Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chapter six

With the bus hurtling through time and space at alarming velocity, Melinda decided to make her move. She stood up and careened down the aisle toward the elderly driver and approached the woman forwardly.

"You have to let me off! We already passed my stop!" Melinda reported forcefully to the crone.

"Shaddap-a you faze wenna da buzz is inna da motion!" snarled the old woman in retort. She jerked her thumb to a sign posted above her seat that indicated something similar to her prior dialog. She then slammed an orthopedic shoe down hard on the accelerator and swiveled the steering wheel with a kind of expert violence that permitted the bus to rocket through traffic without crashing into much of anything. Melinda was thrown back into one of the seats.

"You might as well sit back and enjoy the ride," chortled the flabby man in the safari clothing, looming over her seat-back from behind like a demented Muppet. "Mother is a force of nature and can't be argued with."

Melinda didn't know what to say. She was ticked off and scared at the same time. Suddenly she noticed a half a sandwich being foisted upon her by the man. "Peace offering," he winked.

"No thanks," said Mindy. "I had my heart set on pancakes."

"Oh but this is a pancake sandwich! I insist..." Mindy took the bread and indeed noticed a generous chunk of blueberry pancake in between the bread, dripping with chocolate sauce. She took a bite and smiled.

"Wee Chee," said the fellow behind her, introducing himself. "Alonso Alfonso Luigi Chichirone III. But my friends call me Wee Chee. Wee Chee Chee Chee to be exact. I'm in the cryptozoology biz."

"Mmmft," said Mindy, swallowing her sandwich. "You mean you hunt Big Foot and Loch Ness Monsters and all that?"

"Harumfph," harumphed the man. " I wouldn't waste my time on such small game. No, my little toboggan, I am after the cryptiest of crypto-critters the BeempBomp!"

Before Melinda could ask what the heck that was, a tall figure emerged from the back, wheeling a tray of food-like substances.

"Oy 'ope everybody's feeling SPLENDID!" the figure boomed in a bad Australian accent. Melinda adjusted her eyes to take in the figure of a mutton-chopped goof in a tie and striped shirt worn under an apron. Printed on the apron front were the words : "OGDEN NOSH: THE SPLENDID GOURMET."

"I think I just lost my appetite" she said to no one in particular.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Chapter Five

"StewarDESS" replied the stewarDESS, her bright scowl radiating an alluring combination of sweetness and authority in equal measure. "There's a difference. Don't question me."

She began flapping her arms in various random directions. "Seats are available to the rear on your left."

"There are empty seats everywhere," observed the ever-observant Melinda.

"Seats are available to the rear on your left," she repeated to the bus in general. "And NOT just everywhere. Our SPLENDID Gourmet will be serving a late breakfast or early brunch at his discretion. Emergency exits are...there ARE no emergency exits and oxygen is...readilly available, as you can see."

"One cannot see oxygen" muttered the safari man into his breast pocket. The stewarDESS shot him a sneer.

"If you look to your right you can SEE Herman Avenue Elementary School and on your left is the lovely pond of Whoops Park. Our in-transit movie will be another rollicking Vanessa Redgrave comedy 'EVENING' and we're happy to announce a late night marshmallow roast on the Lido Deck at noon. As always, we thank you for choosing The Blunder Bus and we hope you'll think of us for all your blundering needs."

"Wait! Wait!" Melinda called after the woman's retreating form. "I'm only going to IHOP! It's five blocks away! I coulda walked it!"

"Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda," replied the vigilant stewarDESS without so much as a backward glance.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Chapter Four

What had looked like a short bus from the outside seemed positively cavernous on the inside. As Melinda struggled to adjust her vision to the dim interior, her safari-clad companion leaned over, bringing his ample jowls disturbingly close to her ear:

"Nice call on the St. Gelasius," he grumbled appreciatively. "Even I'd never heard of that one!"

"Neither had I," she replied. "I thought gelasius was just a nonsense word I pulled outta my butt on the spur of the moment."

"Well," he beamed, "it certainly has the ring of sainthood to it. And I say that as something of an avid amateur hagiologist!"

Melinda merely looked askance but said nothing. "Could it be," he offered, "that you heard the saint's name once, yet so long ago that you can't recall the occasion? Or perhaps your dear mother whispered it into your ear while you slept?"

"Yeah!" came a Texas drawl from the dark recesses of the bus. "Must been subliminable!"

Before Melinda could properly locate the speaker, a tall bony uniformed woman came fluttering down the aisle; her tiny striped cap perched jauntily atop a mass of ruby red curls. "Good Morning, Good Morning everybody on the bus this morning, Good Morning!" she piped. "I'm Stewar-DESS Flamingo!"

"What kind of bus has a stewardess?" Melinda wondered to herself at the top of her lungs.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chapter Three

"That was weird," said Melinda's doll Dennis.

Before Melinda could retort, the bus reappeared suddenly, driving in reverse back to the spot where she stood. Cars scattered and horns honked as the accordion doors of the bus opened to reveal an old woman dressed in black at the wheel. The man in the safari suit peered back out from behind her.

"Don't let her on mother," he sputtered. "She's a malcontent!"

"Shut up you face," the old woman told him. "Little a-girl, I gotta question for you: which Pope is-a the best?"

Melinda thought for a moment and answered: "St Gelasius I." 
This was odd, not being Catholic but she was a bright little girl and had a head full of eclectic information. 

"Good answer," said the old woman. "Get onna the bus."

With that, Melinda stepped inside and the bus tore off again, headed west down East Genesee Street.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Chapter Two

" know President Bush personally?" ventured Melinda after an uncomfortable pause.

"BOOB!" thundered the strange man, under his breath.

"Hey, I didn't vote for him either, but that's no--"

"President Boob, of Blunder University Science Department," snorted the fellow. "I have urgent business with he and Professor Bean."

Before Melinda could comment, a peculiar bus pulled up and stopped. Without a word, the safari man shoved his way inside and the bus bolted down the street.

Chapter One

"Does the bus to Blunder stop here," boomed a voice gently from behind?

Melinda Flannagan turned to see a Large Man of Imperious Bearing wearing safari gear standing at the bus stop with her. "I don't know," she began guardedly. "I don't even know where that is."

"Then you are a stupid little girl indeed," huffed the man quaintly. "What do they teach in the schools these days? Anyway? Blunder is only the nexus of activity for paranormeal studies. And I have urgent dealings with the President."

Melinda, being only six and on her own for the moment, clutched her doll Dennis and pondered a response. Silence seemed fitting.