Daniel was driving down the road, enjoying the quiet. He had turned off the radio and was letting his mind wander.
Enjoying the scenery as he drove his heart was light. Two weeks of vacation were starting and he was ready. Everything was right was with his world.
Who was that? Daniel saw a young woman up ahead and she looked like she was about to collapse. She was walking at the pace of a tortoise. Slowing down, he pulled to a stop along the side of the road.
The poor woman looked weary and was dripping with sweat. He got out of the car and walked up to her. “Are you ok, Miss, do you need some help?”
He handed her the bottle he had with him. She took a couple sips and then proceeded to pour it over her head.
A smile of relief came over her and life sparked in her eyes, “Thank you!”
“You are welcome. My name is Daniel.”
“Do you have more water?’ Her face was still beet red with perspiration. He wondered what she was doing out here on such a hot day?
Fortunately he had thrown a couple bottles in his car so he ran back and got more. She drank the one and poured the other one over her head again.
Her eyes shined. “Thanks so much Daniel. I needed water so badly. My name is Stephanie.” She put out her hand. “Sorry, I know I look a mess but you are a lifesaver, I thought I would die in this heat.”
“Is your car close by? Do you need a ride into town? Its only about 10 miles down the road.”
With a sigh of appreciation she told him yes about the ride and soon they were heading down the road. It wasn’t until they were driving down the road that he realized she never answered the question about her car.
In the car he suddenly felt shy and wasn’t quite sure what to say, so they rode in silence. Well, not total silence. Stephanie was humming to herself and swaying her head from side to side.
Daniel was starting to feel happy that the ride to town wasn’t too far.
When they entered town they passed Mason’s Diner. “I am rather hungry, do you think we can stop and get something?” Stephanie looked at him with her big brown puppy dog eyes. He couldn’t say no, though he doubted she had money with her for she didn’t have any purse or wallet.
Daniel was getting hungry too so he pulled into the parking lot.
A cheery waitress welcomed them when they stepped inside the diner. “Choose wherever you would like to sit. Any booth except that corner one. That is Tippner’s booth, he is a special case, I mean customer.”
Hmmm…thought Daniel, a special case. Did he hum like Stephanie, he wondered, who was still humming softly. Daniel was sure that Cara, the waitress could hear her, but she didn’t blink an eye. It didn’t seem to phase her. He figured she probably was used to dealing with all kinds of customers.
When she came to tske their orders Stephanie did stop humming, long enough to give her order.
Then before starting up again Daniel asked her a question. “I hope you don’t mind me asking but were you lost in the woods? Did you lose your car?”
“My car?” At this she started laughing and laughing. Daniel was becoming more convinced by the minute that Stephanie was a special case.
“Pardon me for laughing, but I don’t own a car. I don’t need one. Plus I don’t know how to use one. Where I come from we have no need of cars. But now I don’t know how to get back home.” Daniel felt tongue tied with shock.
Cara walked up to the table with their orders. Biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs.
She was placing Stephanie’s plate in front of her when Stephanie said, “I have a magic carpet, but it disappeared today, that is how I got stuck along the road.”
Cara knocked over Stephanie’s water glass with her plate. Flushed , Cara quickly wiped up the water. “I am so sorry.”
“It is fine. Can you tell me Miss, have you seen anyone arrive here on a magic carpet today?”
“Ummm…can’t say I…” the bell jangled and Tippner entered the diner heading to his special booth.
An idea came to Cara and she smiled at the thought. Noticing Daniel’s distressed look she thought it would be perfect. After all Tippner did owe her one.
Turning her attention back to Stephanie she said, “As a matter of fact I have just the guy that you should talk to. Come with me and I will introduce you.”
“Stephanie this is Tippner, and he is always glad for company. Aren’t you Tippner?” Cara gave a coy smile.
Tippner gave Cora a questioning look, but she ignored it. “Feel free to ask him all about your magic carpet, he may have seen it.” Tippner spit out his water as he shot Cara a piercing look. She turned away, trying hard to hold in her laughter at Stephanie’s words. “Oh, do you have a magic carpet also? What is the name of yours?”
Daniel left Cara a big tip after telling her what all he knew about Stephanie, which wasn’t much. Maybe the hot sun had messed with her brain. Who knows how long she was out in it. She really had guzzled down the water and was gobbling up the food. Now that he had a full stomach he could get back on the road to continue his vacation! What way to start it!
Cara would contact Fred, the police chief but why not let her talk to Tippner for awhile. She laughed again as she passed by the table and heard Stephanie asking him if he wanted to help her start a new society.
Cara was pleased, looks like Stephanie had found the perfect person to talk to.
“Hey Tippner!” Mason greeted his friend. He had just come from the back room. He walked over to his booth. “Hi Miss, I am Mason, are you a friend of Tippner’s?”
Stephanie’s eyes grew big as she looked at Mason and reached out to touch his hair. “Can you help me?”
Mason, always ready to be helpful, replied, “Sure, what can I do?”
Cara snickered , while trying to take the order from the table close by. Mason had just walked right into that one. She couldn’t have planned it better if she would have tried.
“Do you own a magic carpet?” she heard Stephanie say.
Cara shook her head, just another ordinary day in the town of Bittersweet Creek where you never know what may happen!