A couple weeks ago, I entered my first writing competition. 500 words or less, based on a writing prompt about a school bus. I wrote a couple different stories and sent them out to some trusted readers for their opinions. I thought it’d be fun to share a couple of the stories that I did not send in to the competition.
Two Year Adventure
Nelson had been on the road now for two years. Two years of wandering the country. Two years of meeting people, both good and bad. Two years of bus repairs. Two years of Wal-Mart parking lots and campgrounds.
Tonight was his last night on the road, his last Wal-Mart parking lot. Nelson ducked into the store to grab a frozen pizza and a few snacks. The greeter stopped him on the way in, “Is that your bus in the parking lot? The blue one?”
“Yeah, that’s my funky little rig. It’s my last night on the road, tomorrow I’ll be home.”
“Has it been a good trip?”
Nelson wondered if the old man was interested or just trying to burn the last minutes of his shift. “Its been a long one, two years total. Some good, some bad, but time I wouldn’t trade for anything.”
“Two years? The stories you must have! Where was your favorite place?”
“Favorite? The Pacific Ocean, any piece of it from California to Washington. I spent hours in it, took hundreds of pictures of it and was constantly distracted by it while driving.”
“I’ve never seen to the ocean, my whole life has been spent in this little town.”
Nelson spoke on an impulse, “Would you like to share a frozen pizza? I’ve put together a photo book and can take you on a two year adventure in just about an hour.”
The old man’s face lit up like a Christmas tree, “I would be honored. My shift ends in a half hour, should I meet you at the bus?”
“I’ll have the pizza hot and the computer ready. See you then.” Nelson was excited to be sharing his adventure with Sven.
The oven timer went off, just as there was a knock at the bus door. Sven entered smiling, amused at the bus and its amenities. “You’ve got everything here a man could need. Sitting room, kitchen and is that a king size bed back there? You could drive forever in this bus.”
Nelson laughed along, “It’s not much, but its home.”
They spent the next few hours poring over the photographs; Sven was taken with the Pacific as much as Nelson had been. “All that expanse, the colors, each picture evokes emotion. Maybe I should just pick up and move to the beach.”
“Sure if you’ve got an extra million or two lying around for a house.”
“Or maybe I’ll buy your bus and go there myself.” Nelson was taken aback, Sven seemed almost serious.
“You want to buy my bus?”
“Why not? I have no family to speak of, Wal-Mart can find some other old person to be their greeter, and I can take my own two year adventure.”
A month later, Nelson received a call. “Guess where I am?”
“I’m standing in the Pacific Ocean, and it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”