, “Let’s be realistic. He ain’t ever gonna get better, is he?”

“KK – that’s what miracles are for.”

“Whatever,” she said and got up and went to her room.

After KK slammed the door closed, Uncle Jesse said, “She’s worrying me and frankly I don’t know what to do for her.”

The three of them looked at each other not knowing what to do for KK.

Balladeer: Folks, keep praying for a miracle – the Duke family is gonna need it. Even if Luke dies, they’re gonna have a lot on their hands trying to keep KK’s spirits up.

End of Part 30

Home

KK woke up with a sudden start. Disorientated, she didn’t realized that she was in her hammock and couldn’t figure out how to get out before spinning out and landing in the pile of puke that had just come out of her. Spooked by the entire event she screamed her head off.

Everyone came rushing in but not really knowing what do. When Bo started to get close to her she screamed louder.

“K, sweetheart…it’s me Bo. It’s okay.” Uncle Jesse quickly exited the room and got a towel wet with cold water. When he returned he handed it to Bo who had picked up KK and they were sitting on a chair.

“You okay, sweetheart?” Uncle Jesse asked as he gave Bo the washcloth and began to wipe her hands.

KK nodded her head yes. “She woke up sick to her stomach; tried to get out of her hammock; threw up; and then fell out of her hammock. Just a bit disorientated,” Bo said.

“Scared us half to death,” Coy commented.

“No more sleep in there,” KK said.

“Unh?” Vance asked.

“No more sleep in there,” KK repeated, frustrated.

“What she means is she doesn’t want to sleep in her hammock. I think the rocking made her nauseous,” Bo said.

KK nodded her head in agreement with Bo’s comment. “Come on kid,” he said to KK, “Let’s get you cleaned up and then you can relax on the couch,” Bo said as he guided her out of the room.

Once Bo and KK were in the bathroom, Uncle Jesse could hear KK throw up once more. He was worried about her and didn’t know what to do to help her.

Bo ended up doing most of the work himself because KK just couldn’t keep her eyes open. After he was done he took her back to the couch and fell asleep with her in his arms.

Bo woke up a few hours later. It must have been mid morning because no one was in the house and it wasn’t as bright and sunny as the afternoons tended to be. Bo gently moved KK to the other side of the couch and slowly got up himself. Uncle Jesse came in the house from doing the chores to see how KK and Bo were doing.

“How you feeling?”

“Much better since I’ve gotten some sleep.”

“How’s the kid?” Uncle Jesse asked referring to KK.

“Sleeping, which I’m hoping she’ll stay. Hey, I was wondering if I could take the pick up?”

“Where to?”

“I need to do something that I rather not discuss with anyone. Something personal.”

Uncle Jesse knew what Bo meant. He wanted to visit Luke by himself. Uncle Jesse also knew that if KK had any clue that he was going she would want to go to, but Uncle Jesse knew he needed to do this on his own.

“You sure you’re up to driving?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay. But don’t be stupid. If you feel funny pull off and hail one of us, okay?”

“Okay.”

After a shower, Bo was on his way to the hospital.

Bo hoped that KK would forgive him for not taking her along to the hospital but he needed to see him on his own for the first time. Besides, KK need rest and home was right where she ought to be.

On the way to the hospital Bo prayed to God. “Lord, I’m not sure of what you’re intentions are but could you do me a favor? Make Luke be okay. I know it’s a lot but KK really needs him. Granted she’ll have the rest of us, but it isn’t the same. I know that the chances are slim to none but I would really appreciate a miracle. Hasn’t she been through enough? She’s already lost her parents – losing Luke will make it unbearable for her. Please don’t do that to her.” Bo finished his prayer with silent tears running down his cheeks.

When he got to the hospital he took his time to summon the courage to get out of the truck and walk up to the ICU where Luke still was.

When he entered the ICU Nurse Kristen was there and gave him a smile, which encouraged him to go and see Luke. There weren’t any other visitors and the only patients in there were Luke and two other older gentlemen that seemed to be sleeping.

It took Bo a few minutes to gain his composure before he spoke when he finally reached Luke’s bed. He grabbed his hand so that there was some type of connection, although Bo didn’t know what exactly.

“Come on Luke, you’ve got’ve to wake up. KK is so worried about you. She’s not been herself lately. She needs you – you don’t understand how badly she’s needs you.”

