Every since she was a little girl, Nikki had always loved to write. Everyday she would write on any type of paper, even on brown grocery bags brought from the store. For five years going, Nikki has written works that can be stretched to the ends of the earth. In creative writing class that day, Nikki read a story that she wrote; sweet, yet short. The class loved it like Pepsi Cola. Nikki’s teacher mouthed out a message. “I’d like to see you after class about your story,” she said.
Nikki stayed after class to get a friendly ‘scolding’ from the teacher. “It’s too short.” She pointed out. “I know, ma’am,” Nikki replied, “I thought you wanted a ‘short story’.” Nikki’s teacher sighed. “Nikki, I know you can do better to make your story longer. Bring me a longer story.”
Nikki walked home crushed like ice. I thought it was good. I thought everyone loved it. Nikki knew her teacher was telling her something; Nikki knew it deeply. For a year now, Nikki had been battling a demon known as writer’s block. The distractions, the progratsitons; it was driving her crazy. Nikki knew that she had to fight the demon of writer’s block or face losing her dream as a writer forever.
When she got home, Nikki saw a note posted on the table:
Dinner’s in the fridge. Enjoy!
For some strange reason, Nikki was feeling hungry. Nikki went over to the fridge and opened the door. She was faced with a pot of udon soup. Nikki took the pot out of the fridge, heated the soup on the stove, and ate it. It was so good; she ate another bowl before taking a nap.
Nikki woke up to a knock on her door. Nikki rushed over to the door and opened it. When the door was wide open, Nikki was faced with an angry woman. “I—” Nikki
stammered. “You better get on the bus, right now!” the woman chastised. Without another word, Nikki did as she was told and put on her shoes and jacket.
The woman turned out to be a teacher from one of the stories Nikki had forgotten to finish. As Nikki got out to the yellow school bus, the sky had turned rosy-pink. Nikki got on the bus and saw a seat waiting for her next to a girl with blue hair in a ying-yang cut. As Nikki sat down, she took a look at the children on the bus. Nikki knew all the kids were in her unfinished stories she had neglected.
The children were schooled aged and Nikki knew that she was the oldest. The girl with the haircut reached into her pocket book and pulled out a tube of candy balls. “Want some?” she asked, “they’re real good.” Nikki thanked the girl and took some. In each bite, the flavors of mint, grape, cherry and peach tasted as real as day. Just the way she had described it in her old writings back in junior high. Nikki knew the girl from her story. “Is your name ‘Chrissy Greystone?’” Nikki asked the girl. “How’d you know?” the girl returned. Nikki blushed, “Oh, you remind me of someone I’ve met.” “I’d like to meet your friend one day.” Nikki told the girl about herself. In return, Chrissy told a little about herself to Nikki. A tomboy who likes dresses and books in secret, likes cooking and has two brothers and a sister. Hates her mom for abandoning her and is a daddy’s girl. Just like in the story Nikki forgot to finish.
As the school bus drove on, Nikki felt a slap on the back of her head from behind. Nikki rose up from her chair, bopped the boy, and gave him a good scolding. The scolding was so hard; the boy felt wax oozing out of his ears. The boy never bothered Nikki again.
Chrissy was fascinated. “The way I handle that kid, I always made him eat dirt, and he still hashes on me,” she said. “It’s called ‘psychological scolding,” Nikki told her. Nikki and Chrissy became best friends.
The bus ride turned out to be a trip to the waterfalls. The falls were beautiful and smelled of fresh rain. The rainbow put the icing on the cake to the falls. Nikki and Chrissy hung out with the other children and the teacher. As Nikki interacted with the children and teacher, she uncovered more about them from the stories she long ceased writing about. Nikki played in the forest with the children. At lunch, Chrissy shared her lunch with Nikki. Peanut butter and marshmallow cream sandwiches. Yum!
As the sun set, Nikki and the children rode back home. Inside the bus, Chrissy sparked up the conversion. “You know, I enjoyed spending time with you, Miss Nikki,” she said. Chrissy turned over the lid and became serious. “I don’t know where I’ll go after this ride. Once we get off, there’ll be no more of me. One day I’m on a field trip with my friends; the next I’ll be history.” Chrissy turned her eyes to Nikki. “Why do you keep me and everyone else on the edge? You write out a plan for us on notepaper, and when something comes up you stop. Look at me. Look at everybody. We need you to finish up with our lives. We miss you, Miss Nikki.” The bus made a stop. Outside the window, Nikki saw her old friends. The charters that wanted her to finish up their fates on the paper. “A lot of people want to see my charters in the pages of my published book,” Nikki said to herself. “A little bit of polish, cuts and paint can fix up a broken sprit.” Chrissy told her. “That’s what you wrote in my story.”
The bus door opened and Nikki stepped out. As Nikki walked to her door, she felt the people from her stories putting their hopes on her. When Nikki looked back, she saw Chrissy smiling and shooing her away like a lost dog. Nikki opened her door and went upstairs to her room to take her nap once more.
Nikki woke up to her mom entering into her bedroom. “Hi, honey,” she said. “I see that you ate well.” “Mom, I just had the funniest dream,” Nikki said. “I was kidnapped by a teacher and taken for a ride on a field trip, and this girl I had written about back on spring break was talking to me; and all these people from my stories were telling me to finish up on my writing. And—“”Oh, my bad!” Mom said. “I must’ve put in a little too much salt. I’ll get you some water.” Mom left out of room and left her daughter alone. Nikki went over to her bed and reached under to get out her box of unfinished stories. Nikki brought the box over to her desk and opened it when she sat down. After sorting out the stories, she began to type the first unfinished story. Nikki knew it would take her 25 days to finish what she had long forgotten. In the middle of wrapping up one story, Nikki turned her chair to see a little girl with a blue yin-yang haircut, giving her a smile. “Thank you!” she said. In return, Nikki gave the girl a wink.