I'm hungry. Glad it's almost breakfast time!
Well, that was a different way to start this blog post! Anyone else hungry?
This week I've been focusing my writing time on TCR-6. It still has a long ways to go, but it's moving. I did write my 3rd beginning for this book though. I'd written one, didn't like it and it didn't go anywhere, so I started a new way. This one was actually working and I was over a 3rd of the way done, but I felt like something wasn't right. Back I went to reread the entire thing. Ah ha! Ever had those moments? Well, I had one. I was trying to cram too much into too few days. Now things are much better. It's a bit hard to know how to update my progress bar though because I'm taking scenes from later and moving them to a different place. Kind of like working a puzzle.
And there will be a new short story coming out in kindle format soon. Well, actually it is not new. It was originally published in "The Lower Lights" but, since that book is not being made into a kindle book, I decided to pull some of the stories and turn them into kindle books. So, be on the look out for this new story.
Well, that's it for today. I'll let you join Vicki on her bus again. Tell me, would you like to ride on a bus with Vicki? Or is she just "too much" for you?
By Bus with Vicki
By the time everyone had run out of ideas and each suggestion had been hashed over, the driver was slowing down, ready to turn back onto the highway again. There had been no sign of any kids near the road. Upon seeing a State Patrol car on the side of the highway, the driver stopped the bus and opened the door.
The patrol officer came over.
“Can you tell me why the road was blocked?” asked the driver.
Inside, the passengers waited in breathless silence. “Sure. There was an accident. One semi loaded with cattle lost control and smashed into another from behind. One flipped over and the tailgate of the other came open. There’s a mess of raw chicken and loose cattle everywhere. If there hadn’t been that exit, you’d be sitting there a long time.”
As the bus turned back onto the highway, many exclamations were heard.
“I said it was an accident.”
“Raw chicken? Gross!”
“Someone should have called the Texas Rangers,” quipped a man wearing a Stenson, “they know about roundin’ up cattle.”
“But I still like that idea of a prank,” Mr. Green laughed. “It was so original.”
The rest of the morning passed swiftly for Vicki, who found her new friend an eager listener and the other passengers friendly and social after the detour. When they stopped for lunch, Vicki and Rose made their way to a table with the couple from across the aisle.
“Does you tongue ever stop spilling words, Vicki?” Mr. Green asked, a twinkle in his eyes.
Grinning, Vicki nodded, her mouth full of her hamburger. A moment later she replied, “I can listen if others want to talk. The problem this morning has been that no one else seemed to want to talk except when we had the detour, so I did.”
Mr. Green’s hearty laugh rang out in the dining room and even his wife joined in. “Vicki, you are priceless,” he said when he could speak again. “I wish I had you at some of the meetings I have to go to. No one wants to talk there. either”
“Well, maybe if you told them about your bus trip, they would be interested and could tell about their own trips.”
Aside to his wife, Mr. Green remarked, “I wonder what would happen if I did.”
Not long after, as the bus was traveling onward once again, the conversations inside began to lag and one by one the passengers started to nod off. “I don’t see why everyone wants to take a nap in the afternoon,” Vicki whispered to Rose. “Especially since most of them slept in the morning.” She shook her head as snores in different tones drifted through the bus. “There is too much to see. But I suppose it wouldn’t be very nice to talk a lot since so many want to sleep. Do you like to play tick-tack-toe?”
Rose nodded and produced the necessary paper and pencil, and the girls began.
Though Vicki didn’t want to miss a single mountain flower, cattle ranch or small town, the sounds of steady breathing, the light sway of the bus, and the warm afternoon sun, combined with her interrupted night, made her drowsy. After nearly fifty games of tick-tack-toe, Rose had settled herself to look out the window, and not long after, Vicki realized that she was sleeping too. “I don’t want to sleep,” she yawned. “I don’t take naps at home. But maybe I’ll take a really short one.” Leaning her head back, she let her eyes close and was soon dozing as soundly as the rest of the passengers.
She was roused some time later by a gentle kick. Opening her eyes she saw Rose was also awake. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to kick you,” whispered Rose.
After a stretch, Vicki smiled. “That’s okay. I didn’t want to sleep anyway.” Scooting up on her knees, she looked around the bus. It seemed that most of the passengers were still sleeping. Across the aisle Mr. Green was snoring while Mrs. Green read her book.
“Rose, do you hear a funny sound?”
The dark haired girl tilted her head and listened. “I think so.”
“Me too. I wonder where it’s coming from?” Vicki began moving in her seat, her ear cocked to try and locate the source of the strange sound. “Hey!” she exclaimed suddenly, “We’re slowing down. But there’s nothing here, no towns I mean. Oh, Rose, we’re pulling to the side of the highway. Do you think we’ve got trouble with the bus?”
Rose gave a little gasp and her eyes widened at the idea.
“If we do, I’m sure the driver can take care of it,” Mrs. Green said, looking up from her book.
Thus assured, Vicki half stood up to look out the front window. “Why do you suppose we stopped?”
Passengers were waking up all around, but no one volunteered any answer. The driver stood up and turned around. “The engine was making some strange noises,” he explained, “I’ll go check it out. It’s probably just some loose bolt. Everyone please stay where you are. We’ll be going again in no time.”
As the driver disappeared off the bus, Vicki gazed out the window at the empty landscape around them. There were no houses or buildings of any kind anywhere. “Do you think there are any wildcats or bears around here? Henry said they lived out west, but I don’t think I’d like to meet one.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t worry,” answered one older man with a grizzled beard. “This highway has got too much traffic fer their likin’. ‘Sides, I don’t ‘spect they’ll be comin’ ta pay us any visit ‘less we take a hike up inta the wilderness an’ search fer ‘em.”
Vicki leaned over the seat before her to better see the speaker. “Did you ever see any bears or wildcats?”
What do you think is going to happen now?
Every seen a semi turned over an it's contents spilled?
Are you interested in reading the new short story?