Bo main focus, or so he thought, was to beg Luke to wake up for KK’s sake but he knew it in his heart that he was having trouble moving on without his best friend. “Come on Luke, please wake up, please. Not only does KK need you, but I need you as well.” Tears began to fall from his eyes. Please.” Bo stated as he unconsciously rubbed his thumb over Luke’s hand.

His voiced failed him and 30 minutes later he left – unknowing if he would ever see Luke conscious again.

When Bo returned to the farm in the early afternoon he found that everyone was outside except for KK who was quietly playing in her room. He knocked on the door so he wouldn’t scare her.

“Hey you,” Bo said as he entered the room. “How are you doing?” he asked her as he walked over to where she was playing and crouched down to her size.

KK ignored him. Not that she was mad that he went out without her it was just that she was lost in her own world. She was taking timeout from reality.

There was a knock on the door, “Bo, let her be for a while,” Uncle Jesse said knowing that Bo was confused. “Come on with me,” Uncle Jesse said hoping that would get him a hint that he wanted to speak to him outside of the room.

“Bo, she’s hiding right now and she’s quite,” Uncle Jesse said to him as he shut the door slightly.

“But…”
“No, Bo. Let her be. I can tell this is already too much for her. Tomorrow, she’ll have to come back to reality but for now let her be a kid. Care-free and not full of worry.”

“Uncle Jesse, can I talk to you for a bit. I just need someone to talk to.”

“Sure. Come on, let’s sit at the table over a cup of coffee.”

Bo needed to know the whole truth of what was going on regarding the car accident and then the accident that put KK in the hospital. Uncle Jesse told him the story from the beginning to the end. Before they knew it Coy and Vance were done with chores for the day and it was suppertime. Daisy would be home soon from the Boars’ Nest and so Uncle Jesse decided to have hot dogs on the grill. It was fast and it was KK favorite.

“KK,” Uncle Jesse called for her and went towards the room she was playing in. When he opened the door KK was sleeping. “Sweetheart,” Uncle Jesse said to her as he picked her up and she tried to wake-up, “It’s almost time for dinner.”

“What time is it?” KK asked.

“Its almost 6:30 p.m.”

“6:30?” KK said. “I thought it was only 12 Noon.”

“Sweetheart, please accept my apologizes but I let you hide for awhile.”

“Oh,” was all KK said and rested her head on Jesse’s shoulder.

KK had no intention of leaving the security of her Uncle’s lap. She just didn’t want to get down. Rarely did he ever get a chance to hold KK when she was so calm. It was almost eerie to Uncle Jesse. He just hoped that she would be this calm tomorrow.

Well folks – I hope that Uncle Jesse get his prayer answered and KK is able to deal with the trial tomorrow. Hopefully does fellas go away for a long time.

End of Part 31

Part 32

It was getting late and Uncle Jesse was beyond the point of exhaustion, but KK was calmly sleeping on his lap. He knew he had to get to bed himself but to hold KK like this were moments that were few and far between. He finally resigned to the fact that he needed to get to bed.

Uncle Jesse knew that KK didn’t want to sleep on her hammock so he gently woke Bo up to take her in his arms.

The next morning KK still clung to Uncle Jesse. He wondered if she had hidden away again. He knew that she had to be brought back to reality for the trial of Butch and Conway in case she was needed.

“Hey kiddo,” Uncle Jesse said to her when Bo gave he r to him.

“I don’t feel good. Do we have to go?”

“Yeah we do. It should be over soon though,” Uncle Jesse said rubbing her back and KK drifted off back to sleep.

When they arrived at the County Building, the traveling judge, Judge Hornsmith was already there, ready to begin.

Roscoe began and discussed what had happened on that fateful Sunday afternoon. That both Conway and Butch did not make any attempt to stop and were trying to take the life of KK. Roscoe had never been so nervous in all his life. He knew that he had to prove his case with no doubts that Conway and Butch were out to get KK and injure her gravely.

Conway and Butch tried to explain to the judge that it was all an accident. Just happened to be in the wrong place and the wrong time but it fell on deaf ears.

“Young lady,” Judge Hornsmith directed his attention to KK, “Do you have anything you would like to add?”

KK who had been resting on Uncle Jesse’s lap, turned her attention to the judge, tears forming in her eyes and plainly said, “They mean. They scare me. I don’t want to die,” and then held onto her Uncle Jesse for dear life, her tiny body shaking from the frightful sobs that came from deep within her soul. Everyone, except Butch and Conway had tears welling up in their eyes.

