Last Bus

The last bus out of town is my usual Thursday night ride. It is usually quiet with only two or three people on it, hurrying to be home and tucked up at a proper hour. Not last night though. The bus was crowded with young people wrapped up against the chill night, many with woolly Peruvian hats with earflaps with braided ties, and the noise level was reminiscent of a school bus out on a field trip. Not at all what the staid traveler has become used to.

Had there been a time shift, or had I just been asleep when the local demographic had changed? But nothing as exciting as that had occurred; there had been no wormhole between the college door and the bus station that I had inadvertently stepped through into a parallel universe. Well not exactly, but almost. A few stops before mine, the bus emptied outside the local cinema. The line to the box office stretched out of the Mall and a hundred yards around the building. The new Harry Potter movie was opening. My universe was safe after all.

Larry and the Bear cont’d

Green Ore, July 28

Kevin was working on his latest wall hanging, working a flat pebble into the weave of green and blue wool threads when Suzie came in with a gallon of milk and a straggly monkey in her left hand, leading a strange boy with her right. Nothing ever seemed to faze Kevin and after a quick glance over his left shoulder, he turned back to his problem with the pebble and said
         “Hi love, who’s your new friend? Babysitting or a pick-up?”
         “Neither, I found him in the car when I came out of the store.”
That got Kevin’s attention, he swung round on his stool and  came over to sit cross-legged in front of the boy.
       “Hi, I’m Kevin, what’s your name, and what’s the name of your bear?” and Kevin held out his hand and waited for it to be shaken. He got no response to his hand and only,
           “His name’s Snuggie.”
         “That’s nice,” and Kevin gravely shook Snuggie’s paw, “but I need to call you something too.”
The boy began to feel panic, he wasn’t going to tell them that he was Larry Pritchard as then he would be off to the Johnson’s. After a moment he said
         “John, my name’s John.”
        “Okay John, its nice to meet you. Do you have a family name?” but all he got from 'John' was a shaking of the head as he pulled away, backing into Suzie.

While Kevin had been charming 'John', Suzie had checked out the backpack and pulled out the juice boxes, the pack of Poptarts and the scrunched up mass of brownies, and she put all of these on the kitchen table. She spotted the clean clothes and took 'John’s' hand again saying
        “I’m just going to help John get washed. While we’re gone, can you make breakfast, please. How about scrambled egg and toast?” and they left Kevin on the floor with his instructions.

There were two rounds of toast ready and the eggs halfway done by the time that John and Suzie returned. A large glass of milk was poured and placed on the table with John  enthroned in front of it after two cushions had been placed on the chair.

Suzie went over to give Kevin a hand and said quietly
     “What’re we going to do? He’s not from round here, I haven’t seen him before and how did he get in the car?”
       “I don’t know love, we’ll just have to see. We can’t get the police coming in until we’ve got the weed harvest in and distributed. He’s quiet; he doesn’t look like he’s going to be any trouble. We can keep him for a few days, at least he won’t scratch the furniture like that cat you tried to rescue last month.” At this point he shared out the scrambled eggs and Suzie carried two plates across to the table,
      “Hey John, would you like to come out with me and feed the chickens after breakfast? We can see if they’ve laid some more eggs.”
         “Yes please.” And ‘John’ got stuck into breakfast.


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