Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Performance, Part 2 (Cyndi)

Here's a chapter narrated by Cyndi Wellman, the star of my very first Lisa and the Angels book! (My Own Pet.) Cyndi was also a candidate for the most boring member of Lisa and the Angels (though June, Jennifer, and Christine would give her a run for the money) but her family, which was "creatively" large and weird, made her somewhat more entertaining whenever they were around.

Christie Wellman needs to be sent to the corner, though.

Chapter Two - Cyndi

Here's my first entry for your journal, Lisa:

Today we boarded our first train, which leads to Detroit. It was cool! I've never been on a train before.

What I'd forgotten was how long it would take to California. This is our schedule:

(I'll spare you the much too long and detailed schedule, which features five days' worth of train changes, and of course includes every single boarding and departure time.)

Pretty heavy, right? It wasn't great at all that most of the train changes occurred during sleeping hours. To top that off, Christie was being very annoying! She kept singing "Moon River." She's just positive she'll meet Andy Williams.

Trains are okay, but after so many hours on them, I think I prefer flying.

"All aboard Amtrak! All aboard Amtra-ak," sang my little sister Christie, hopping from one foot to the other. We were at the Amtrak train station in Albany -- finally!

"We" meant all of Lisa and the Angels, all our families, Miss Jewell, all the band members, and our two dancers (what, ten people in the group, and they still need dancers?!). Together, that equalled seventy-three people. Along with the people traveling that weren't in our group and their families (most of whom were asking for our autographs), it made for a very crowded place!

My family was doing their best to embarrass me. "Oh, Cyndi, I'll miss you so much!" Mom wailed. She threw her arms around me.

(Obviously I'd read BSC Super Special #6 New York, New York! around this time.)

"I'll miss you, too, Mom," I said in a muffled voice.

"Are you warm enough?" she asked sternly.

"Yes," I sighed. I was wearing a cardigan and turtleneck, and it was summer!

Mom turned to Christie. "My little Christie, alone for the first time without me. Watch her, Cyndi."

"I will, Mom," I promised.


"I WANNA COME, TOO!" screamed seven-year-old Marie.

"Quiet, girls!" Mom scolded. "Girls, quiet! Girls!"

"We're not even screaming anymore, you mean, silly Mommy," Marie retorted.


During all this, my baby sisters -- one-year-old Emily, and Jennifer and Jessica, twin two-year-olds -- were waddling around examining everything in sight. Dad was standing in the middle of the floor, casually reading the paper.

At least my family was more normal than the Gibsons. Becca's dad was literally yelling at her seven-year-old sister Jessica, who was bawling. Jeremy, Jessica's twin, was laughing hysterically. (So many twins named Jessica ... gee, I wonder where I got that?) Four-year-old Tiffany was rolling her eyes around and around and crying, "Help! I'm eye-loose!," while fifteen-year-old Scott slumped sullenly in a chair. Ten-year-old Kellie galloped around all over the station, and Mrs. Gibson was weeping.

Poor Becca.

The Wilcoks were acting normal, but there are ten kids in the family, so they still created a stir. The Barnes, who have nine kids in their family, had the same problem. Henry Bell was getting cooed at by everyone, and Jennifer Owens' sister Lila pranced around, showing everyone magic tricks.

I never thought we would leave.

But we did, of course. I was just standing there when Miss Jewell announced, "The train is here. The train is here. Get all your stuff. Get all your stuff."

"Oh, Cyndi!" Mom bawled. "I'll miss you. You write! G-Goodbye."

"Goodbye, honey," Dad added, dropping his paper and engulfing me in a hug.

Everyone cried over Christie, but finally, we were all boarding the train. Without our families, there were only twenty-one of us, which meant we took up ten pairs of seats, plus one extra seat. I ended up next to Carrie, with a window seat.

(Okay, come on, you're famous pop stars, what's with sitting in coach? Get some roommettes, at least!)

The train began to move, and off we went! Christie and I waved to our family until they disappeared. (She and Miss Jewell were right behind Carrie and me.)

A man collected tickets, another man made some announcements over a loudspeaker, and another man passed out pillows. I leaned back and relaxed.

"Cool," I heard Carrie comment. "Look at the view. Oh, here's a little map and guide of our route until Detroit! There's a magazine, too, and some other stuff."

I thumbed through a boring magazine, and looked at the map/guide, which was pretty interesting. Then I started my journal entry, and made the schedule.

Carrie glanced at it and told me, "You forgot that we're going to be in different time zones. We'll get to Anaheim at five-ten New York time, but only two-ten California time."

"Huh?" I said blankly. I'd heard of time zones, but wasn't all that familiar with them.

"Remember L.A.? How it was three hours earlier than Albany..."

"Oh, yeah," I murmured. I studied my schedule. Boy, this would be confusing.

