Day 139 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a group traveling together.
Erin: “I can’t take it anymore!”
“I know,” my sister agreed.
The RV was starting to make me claustrophobic. Too many family members in one place lead to be slowly being driven to insanity. “I’m hungry,” my cousin started grumbling.
“We just went a buffet,” I reminded.
“I only had two plates,” he argued and I scoffed.
“Can’t you give us the back room alone for two minutes?”
“You already had your two minutes. I need time away from my mom too.”
We all needed time away from everyone. When there was clunking sound and we rolled to a stop I feared that was not going to be a reality for a long while.
Shannon: When I was younger I used to wonder what it was like to travel with the cast of a musical, now years later I finally landed myself a spot on a tour, and I’m living out my fantasy. We spend a lot of time in buses, planes, and hotel rooms always flocking together in one big herd. I like traveling with the group, it reminds me of school field trips. The way they can make you feel small, yet important at the same time. Considering you can get lost so easily exploring, but no one would ever let you get left behind.
We are familiar with each other, and know everyone’s name, but we break off into our own family-like subgroups, because you need close friend when you’re on the road. They’re temporary family you can take with you. My group is the dancer-focused singers. We were never good enough to make it on dancing alone, but we pass as multi-talented background. It’s nice to be around people who understand you, and that you can share life experiences with. I wish I could do this job for the rest of my life.
Write about a group that travels in a pack.
The dark enveloped the team completely, shielding their eyes from the magnificence of the brilliant ribbons of light shivering in the deep, dark sky and introducing them to the chaotic dreamlike land the human had fallen into. It took Alia a long time to break through to the other side as she drifted like a leaf in the frozen water, halfway through so her feet dangled in the warm waters of the other side. Beside her, Joss and Zak were also struggling to get across the threshold, until they were suddenly gone. Not a sound or motion of any kind accompanied their passing; it was instantaneous and unnervingly silent.
When she finally got to the other side, coming up for air to fill her suddenly hollow chest, she was left coughing up metallic water, surrounded by her peers. They gradually made their way to the side of the pool, though were almost too tired from the transition to heave their soaking clothes onto the pale ledge. It was several minutes of heavy panting, rapid blinking at the golden sky, and wrapping their minds around being back.
Eventually they managed to tear free from their hot jackets and basked in the strange sunlight that could have been filtering through a layer of liquid gold in the sky. Zak was the first to stand up, yawning in the new air that had once been so familiar to them, but now left a bitter aftertaste on their tongues. Nothing around them particularly screamed, “We took your human!” but nothing ever did, here. Things were never exactly as they appeared, or what you expected them to be; after being in that straightforward world for so long, Zak was beginning to realize how annoying that would be. Their plan hadn’t been to stick around much longer than it took to rescue their human again and get back to their new home.
How difficult could it be? Especially since they’d already done it once.
(…It got long.)
“Everyone have their stuff in the trunk?”
“August, are you missing anything?”
“No. Wait-” August dashes for the house, Mocha hot on his heels, “Where are my-” his voice is garbled once he passes the door.
Heather is hugging everyone every chance she gets. Jacey still has questions to ask Heather about her adventures since the Accords. “Jacey take a breath, please,” Heather says while laughing. “And I’m not the only one that has stories.”
“Oh yeah, I heard Josh and August roughed up Stark when he came by after the Accords,” Finn says slyly.
Heather looks at Josh, then at August as he comes out of the house with another box, “You fought Stark?”
“He had it coming.”
Heather nods, “At least he’s trying to make up for it.”
“Bitter? No,” Heather says, turning away.
Nikki and Jacey share a look, “Still bitter.”
“If everyone’s packed, we’d better start going,” Heather says, “It’s takes almost twenty-two hours to get there.”
Already down I-80 W, the group had decided who sitting in each car. In the Morse car, there’s August at the wheel, Heather in the passenger seat, and Jacey is sitting in the back with a happy Mocha. The second car, borrowed from the Everts, has Josh at the wheel with Rick next to him, with Finn and Nikki in the back.
No one had music on and one of the old comms was in each car so everyone can hear Heather recall all she’s been through since she last saw August. There were no complaints, unless someone interrupts her. After a while, Heather turns the questions on everyone else. Then there are more arguments if someone got something wrong. Although everyone takes it with laughs.
“Okay, what songs should we put in?”
“No, we didn’t bring that CD. We have Scotty McCreery-”
“No! We are not listening to him.”
“Aww, jealous, Ghost?”
“No. I just don’t-”
“You know who you are going to be living with, don’t you, August?”
“…Fine. But I’m picking which song.”
“I wonder what they’re listening to in the other car.”
Josh then passes them, with the windows down, blaring ‘Dancing Queen.’
Everyone is singing along, “You can dance~! You can shine~! Having, the time of, you life~!”
Heather looks at them, slowly smirking, “Oh, we can top that.” She finds the correct song and plays it.
