Candy Canes And Toothpaste

Candy Canes And Toothpaste

Once upon a time...

Chapter 3

A Little Trip

Elizabeth walked around their compound, sprinkling grains of rice onto the ground. She smiled as she took a deep breath of the morning air. The wet grass tickled her bare feet, as did the chickens as they swarmed around her. There was something about the golden rays of sunlight, and the abundance of nature that brought a sense of tranquility to her.

She rested under her favorite oak tree. She let her mind wander, detaching herself from the reality she could no longer bear. Her heart shrunk as she remembered her mother's words. What is going to happen to us?

Her mother called for her, pulling her back into reality. She didn't reply. She couldn't bring herself to do that, especially after what Carolyne had done. How could she have waited so long before telling her? When was she going to tell James and Carmen?

Mrs. Diddle called again, even louder than before. "Hurry up, Elizabeth," she bellowed from the house, "or we will miss the train."

Elizabeth jumped. "The trip. How could I have forgotten?" She ran back to the house as quickly as she could. "Sorry, Mother," she muttered, walking past her mother at the door.

The woman grabbed hold of her arm. "Next time I call you, make sure you answer. Do I make myself clear?" she glared.

She winced as she pulled away from her mother's grip. "It won't happen again."

"You'd best make sure of that," Mrs. Diddle warned. "Go get ready. The train leaves in an hour."

"Of course," Elizabeth nodded. She had never seen this side of her mother before. She seemed so cold and uncaring. It scared her.

*
Mrs. Diddle walked ahead of her children, constantly urging them to speed up. The train station was extremely crowded that morning. She held Carmen as she knew the girl would not be able to keep up. James and Elizabeth followed closely behind, trying not to lose sight of her.

"A trip to the city. Amazing, isn't it?" said the boy in between dodges.

"Yes, it is quite amazing," replied Elizabeth in a rather shaky voice.

"What's wrong, Lizzy?"

"N-nothing," she stammered, "everything is just fine."

Mrs. Diddle had picked the perfect day to execute her plan. The station was crowded which offered the perfect means of escape for her. Noises of all kinds filled the place which would drown out any unwanted noise. It had taken her so long to plan this. She wasn't ready to let anything go wrong. Everything had to go according to plan.

She stood by and watched as her children boarded the ten o'clock train. James turned as soon as he'd climbed in. "Mother, what about our luggage?"

"Oh how silly of me," she exclaimed. "Let me go get it."

"The train leaves in five minutes."

"I'll be right back, dear," she told him as she took to her heels.

The Diddle children waited for her. She had been gone longer than she should have, and the train was about to leave. She finally reappeared, but with no luggage of any sort. She wore a grim expression.

The whistle blew as the train began to pull out of the station. Mrs. Diddle remained motionless as she watched it slowly move away. This is it. Her plan was finally going in to execution. It had taken her so long to organize this, plan out every single detail, but was doing this to her kids worth all her dreams? Would this really make her happy?

The children began to panic. "Mother, hurry," James cried out to her. "Get on the train!"

She took her time catching up with the train. "I'm sorry" was all she managed to say to them. I'm sorry. She said it like it was going to change everything she'd done, like everything was that easy.

Carmen ran over to the window, and watched as their mother left them. The wind blew her hair across her face, drying the tears that now stained it. Those tears could never be dried. Everything she'd ever known seemed to be fading away, like it was all a lie. She no longer had a mother, that woman was gone now. All she had now was her little Bunny.

"Mommy!" she cried as loud as she could. Her little voice was so loud and full of life and yet at the same time, seemed so quiet and alone.

Mrs. Diddle looked back at the train that was now speeding away. Her little girl was crying in Elizabeth's arms. The girl glared at her, cursing unmentionable things under her breath. The sight of her children seemed to burn a hole through her heart. It was the first time Carmen had spoken in years. How could she even think of doing such a thing to her children; the only people left in her life? It was too late for her to change what she had done.

"It's for the best," she lied to herself.

The train sped away from the station, pulling the Diddle children farther and farther away from their mother and everything they had ever known. The once green trees seemed to slowly wither away, and the crowded compartment was suddenly empty. The bright morning turned as black as night.

The scared children cuddled up together, not knowing what to do of the situation. Carmen squeezed Bunny as she silently wept in Elizabeth's arms.

"What kind of train is this?" yelled James, who was obviously trying to hide his fear.

"The kind that you won't find anywhere else," a strange voice boomed over the intercom.

"Lizzy, I'm scared," he told his sister who seemed to be in her own little world.

"Me too," she said in between gibberish.

"Children, this is your captain speaking. I have a very important message from our sponsors," the rather comedic voice said over the intercom. Little voices followed singing the words going down repeatedly.

James eyed widened, fear filling every little corner. " Going down? What does he mean?"

The darkness in the compartment grew and the runaway train began to quake. A maniacal laugh could be heard from the other side of the intercom.

"Say goodbye to everything you've ever known. You're going to Candy Island."

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