On days where a field trip is required I always find a new dress in my closet.

Treasure will be found if you only get off your couch and dig for it beneath the cushions. 5 17 18 24 93

It was an oddly specific fortune cookie. But when one of the kids in my classroom gets an oddly specific fortune with their chow mein, it can only mean that it’s field trip day. The dress covered in springs and couch pillows makes sense now.

“Come on, kids! Everyone aboard the bus!”

No one ever asked about the bus. Not the school board. Not the administration. Not the other bus drivers.

“Not another field trip.”
“I thought we were going to learn long division this week.”
“Not again, Mrs. Frizzle,” the children whined.

“Hup to, hup to. Learning requires sacrifices from time to time,” I said, clapping my hands together.

The kids dutifully filed out to the bus and took their seats. The bus winked a headlight on me as I boarded behind them. I dropped into the driver’s seat and starting cranking things like I had any idea what I was doing.

The bus knew the way, though. The bus always knew the way. (more…)

November Stories at the Confabulator Cafe

In my experience, couch cushions are greedy things that pickpocket us while we’re sitting on them. Coins, socks, remote controls, food crumbs all seem to end up deep within the cracks of comfortable (or in some cases, not-so-comfortable) couches. Sometimes, though, the couch gives things back.

Our prompt for this month is “We found the lost ___ in the couch cushions.” Let’s see what the Confabulators found.

We’ll have stories every Thursday except for Thanksgiving. Couches don’t return things on holidays.

Here’s the November schedule:

Thursday, November 8: “Living Room Moon” by Emily Mosher
Thursday, November 15: “Spelunking” by Dianne Williams
Thursday, November 29: “A Matter of Time” by Sara Lundberg


Apple of Her Mother’s Eye

“Mom! We’re out of apples,” Alexa yelled, head stuck deep in the refrigerator. She couldn’t keep the panic from her voice.

“Well, take a pear instead!”

Alexa rummaged through the fruit drawer again, hoping maybe one rolled behind something else.

“Alexa Dawn, don’t stand there with the refrigerator door open.”

Mom. I need an apple.”

“I’m sorry, honey. I didn’t realize we were out. I’ll grab some when I go to the grocery store this weekend.”

“I need one for my lunch today.”

Alexa’s mom sighed. “I don’t know what to tell you. We have to leave for school in twenty minutes. I don’t have time to get you an apple right now.”

“But an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Alexa grimaced at her mom’s nonplussed look.

“That’s just an expression, Alexa. I’m sure you’ll survive a day or two without an apple in your lunch.”

Easy for her mom to say. She didn’t have to deal with The Doctor at school. There would be a heavy price to pay if she didn’t give the bully an apple at lunch time. She could just hear the eighth grade girl taunting her. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away, little sevvie.” She usually made her watch her take every bite, but now and then she’d take one bite, then throw the rest away. (more…)

Apple Heart

When I was born, I did not have a heart, so the Doctor fashioned one for me out of an apple. In return, every day for the rest of my life, I was to bring him an apple.

Until I was old enough to walk, mama delivered the apple to the Doctor, carrying me swaddled to her back so I received the credit. After I could walk, the burden fell on me. Every day, I would go into town, take a left at the dead tree, climb over the crumbling wall, and place an apple in his hand.

When it rained, I waded through mud. Every day, the mud grew thicker until the water began to pool on top of it. The standing water went from kissing my toes to tugging at my ankles, deeper and deeper each day. The rain would not let up. When it reached my waist and the only way out of the house was through a window, I begged mama to let me miss this one day, what could it hurt? My backside was on fire as I sat in the rowboat and paddled through the town, the roads hidden beneath the standing water.

I hated the Doctor. (more…)