The Williams House; Chapter 3: At the Library; Pgs. 69-73
. The next morning, Lilly’s eyes slowly opened before closing sluggishly again. Margaret’s voice seemed to come to her from far away, calling her name and telling her to wake.
. “We’re going to the library,” said Margaret as she started to shake Lilly from side to side.
. “Whatever you say,” said Lilly sleepily as she rolled over in bed. “Just make sure you’re dressed warm enough.”
. “Lilly, wake up!” Margaret insisted. “I said we’re going to the library. Mummy wants us all to be dressed and down for breakfast in fifteen minutes.”
. Lilly slowly arose and looked at the sunlight streaming in through their window and alighting on their mantle clock. She looked over at Ann across from her who seemed to be just rising as well. Margaret had already bounded out of the room.
. “Did she say the library,” Ann asked as she stood up.
. “I think she did,” said Lilly. “We’d better hurry.”
. They both started their morning work upstairs. As Lilly crossed the boys’ room door, she could hear William and Johnathon fishing around for their carry items (which they referred to as “pocket stuff”).
. “You have my knife,” she could hear Will telling Johnathon. “I had left it right here on the stand.”
. “No, I don’t,” said Johnathon. “See, this is my—” He stopped as he looked at the handle. “That’s funny,” he said, handing it to Will. “I know mine is around here somewhere. Where is it?”
. Lilly heard no more of the conversation as she ran to get ready. Timothy must have already finished, for he was eating breakfast with the “youngers” (meaning Margaret, Susan, and Maria).
. Their mother’s voice could be heard from the stairs calling out for the “olders” to hurry. “Come on,” said Will to Johnathon finally as Lilly passed them again. “You can find it later.”
. They all scrambled downstairs and noticed that the younger children had finished and were playing for a few minutes. “I’m afraid it’s cold muesli and canned fruit, today,” said their mother. “We have a busy morning and afternoon.”
. Will and Johnathon poured their muesli and milk. (If you haven’t had muesli, you should try it. It’s a mixture of raw oats and other grains, fresh fruits, dried fruits, and can be sweetened by sugar, honey, cream, or anything else that you think might taste well.) Then the olders started eating and generally stared blankly around the room, yawning fiercely every few moments.
. Soon, the breakfast was cleared away. Their mother came out to tell them all to put on their shoes and get ready to head out. Her fluffy golden hair was tucked in a clasp behind her back, and she had on a peach colored hat with a ribbon around it. Everyone soon found themselves ready to leave the house and was soon making their way to the family bus.
. The family bus was a huge vehicle, and altogether unnecessary, but the Williams family loved it. It had been christened “The Flying Carpet” a long time ago by Mr. Williams, and resembled one very much with its spacious room to move about “in flight.” For the average viewer, it was a long and wide bus with a seating capacity probably for thirty and several internal and external compartments. The windows were shaded on the outside yet provided an incredible view for its passengers. There was a little space between the cushioned benches and the seat where the driver sat, and there was one front passenger seat next to it. Mrs. Williams would always sit there when Mr. Williams was with them, but when Mr. Williams was absent and Mrs. Williams driving, the olders would sometimes take turns sitting up there, reading a book or just looking out at the great expanse. Yet many times, no one would sit up there, which would allow all the children to play some game in the hull of the bus (which would normally be a game of “telephone” or “I spy”).
. A wind was starting to pick up, and many clouds were starting to roll in as everyone jumped the few steps into the bus. Sunlight was flashing in and out between the coming dark masses, and the air smelled of coming rain. “It will be storming today,” Will noted.
. The great bus started up, and with a slow rumble and a puff of diesel exhaust, it left their driveway and pulled out into the country road, riding smoothly despite the patches and small potholes. All the children sat on the right side with two people per bench. Luggage had been placed on the other side to balance the weight (and all the children were quite used to shifting bags and crates around when needed). The seats were soft, and the floor was clean, despite a few crumbs here and there.
. At first, the children started up a game of telephone (have you played it—it’s where one person whispers something to the next, and they take it down the line of people until the last person announces the message and sees how different it became in the telling), and then later on they spread out a little more to enjoy the view, some moving over to the left side and shifting the luggage. The remainder of the trip went fairly quietly, with some of the older ones attempting to read and some of the youngers playing games amongst themselves. As they pulled into town and turned down the road of the library, the first raindrops of the day were just starting to patter against the roof and windows.
. “We will need the umbrellas,” Mrs. Williams said.
. Ann and Will fished around in the luggage until they found a bumper shoot and four larger umbrellas that two people each could easily fit under. As the bus pulled into the library parking lot, they undid the straps and covers that bound the umbrellas closed.
. “Here we are,” said Mrs. Williams. “Everyone watch your step.”
. The older children exited first with the umbrellas and helped the younger ones down. Rain was pattering down around them, and in the distance could be heard crowds of people talking and vehicles running. When they all entered the library doors, most of the sounds disappeared or muffled, yet rain continued to dash against the automatic sliding doors once they closed and could be heard as they went further in.
. A large reception hall was the first thing visible, with a checkout line to the left. To the right, a large flight of stairs led up to the children’s section. Farther on past the checkouts was a small coffee shop, and beyond that were several more rooms of books and records, help desks and study areas. The children led the way up to the second floor, which they knew by heart.
Audio Continuation of Story (Skipping ahead); Pgs. 77-80
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