Bucks County Writers Workshop
The Yellow Bus
ne by one the kidnapped children ran into the Michener conference room and pleaded to be helped. They were scared but relieved to be away from the Master and his horde of miscellaneous goof balls. Senator Santorum asked where they had all been held.
"On the top floor of the Mercer Museum" they all replied in unison.
"So you all managed to escape," the senator said.
"We couldn't take it any more. He wants to make us his subjects," one of the kids shouted. "And I won't pray to a wacko."
"Can you help us?" Darlene asked the senator.
"Sure," he replied. "Why don't you all sit in the chairs behind the table and I'll call someone to take you all home. Will that make you happy?"
The members of the Bucks County Writers Workshop were stunned. They had a story better than any fiction they could dream up playing out right before their eyes. One of the writers, a computer salesman originally from New York, stood up with a question.
"Excuse me, Senator Sanitarium."
"That's Santorum," he replied.
"Whatever. Are you going to call the police?"
"Yes. I'll go out and call for help. I need everybody to stay here until I get back."
"I have a cell phone you can use," one of the members of the writing group said.
"That's OK. I'd rather use one of the private offices down the hall."
He said he wanted to go some place quiet so as not to further alarm the children. It sounded perfectly reasonable. The senator left the room to make his call.
The computer guy pulled a laptop computer out of a blue khaki knapsack and opened up a blank page in Microsoft Word. His eyes were getting big and a huge smile extended from his left ear to his right. He stood up to address his colleagues. "We better start writing this stuff down, starting now. I smell a great book. We can all split the royalties. By the time we get the book money, the movie money, and the TV fees, we'll be able to buy ourselves a place to meet in."
Senator Santorum returned with a smirk on his face. "Don't worry," he said. "Help is on the way."
The kids were still shaking and talking about their ordeal. One of the writers, a lawyer by day, passed out his business cards and asked if any of the kids were interested in being represented by a lawyer with feelings. One of the members of the group, a shrink, took five of the chairs and set up a little counseling area in one corner of the room. He started getting the kids to talk about their experiences and how it made them feel. His wife gave them all big hugs and told them everything would be all right. Another writer took a few of the boys in the back to read them something he said would scare the crap out of them. They followed him as though he were the Pied Piper. The writers even sacrificed their Starbucks coffee money to buy sodas and snacks from the vending machines for the kids. It seemed as if the whole ordeal was coming to a positive conclusion.
A loud banging started at the back door. There were three sets of six knocks. The senator got up and exclaimed, "Salvation is here."
He ran to the open the back door. Everyone was happy their ordeal would finally be over when a loud collective shriek came from all of the children and some of the writers. The senator walked through the door followed by six heavily armed men wearing white and brown camouflage military uniforms. They had black armbands around their biceps with the letters MB on them.
Mikey Deever yelled out, "It's the Master's Blasters. They've come back to get us. I knew we couldn't escape."
The computer guy shouted out, "Senator Sanitation, what's the meaning of this?"
"Santorum you idiot, Santorum."
"Whatever. Who are these jerks with the Milton Bradley play clothes."
"How dare you insult the finest team of bodyguards this side of Iraq. These are our Savior's personal warriors. They've come to take the children to Paradise. The Master has a plan for you writers too. You're all going to Paradise."
As the senator finished his announcement two men came into the room. One was dressed in long flowing robes and the other wore jeans, a size too small, and cowboy boots. As soon as the kids saw them they shouted, "Oh no. It's the Master Bater and his brother little Dick Riser." The Master patted the senator on the back and told him what a pleasure it was to have low friends in high places.
The kids started shouting "Master Bater" and "Little Dick Riser."
"Shut up you impudent little snots," the Master said. "Wait till I get you in Paradise. You'll be sorry for making fun of my proclivities."
That didn't deter anyone. Then the writers started chanting with the kids. Little Dick turned to the Blasters and said, "Is this how you serve your Master? Do something."
