Roller Coaster 4

Continued from 5/3 post…

Wendy put aside her chips and snuggled down under her blanket. The images on the television set grew fuzzy as she dozed off to sleep.

She awoke abruptly and sat straight up. Her mind tried to sort out the underground caves from her dreams and where she was now. It was dark. What time was it?

She groped for her cell phone but was unable to locate it. She stumbled through the darkness, banging her shin on the coffee table. “Ouch!” she muttered. She realized it was very dark. Neither the oven nor the microwave sported the usual neon numbers. The storm must have knocked out the power.

Wendy made her way back to her parent’s bedroom. Seeing her mother’s form wrapped in bedclothes and hearing her soft snore, she relaxed a little. Feeling a little chagrined, she nonetheless crawled under the covers with her mom, feeling comfort in their closeness. Her mind drifted to childhood memories of doing the same thing when her father was away on business. As sleep returned, her dreams were lighter and happier.

She awoke to sunlight streaming in the windows. She tried to remember why she was in her parent’s room. As she became more fully awake, she remembered the nightmare of her father’s illness, and wished she had stayed in dreamland.

She realized she was hungry. Saturdays her dad usually fixed breakfast. Determined to keep the tradition alive, she pulled out the eggs, pancake mix, and bacon. For the next half hour, she immersed herself in making a breakfast special that would rival Denny’s.

Wendy heard the shower running. She decided to make some coffee for Mom, too. She was almost singing to herself, when she began to feel guilty. She shouldn’t be happy. Her dad was dying. She decided not to think about it. She set up a plate for herself and her mom. She poured coffee and orange juice.

Her mom came bustling out of her room, fully dressed. “I can’t believe I slept in so late. I’ve got to get up to the hospital.”

“Mom, I made breakfast,” Wendy announced, with a childlike enthusiasm. Her mom paused and gave her a crestfallen look.

“Honey, I’m sorry. I’m just not hungry. Did you want to come with me to the hospital today? I’ll give you some money for the gift shop.”

Wendy frowned. Did her mom actually think she could be bribed like a little kid? She shook her head. “No thanks. I’d rather stay here. I have…um, important things to do here.”

Her mom frowned too, but nodded with understanding. “Okay. I’ll see you at lunch time then,” she said.

As the sound of her mother’s car engine revved and drifted away, Wendy went back to her breakfast. It was a little cold.

To be continued on “Fiction Fridays.”


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