The next thing they heard was a loud thud and the explosion of glass and metal as another car T-boned Bruce’s Trans Am on the passenger side.
Bruce, who was still conscious but shaken, took off his seat belt and took hold of an unconscious Jane.
“Jane! Can you hear me? Jane!” he cried.
The occupants of the other car, an older man and woman, jumped out and ran up to the window.
“Don’t move her, young man! Don’t move her!” The man shouted.
Meanwhile, Malcolm and Brielle arrived at what was The Double Nickel to see flames engulfing the entire building and black smoke billowing overhead. The loud roar of the flames was deafening and peppered with sounds of shattering glass and loud pops from the explosions of cans and other combustibles.
A large crowd gathered outside the building as firefighters scrambled and worked tirelessly to battle the blaze. A multitude of sirens blared as more fire trucks pulled in and several more could be heard in the distance.
Jo suddenly ran up to Brielle crying. She and Brielle embraced, and Brielle held her as they both wept in each other’s arms. Atticus trudged up to them, dressed in his usual work clothes and apron. He was sweating profusely, with scrapes, burns, and spots of black soot on his face and arms. Looking pitiful and defeated, he went to his knees and cupped his face in his hands. Malcolm knelt beside him and slowly placed a hand on his shoulder.
“We’re hear for you, Atticus! If you need anything, you know where you can find us, brother,” Malcolm assured.
Another businessman approached Atticus and put his hand on his back to show support. Jo spoke in her brother’s behalf.
“We have insurance. It may take a while. But we will rebuild!” She declared, sniveling and wiping away tears.
Brielle’s phone soon ring again. She answered it to hear Grandma’s low and sad voice on the other end.
Another Scare for Brielle
“Brielle, it’s Grandma, honey. You need to come to the hospital right now. Bruce and Jane have been in a wreck,” her voice said as it broke.
“No! Nooo! Is she alright?” Brielle cried.
“She’s alive. She’s not critical. But she has a concussion, cracked ribs and a bruised lung. They going to keep her in the hospital for a few days. Bruce is being treated and they’re going to release him tonight. Brielle, there’s more. But I’ll tell you the rest when you get here.”
“What’s going on?” Malcolm asked.
“Jane’s been in a wreck. We gotta go to the hospital! Jo, my daughter’s been in a car wreck!” Brielle sobbed as Jo put her arm around her. Atticus walked up and placed his hand on her shoulder.
“Don’t worry about us, Brielle. Go. Go be with your daughter,” he told her.