Publish Novellas 29 August 2021
EPISODE 6 – EXCURSION
Things go terribly wrong on an unsanctioned field trip with a group of children seeking medical remedies.
Did you skip prior episode?
Field Trip, May 2010
The bus rolls to a stop and all seven students step out. They stretch their limbs snd take deep breaths.
“Did you know that garlic, bilberry, hawthorn, and cayenne pepper are superfoods for heart health?” Daniel asks as he adjusts his glasses.
“Yes, Daniel, they are more like medicine than food though. Long-term use of these herbs actually helps a wide variety of heart and blood vessel issues,” Evelyn Chambers responds.
“If they’re medicine, is there some sort of dosage?” Nicole asks.
“No, not really. Nothing concrete anyway,” Evelyn replies.
“Why not?” persists Nicole.
‘Darn! She’s inquisitive!’ Evelyn thinks to herself as she begins to walk.
“Come on guys,” she calls after them.
“I'll get to your question Nicole…. Just walk,” she calls over her shoulder.
The girl’s voice falls silent as she follows.
Evelyn explains, “It is difficult to overdose on these kinds of herbs because they aren’t like western medicine, which is more concentrated and targeted.
“You’ll need to eat a whole lot of garlic, for example, before you can die of a garlic overdose. The worst that could happen is bad abdominal pain, or a reaction if you are allergic to what you ate.”
This elaborate explanation seems to answer the question and keep Nicole quiet for a while. The silence lasts until Evelyn exclaims, “Yes, here!” The excitement in her voice is palpable as she rushes forward and bends over a group of herbs.
“What is that?” Tanya asks.
“This, my dear….” Evelyn begins to explain.
Nicole cuts her short, “We know they are Dandelion flowers. We are wondering what’s the big deal.”
Evelyn laughs as she uproots one from the earth. “This, my dear, is medicine. It is the last part of Joe’s and Justin’s health management. It has been weeks since Joe got the last herb treatment, he will just take these once daily now.”
Daniel steps forward and stands beside Evelyn. Looking at the medicine in her hand with awe. “This will be difficult to hide from my parents, Miss Chambers.”
“Well, we have to find a way to hide it if we intend to help the boy, Daniel.” He nods and looks around.
The Chosen Ones
“I think I know why she chose us,” Tanya whispers to Ted who is on a trip with them for the first time. He is a lanky thirteen-year-old African-American boy.
“Okay….” Ted says nonchalantly.
“Won't you ask me why?” she asks him, a little frustrated at his lack of interest in her conversation.
“Oh, sorry. Why?” Ted indulges her.
“Because we all have siblings with special needs.” Tanya says with conviction before continuing, “Miss Chambers wants to try to help. She is just good like that!”
Ted smiles while rubbing his hands and wrists. “I don’t,” he replies.
“Don’t what?” asks Tanya.
“I don’t have a sibling with special needs. I’m an only child.”
She looks at him for a while and then shrugs. “Well… I was close enough. Everyone else here does. Maybe she chose you because you’re really smart.”
Ted smiles again and they both notice that the group has walked a little way forward.
“We better catch up!” she says while double stepping. But Ted doesn’t move. She looks at him over her shoulder and frowns. “Are you okay?” she calls to him.
“Get Miss Chambers!” he manages to say before he hits the ground.
Tanya stands there for a few seconds in wide-eyed shock. Then she lets out a blood-curdling scream that has Evelyn and the other five kids doubling back as if their lives depend on it.
“What happened?” Evelyn asks.
“I don’t know. He was fine and then he said to get you and passed out!” Tanya is screaming.
Evelyn places her head on his chest and listens to his heartbeat.
“Is he going to die?” Mary asks with a tearful voice.
“Don’t say things like that,” Daniel rebukes.
“He’s breathing. I think he’s just weak,” Miss Chamber says as she pulls herself to a standing position with the boy in her arms. “We need to get him to a hospital right now. You have to come with me and call your parents from there.”
The kids all look at each other and she can tell right away that her suggestion is a bad idea. “We’ll worry about the rest later. The most important thing is to get him to a hospital,” she says while breaking into a sprint with the weighty boy on her shoulder.
“Damn! What have I done? What have I done?” she asks herself audibly as she makes her way towards their bus. Her heart is racing. Her palms are sweaty and she is eager to put him down and listen to his heart again.
‘Okay! This is the one that lands me in jail,’ she thinks as she shouts… “Nicole, open my car door!”
Nicole launches to do as she is told and Evelyn places him on one long car seat. Evelyn herds the rest of the students into the bus and drives out of there as though her freedom depends on it…. And it very well could.