Judge Hornsmith allowed KK to calm down a bit before giving his ruling. “Gentlemen,” he stated to Conway and Butch, “although I don’t know if I should call you that; it is proven to me beyond a doubt that you are guilty of the crimes that you have been accused of. Attempted murder alone, especially attempted on a child, will send you to jail for life. I find you guilty on all charges brought before me, and you are sentenced to 5 life terms in the State Penitentiary.” Immediately the State Police took Butch and Conway into custody and took them to jail in Atlanta.

The entire Duke family was relieved. At least Butch and Conway were out of their hair but Uncle Jesse had feeling that wouldn’t be the end of the attempts on KK’s life.

After the commotion calm down, KK said, “Uncle Jesse, I’m hungry!”

“What do you want to eat?” Although Uncle Jesse already knew the answer to this.

“Hot dogs!” she said smiling from ear to ear.

“Let’s get back home and we’ll have hot dogs for lunch, okay?”

“Okay!” KK said and gave her Uncle the biggest hug she was capable of.

A few minutes passed and before the Duke family was ready to leave, KK insisted on being put down. Running over to Roscoe she demanded him to pick her up.

“Thank You, Roscoe . You’re the best,” KK said and gave him a hug.

“Hey, that’s what they pay me to do.”

“Roscoe, you did good,” KK said. “You took care of the bad guys for me. I can’t thank you enough.”

“Your welcome,” Roscoe said and put her down and KK ran back to Uncle Jesse.

When the Duke family walked out of the County Building; Cooter was there leaning against a vehicle.

“The General” KK shrieked with joy.

“She’s all fixed up and ready to go for a spin,” Cooter said.

“You ready KK to go flying?” Bo asked.

“Can we Uncle Jesse, can we, please….” KK begged.

“Bo, be careful with both of them,” Uncle Jesse scowled and then smiled.”

“Yippee,” KK screamed into the air and the two them were off into the General.

As the two of them squealed out of Hazzard, Uncle Jesse asked if Cooter would like to come over for lunch.

“Thanks for the invtie sir, but I’ve got to keep working. Old man McGarley car and a few others are waiting for my attention.”

With that Uncle Jesse, Daisy, Coy and Vance left for the farm.

End of Part 32

The End

By Wednesday KK was well enough to return to school.

The following week was the school’s choir concert. The weekend before the concert Matt had suggested to him to purchase a video camera and say that it was to record the students’ oral geography presentation. In reality it was for him or Matt to capture the activities that KK was involved in to show Luke when he woke up. When the evening of the concert came about, everyone knew that KK wasn’t in the mood to sing. When Steve told her about the video camera and that Luke would be able to see everything once he woke up it perked her mood a bit. KK had a singing solo that she had worked hard on and got to play her drums on a few songs but it wasn’t lost by the Duke family that she wasn’t as happy as she should had been.

The school year ended uneventfully for all involved.

When KK would sleep at night she would relive her own accident that plagued her dreams. Bo tended to be the only person that could calm KK down from the nightmares that she was having. When she had a bad dream she would get out of her hammock bed and walk into the living room where Bo was sleeping. At least Bo was home and she could snuggle up with him when she was scared which was great but KK tended to stop talking. She barely would talk to Bo but that was when he started the conversation. It made Uncle Jesse nervous because he wondered if something had changed in KK’s thoughts and now she wasn’t too sure if Luke would wake up or even survived.

As the summer began, Uncle Jesse and Daisy knew that there might be a possibility that Luke may never wake up or become a vegetable but did not have the heart to tell Bo or KK. As the days came and went with no news it became harder to face the day but they made it a point to visit Luke everyday telling him that he was needed at home and needed to wake up. For KK, it was the fatherly figured that she didn’t have. For Bo it was the older brother that he didn’t have biologically.

As the summer wore on, Uncle Jesse got KK involved in baseball in order to try and keep her mind off of the situation. Just like basketball[16], she seemed to be a natural at it. She could pitch or play first base and also seemed to get on base. Being so small the pitchers tended to pitch way too high to her and she walked more times than she would actually hit the ball. The idea to lift her spirits seemed to work during the game, but once the game was over she would go back into a dark mood. Uncle Jesse asked her why and she admitted to him that during a game it takes concentration to do a good job but once the game was over there was nothing to keep her mind off of it.

