By Edele Winnie
Ellen cursed and tried to start the school bus again. The morning was cold and it was starting to rain. The motor coughed and choked but did not catch. The last of the other school buses had just left the muddy lot. She pounded the steering wheel angrily while the rain began to drum on the roof.
All the grade school kids would be waiting in the storm. She had no way of contacting anyone at this point. Ellen considered giving up, but shook it off. She just wasn’t made that way. She was a fighter. She found herself staring at number 13, the bus at the back of the lot that was never used.
It had begun to pour. The dull grey sky dumped a slurry of rain onto the bus lot. With her coat over her head, Ellen hurried to the little building- they called it the key shack- where things were stored. The keys, all gone now, had labelled hooks. The hook labelled thirteen was empty. It had always been empty.
There was no phone in the shack and Ellen had forgotten her cell phone. She could drive somewhere, she thought, and phone her boss. By then all the kids would be wet and late for school. Thunder cracked overhead and startled her. The rain was pounding down and she did not want to rush out. There were cupboards in the shack and she began to look through them. She found the keys in the old table with the battered drawer. The key fob read thirteen. There were two keys, one was obviously for the ignition and the other appeared to be for a padlock. There was a raincoat by the door and Ellen pulled it on quickly. If she was going to get those kids to school on time she had to leave now. She opened the door and ventured out into the storm to number thirteen.
She did not look long because she was hurrying in the rain but the bus looked fine. The tires looked good and there was less rust than on her usual number 42 bus. The door was padlocked. Ellen fiddled with the keys and popped the lock off and climbed the steps. The bus did not smell like feet, or lunches, or little girl nail polish. It smelled a little musty. Outside the storm hammered on the bus roof, lighting punched the sky and thunder howled. Ellen was safe inside. Continue reading
By Edele, Winnie
She did not notice the man following her until it was too late.
She saw the duck first. Seeing a duck downtown was unusual. It was standing by a bike rack, unperturbed, as if it were waiting for someone. It looked up at Cathy as she passed. Surprised, she stopped and stared at the bird. But she was going to be late for work so she continued on. The next duck was standing in the middle of the sidewalk, unconcerned about all of the people passing. It was obviously not the same duck. It was coloured differently and had a scrunched up foot.
Cathy shook her head in disbelief. Two downtown ducks in one day? Perhaps there had been some kind of a storm that had stranded them in the city?
She did not even see the goose. It was a big Canada goose, standing quite tall and waddling along the sidewalk. She was almost at the office, where she worked as an accountant, and she was checking herself in the window of the bakery nearby. Her short brown hair was tastefully arranged and her makeup completely natural. She was wearing her blue business suit, which made her frown because she had never liked the cut of the jacket. And then the goose pinched her bum. She jumped angrily, intending to shout down whoever had dared poach her derrière but there was only the goose behind her. No one else. It had to have been the goose. Continue reading
By Edele Winnie
The thunder woke him. House shaking, teeth jarring thunder- sounding like an angry god right over top of their little house. He rolled over to see if Deanna had been woken as well but she wasn’t there.
He waited but she didn’t return. She’d always been a bit spacey- it was one of the things he liked about her. She wasn’t intellectual- she was emotional. She’d been called ‘slow” but she wasn’t- she just felt things first, before she thought about them.
She wasn’t in the bathroom, or the living room, or the kitchen. Had she gone outside? She liked storms and would often sit on the porch – tasting them, she called it- feeling the thunder, seeing the bright lightening flashes, inhaling the wind. Continue reading
The rain beat against the front windows in a steady cadence. The noise was not enough however to override the beep of the scanner at checkout nine. Adrienne passed one item after another across the scanner. She had the extreme misfortune of being the only cashier currently working at that time. Putting on a smile which she hoped did not look as fake as it was, she asked the customer standing before her, “Do you need any bags?”
Down aisle one, Danny stood in front of a green cart piled high with a dozen cases of instant mashed potatoes. He made a sour face when he realized the shelf was already filled to capacity with the sodium loaded side-dish.
“Why did we get this?” Danny asked himself. Continue reading