Chapter 1- Good NewsMature

Road trips are supposed to be fun... right?
Well, for this family, this adventure turns into the apocalypse.

"Gah. This water is horrific."
I set the plastic water bottle back on the counter. It had been sitting for no longer than half an hour after chilling in the fridge and it was already hot in the atrocious Arizona summer heat.

My sister only paused for one second from typing at super-human speeds on her keyboard to roll her eyes at me. "Such a drama queen, as always, Lacey. How bad can it be? It's just bottled water."

She barely managed to catch it as I tossed the bottle to her from across the room. She very confidently took a swig but immediately looked like it was going to come back up. She gagged instead and made a face. She scanned the paper label. "Hell, this isn't mountain water. This is dirty river water. What did they do to it?"

I had no idea. I had taken it instead of the usual juice for breakfast but decided against opening it after all. I forgot about it and left it on the kitchen counter for a while until I had remembered how fast it would heat up outside of the fridge and how long I would have to wait for it to chill again.

It looked perfectly fine. Coloring was clear and bright, as normal. I got the bottle back from Jessica and examined its contents. No green slime. Not dirty brown sand. Just clear, sparkling water.

But just because it didn't look like poison, I still couldn't get that horrible taste out of my mouth. I decided just to pour the contents down the sink instead.

Jessica saw me about to tip the bottle and stopped me. "Wait!" she exclaimed, and I glanced over in annoyance. She pushed her glasses further up her nose. "Do you really want to waste a whole bottle of water?"

Now I rolled my eyes. "Well, what am I going to do with it? Drink it? And no way I'm killing those beautiful flowers outback by pouring this crap all over them." I said, tipping the contents down the sink. I rinsed out the sink after, just in case.

Jessica had gone back to her laptop, so I decided to plop down on the couch. There was no escaping the heat, though. Just living in Arizona for two years didn't exactly make you immune to the weather. We were living in a desert, after all.

I lost myself in a soap opera until my mother entered the room, carrying a squirt bottle of neon cleaning supplies. She put her hand on her hip. "You girls ready?"

"Ready for what?" I asked in monotone. Call me lazy, but the heat made me lethargic. Plus, every time she said those words, it was usually said in a sentence such as "Are you girls ready to clean your room?" or "Are you girls ready to clean out the garage?" so I rarely gave more than a single ear of attention.

"Ready to go back to California?"

I jumped up so fast I didn't even have enough time to lose my balance. Even Jessica seemed as surprised as me.


Mom smiled. Then laughed. Was this some kind of joke? "You heard me. We're going back to California for a month."

I tried to filter the hundred questions that were going through my mind and settled on a few of the more important ones. "Why? How? Why?"

"Dad is going to be at the office a lot this month, and since he can't spend much time with us, we can take our own little road trip to the coast." She searched our speechless faces and continued. "I was planning going tomorrow, if you girls were in the mood to pack."

She didn't need to say anything more. Jessica and I ran past her to our room to get our suitcases ready. Jessica didn't even stop to get her laptop first, which showed how excited she was.

We both stayed on our separate sides of the room to pack. We lived in a small three bedroom house, and the only reason why we couldn't have our own separate rooms was because the third was used for my dad's work room. We didn't share well, though. Too often Jessica came to bed after me and awoke me by keeping the bright lights on for midnight reading.

When we had both finished was midnight and we didn't even bother brushing our teeth. We were barely able to pull on a pair of pajamas before falling into bed.  

Tomorrow was going to be a good day.

The End

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