The Master's Blasters fired three shots in the air and ordered everyone into the parking lot onto a large white bus adorned with American flags and yellow ribbons. "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" played through the bus public address system. Everyone could see out of the windows but no one outside could see in. The bus pulled out of the parking lot and headed for Main Street. It went past the courthouse and the Doylestown Center before it turned onto Swamp Road near the Cross Keys Shopping Center. A sign pointed to the Doylestown Airport. Everyone then knew what had become painstakingly clear. Their ordeal wasn't over. They were ferried to the airport just outside of town and loaded onto the Master's private plane, which, as the kids discovered, was headed back to his ranch in Crawfish, Texas.
Five minutes before the plane was to land in Crawfish, the Master himself took the helm of the plane from the pilot and landed on his private airstrip. Outside along both sides of the runway stood all of his servants, workers, and handmaidens. The Master adjusted the sock he had put in his trousers, got out of the plane, and told the crowd God had taught him how to fly. Upon cue, everyone clapped and cheered. The kids and the writers were ushered from the plane at gunpoint and paraded in front of everyone before being led by Alfred to a set of sparsely decorated cabins near the edge of some woods.
Alfred assigned the prisoners to their bunks and told them what was expected of them. Some of the girls would be handmaidens while the others would work in the kitchen. The boys would work in the fields.
Alfred was proud of what he had done for the Master, and returned to him to get his earthly reward.
"The children are safely locked in the cabins now," Alfred said.
"You did a good job Alfred. I'm very proud of you."
"Does that mean I get to sleep here in the mansion?"
"Negro, are you crazy? We don't have affirmative action here in Paradise. If you know what's good for you, you better get your black ass out there with the rest of them kids."
"But Master, I've done everything you wanted."
"And you will get your reward. But it ain't gonna be sleeping in my house. Now get your ass out of here before I say boo."
Alfred was stunned. He had done everything asked of him and the Master blew him off like a single winged flea. He walked back to the cabins with tears rolling down his face. He had betrayed his friends and look what it had gotten him. Nothing. Now he had to face them and ask for their forgiveness. He had to win back their trust, and he knew just how to do it. He would get them all out of there.
In their cabin the writers were being told by Senator Santorum that the Master had a special project for them. They were to write the script for a television series the Master had sold to the Fox Network. It was entitled "Who Wants to Marry a Cult Leader?" It was going to be set in Texas and would feature twenty-five ladies of dubious moral character all trying to persuade the Master to rehabilitate them and transform them into marriage material. The Master needed to turn something into Fox within two weeks or Fox would ask for its Advance money back. Since the Master had no desire to let that happen, the writers were told that if they took on the project they wouldn't have to work in the fields. None of them liked hard work, so it wasn't a hard decision for them to make.
Alfred sat on the ground and quietly wept about the treatment bestowed upon him by the Master. One of the older women who had been working in the fields walked over to him and sat beside him.
"What's the matter, baby?" she asked.
"I betrayed my friends and I don't think they'll forgive me."
"Have you tried asking their forgiveness?"
"I don't think they'll talk to me."
"Well you won't know if you don't try. What's your name?"
"It's Alfred. Alfred Detmier."
"You're Florence's little Alfred? My name is Sister Sarah."
"You know my Aunt Florence?"
"I knew your mama too. She was a fine woman. She tried to get us all out of here. Led an uprising. He doped her to death."
"You know who. That piece of human garbage that calls himself the Master. He killed your mama. He tried to kill your daddy but he escaped. That's when they gave you to Florence. It was her reward. She was one of the Master's ladies for a long time."
"Is my father still alive?"
"Yes he is. I wish I knew where he was but he was told through the grapevine if he tried to have any communication with you, you or he would be killed. Whoever was easiest. He felt that was you, so he disappeared."
"If you could get out of here would you go?" he asked her.
"In a heartbeat. But we all gave the Master everything we owned. We have nothing. Where would we live? What could we do?"
