And Happy Independence Day a little early US readers!
Can you believe it's already the middle of the year? And here I thought I was going to have a lot written by now. I guess I have. If I were to put all 4 stories that I'm working on together, I'd have another novel that was longer than the TCR books or Gift from the Storm. It just doesn't seem like as much when it's in four different parts.
I was writing this week, but not as much as I had planned. My brain was on shut down mode last evening. I have an idea for a blog post on Read Another Page once summer's over. Speaking of Read Another Page, I wanted to know if you like it the way it is, if you would like some things changed, have you listened to the audio samples that are now on the Audio page, if you've tried to leave a comment since it all got moved to a new hosting site. You see, I'm trying to figure out if it is harder to leave a comment now or if you just haven't been interested in the posts. I would like to get a few things fixed and changed on the site, but I've been busy.
Oh, I'm expecting to be able to proof listen to Through the Tunnel next week. Or at least start listening to it. :) And the first 15 minutes of TCR-2 and Gift from the Storm should be ready for me in a few weeks. Do you enjoy audio?
Now, I told you from the beginning that this was a long story. I hope you are enjoying traveling with Vicki.
By Bus with Vicki
“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. “Maybe there’s been an accident or they’re searching for a robber. Or maybe the road is blocked for construction up ahead.”
After stopping the bus, the driver opened the doors for the officer. Vicki’s eyes opened wide as the State Trooper mounted the steps to stand inside the bus. Everything about him was to her, impressive, from the hat on his head, to his radio on his shoulder, and the bulge of his gun at his side. She couldn’t hear him as he talked a few moments to the driver, but when he turned and looked at the passengers, she leaned forward to catch every word.
“I’m sorry for the delay, folks,” the State Trooper began, his voice reaching to the very back of the bus. “There’s a large grass fire up ahead that’s gotten out of hand and jumped the road. We’re not letting anyone through until we know it’s under control.”
“How long is that going to take?” questioned one of the passengers.
The State Trooper shook his head. “I don’t know. I’ll hear on my radio as soon as it’s clear, and you’ll be the first to go through. But until that time, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait here. Unless of course your driver wants to turn around and go back.” He turned and glanced at the driver who shook his head.
The radio crackled, and the State Trooper listened a moment before he spoke again. “So, just wait here, and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s safe to go on.”
“Can we get off the bus?” another passenger asked.
The officer shrugged. “It’s okay with me, if you don’t go past my car. The wind is blowing most of the smoke in a different direction, so that shouldn’t be a problem. If the wind does shift, it could cause the smoke to move this direction, as well as the fire. It’s not likely, but to be on the cautious side, if there is a change, I’ll be asking you to all stay on the bus.” His eyes scanned the rest of the passengers as though checking for more questions. When none came, he nodded, turned around and left the bus.
For a moment silence pervaded. Not surprisingly, Vicki was the first to break it. “A grass fire! That’s what that haze is. And to think it’s all happening right now! And we’re stuck! Oh, this is more exciting than even a flat tire!”
“Do you want to get off and see what you can see from the ground?” Clyde asked, smiling at her.
Vicki clasped her hands together. “Oh, can we?” she breathed.
It was the driver who answered. “Anyone who wants to get off may do so. But please remain near the bus so that there will be no delay when we are allowed to continue.”
To most of the passengers, the wait was long and vexing, but to Vicki, it was another adventure to store away to retell to her family. Eagerly she had peered ahead towards the setting sun trying to see the fire, but she was never sure she had seen it, for there were many hills. Behind the bus, the traffic was stopped, and several times Vicki saw cars or trucks give up, turn around, and drive back the way they had come. For nearly a quarter of an hour, she had gotten to talk with the State Trooper, who allowed her to sit in his car and had even signed her autograph book. Finally Clyde had said, “I think we’d better get back on the bus now, Vicki. It’s getting late.”
With a long sigh Vicki climbed the steps back into the bus. “I’m so glad we had to stop,” she told the driver, pausing beside his seat. “I never dreamed my trip was going to be so exciting. Thank you!”
“Well, we aim to please when we can, Miss,” the driver said, passing his hand over his mouth and giving a slight cough as he exchanged glances with Clyde.
Back in her seat, Vicki discovered she was hungry and pulled out her pie. “Aren’t you glad we were too hungry to finish our pie,” she laughed to Kayla who was opening her own box.
“Yes. I’m afraid supper is going to be rather late today.”
“I don’t mind at all.” And Vicki leaned back in her seat savoring each bite of her pie.
Finally the State Trooper gave the okay to go ahead and the bus started forward. Vicki kept her eyes to the windows, hoping she would get to see at least some of the fire. The sun had sunk behind the mountains and, with the fading light, she was finally able to see the flicker of flames in the distance. “There it is,” she called gleefully, pointing out her window. “That must be the fire that held us up.”
As soon as the next town was reached, the driver pulled into a gas station and said, “We’re already behind time, so please get something to eat quickly and we’ll be on our way again. If you’d like, you may all eat on the bus. There are several places right here that offer quick meals.”
No one had to be told twice, for everyone, except Vicki, was impatient by another delay. Within twenty minutes all the passengers were back on the bus and the driver was pulling back onto the road.
Sitting in her seat, Vicki enjoyed her hotdog and fries from Dairy Queen. “I just love eating at Dairy Queen,” she remarked to no one in particular as she reached for another hot, salty fry. Traveling by bus was more exciting than she had thought possible.
At last, with her stomach full, and nothing to see out the windows, Vicki realized she was tired. It had been a long time since she had gotten up that morning. Using her sweater as a pillow, she lay down on the seat and stared up at the stars until her eyes closed.
Have you ever seen a grass fire?
Do you like sleeping while you travel?
What's your favorite kind of pie?