Chapter 19 Lil' Too Much Sugar
This rest area smells a little better than the truck stop did. There’s a “Seat Yourself” sign made from the back of a menu and a black marker. Few people are here. I don’t even see a server. I smell syrup, I think. Hm, pancakes... suddenly, I am so hungry. Violet and Jon and I look at each other wide-eyed and race to sit down. We find a booth near the window. It’s really dusty and greasy. There’s a syrup container half-filled and dripping with syrup and a small silver jar of creamer that looks like it has been sitting there a few days. There are a few sugar packets just leaning up against it. There’s ketchup, and it, too, is dripping. There’s spicy sauce, too. Euew, spicy sauce? It’s so strong I can smell it. It’s almost empty and you can barely see the name on the bottle. The top is all crusty and dark red. I grab my nose and mouth. Jon laughs.
“Life of a trucker,” he says. “I could get used to this.”
There are a bunch of dead flies near the windowsill. One is spinning around. I pick it up by its wing and put it near Louie’s mouth.
“Here, little guy,” I say.
He looks tired, like he’s about to fall asleep, but as soon as he sees the fly, he sticks his little tongue right out and grabs it. I shiver a little and pat him on the head.
“Get some rest,” I whisper.
Then this woman comes from around the corner. She has an apron on, but it is very dirty with old stains and fresh ones too. She has blue eyeliner and blue eye shadow on. Her lips are bright pink and her teeth are brown and thin. Her hair is colored red, and it’s really burnt, like she had a perm that went bad or something. She’s got grey roots showing on her not too clean scalp. She has powder on her face like she’s been cooking. Maybe it’s flour. Ewe and she smells like old cigarettes.
“What can I get youse three?” she asks, annoyed-like.
Jon orders us all pancakes and coffee.
“Could I please have some orange juice too?” I ask.
I look up at her, but she just rolls her eyes at me and walks away. She disappears behind the counter.
“Outstanding,” Vi says sarcastically.
Jon smiles and grabs my hands from across the booth until he sees Miles walking toward us. Then he slowly takes his hands away, smiling at me gently, and puts his hands in his lap. Miles sits down next to me and he checks me over. Violet is staring at her map. She barely notices Miles sitting down.
“On our way to California,” Jon says, “I didn’t expect our first road trip would be this far.”
I smile back and shake my head and shrug my shoulders.
“I guess you never know what you’re going to get with me around.” I say.
“I enjoy having you around,” Jon smiles. Violet kicks me from under the table when she notices Miles there, and I’m flirting with Jon. He was standing in the corner watching us as he sat down quickly.
“Well, looks like you found a nice spot,” says Deke, startling us. “I’m over at the counter.”
We all nod our heads and smile and say, “Ok.”
Miles and Deak pass each other. Deak looks at him up and down and watches as he sits next to me.
I open my backpack to check on the moles. They’re giving the worms some red flakes. Gibbons sticks his head out.
“We’re going to need some more water soon, Princess,” he says.
He turns his bottle upside down and a few drops come out.
“Ok,” I say.
I hand him a sugar packet that I opened and put a few others in my pocket for later.
The server comes over with our coffee and orange juice.
“Could I have some water too, please?” I ask.
She rolls her eyes again and goes off behind the counter.
“Yum, this juice is actually good. I was a little worried,” I say as I sip on my juice.
Jon is making a face while drinking his coffee. It smells good, but when I try mine, it tastes bitter. He grabs some more sugar from another table and opens about six packets and pours them in.
“Hm, someone likes sugar,” I say.
The server returns with my water and slams our pancakes down. They have powdered sugar all over them. I glance up at her and she pauses for a second and turns her chin to the side and gives me a whatever look.
Jon and Violet and I stare at our plates, then at each other, then we smile and dive in. Miles takes a few bites of mine.
“Oh my gosh, these are so good,” I say with my mouth full.
I pick up the sticky syrup jar and pour it all over my plate. And take a few more bites.
“Why don’t you just drink it from the bottle.” Jon laughs.
