"Is this seriously where we're moving?"
"Yes, honey. This is where we're moving. It'll be fine, don't worry." Hank glanced at his daughter, then back to the road.
Juliana sighed and stared out the window, counting sheep. She had not been looking forward to this move, but knew it was a good opportunity for Hank. Juliana wanted him to be happy – wanted to see him in a job he enjoyed.
Hank flipped on the turn signal and turned into a gas station. “Jules, sweetie, we need gas. Do you need the bathroom? Anything to drink?”
Avoiding his eyes, Juliana shook her head. “No, thanks. I’m good. I’ll just wait in the car.”
Hank hesitated, and for a minute, Juliana thought he was going to say something else. He looked at her for a moment, closed the door, and went inside the station.
She sat back in her seat, resting her head on her hand and wishing for a nap. She missed her friends, she missed her teachers. Her throat started to burn and her eyes threatened to spill tears onto her cheeks. Swallowing hard, she balled up her fists and imagined herself in a forest, watching squirrels run around. She’d always felt comfortable and safe in the trees, listening to and watching nature.
Hank came back to the car with a drink and Juliana’s favorite peanut butter chocolate candy. He smiled at her and pulled away from the station, turning up his favorite song. Singing along, he buzzed the windows down, letting fresh air rush around them.
She tried resisting, but this song was her favorite, too. It reminded her of being a kid, of being innocent and having fun with Hank before everything changed. “I love rock and roll, put another dime in the jukebox, baby …”
- - - - -
Writing often involves a metaphorical journey as our characters move through the story and discover something about themselves.
This week, we’d like you to take us on an actual journey, specifically a road trip? Think about who is in the car. Where are they going and why? What’s on the radio or what are the travelers talking about?
In 300 words or less, create a fiction or creative non-fiction piece that lets us feel the wind from an open window or the dry heat of a car vent.
This is part of Juliana's story that takes place before she starts school as the new girl. Not only do I welcome concrit, I crave it!