It's another from DWARFED.
I watched the truck slow as it approached the mouth of the Cheseboro driveway. Several large butterflies beat their wings against my stomach as the truck slowed. “Don't turn,“ I murmured under my breath, “keep going.“ If there really was a higher power, surely they would take pity on me and have the truck continue down the road.
All of my hopes and prayers died as the truck swung onto the long driveway. Cheer up Grace, I silently told myself. There is no reason to assume that the truck is for you. This is a working farm, they probably get visitors all the time.
“If you keep scrunching your face up like that, you're going to get horribly wrinkled.”
The words made me jump. Maggie had been so engrossed dead heading the large hanging pot of flowers, I hadn't realized she was paying any attention to me at all.
”What are you so worried about?”
I pointed to the truck.
“Is that Caleb?”
Maggie glanced down the driveway at the cloud of dust following in the truck's wake. “It's certainly Caleb's truck.” She looked at her watch. “He's right on time.”
I stared at her while my stomach dropped to the floor. This had to be some cruel cosmic joke.
Maggie arched a well groomed eyebrow. “What's wrong?“
I stared at her. “What's wrong!“ I waved a hand at the approaching truck. “What's wrong!“ With each word my voice rose to a higher pitch. I could feel sweat beading on my upper lip. “There's no way I can go to school in that truck. That's what's wrong.“
Maggie head tilted and her eyebrows knitted together. “I don't understand. It's just a truck.“
Just a truck! That was like saying that the Black Beard was just a pirate, that Goliath was just a giant, or that Michaelangelo was just another artist. By itself the blue and white Ford 250 was an impressive vehicle. But for some insane reason, Caleb had opted to install a huge lift kit to the underside of the truck.
I backed up several steps. “You're going to have to give me a ride, there's no way I can go to school in that thing.“
“Why not? I know that Caleb is an excellent mechanic and a careful driver. You'll be perfectly safe.“
“It has a lift kit.“ The biggest lift kit I'd ever seen outside of a monster truck rally.
“I know it does.“ Maggie's lips curved into a soft smile and her eyes got a weired dreamy expression. ”I've always liked Caleb's truck. They didn't have lift kits when I was growing up, I wish they would have. One of these days I need to talk him into giving me a ride somewhere.”
I felt my jaw drop. Maggie wanted a ride in a truck that could easily crush every other vehicle it encountered! The wish didn't seem appropriate for a woman of nearly eighty years old.
I didn't have time to wonder about my great-aunt's strange, inappropriate fantasies. I had bigger problems to deal with.
Maggie poked her head into the house. “Etna!” she bellowed. I couldn't believe the windows didn't rattle in their frames. “Etna! Get out of the bathroom! Grace is getting ready to go to school!”
I heard Etna bellow a reply but I couldn't make out the words, but Maggie must have. It only took her a second to bellow her reply.“ 'cause she's your niece and this is a big day!”
Turning, Maggie placed a hand on my shoulder. Together we watched Caleb slam on the brakes, halting the truck with less than an inch of space between the front bumper and the porch.
It didn't seem possible, but up close the truck looked even bigger.
Maggie squeezed my shoulder. ”Tires that big aren't practical but they sure do look like they would be lots of fun. Caleb is eighteen years old, he's entitled to some fun.”
”How am I suppose to get into the thing? The tires are taller than me.”
The driver side door opened and Caleb dropped to the ground. He landed softly on the balls of his feet. He looked at me, his hazel eyes were clear and bright. ”You ready?”
My fingers tightened on the straps of my brand new pink and gray backpack. ”Um, I really don't think that this is going to work out. I, I'm very sorry but I really think I'm going to have to come up with an alternative solution.
Caleb's eyebrows rose. ”An alternative solution? You actually talk like that?”
I stared at him. "What's wrong with the way I talk?"