The Day it Rained Inside the Bus, by Adra
We went to my favourite place; Peaseholme Glen with its little path down the hill. The squirrels follow you as you walk alongside the narrow rushing stream. The statues along the way make you stop and look, but you soon want to move on again because of the sound of the next of the mini-waterfalls. There are a couple of dozen of them. You want to rush from one to the other.
Now, I had heard from many people that there were fairy’s living among the trees. They come here to watch the water sparkle and to hear the children giggle. I had heard this, but I wasn’t sure I believed it. Until the day I saw one. My little visitor heard my talk of them and she ran ahead. Now this is the little girl who when she hears that I am a storyteller she wants to tell me all her stories, but I am not sure she believed me.
Whenever we saw a fairy she was nowhere in sight. Yes, we saw a fairy. Off my little friend would run, and as we tried to catch up there would suddenly be a tiny voice from within the woodland. It was a fairy. Then a few trees ahead along the way my little friend would pop out from the trees and we would tell her about the fairy voice. Off she would run calling out she thought she had heard another one. We chased after her. We didn’t see her, we saw a fairy. Skipping about among the twiglets to the side, dancing and fluttering. Then, sure enough a few saplings ahead out popped little E, “Did you see the fairy?”
This happened all the magical way down the twisting, winding, enchanting pathway.
We came out of the glen, into the park. Normally it is a really really good park, with lots to see. Everyone wants to sit and see. We couldn’t see. It rained so hard that our eyes were inside waterfalls. Our shoes filled. We felt our way up the wide steps to the café, all we could do was have a hot chocolate. If we sat in the warm with a hot chocolate covered in whipped cream, marshmallows and sprinkles we could look out of the window and wait till we saw it stop. It didn’t stop. It rained all day. We couldn’t see out of the window and they announced that they were due to close. We had to go.
We managed to find our way out of the park to the far end of town. We were a long way from anything. Then a bus came. We got on. Now this is a special bus, it is open-topped. People climb up the stairs all excited and sit on the very top to look out and get excited. We didn’t. We were the only people on the bus and we went into the lower deck and were glad to get out of the rain. It rained inside the bus.
The rain was so heavy it was coming on through the seam. In through the ceiling. In through the windows. It concentrated itself into fine thin heavy lines of twisted waterfalls and pointed itself right at you. One stream down a leg, one stream down you neck and one in your eye. The little girl looked up (a bad mistake) and she said, “When we get there can we go on the beach?”
We could not go on the beach. We could not see the beach. So we promised that we could go in the amusements. There are amusement arcades all along the front in ‘sunny’ Scarborough.
We got off the bus. We went to my mum’s. We got dry as best we could. E had more hot chocolate and then it was suggested that it was time to go to the beach. No, we had to explain it wasn’t going to be a beach day.
We went out anyway. I hung back. I let them get ahead and I went in a gift shop.
Then I rushed along and caught them up, just as they went in a big door. It was a large way into a noisy room full of flashing lights. We went to a machine which gives change.
We got two Ps. There were the push a penny games. Big games. You climb up on to a standing step and you pick which slot to put your penny on. You think about when and then, you let it go.
Now some of these have plastic toys in them. Key rings and little creatures from the films. They are supposed to come out with your winnings, they never do. You might see them getting a little nearer the winner’s slot though. That is enough to get you all excited and you put more money in. You get a whole bowl of money from the ‘free two P’ machine and pretty soon you are asking for more.
It does pay out though, clunk clunk clunk, and if you are very very lucky, clunk.
This little girl got lots more winnings than that. Every time there was a clunk the pay out slot was filled with a handful of seashells. They were not on display anywhere and grandma seemed to point the other way for a second as the winning come in. The little girl looked where she pointed and there was nothing, but she had heard the clunk, she looked down. In the winning slot, along with a few pennies, was a handful of beautiful shells. They were all different colours.
We went from arcade to arcade. In everyone, as well as the penny winnings, there they were again, they were all paying out the same. By the time we left the sea front she had a whole bag of beautiful shells. They were just like the ones you see in the gift shops.
We timed it right and got the bus to town. There was plenty of time before the train. So we took the little girl who’s shoes were full of rain into a local café. We had as many burgers and hot dogs as you would like to imagine. We had more hot chocolate of course then fruit pie and ice cream; lashings of ice cream.
Then the little girl said, “Sometimes,” she stared out the window when she spoke, “Sometimes, when I am disappointed, I get a bit naughty. This was a very wet day and I didn’t get to go onto the beach. There will be other days though and we will be in the sun”
We went to the station. I stood on the platform and waved. I will never ever forget the day it rained inside the bus.