|The Rainbow Ghost Bus|
Middle Grade Fantasy
The Ghost Bus takes Jack and his sister to Sunland. It abandons them and will only return when they have collected letters to solve the mystery of the Rainbow Bus Company. But which letters and how do they find them?
Tonight their parents were out and Jack sat with his headphones on, playing a computer game. Kate lounged on a beanbag reading a book. A paper clip hitting the back of his head made Jack take off his headphones and glare at his sister.
“What's the matter?”
“Did you see that?” Kate pointed at the circular window.
“I saw my score dropping when you hit me.” He turned to continue his game, but his sister pulled him round until he faced her.
“I saw a flicker of light coming from the covered window.”
“Not possible.” He remembered his father's explanation of the reason for the circle.
Jack glanced at the circle every time he entered the room. Now, because Kate insisted, he looked again. A pinpoint of light flickered in one of the sections.
Another flicker and Kate thumped him on the shoulder. “See?”
“Yes, I can see the light coming through, but it's not possible. It must be reflecting off something in here.” He felt proud of himself for shooting down her idea.
“I know there's no light up there. With the metal cover on the outside we shouldn't be able to see a thing.”
“It's dark outside.” Jack still stared at the window. “So there wouldn't be any light even if without the cover.”
“Good point. What do you think is making the glitter?”
“Don't know, but it's getting bigger.”
He'd been watching the light grow. It now resembled a torch beam and grew stronger by the minute. The base of the light stopped growing, but the beam splayed out and spread quickly, like headlights of a vehicle getting closer.
“What's that noise?” Jack heard a sound that didn't belong in their nice new home.
“I can't hear a thing,” Kate replied. “No, wait. Do you mean a sort of rumbling noise?”
“Yes.” Jack hung over the railing and looked down below. “I think it's coming from downstairs.”
Kate led the way and Jack was happy to let her. They moved cautiously and the lower they went, the stronger the light grew. They reached the bottom and Kate pushed him behind her.
“Hey,” he objected.
“I'm responsible for you, Jack. For once in your life do as you're told.”
“The light's shining through the windows.” Jack kept his voice at a whisper but obeyed his bossy sister and stayed behind her.
Moving quietly Kate led the way to the huge bi-fold glass doors. The rumbling noise increased and the light dazzled them as it lit up the whole space, preventing them from seeing outside. The loud noise stopped abruptly and now Jack had to strain to hear a low murmur.
“There's a lot of smoke. Do you think there's a fire?” Jack couldn't hide the tremor in his voice.
“It's not that sort of smoke.” Kate replied. “More like the stuff you get in a film when they want it to look foggy. Look, it's getting thinner.”
The mist slowly thinned. A dark outline appeared and gradually became clearer. The bright lights illuminated the patio making the outside like daylight.
“Wow.” Jack exclaimed. “Will you look at that.”