“I am so glad you agreed to stay through Christmas,” Linda Rathburn said, as Hilda handed her the angel topper for the Christmas tree. An early snowfall in mid-December had put everyone in a holiday mood. Linda climbed down and reached for her hot apple cider on the table.
“I have to admit, this has been a safer and friendlier place to wait than anywhere else. You and Joe have been wonderful.” Continue reading
Emily carried her cleated racing shoes into the kitchen. She had her long-sleeved winter racing kit on, with a bright orange microfiber buff around her neck. Katharine motioned to the table and set out bacon and eggs. Emily put the bread in the toaster. Continue reading
Hilda awoke with a start. Jack was hyperventilating, his body rigid and shaking, sweat starting to soak the sheets. He was sleeping, but not resting, that was for sure.
“Jack,” she said softly. “Jack, wake up.” She touched his head gingerly from the top. As she expected, Jack doubled upright suddenly, eyes wide in terror. She slid her arms gently around him. “Easy, soldier, you’re safe here.”
“Enough slack, you two,” Emily shouted and grinned. “Race me home!” Emily opened up on her parents until she was a small dot in the distance. Mark and Katharine were already drenched with sweat, but the effort was keeping them warm on a freezing day. Fortunately, it had not rained or snowed since they arrived in Lancaster, Virginia, but this was the first day of a long cold snap. Continue reading
Jack shouted, “let’s stop at the next place with some cover.” Hilda nodded and pointed to an abandoned gas station on the road running next to the bike trail. They pulled in and leaned their bikes against the columns holding up the roof. Continue reading
Emily wrapped her scarf twice around her neck and stuffed it snugly in her jacket before starting down 12th Street again. The snow had come suddenly – it had been sunny and pleasant on the way to school. By the time she turned north into her neighbourhood, the white stuff was beginning to stick, in that dangerous phase where the road is most slippery. Fortunately, she did not have any turns or hills ahead, and her Schwalbe Marathoner tires were reliable going straight. Continue reading
Jack ended the call, and slipped the phone back into its holder on his handlebars.
“Done. We have a room on the west bank of the White River, across from downtown.”
Hilda shoved their trash into the recycle bin. “Expensive?”
“More than the only hostel in town, but not much more. The main thing is that we don’t have to worry about where to stay, and the motel desk will be open.” Continue reading