Still, as the months went from May to June to July to August there wasn’t any significant change in Luke’s condition. The only thing was that he wasn’t in critical condition and he wasn’t about to die. Instead, the family hoped and prayed that he would at least wake-up. Everyday, Bo and KK would go see Luke and talk to him, encouraging him to wake up and other members of the family would visit when they could. About the only change was that KK finally was able to sleep on her own in her own bed.

Although everyone tried, KK didn’t really care about her birthday that was coming up in the end of August. She felt that there was no reason to celebrate it. She was in too much pain. All she wanted was for Luke to be okay and until that time a smile would not returned to her face. Until that time she clung to Bo and Bo clung to her like there was no tomorrow. Uncle Jesse was worried about both of them. Uncle Jesse knew that KK had always needed stability and that was something that she rarely got. Every time the boys would get in trouble with the law KK would become a worry wart. During one of the boys’ overnight stays in jail, Uncle Jesse had to take KK in the middle of the night to the Hazzard jail just to show her that her beloved cousins were okay. Roscoe wasn’t too please about it but once he heard KK crying he knew he couldn’t be upset anymore.

August 27, 1983, had come about. Aaron and Karen were excited by her birthday but it was tempered by the depression of their oldest sister. KK couldn’t care less about her birthday. Luke was not there to celebrate it with her so what was the point of having a birthday she thought. Uncle Jesse could tell she struggled with the thought that Luke was still stuck in the hospital. The phone rang at 4:11 a.m. and for the first time in his life Uncle Jesse was afraid to answer it. He thought that the hospital was calling telling him that Luke was dead. Instead he was pleasantly surprised to know that the County of Hazzard’s miracle had happened – Luke woke up. The funny part of it all was that he wouldn’t talk to anyone until he saw KK. Luke didn’t have a clue to what date it was but knew that he been unconscious for some time. He thought hours since it was now dark – little did he know it was over three months. He just knew that he had to get to KK.

When the phone rang he noticed what the time was – 4:11 a.m. It was eight years ago at this moment that KK had entered in the world. What a way to find out that the man that you admired and count on to guide you through life died not only on your birthday, but the family was notified the minute you were born.

“Duke farm,” Uncle Jesse said.

“Mr. Duke, this is Dr. Jorgensen.” Everyone but KK had awakened which was odd because usually everyone but KK sleeps through everything.

Nervous, Uncle Jesse responded back into the phone, “Yes, what can I do for you.”

“I have a request from your nephew and that he won’t speak to anyone until he sees KK.”

It took a moment for Uncle Jesse to comprehend what Dr. Jorgensen was saying. “So you’re telling me that the unthinkable happened,” Uncle Jesse said. Behind him the Coy, Vance, Bo and Daisy were all nervous thinking Luke had died.

“Yes. He asked how long he was out for and when he was told about three months, the first thing he said was he needed to see KK and wouldn’t talk to anyone else until then.”

“Yes, we’ll be right up there then. Thank you,” Uncle Jesse said and hung up the phone.

When Uncle Jesse turned around he realized that they were right behind him. “Where’s KK?” was all Uncle Jesse said.

“Where is she?” Bo commented. “She sleeps so lightly that for sure I thought she would awake when the phone rang.”

“You guys wait here in the living room,” Uncle Jesse instructed his nephews and Daisy.

Uncle Jesse cut through the crowd and went into his nieces’ room to find KK sound asleep on her hammock. Uncle Jesse hated to wake KK when she was in a sound sleep because it took her so long to get to this point but knew that she would eventually understand.

“KK, wake up,” Uncle Jesse said to her trying to shake her awake.

“Too tired.”

“Too tired?”

“Yeah.”

Uncle Jesse picked her up out of her hammock. “What if I told you some really good news” Uncle Jesse said and whispered in her ear. KK only reaction was putting her head on Uncle Jesse’s shoulder and snuggled her face into the crook of his neck.

“What good news?” KK asked sleepily.

“That some one you have missed for about three months is awake.”

It took a minute for KK to digest the news. She raised her head up and said, “You mean Luke is awake?”

“Now listen, you’re cousins don’t know this yet, so keep it down in here for a moment okay.”

“Okay. Now can I go back to sleep?”

“Yeah, but were going to the hospital, okay?”

“Okay,” Uncle Jesse said, kissed his niece on the forehead and laid her down in her hammock.

When Uncle Jesse returned from the bedroom, the kids were wondering what was going on.

“Where’s KK?” Bo asked.

