Lost Innocence

Long Road Home Series Book 2

by Vada M. Wolter & Joseph A. Zapalac


Book Details


Standing there on the back porch, Johnny thought how he had to be the loneliest boy on earth. A few days shy of turning twelve, he knew he'd never again experience the innocence of the country.

He wanted to fit in, to the point of allowing abuse in ways he never dreamed. With the love of Becky, he could look beyond this and move forward.

He struggled to graduate, and finding no future in hometown, joined the Army. He continues to follow his dream while searching for something to fill the emptiness.


Book Excerpt

Wilbur sat behind the steering wheel, dressed in jeans and a blue-plaid flannel shirt. Wayne sat on the passenger side, dressed in jeans and a red-flannel shirt…grinning.

My uncle needs me to help him with something. Would you like to ride out to his farm in the country?”

“Sure, it would feel good to set foot on farmland again,” I said, remembering my days on the farm. This was a tempting offer I couldn't refuse. School holidays were at a climax, and this would be a great way to spend the day.

It meant a lot to me to have acceptance from the upperclassmen. I can’t explain the feeling, but it’s something I’ve experienced all my life. It’s a need to be part of something, to belong—somewhere.

Becky knew of this spirit—as she called it—and worried about me losing my dream as a writer—or worse.

I took in the sites as we drove, for an hour or more, deeper into the country. I kept quiet, marveling at the scenery…the bare trees stood before us. A bed of red, or-ange, and yellow leaves covered the ground.

“It’ll sure be good to be back on a farm,” I said, as Wilbur turned down a side road.

I wondered if I said something funny, because they snickered.

Following the winding road to the back of the large ranch-style house, Wilbur stopped the car.

“Johnny, go to the door and tell the family we’re here. I need to check on something in the barn first, and then we’ll be right back.”

Just as quickly as I exited the car, it sped away, leaving me standing alone. There were no animals, no tractors...something seemed out of place. A shiver ran down my spine; perhaps the chill in the air...or a familiar feeling.

Hearing a door opening, I turned to see an older woman standing in the doorway of the ranch house. What an ugly woman.

"Come in and warm up,” she said, opening the door wider and stepping aside. I zipped up my jacket and walked to where the woman stood, thinking about getting warm.

“I’ll come in for a while…the guys should be back any minute now.” I didn’t like being with strangers, and I felt uncomfortable.

She led me down an orange-carpeted hallway toward an L-shaped room where six or seven women sat.(Family gathering?)

The older woman motioned to one of the girls on the sofa. (She must be one of Wilbur’s cousins.)

“Let me take your jacket...come with me,” said the younger woman. Feeling uneasy and fast running out of false courage, I innocently followed her down another hallway.

Once inside a room, I saw a big bed, taking up much of the floor space. The yellow-flowered wallpaper covering the walls was a typical room from the fifties. On a side-table sat an antique rose-colored globe lamp and some towels, soap, and basin of water.

Suddenly, I became aware of where I was; I might be innocent, but I’m not dumb.


About the Author

Vada M. Wolter & Joseph A. Zapalac

Vada M. Wolter and Joseph A. Zapalac, former classmates, write heartwarming books that can be a beneficial source for entertainment, escape, and inspiration. They enjoy writing and speaking to groups about country living and yesteryear. They have similar likes and dislikes—the same hopes and dreams, and work well as a team.


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Also by Vada M. Wolter & Joseph A. Zapalac

Ribbons and Roses
Rockin' Chair Cowboys
The Caregiver's Story
Treasured Memories
Little Boy Lost
Coming Home


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