Leftover Story

Jason read the letter again while Kayla looked over his shoulder. The bus travelling upstate wasn’t leaving for another twenty minutes which gave them some time to try deciphering the next clue. Jason and Kayla had never been to their uncle’s cabin. The only thing they knew was that it was somewhere out in the woods. This envelope contained a key to a bus terminal locker. The problem was that the twins didn’t know which bus terminal. There were twelve stops between here and their uncle’s small town. Their only clue:

“At the place named for the timepiece, use the key to receive your next set of instructions.”

Jason and Kayla were baffled. What timepiece? How would they find it?

Jason hoped he could figure out the clue before they missed it. Their father had told them to pack enough clothes to last them for a two-week trip. That meant they would be away from home for their sixteenth birthday. Jason was wondering how much of the two weeks would be spent travelling.

Kayla was even more concerned than her twin brother. This was the third obstacle. It seemed as if her uncle didn’t really want them to visit after all. He kept sending them in search of more clues. When would it end? Kayla’s habit of reading three books each week since first grade had been extremely helpful in decoding the puzzles. Her uncle seemed to know that her reading habit had filled her head with much trivia that his riddles included. The knowledge she held had enabled her to answer the first clue, solve the second riddle, and even now bubbling with ideas as she looked over Jason’s shoulder at the third one.

It was quite exciting to be on a journey like this. One never knew where they might end up or what would happen next. Uncle Dave had set “The Journey” as a family challenge years ago. Each of his nieces and nephews went through it. Some had brought a friend, some a relative, but each was responsible for figuring out the obstacles for themselves. The twins were a special case. They worked together to overcome the trip’s difficulties. Knowing this, Uncle Dave seemed to have made this journey clues harder than usual.

Jason didn’t seem very frustrated by all this. He always handled everything with ease while she struggled. He made friends easily, while she had only a few. He was good sports, but she didn’t even care to watch. Instead, she read books like a duck swimming; mysteries, science fiction, love stories, history, just about anything that caught her eye in the library. The best part was the remembering. She could spout facts and quotes like a walking information booth.

The bus stopped four times before Kayla spotted the sign outside the terminal in Watchville. She excitedly pointed it out to Jason as she pounded his arm. “We found it! This is the place.”

Jason opened the locker and removed two train tickets and another envelope. He handed the tickets to Kayla as he read the note. It told them to go to the train station two blocks east and get aboard the third passenger car on the four o’clock express. There they would get final instructions from the conductor named Stevens.

They were on the train only five minutes when Conductor Stevens came up to them. He handed a map to Kayla and told her that the rest of their trip was in her hands. She was supposed to make the choices of where to turn and when to stop for clues. They were still a team, but now Kayla was supposed to lead. The trip would take them at least one more day he told them. It would be best to spend the night in the place indicated on the map.


Today, publish a post based on unused material from a previous piece –a paragraph you nixed, a link you didn’t include, a photo you decided not to use. Let your leftovers shine!

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