Bucks County Writers Workshop
Bucks County Writers Workshop

The Yellow Bus

Chapter Eighteen

riters, we are going to have a somewhat truncated meeting this evening, as I have invited a special guest to discuss the future of our group at the library conference center," said Reginald, the moderator of the Bucks County Writers Workshop at the beginning of the meeting. "I'd like to introduce our senator, Senator Santorum, to you." Amidst clapping and shouts Reginald tried to calm the effervescent writers who sat at long tables arranged in a rectangle around the perimeter of the room. Plaques honoring great writers such as Michener, Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Tramutola lined the walls.

"Good evening, writers," began the senator. His face broke out into a broad smile as he stood.

"Now the senator has given up his valuable time to be here tonight, so let's get started," said Reginald. "Valerie? I believe you had something for the esteemed senator?" He turned toward Valerie, the long-legged proctologist, admired for her skillful prose and quick Irish wit.

"Thank you, Reginald," said Valerie. "Senator Santorum, I personally want to thank you for intervening and persuading the library to continue its sponsorship of the writers group. I'm sure you can see we as a society would be at a loss without writers. "In fact, libraries themselves would cease to exist."

"Why that's very insightful, Valerie," said the senator. "I agree there is considerable merit in a group such as this one. And the little donation didn't hurt a bit, either." The writers laughed. "Society will always need writers. I'm impressed at the effect one can have on his or her audience," he continued, ever mindful of political correctness in speaking. "Just a moment ago when I walked by the check-out counter I saw a man taking out a stack of books. As I was waiting for an escort past the guard, I spoke to this man about his selections. 'They're all by L. Ron Hubbard,' he told me. Not personally being familiar with any of this author's work, I asked him what Hubbard wrote about. This man filled my head with stories of strange energy boxes, peculiar stories of UFO's, John Travolta ... I could barely believe my ears that such tales could be sitting in the midst of our venerable institution! Thank God Reginald saw me and rescued me. Does that address your concern, Valerie?"

The proctological physician slowly nodded.

"Anyone else?" asked Reginald. He paused for a moment and the door to the library conference center suddenly burst open. A boy raced inside and hid beneath a table. "Young man," said a startled Reginald, "there are to be no walk-ins."

"Ain't only me, mister," said the boy. "Got a bunch right behind me!" Behind the first boy a young man with "Poindexter" style glasses barged in.

"Hey, who are you kids?" said Reginald. "This isn't playtime. We are serious writers here."

"Writers? My name's Alfred." He was out of breath from running. He stuck his head outside the door. "We got the right room, guys!" The door swung open and a large group of kids darted inside." "Mikey, Tommy, Darlene!" one of the kids yelled. "Come on."

"All right now, who are you kids?" asked Senator Santorum. "I can see you're too young to vote. Where are your parents?"

"Don't we look familiar?" one of the kids asked. The door slammed. "Our pictures have been all over the news lately."

The senator rubbed his chin in thought. "Why you're the missing children! You're safe, thank God. Where's the bus? Reginald, do you know anything about this?"

"Senator, I'm as shocked as you are," Reginald said. "I had no idea. How? Why?"

"Senator? Look," said the first kid who came inside. "My name is Mikey Deever. We were just across the street at some weird castle ..."

"The Mercer Museum," said Reginald.

"Yeah, whatever," said Mikey. "Creepy place."

"Dark and creepy," said a girl.

"Right, Darlene," said Mikey. "Wacky people in it. Some guy in charge who said he was the Master. We teased him to death and escaped. Thank God we found you guys in this room. You'll help us, won't you, Senator?"

"Of course," said the senator. "But what exactly are you hiding from?"

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Bucks County Writers Workshop