Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Race to School- Part One of a Chapter Book

"Kyle and Khloe, it's time to get up." Emily looked at the clock, it was 7:03 AM and Catholic school started at 8:00 AM sharp. Emily put the children's clothes out and jumped into the shower. She was done washing in five minutes and both children were still sleeping. "Kyle and Khloe, get up now!" Mom yelled. "I'm tired" Khloe said. "Me too" Kyle agreed. "Why don't we all stay home from school today?"
"That's not going to happen." Emily said. "Get out of bed and get your clothes on. Good thing the children showered last night because it was nearly impossible to get them ready in the morning. The children finally jumped out of bed and put on their clothes. It was 7:20 by the time they were ready to go downstairs.
"Hurry up" Jim said. He rushed his kids down the stairs. He slipped on his floppers and helped the children find their shoes. "Get your shoes and socks on." Khloe put on her cute black girly shoes and Kyle put on his sneakers. Jim had to help Khloe secure her shoes because she didn't have the hang of it yet. Khloe was only five years old and this was her first full year of school. Kindergarten was a full day at St. Stephen's Catholic school. Khloe loved school, but it was hard for her to get ready in the morning.
"What do you guys want for breakfast?" Mom yelled from the kitchen. "I want spaghetti and meatballs." Khloe yelled back "and I want Honey Nut Cheerios" Kyle also yelled. "Sorry guys, we don't have enough time." Mom replied. "You are going to have to settle for blueberry pancakes." Emily threw two pancakes in the toaster and pushed both sides down. She made peanut butter and jelly for lunch, threw in snacks and drinks and closed both lunch boxes. She handed each kid a plate with a pancake topped with syrup and placed their lunch boxes in their back packs.
"The train is ready to go." Dad yelled from the living room. "We have twenty-minutes to get there and you know what happens if you are late." Emily, Kyle and Khloe came together through the dining room, the living room, through the hallway and out the front door. Emily grabbed her pocketbook and computer bag on her way out the door. Jim locked and closed the front door and raced to the car. The two kids jumped into the backseat and secured themselves with seatbelts. Jim started the car and readied himself to back out of the driveway.
Megan raced out the front door just in time. She didn't have to go to school because she took virtual school, but Megan wanted to stop at the supermarket on the way home. Jim saw his fifteen year old daughter just in the nick of time. He stopped the car; Megan opened the door and jumped in between her brother and sister.
"It is interesting to see you awake this early." Jim said to his daughter. "I want to stop at Publix and get a few movies." Megan replied. "Do you have your codes for free movies?" "Of course" Megan replied. "You know I store them all in my iPod." Megan was silent for a moment and then she said. "I'm really getting bored.
Jim backed out of the driveway; they had eighteen minutes to get to school. The sun was bright, so Jim put on his sunglasses. It seemed like the sun was always bright in the morning in Florida. Jim had no idea what he would do if he did not have a good pair of sunglasses. They made it through the first mile without any problems. Children were walking to school with their parents, but this morning they were actually walking on the sidewalks. Some mornings Jim has to be extra careful because the children were walking in the middle of the road.
The traffic picked up once Jim reached Symmes Rd. He waited at the stop sign for six vehicles to pass on one side and five on the other. He had his left turn signal on and was ready to turn when he got the chance. He turned left and settled behind an old Toyota SUV, squeezing in perfectly. They reached the school zone in seconds and had to slow down to 20 MPH. This was not the school zone for St. Stephen's Catholic Church; it was for Sessums Elementary School. Kyle went to Sessums Elementary School last year and was on the honor roll, but this year he moved on to St. Stephens Catholic School. His mom and dad wanted their children to learn about God and they went through school. They had to hurry because they still had a good ten minutes before they reached St. Stephens.
Jim made it through the school zone and pushed the 2009 Toyota Corolla to forty miles per hour which was the posted speed limit. He drove the two miles to the end of the road to the next stop sign. Only one BMW blew through a stop sign this morning and raced in front of him driving at an incredible speed. The driver never looked at him and missed crashing in to them by a couple of car lengths. Good thing God was watching over them this morning.
Jim took a right on to Balm Riverview Rd. He followed the rush hour traffic until he took a quick left on to McMullen Rd. Another car rushed in front of him at a high speed nearly missing taking the front bumper off the car. Jim did his best not to say something uncalled for under his breath. His children didn't need to hear his frustrations even if they were as real as real could be.
"Khloe, get your hands off of me." Kyle complained from the back seat. Khloe giggled at her brother because she knew she had gotten under his skin. Khloe loved her brother, but it was sure fun to tease the older Kyle. Kyle was seven years old and he had just begun second grade. He was a smart kid who loved video games and spending time with his sisters and his parents. He couldn't wait until school was over today so he could finish his homework and play his video games.
