What do you get if you mix together…
a vintage diner complete with icecream and poodle skirts…
…a mysterious map drawn on the back of a menu…
…and a reminder of God’s love?
My newest short story!
The bedroom light flicked on, and I blinked awake. No storybook sunlight drifted in through the windows, just Aunt Julie standing in the doorway saying a cheery, “Rise and dine!” Faster than I could squeeze my eyes shut against the light, I remembered where I was and sat up quickly nearly banging my head on the top bunk. Ignoring this, I carefully rolled out of bed, sprang to my feet, and gave Aunt Julie a good morning hug.
She laughed pleasantly. “Wow, you’re wide awake!”
“It’s day one of seven, and I don’t want to miss a moment!”
Since Dad and Mom were having a staycation for homeschool lesson planning, my older siblings and I got to spend the week helping our newlywed aunt and uncle at their vintage restaurant. My little sister Addie had to stay home with a sore throat, and I would miss her as soon as I thought to. For now, I was too anxious for the adventure to begin.
“Rose might take a little more waking up though.” My aunt and I glanced up towards the pile of blankets and frizzy curls in the top bunk.
Aunt Julie shook her head then turned to me. “Canary, why don’t you and breakfast get acquainted while Rose is waking up. I’ll be down in a bit to explain your duties and give you both uniforms.” She winked giving me hope that the uniforms wouldn’t be ugly. Weren’t uniforms always ugly?
I hurried barefoot down the stairs into the cozy kitchen and opened the most likely cabinet for cereal. Right on the first try! I wondered if the whole kitchen would be this predictable since Mom and Aunt Julie were so alike.
I was crunching cereal in silence kept company by a pile of fluffy kittens that snored nearby in Uncle Chris’ chair, when Rose and our aunt stumbled into the kitchen. Aunt Julie was wide awake, so actually just Rose stumbled. Her hair was branching out in all directions like a wild tree, and her glasses weren’t quite willing to stay on straight; but I doubted I looked any better in purple-striped pajamas.
“Morning, Canary,” she smiled as she poured her own cereal.
I gave her a milky grin.
“So, girls. Your uncle and Michael are over at the restaurant turning on the heater for us so it’s not so frigid when we get there. We aren’t needed until breakfast, so we have a little time to get ready.” Aunt Julie leaned her elbows on the table.
Breakfast?!! I glanced at the clock. We were up early.
Moments later as we crossed the road to the 50’s diner, I recited the restaurant rules in my head one more time.
Rule one: Keep your hands clean.
Rule two: Careful with the food trays.
Rule three: Visit the soda fountain as often as you like,
but don’t make yourself sick.
Rule four: Enjoy the poodle skirt.
I couldn’t decide which of the last two rules was the best. My pink poodle skirt swirled around me, and I grinned at Rose when I noticed she was watching hers. These “uniforms” were better than I could have imagined. Day one was just beginning.
Find the rest of part one here and enjoy!