“Hey I was going to pick-” August stops complaining once, ‘Gone’ comes on. “Okay.”
Heather starts singing immediately. No one else is on the four lane with them so Josh drives right along side them for a while.
August joins in on singing. Heather gives him the second verse, but both her and Jacey join in to sing the chorus. The other car goes silent, Rick fumbling to find another song. Heather laughs during a break in the song. She rolls her window down and sticks her hand into the wind.
They group stops again at a gas station to fill up on gas and snacks. Jacey bolts for the bathroom, locking it before Heather can get there first. “Hey,” Heather grumbles.
“That’s what you get for having a chugging contest when we were no where near a gas station,” August says on the way to the sandwiches. Rick volunteered this time to watch the cars while everyone else went inside.
Josh finds the sodas, getting one for everybody. August gets a few dozen sandwiches. Finn grabs a couple road trip booklets, his coloring materials in the car already. Nikki pays for the gas when the tanks are filled, then grabs a couple bags of chips to add to the snacks.
Jacey sneaks in a piece of cake, and no one mentions it. It’s all paid for and they all go back to the cars. Rick is chilling with Mocha, so Jacey sits in the other car. No one was about to separate Heather and August.
“Back on the Road,” August sighs.
Half a minute later, the song ‘On the Road Again’ by Willie Nelson is playing from Heather’s phone.
Rick starts cracking up and they roll down the window so the others can hear. Five minutes later, Josh signals Heather to pull over. She does so and Josh pulls up along side her. “Finn forgot to pee.”
“F, G, H, I”
“That’s a J!”
“There was an I next to it!”
“No there wasn’t!”
“Well we’re going with it because I’m not about to turn this car around to check.”
“M, N, O, P! Everyone saw the P, I know you did!”
“And now we’re at Q.”
Finn slides along his seat, “Who’s idea was it to play this game again?”
Rick and Nikki are now driving, since everyone is fast asleep. August and Heather are curled up in the back, so Mocha claimed the front seat and is wide awake. Finn and Josh are both drooling on their own windows and Jacey has her seat belt cutting into her cheek.
August cracks an eye open to see Heather at the wheel in front of him. “…Are we there yet?” He mumbles.
“A little over halfway there.”
August groans sleepily. “I hate travel…”
“Midnight is the time this dog needs to take a carp?” Finn asks. August is waiting outside with Mocha, while the dog sniffs around, trying to find where she wants to go to the bathroom.
“I thought you only swore using art supplies?”
“I’ve been around Jacey a lot.”
The car with Rick, Jacey, and Finn is fast asleep, minus Nikki who’s driving. The car ahead of them has its windows up with music as loud as it can be without disturbing the car behind them. Currently, Heather had chosen the song ‘Heart Attack’ by Kurt Hugo Schneider and Demi Lovato.
August had told her about Josh’s problems with a certain anti-hero.
“You make me glow~! But you cover up, don’t let it show~! So I’m putting my defenses up, ‘cause I don’t want to fall in love~!”
And yes, August is singing along. Josh has ceased yelling against the song and endures the torture until it’s his turn to pick the song. Mocha is strangely sleeping through the racket behind Heather’s seat, on the floor.
“I should have called Mom about the extra company.”
Heather finds her family’s number in her phone, “What?”
“YOU DIDN’T TELL THEM!?”
“I DIDN’T KNOW!”
“Ah, I see you’ve already married.”
“SHUT UP!” Both yell at the back seat.
“Fifteen minutes, everybody,” Heather says through the comm. Jacey and Nikki bolt up, almost hitting each other in the head.
“Where’s the fire?” Finn asks, still half asleep as he looks around.
Heather starts chuckling, since she heard it all.
The two cars pull up to the house. The half a dozen team members all stumble out the doors. Finn is the only one to grab both his and Nikki’s bags from the trunk, while everyone else heads for the house. Even when half asleep, everyone takes off their shoes at the bottom of the stairs and walks up to set them on the entryway rug. Heather is leaning against August as they open the door. There is a note on the kitchen.
Josh picks it up and reads it aloud, “Heather and friends, Leslie and Andrew are in two rooms upstairs. I have the master bedroom. The rooms in the basement are a mess. The room with the bunk beds is open, as well as your room. There are blankets for the couch. See you in the morning, Mom.”
Heather sighs, “Mom’s awesome.”
“Finn and I can take the bunks,” Rick says, dragging Finn with him.
“No,” Josh says, “Ladies get the beds, us guys can take the couches.”
No one argues. Jacey stretches as she heads for the stairs, “Can we take a plane back?”
Mocha finds her bed, looking at Sammy before settling down. Heather grabs August’s hand and drags him to her room next to the kitchen. He closes the door. Heather is already curled up on the bed. August chuckles. He shrugs off his jacket and shirt, then helps Heather under the covers. He then gets in on the other side of the bed and curls up against her back.
I looked up a trip from New York to Minnesota. 21.5 hours!