“She sleeping for the moment but we’ll be going soon to the hospital.”

“What do you mean that you’re going to the hospital?” Bo asked. “What’s going on here?

For a moment Uncle Jesse wanted to break down, get on his knees and shout Hallelujah! but that would of scared his three nephews and niece that was standing in front of him wondering what in the world was going on. “You’re not going to believe this but your cousin is awake.”

“What?” Coy said.

“No way,” Vance said.

“That was Dr. Jorgensen on the phone and he said that Luke won’t speak to anyone until he sees her,” Uncle Jesse said. “Bo, I want you to come with us. I’m sure Luke wants to see you too. Daisy, Vance and Coy, can come up in a little while. I’m sure that Luke wants to see everyone but I don’t want to over do it. Wait until you call everyone and let them know the news. Let KK have some time alone before everyone starts marching their way up there.”

Uncle Jesse had decided against waking KK again and just take her in the shorts and t-shirt that she wore to bed. She was just plain exhausted. That struck Uncle Jesse as odd but he wondered if her so-called gift, as he still wasn’t sure what to call it, had played a part in Luke waking up after not giving any indication that he ever would. Uncle Jesse would have to ask Luke what prompted him to wake up.

As Bo, Uncle Jesse and KK got on the road, Bo asked the question that was going on in Uncle Jesse’s mind. “Do you think,” Bo was interrupted by Uncle Jesse.

“Bo, I’m sure that KK had some role to play in this miracle and yes, as soon as I think it’s a good time to ask Luke I will. For now, I’m going to allow Luke and the family to get reacquainted. She’s too exhausted and not even the bit excited that Luke’s awake and seems to be okay. So something happened tonight between the two and I would like to know what. Maybe neither one can or will tell me but I will ask.”

Just as the pick up parked KK woke up.

“I’m scared,” KK said.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of,” Bo reassured her.

“I know but still I feel funny. I’ve been wishing and praying for this to come true and it did. But I knew it would. That’s what scares me. I worried and I knew it was going to happened.”

“Was tonight any different from previous nights?”

“As this day got closer and closer the confidence that he would wake up grew. I can’t explain what happened tonight but I felt that I gave some type of power to Luke or something like that. That I was able to come up with something like a spell or something and give it to him, somehow. Not even sure about that. All I know is that he’s awake and everything is going to be fine. Sorry, I can’t give a better explanation than that.”

“That’s okay KK,” Uncle Jesse said. “Let’s just worry about Luke for now. Maybe in the future you can explain it but for now let us be happy with what the results are.”
They got out of the pick up and went to the front desk.

“Oh, you’re the Duke family. Take the elevator behind me and go to the 4th floor to room 4-17,” the receptionist said.

“Thank you,” Uncle Jesse said and they follow the receptionist instructions.

When they got off the elevator to the fourth floor Dr. Jorgensen was there to greet them. “He’s seems to be fine and promised that we could examine him as soon as he knew that KK was okay. I assured him that she was but he wanted to see her first. Especially when I told him that he had been unconscious for three months and what day it was. Oh, and happy birthday, young lady,” he told KK. KK gave him the biggest smile she could give. “You ready to see your cousin?”

KK shrugged her shoulders. As much as she wanted this moment to come, she was very nervous.

“Just relax and keep your voice down. I’m not sure if he has a headache or not. Remember when you woke up?” KK nodded her head.

Dr. Jorgensen escorted the family down to Luke’s room and opened it enough to let KK in. KK took a deep breath and went in and couldn’t contain her excitement when went in and actually saw Luke awake. “Luke,” she squealed and ran towards him.

Tears ran down Luke’s eyes when he saw her. Everything was going to be fine

End of Part 33

Epilogue

Both KK and Luke had tears running down their eyes and all they could do was hug one another.

After a few moments, KK spoke. “You okay?”

“I think so,” Luke whispered. His throat was raw from its non-use and tubes being down it.

“You don’t know how much you scared me.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I know it wasn’t you’re fault. But that’s all over with now. You’re back with us. I can’t wait until you get home.”

“It might be a while.”

“I know it could, but it won’t”

“How do you know?”

“Just take my word for it.”

“Funny, K.”

“Luke, I’m serious.”

“I know.”

A few moments of silence passed and then Luke spoke. “Who did you bring with you?”

“I walked here,” KK said.

“Now I know you’re being funny.”

“Uncle Jesse and Bo.”