I pour the water from my glass into the moles’ bottles and drink the rest. When we’re done, Violet and I both get up to use the bathroom. There’s a little gift shop we have to walk through to get there. Violet takes a few trucker hats and tries them on us. She pulls my hair from behind my ears and puts a hat on me. Then she just stares at me with her mouth wide open and her eyes just as wide.
“What?” I say to her.
I touch my ears and they are sticking out like a fairy’s. I look in the mirror. My ears are huge and there is a silver ring on one of them, covering half the top of my ear. And I have piercings. Hm, I look kinda cool for a Fairy.
“How is this happening to you?” Violet says. Trying to get Miles’ attention, she is waving at him. I pull my hair down to cover up my ears.
“I don’t know.” I say. Miles comes over and pushes me into the restroom.
“I think you overdid it with the sugar.” He whispers in my ear, staring at me in the mirror.
“I think so too,” I say. Staring at me in the mirror. He looks at me for a second through the mirror, then touches my face. He starts at my left cheek, then around my chin, down my neck and back up to my right cheek, never taking his eyes off mine. He touches my elf looking ear and then the back of my neck and down my back. He pulls up my shirt just enough to reach around to my stomach, never leaving my skin. I feel breathless and utterly, without a doubt, in love with him. Miles turns me around from the mirror and pushes me up against the counter and kisses me on the lips. Holding onto my face, his hands falling onto my neck and my shoulders until they have fallen onto my waist and he pulls me closer. His soft lips pull away from mine and he examines me like always, from feet to head.
“Just making sure you know I Love you.” He reminds me. “He bends down and gives me one last kiss.
“Cherry, my favorite.” He says with a soft smile. “Wait here.”
Hmm, I didn’t think he ever noticed my Chapstick. He leaves me in the bathroom. What was that kiss for? Is he jealous of Jon? No, he couldn’t be. Violet comes in with a hat. It looks like a cowboy hat, but it hangs down to cover my ears. She pulls my hair down in front and it covers everything.
“This will work for now,” Violet says.
“Thanks Vi.” I say, looking at her helplessly. She smiles. “Miles just kissed me, I mean, he really, kissed me.”
“Hmm, I wonder if he notices you flirting with Jon?” She gives me a look.
“I’m not flirting. We, are just getting to know each other again.” I say.
“Yeah, that’s it!” Vi laughs for a second, then she gives me a serious look. “Miles is unequivocally in love with you. He is in it, girl. There is no turning back for him.” She stares at me, making sure I understand her words and that this is not a joke. We walk out, and Miles and Jon are waiting for us.
We go over to the counter to pay for the hat and our bill. Deke is still sitting at the end, so we walk over.
“Just finishing up,” he says, “nice hat.”
He lifts his coffee mug to me.
“Off to the little boys’ room; meet you at the truck.”
The four of us look out the door to walk outside. There are flies all over the place it’s hard to see through the door. Jon opens it and all the flies come in I check on the little animals I’m carrying with me just as he opens the door. They seem to be ok, just carrying on. Louie is sleeping. The moles are eating their sugar. They are so cute. Something is tugging on my pack, and it falls to the ground. Louie fly’s through the air, falling opening his mouth to catch as many flies as he can as he falls. Miles runs over to get him before he lands on the pavement.
There is yellow and brown ooze all over the ground we are sticking in it. Two muck demons grab my arms, trying to get my pack. Violet takes her hairspray and sprays one in the face. It doesn’t do much. It blinks a few times and goes back to grabbing a hold of me. Jon takes his knife out of his belt and tries to stab the other one in the head, but he keeps missing and there are so many flies we can barely see. Suddenly there is a whoosh sound and one demon lets go of me. Then we can hear a slam on the pavement. I push the other one’s face away from me as it bites my arm. Then there is another whoosh sound, and that one is gone, with a piece of my flesh. We hear another slam on the pavement. Miles comes down to my attention even before Jon can help me. The bite stings. I start to feel dizzy. He takes off his jacket and rips the end of his shirt and ties it around my arm like a tourniquet. He pulls his glove off quickly and holds his open hand to the sun as the sun shines on it. I feel like I’m going to vomit. Violet starts screaming as my face is getting whiter. Miles puts the light on my arm to heal me. I throw up all over his shoes. The light takes the stinging pain away. And it heals. The two muck demons turn to ooze on the pavement where Miles put them. Miles gently picks me up and walks me over to the shade by the truck.
