Friday, June 24, 2016

By Bus with Vicki - Part 4

Hi Friday Fiction Fans,
I'm sort of on vacation. Being at my grandparents house is considered vacation, right? Even if I do work on one of my projects. But I don't write. Guess you'll have to wait until I get back home for further exciting updates. :) Oh, and yes, I did write 11,100+ words last week. :) It was such fun to make progress on so many of my stories!

Thanks for signing up to be test readers, those of you who did. It's going to be fun using my list of test readers instead of trying to find some on my own. If you haven't signed up, and want to be a test/beta reader, go sign up on the Opportunities page on Read Another Page. I don't have anything ready to be read yet, but do it now so you won't forget.

Well, I really don't have much to say right now. I hope you enjoy this next part of the story.

By Bus with Vicki
Part 4

    Eagerly her eyes darted here and there, trying to take in every detail, from the birds on a distant fence post to the car of the State Trooper which was driving slowly along with its lights on and his window rolled down. “I’m going to have such a story to tell Amber when I arrive,” she whispered, looking up to Kayla’s face.
    Kayla couldn’t help smiling back.

    Vicki leaned back in her chair and looked around the crowded cafe. The food had been as good as the driver had promised, and Vicki eyed the last half of her piece of pie still on her plate.
    “Think you can finish off that pie?” Clyde teased.
    “I don’t know.” Vicki reached for her fork but didn’t straighten up in her chair.
    “Don’t make yourself sick,” cautioned Kayla. “A few bites left of the meal you’ve eaten isn’t anything to feel bad about. I don’t think I can finish mine. Clyde, you want the rest?” And Kayla pushed over her plate with half her apple pie still intact.
    Clyde shook his head. “No, thanks. I’m having trouble finishing my own.”
    Drawing patterns on her peanut butter pie with her fork, Vicki remarked, “If I don’t have to walk back to the bus, I think I could eat this . . .” She eyed it with longing. Her tongue wanted it, but her stomach protested.
    “We do have carry-out boxes if you want to take the rest of your pie with you.” It was one of the waitresses.
    Instantly requests for them were made around the room. Vicki looked at her pie. It was such a small piece, it seemed a shame to take an entire box for it, yet she wasn’t sure she could eat it now, and it would be a waste if it was thrown away.
    Kayla helped her out by placing the piece in a box for her. “There. I don’t want you getting sick because you ate that when you were already too full. I still don’t see how you could eat all you did eat!”
    “I didn’t eat much breakfast this morning. You see, I was so excited about going on the bus that there just wasn’t room in my stomach for food.” The girl giggled and adjusted her headband. “Mom kept trying to get me to eat something, but I just couldn’t.”
    “Well, I think you probably made up for that now,” Clyde remarked. “And there’s our bus.”
    Carefully holding her box with her pie, Vicki climbed back into the bus. “Well, now I’ll have something to eat later if we should be late for supper.”

    The afternoon proved a drowsy time for all the passengers. Even Vicki’s exuberance seemed dulled by the bright sunshine, the steady hum of wheels, and a stomach stuffed with good food. Leaning against the window, Vicki watched hill after hill slip past her until her eyes closed and her whole body relaxed.

    When she awoke an hour later, all weariness had vanished, and the delight of traveling across the country by bus returned. Quickly looking around, she discovered Kayla reading a book while Clyde slept with folded arms in the seat beside her. To Vicki, he didn’t look very comfortable, but she had seen her own brothers sleep in strange positions before and thought it just must be what boys did. Behind the brother and sister, Mr. Newspaperman was dozing, his paper over his face. Vicki had discovered that he wasn’t as bald as she had first thought. All the other passengers were either sleeping, reading, or talking in such low tones that Vicki couldn’t hear them.
    Scooting to the aisle seat, she looked out the front window. It was strange to be so high up. Suddenly she noticed a strange haze way up ahead. “What is that?” she asked.
    “What?” Kayla asked, looked up from her book.
    Vicki pointed.
    “I’m not sure if that’s mountains, or smoke, or dust.”
    “Smoke? You mean like something might be on fire?” In her excitement, Vicki forgot that others were still sleeping.
    “Eh, huh? What was that?” And Clyde straightened up in his seat, blinking in the bright light of the sun.
    “That hazy stuff in the distance,” Vicki repeated. “Do you think the driver would know?”
    “Why don’t you go ask him?” Clyde yawned.
    Standing up quickly, Vicki started forward, grabbing the backs of seats as she staggered along. It was much harder to walk on the swaying bus than she had expected.
    A few minutes later she came back with a beaming face to drop into her seat. “He said he isn’t sure, but that’s the way we’re going so we should find out! Oh, I do love to have adventures! If Susie were here instead of me, she wouldn’t like it. Susie doesn’t like adventures. At least not like Chrissy, Candy and I do. Greg likes them too. If he had come, he would be trying to get the driver to let him drive the bus.” She giggled.
    “How old is Greg?”
    “Um . . .” Vicki pursed her lips and wrinkled her nose in thought before she replied. “He’s almost eleven. I think. Yes, I’m pretty sure he is because Candy is older than him and she is the same age as Chrissy. They could be twins, except their birthdays aren’t on the same day and they’re cousins instead. Candy and Chrissy are, you understand. But wouldn’t it be so much fun to share a birthday? Oh, look! There are flashing lights up ahead! I wonder what happened? Maybe a fence is broken and the cows are on the road. Dad said that happened to him one time when he was going west.”
    The bus slowed down, and the rest of the passengers who had not been awakened by Vicki earlier, roused themselves and began to look around.
    “Oh, it’s another State Trooper! And he’s coming to the bus!” This last was added in a squeal as Vicki hugged herself, her eyes glowing with eager anticipation.

What do you think is going on?
Have you ever had to stop on a trip because of flashing lights ahead?
Are you going anywhere this summer?

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