Kyle wiped his sister's hand off his knee and she winked at him. She knew she was causing trouble for her brother, but she could not help it. "Khloe!" mom yelled from the front of the car. "Leave your brother alone and think about listening at school today. I don't want to see another yellow face. You are just in to the third week of school and you have more yellow faces than your brother gets in a complete year of school." Khloe snickered from the backseat. "But mom, those teachers sure ask us to do some funny things."
They took a right on Boyette Rd. and lined up behind the rush hour traffic. Ten minutes to get to school and they were in the usual early morning bumper to bumper traffic. It took them four more minutes to reach the school zone for St. Stephen's Catholic School. They were going to make it, barely. Jim put on his right turn signal and apologized to the other traffic because he was unable to let anybody sneak in front of him this morning.
Jim turned into the driveway a little quicker than normal because he was in a hurry to get his kids to school. He did not see the construction zone until it was too late. Jim muttered something under his breath about the construction and the holes they left in the road all around the school. He could not slow the car down in time to miss the huge bump and expected a bumpy impact. He cringed when he thought what it would do to the suspension of the car.
The car hit the man made pot hole and suddenly it began to rain. Jim put on his windshield wipers and remembered he would have to change them very soon. The rain grew heavy and it was nearly impossible to see. Good thing the 2009 Toyota Corolla had automatic headlights or Jim would have likely driven into a muddy ditch.
"Dad, where's our school?" Jim listened to his son's question and wondered what his boy was talking about. It was hard enough trying to drive through the blinding rain. "I cannot see your school." Jim finally answered. "I believe it is because it is raining so hard." Kyle did not think his father was right because they were driving through the rain for fifteen minutes and did not reach their school. The rain had to have taken them off their tracks and Kyle was sure they were going the wrong way.
Something was in the road and Jim saw it in the nick of time. He slammed on the brakes and the car skid to a halt, just missing whatever had stopped in the road. "Is everybody all right?" He asked. Jim looked at the seat behind him. The children's clothes were a bit ruffled, but they seemed to be okay. Emily's face was red and she was a bit flustered, but she assured Jim that she was going to be fine. Megan still looked bored despite the sudden halt.
"What is that thing?" Kyle asked from the back seat of the car, breaking the silence. Jim looked in the road in front of him. Something large was moving and he could not figure out what it was. It seemed to be a cross between a large dog and a turtle. The creature moved slowly like a turtle and was furry like a dog. Jim looked at the creature wondering what it was. Before he could figure it out, the creature disappeared.
The rain poured down in sheets again and blinded Jim for a moment. He decided it was time to stop the car for the safety of his family. He didn't see or hear the roaring water coming at them until it was too late. Jim tried to move the car out of the way, but the raging river slammed against the car and swallowed them up.
Kyle, Khloe and Megan screamed as they were swept away. Jim tried to start the car and drive through the powerful stream of water, but the car would not start. Emily looked at him sadly; she had already given in to defeat. The water slammed the car into trees and rocks on their frightful journey. Jim couldn't help but think about the damage and the insurance ramifications if they somehow survived this mess.
Finally, the car came to a stop in the middle of a meadow. The water washed by them and disappeared over a cliff. Jim surveyed the car to see if his family was okay. Satisfied, he opened the door of the car as leftover water poured into the car and filled his lap. Jim wiped what water he could off his pants and stepped out of the car. What a day.
The meadow was soggy from the flood that had slipped through it just moments before. Jim told his children to stay in the car with their mother as he searched the meadow. The place was beautifully colored with flowers of many different colors and varieties. There were trees all around, some of them heavy with fruit. With a single glance, Jim saw apples, pears and oranges. How strange it was to see oranges growing together with apples and pears. What was this place and why were they here?
As Jim walked back to the car, the sun escaped from the clouds and lit up the meadow. The place was incredibly beautiful and Jim felt like he belonged here. He opened the car doors and told his family to come out of the car for a moment. Jim decided to let the children enjoy some of the fruits from the trees while he figured out what they were going to do.
Emily led the children to an apple tree. She picked some of the largest apples off of the first tree and she was amazed at how large it was. Emily looked at the apple and she decided she would try the apple out first before she gave any of the fruit to her children.
The first bite was like heaven. The apple was crisp and sweet and tasted better than any apple Emily had tried. She took a second bite, then another and another. Emily could not get enough of the delicious apple. "Mom, I'm hungry." Khloe finally said.

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