"I can't tell you that, but there might be a way I can get you out of here safely and maybe even get you your money back."
"You know, if they catch you running away they'll beat you and make you wish you hadn't got caught."
"I'm not going to get caught. Do you think the other people will want to go?"
"If you can do all you say I think the others will help you. Boy, you're just like your mama. Always plotting."
"I loved the Master. But he just used me to get my schoolmates here. He wouldn't even let me sleep on his floor."
"You're lucky he didn't let you sleep there. With little Dick walking around, that might not have been the safest place for your little butt to be."
Alfred talked to the woman for a little longer before going in to speak to his ex-friends. He had settled on a plan to get them all out and he was going to need their help to pull it off. The Master may have killed his mother but the Master wasn't going to kill him. It was time to plan the Master's Disaster.
Alfred walked into the boys' cabin. As he went through the door a shoe was thrown at him. It just missed the side of his head.
"Hold it. I know you guys are pissed at me but now I want to get us all out of here."
"You helped get us in here," a student named Big Ernie said. Ernie was a child in a man's body. "And I'm thinking about crushing your head in between my hands."
"I'll give you two candy bars to leave my head alone," Alfred responded.
"Deal," Big Ernie said.
Alfred reached into his knapsack and gave Big Ernie the two candy bars. He then pulled a chair into the center of the room and stood on it so everyone in the room could hear him.
"I have an escape plan and it involves the girls."
"Why should we trust you?" one kid asked. "You sold us out once before."
"That was before I found out that the Master killed my mother and kept my father from contacting me."
"Your mother was in this place?"
"Mother and father. I was born here. But I'm not going to die here. We have to take the Master down. I know more about him and this place than any of you or the writers do. If we rise up I know the other workers here will follow us. Are you with me or not?"
"We're with you," they all said. "What do you want us to do?"
"I'll get to that a little later but right now I need to go recruit the girls and also the writers. If they all agree to help we can put this mindless megalomaniac out of business."
Alfred went to the girl's cabin and told them his story. He told them about his parents and his desire to defrock the Master. He apologized for being duped by the Master but let them all know he was serious about helping them go home.
Alfred next went to the writer's cabin where he smelled the aroma of burning leaves. A couple of the writers were burning some Tiajuana tea leaves to get into the right state of mind to work on the Master's reality show. Alfred explained his story, and the writers unanimously agreed to help. They could provide valuable services in the liberation of Paradise.
The plan was simple. They would use two of the girls to lure the Master into thinking he was going to be done by twin fourteen-year-olds from Pennsylvania. They would get him to agree to be handcuffed in a kinky love game and then, while he was helpless, threaten to cut off his privates if he didn't do what they said. They would then lead him out to the fields and have him free all his slaves and agree to sell Paradise with the proceeds being divided among all the workers on the ranch.
The lawyer-writers in the group drew up the papers. Alfred supplied the girls with the handcuffs and the razor sharp knife. The computer guy, a born salesman, was going to convince the Master that it was in his best interest to sell the property and divide the funds. The doctor would explain how fast it would take the Master to bleed to death if the twins castrated him. The ex-prosecutor would tell the Master how legal everything was regarding the transfer of property and assets. It was a bold plan but extremely doable. If the Master was lucky, he'd escape with his life. Maybe he could run for Governor of California or start a new church.
It was decided D-day for the Master would be in twenty-four hours. Everyone was told of his and her role and each prepared to do it. The twins were ready to be taught the ways of the flesh. The lawyers had the property transfers drawn up. The doctors were ready to patch the wounded. The teachers from the writers' group would educate the field hands about the Master's real background. The shrink was going to set up a deprogramming center. And a writer who was formerly a disc jockeys would play 50s rock and roll tunes on the Master's loud speaker system. The music would be a call to arms.
After twenty-four hours it was time to rumble. It was time to precipitate the Master's Disaster.
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Bucks County Writers Workshop