(Haha, these preambles are so great that they *might* have rendered the Writer's Block obsolete. Anyway, I was just mentioning today that it's the time of the year when you're all out of gas, and yet the final stretch is still ahead. Busy, busy, busy, that's such an overused word these days. Really gotta rekindle my love for Ghostopia; it helps that I don't impose any deadlines or Chapter limitations on myself. It'd be nice to do a "Year In Review" feature next month to reflect on Twisted Tales' first year.)
Big puffy clouds swept across the sky, reminding Katrina of the cotton her mom stuffed into teddy bears. It was Sunday once more, and she was supposed to be at Mr. Rogers' mansion in twenty minutes. Her mom had to work an extra shift today, making Katrina take the bus instead. Which usually meant she would have to end up all hot and sticky. Ugh.
It had been well over a half hour's wait. Already the impatient queue was growing longer, with the heat bringing out the worst in everyone.
Gosh, I can't afford to be late, she thought as she willed the minute hand of her watch to go slower. Maybe it would be faster if she walked there instead.
Another five minutes later, she was seriously entertaining the idea. It wouldn't take too long if she ran all the way, would it? It made her terribly anxious to be standing around doing nothing but wait.
As though reading her thoughts, the sun came from behind a passing cloud and beat down on the crowd even more mercilessly. Katrina could almost hear everyone groaning as she did inside. If the bus doesn't come in a minute or less, I'm gonna be dead meat. Literally and figuratively.
She wiped the sweat off her brow, so worried that she didn't even notice a familiar black car park itself at the side of the road. A spectacled man got down the car and walked over to her.
"Katrina," he tapped her shoulder. "Aren't you late for your rehearsal?"
"Dad!" she whirled around in surprise. "What are you doing here?"
"I was just passing by on my way to the rehearsal when I saw you here. Mom couldn't take you there?"
For some incomprehensible reason, he looked a lot less hateful today. Standing there with his neatly combed hair and tucked polo shirt, he almost seemed like a doting father asking his daughter how her day went.
"Nope, she had to work. But why are you going for the rehearsal?"
"Didn't I tell you? Mr. Rogers is my good friend, and he wants me to come take a look. More so when my daughter is going to be a part of it."
What a complete U-turn. He was being so nice that Katrina couldn't help feeling suspicious.
"Why don't I give you a lift there? You're going to be late if you keep waiting for the bus."
She hated situations like these. On one hand, an endless wait that would make her late, and on the other a ten-minute ride with the devil.
"Hop in if you're coming with me." he got back into the car.
Oh well, what was the worst that could happen? She bit her lip nervously and plonked herself on the front seat.