Please welcome writer Stephanie Karfelt
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Suzy Quimby Rides the Bus
Suzy liked the dog painted on the side of the bus, but thought it should have eyes. When you’re going to have Thanksgiving dinner with a family who doesn’t really want you, it would help to look into the understanding eyes of a dog, even one painted on the side of a bus. Miss Vicky was supposed to come with her, and deliver her to the family with the fake smiles, but Miss Vicky didn’t show up. Suzy had Miss Vicky’s ticket shoved inside her Hello Kitty backpack, with a penny she’d pressed in a machine for fifty cents. That penny now had an imprint of jellyfish on it, instead of Abraham Lincoln.
Suzy double checked her pigtails to make sure they were neat, and dropped her backpack onto the seat beside her to keep it empty. It made her sad that her holiday family didn’t want her, but it made her sadder that she had to go anyway. She pressed her forehead against the cold window to ignore people looking hopefully at the empty seat with the backpack. Then the bus driver started to yell, and she looked up to see a lady in a soft brown coat clutching a cake box.
“I didn’t have time to get a ticket, the line is so long. Can’t I just pay you?” The lady offered a handful of money to the bus driver who used ugly words.
The cake lady looked at Suzy’s backpack seat, and just because the bus driver was being mean - and Suzy didn’t want mean to win - she dug in her backpack, and tramped bravely to the front of the bus and handed Miss Vicky’s ticket to the lady.
|~from Pampered Puppy dot com|
“Thank you, Sweetheart.” The cake lady told her when she sat beside her. “What’s your name?”
“Suzy Quimby,” she declared, even though it was talking to strangers.
“Moira Curtains.” They shook hands formally. “I like your pigtails, did you do them yourself?”
Suzy smoothed them proudly, she had fixed them herself.
Moira sat her cake box between her feet and asked, “Are you visiting family for Thanksgiving?”
“They don’t want me.” Suzy announced, “At Easter they said I was annoying and a picky eater.”
“Are you?” Moira’s dark eyes laughed.
“I guess so, everyone says that, but isn’t it rude to say?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe they thought it would make you eat?”
“They say it behind my back, like I’m too dumb to understand them. They don’t want me to come, but it’s on my papers and the Director says I have to do what’s on my papers.”
Moira said, “They would miss you if you didn’t come anymore.”
“No,” Suzy insisted. “My family died, and they feel obli… obli… like they have to be nice to me. They wish I wouldn’t come anymore.”
Moira stared at her. The middle of her eyes went big, like a cat’s at night, Suzy shivered. She wrapped her arms around the backpack and pretended to look out the bus window at the cloudy, wet day. Miss Vicky would be in trouble for making her go alone, but Suzy was old enough to know not to talk to strangers.
“Nobody wants me either.”
Suzy immediately turned back to Moira. “Your eyes are scary.”
“I know. I’m sorry.”
“Who’s the cake for?”
Moira’s eyes were friendly again, smiling, and she bent forward and plucked the box off the floor. Balancing it on her knees she opened the lid and turned it towards Suzy so she could see it. It was a round white cake with yellow roses all around the edges, enough so that every piece would have a big fat frosting rose on it. Right in the middle of the cake, in green icing it said, ‘Suzy Q’.
Suzy hugged her backpack tight and smiled, “It’s for me?”
“What does it say?” Moira asked.
“It has my name on it. My Daddy used to call me Suzy Q.”
“Then it is for you. You can taste it, if you like.”
Suzy leaned forward to peer into the box, “It’s like a birthday cake.”
“It’s better than that. Try it.”
Since it had her name on it, Suzy reached into the box and swiped a thin finger right over a yellow rose, and popped the sugary sweetness into her mouth. It wasn’t like taking candy from a stranger, not when the cake had your own name on it. A frowning lady on the other side of the aisle watched her, while Suzy raked her finger again and again over yellow roses. She didn’t care what the frowning lady thought; icing was her favorite part of a cake. Nobody ever let her have anything sweet, not even the holiday family, because the Director said it wasn’t on her chart.
“You don’t seem like a very picky eater to me.” Moira teased her.
Suzy leaned back in her seat and grinned, she liked the lady in the brown coat. Moira’s eyes weren’t so scary, they were tired. Suzy ran a messy finger along the edge of the lady’s coat, it felt smooth. “I feel funny.”
“I know, Suzy, just close your eyes and rest. You’ll feel better in a minute.”
Obediently Suzy closed them. It was a little scary, because she didn’t feel right, she felt dizzy and hot. Moira held her sticky fingers then, and that helped.
The bus stopped and Moira tugged her to stand, holding her gooey hand tightly. They left the Hello Kitty backpack sitting in the seat. The lady across the aisle was looking at it; she looked worried so Suzy looked back. There was an old lady with silly grey pigtails sitting in her seat; her eyes were squeezed shut and yellow frosting painted her mouth. It frightened Suzy; she clutched Moira’s hand with both hers and whispered, “That’s me, isn’t it? I forget I am old.”
“You’re not old anymore Suzy Q. Your real family wants you; everyone wants to see you. Come on.”
About Stephanie Karfelt: Writing fiction with a twist is my specialty. My novels lean towards New Adult and Urban Fantasy. Warrior of the Ages is my first novel, and should be out later this year. It’s about an immortal warrior moonlighting as a cop, and just how dangerous a blonde in a speeding convertible can be for the world’s oldest bachelor. My hope is that this book will make cops everywhere think twice about trying to foist speeding tickets on women.
The latest on my books can be found at www.WarrioroftheAges.com, or follow my blog for some fun giveaways at www.TheGlitterGlobe.com. And just for friends of Linnette, I’ll give an Epic Slinky Dog to the first three visitors. All you have to do is follow my blog too (because you already follow Linnette’s, right?) and post “Linnette sent me” and I’ll send you an awesome Epic Slinky Dog. Be sure to leave me contact info so I can find you!
Thanks for coming, Stephanie! And friends, you'll love the epic slinky dog. So run on over to the Glitter Globe (you'll love it there), follow Stephanie and let her know I sent you.