“Jon take her.” Miles says to him.
Jon takes a hold of me, and Violet is crying. Miles checks for any other marks on me, then he throws my pack to Violet.
“Check the worms.” He says to her. She checks my pack and everyone is fine. He takes Louie from his pocket and gives him to Violet to put him back in his place. Miles puts his jacket over me. He leans over Jon and kisses me on the cheek.
“She is warm, we need to get her to water.” Miles says, looking around.
“There is one about a mile up the road.” Deke says. He doesn’t ask questions about what he may or may not have seen, he just opens the truck and lets us all in. Miles put me in the truck and flies to the top. We speed as fast as we can.
“She is getting warmer. She is sweating.” Violet says, worried.
“Almost there.” Deke says.
He pulls the truck over fast, and Miles jumps down and takes me from Jon’s arms. Deke runs as fast as he can through the trees on the side of the road. There is water running like a creek. There is a small waterfall and a little bridge. We all run to it and Miles puts me right into the water. He fumbles with the necklaces around his neck he has my crystals and another one that looks like a bottle. He takes his necklace off and pulls it open with his mouth. It’s powder. He puts it in the water and waits. The water turns a bright blue color and bubbles all around us. It attracts itself to my arm once it finds the infection. Miles takes off the tourniquet. All the blue bubbles pull up into my arm and into my body as they run through my veins.
“Why does she look like that?” Violet screams. “Her veins are bright blue and sticking out.”
“It’s the medicine she’s fine, just wait for it.” Miles says.
When the blue powder gets to my heart, I breathe in heavily. And I open my eyes wide. I cough and vomit up the blue powder.
“She’s good.” Miles says. He looks at my arm and it healed completely. He kisses my cheek. Then my lips. Pushing my hair away from my face, he breathes. “I cannot lose you princess.”
“I- I’m fine, really, I -I feel better, you won’t lose me. Ever.” I assure him. I can’t keep my eyes off him. I just want to kiss him and hold him.
“Well, I think nothing could surprise me,” Violet interrupts. We both break from our stare and look at her. She moves her eyes over to Deak, who’s mouth is wide open and he looks as if he might faint. Jon goes over to Deak and distracts him for a minute.
Miles carries me out of the water, never taking his eyes off mine. He puts his hand up to the sun. Then places it over my body. His sun touched hand, dry’s my cloths and my hair almost instantly. He doesn’t think about drying himself.
“Why didn’t you dry yourself off too?” I ask.
“I’m here for you princess.” He kisses me on the cheek.
“Agg, I need a shower.” Violet says, smelling herself. “Do you have something in your hand that will do that?” We all laugh. Each of us watching Deak to see what he will do.
“You could definitely use one.” Say’s Jon. Violet gives him a good punch, and he pulls her head down and gives her a nugie. As they goof around in front of us, Miles holds me tight, walking through the trees to the truck. Deke doesn’t ask questions. He asks if I’m ok and that’s it. He pulls a towel and a blanket from the back of the truck and passes it to Miles.
“This should help.” Deke says.
“Thankyou.” Miles says taking the blanket and towel. He dries himself off, then wraps me in the blanket.
“You ok princess?” He whispers.
“Yes.” I smile at him.
We get in the truck. Jon reaches out his hand to help me up. Then he helps Vi.
“Do you want to sit in the back?” Deke asks Miles.
“I’m good up top if that’s ok with you?” Miles says.
“You can do whatever you want since you fixed this ol’ gal.” Deke laughs. Miles flies up to the top of the truck. Deke shakes his head in disbelief. He gets into his truck.
“Salt Lake City, here we come,” says Deke as we drive off to get back on the highway.
“Does he always just fly around like that?” Deke asks.
We all look at each other and can’t help but start laughing.
“Not that funny. But ok.” Deke says, and he laughs because we are laughing.