“Bo’s okay then?”

“Yeah. He scared me and everyone too. He doesn’t remember what happened.”

“I don’t know either.”

“Its okay. I think I’ve handled that problem of who did it to y’all.”

“What?”

“Luke, please don’t care about it right now. We’ll tell you, or at least I will once you feel better. Just for now, concentrate on getting better, please.”

“KK, how are you doing?”

“Okay, especially now that you’re awake, but I ain’t gonna lie to you and tell you I’ve been fine.”

“I figured that much.”

“Don’t let Uncle Jesse scare you and say I was in a depression because he thinks I was. I wasn’t really it was the only way I could concentrate on some stuff that I’ll tell you one day but I can’t right now. Not until I understand what exactly happened this summer.”

“Why don’t we let Uncle Jesse and Bo come in and then the doctor can examine me and you and I can snuggle together, okay?”

“Okay.”

“Go get them, okay”

KK jumped down off the bed and got everyone in the waiting room.

Week later, with no side affect from the accident nor the length of being unconscious, Luke came home. It was once again a full house. No one cared what had caused the accident although the Dukes, Roscoe, Enos, and Cooter had their suspicions that Butch and Conway had caused it. It didn’t matter; it was a time for celebration after all. It isn’t everyday that a person wakes up fine and dandy after dying a few times and being told he might be a vegetable for the rest of their lives.

After the harvest in late September, Coy and Vance went back to Aunt Rosetta and Uncle Irv house to help them live out their golden years. Uncle Jesse explained everything that had happened since the accident to Luke and including the visions or whatever they were that KK saw about Luke being okay.
“She said not to listen to you about her being depressed,” Luke told Uncle Jesse. “She said that she was working out some stuff and was concentrating on it. She needed time to understand it herself and when she did she would explain it to me.”

“She was awfully quite the entire summer, but who knows with KK and her family what she’s capable of,”

“What do you mean Uncle Jesse?” Luke asked as Bo, Coy and Vance were out in the farm doing chores.

“Luke, KK’s father and grandfather, my brother, supposedly could see into the future but I don’t know how accurate it was. Who knows with KK – she just knew that you would be okay and here you are.”

“Uncle Jesse, I think KK may have a gift. I know you’re not to keen on it but I can tell you one thing, it will never be boring with KK around.

“That it won’t be. Why don’t we see what’s going on with the harvest?” Uncle Jesse said and with that the two men joined the rest of the family out on the field.

The End!

[1]Information for this was found at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/encyclopedia.html
[2] Author doesn’t know anything about cars. It would probably take a long time and cost lots of money to repair a car that had a tree fall on it. But it’s my fantasy world – I can do what I want. Thank You.
[3] Information for this was found at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/encyclopedia.html
[4] I know when Coy and Vance came to live with Jesse and Daisy they came from another Aunt and Uncle but I can’t remember what there names were so I had to create them but it suppose to be the same Aunt and Uncle.
[5] KK’s scooter, like most of her friends’, are mopeds. I figure it was the easiest way to travel from one spot to another for a kid.
[6] Since this is my fantasy world, Bo and Luke never left the farm to race cars long enough that Uncle Jesse would need help on the farm, but I needed some reason for that picture to be there and I couldn’t think of something better.
[7] The author of this fantasy world does not like to read (except Harry Potter and it wasn’t created yet) so if anyone knows of a book, use your imagination and pretend that KK is reading that book. Thanks J
[8] There’s no scientific fact that this could happen or be cause of. I’m making this up as I go because it’s fits in my fictional story.
[9] Information for this was found at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/encyclopedia.html.
[10] Granted it may have been future technology; but let’s pretend KK has an ear piece and a microphone, along with all the other kids attached to her helmet.
[11] Medical information was found at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/encyclopedia.html
[12] Information regarding waking up from a coma was found at: http://www.discoverhiddensecrets.com/braininjury.html. Please realize this is fiction and that I’m going to stretch the truth a bit for both Bo waking up and Luke.
[13] I doubt that this would happen in reality but hey it’s my story!
[14] I don’t think MRI’s were invented in 1983 but I don’t know what was used, if anything. Please let me know. Thanks.
[15] I may not have my terminology correct but for this story all KK has to do is lie still for a few moments and the she be ran through it. Hasn’t KK been through enough?
[16] Folks, I need to write the basketball story yet that I have had in my head for years. It takes place when KK is in 2nd grade.

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