The next thing I knew, I was asleep. (Cyndi's so boring, she puts herself to sleep.) I woke up when that loudspeaker man was saying, "Our next station stop will be Syracuse in approximately eight minutes. If you plan to detrain in Syracuse, please check the seats around you so you don't leave any personal belongings behind. Thank you for traveling with Amtrak, and we hope you'll come back next time."

"Are we there yet?" Christie asked.

"Not even close," Kathy told her. "We have a long road ahead of us."

You're telling me, I thought.


That night, Miss Jewell told us to go to sleep at ten-o-clock. (New York time ... who knows what time it was in Detroit.) We would reach Detroit in just two hours, but people were starting to dim the lights, and she said we needed our rest.

It was really hard actually trying to fall asleep. (The other time, it had happened out of boredom.) I put my seat back as far as it would go, which wasn't very far. I was also freezing, and I didn't have a blanket, so I had to settle for my coat.

When I was semi-comfortable, I discovered it was almost impossible to sleep moving. I turned a couple of times.

"Ohhh," I heard a deep voice moan groggily. "Where are the girls? Blondes, brunettes..."

"Aughh!" Christie shrieked. "A ghost!"

"Ssshh," said Miss Jewell. "It's just Bobby, talking in his sleep." (Bobby was one of our keyboardists.)

(Bobby sounds creepy.)

I lay in silence for awhile. Then I heard Christie ask, "Miss Jewell? Aren't we gonna get on another train in Repoit?"

"Detroit," Miss Jewell corrected. "That will be soon. Go to sleep, hon."


"Miss Jewell? Can I have some 7-Up?" Christie asked.

"Mmm... not now, Christie."


Miss Jewell sighed. I heard her get up and walk away. She came back about a minute later.

I heard something being poured into a cup. Then I heard a 'gulp, gulp' and finally I heard the cup being put down.

A second later, Christie's voice began to sing, "Moon river, wider than a mile..."

"Shut up, Christie," I muttered.

"No. You shut up, Cyndi."

"Both of you be quiet," Miss Jewell said firmly.

I actually fell asleep.


The next couple of days were long and boring.

Oh, the views from the window seats I always ended up with were beautiful. I probably saw half of the states.

But the only time we could leave the trains was when were switching to a new one. It got very hot and stuffy after awhile.

(Oh, Cyndi, I'm sure there were at least a few extended "smoke stops" along the way. Stop whining.)

I spent the days in the train reading my guide to the stars' homes in Beverly Hills (I couldn't wait to see those), staring out the window, writing letters to my pen pals, and talking to my friends.

By Sunday, however, I was fed up with the routine. We were in California by then, but hours and miles away from Los Angeles.

I woke up and found myself moving. Oh, boy, I thought. Will we ever get to our motel?

I brightened when I saw that we were in Sacramento, but then Christie started to sing for the six-millionth time, "Moon river, wider..."

"Christie, shut up!" I ordered. "I am tired of that song!"

"Okay," Christie agreed. She paused and went into another song. "Once I was alone ... so lonely, and then..."

(Some song called "Canadian Sunset"; apparently I knew it at a time, but I had to google it!)


"Ssshh!" some strange lady hissed, swiveling around in her seat and glaring at me.

I stifled a groan.

Miss Jewell passed out stale muffins for breakfast. I ate mine, and promptly fell asleep. (I was used to sleeping on a train by now.)

When I woke up, we were somewhere near the middle of California. Lisa, Becca, Stacie, June, and Christine were asleep. Carrie was engrossed in a crossword puzzle book, Jennifer was reading, Kathy wasn't even around (she was probably in the lounge car), and Racquelle (who was behind me) was staring out the window.

"So," I said to her. "You're bored, too?"

She gasped. "CYNDI! I was engrossed in a daydream! HOW DARE YOU INTERRUPT ME!"

"Sorry," I snapped.

"Moon river, wider than a mile..."


"Ssshh!" the woman in front of me demanded.

I sighed, and closed my eyes. Sleeping was the only thing left to do until we got to Anaheim!


I love how, just like Lisa's, Cyndi's chapter ends with her sighing and thinking how she can't wait to get to Anaheim/the hotel. At least I didn't end their chapters simply with the words "I sighed." (Which I know I did in more than one earlier book, even when it made no sense.)

Coming up next ... the characters from my sister's stories make a contrived appeareance! Also... Racquelle! (As the "nerdy" Angels, I thought Racquelle and Kathy were the most fun to write and read about.)


Anonymous said...

I commend you for the use of the word "sullenly" in a story. I never use that wor, and it's a great one :)

Sada said...

I can't get over the fact that they're celebrities traveling via Amtrak. Miley Cyrus would never stand for that crap!

Of course, Miley Cyrus probably plays more than one show per year.

Anonymous said...

Little Christie needs her face punched...or possibly something less violent that won't result in charges being filed against the puncher. Still, in a perfect, that makes me sound insane.