My new novel, Stealing Jenny, will be released in about a month. For Fiction Friday, I’m posting one more excerpt before the book is published.
As the school bus turned the corner, Christine Callahan craned her neck to see out the front window. There was no sign of her mom, but it appeared as if someone had tied a dog…no, it wasn’t a dog. Chris let out a scream when she saw who was tied to the street sign. Her brother was sitting on the ground and crying.
“What’s the matter, Christine?” Mr. Jenkins asked.
“Caleb!” she yelled again.
The bus stopped and the driver opened the doors. Chris rushed down the steps and onto the sidewalk. “Hey, Sport, are you okay? Where’s Mommy?” Her brother’s tears ran down his face like little dirt roads and he was hiccupping from crying so hard.
Chris felt her knees buckle and she drew in a breath. “What do you mean Mommy’s gone?”
“Is everything all right, Christine?” asked Mr. Jenkins, as he stepped down from the bus.
“No, Mr. Jenkins, it’s not! Something’s… happened to…!” Chris tried to say it without stammering, but she couldn’t get the rest of the sentence out. Finally, she said, “My mom, Mr. Jenkins.”
“Okay, Christine. Calm down.”
He leaned down to talk to Caleb.
“Where’s your mommy?”
“Mommy gone. She gone, Chrissie. Mommy gone. Don’t like lady.”
“What lady, Caleb?”
“Don’t like dat lady, Chrissie. Took Mommy.”
“Where’s Mommy? Where’s Mommy?” Callie began to cry. She and her other sisters were still on the bus, standing at the top of the steps. Chris reached up and helped them down the steps.
“Chris, stay here with your brother and sisters. I’m going to get my cell phone from the bus.” Before the end of a minute, Mr. Jenkins was back and dialing his cell phone.
“Yes, this is Frank Jenkins. I’m a school bus driver for the St. Bartholomew’s route. I stopped to let four sisters off at their bus stop and not only was their mother not there, but their little brother was tied to the street sign. We need a police officer here immediately.” Mr. Jenkins listened for a moment and said, “Okay. I’ll remain on the line until the officers arrive.” He looked down at her. “The police will be here shortly, Chris.
Copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach/Full Quiver Publishing