Gus – a preview – a children’s play & bedtime story all in one
Copyright Laura Hesse 2018 All rights reserved.
Thank you to the McNab family and their delightful corn maze in Yellowpoint on Vancouver Island without whom this story would never have been written.
May all your mounts be swift and your mountains an easy climb.
Laura L. Hesse
Note to Reader
This story is written in a screenplay/play type of format. It can be read as it is or it can be read out loud as a bedtime story, with or without voices, or acted out as a play.
The tale of Gus, the Unicorn, and Jessie, the kid that always got left behind, was a favorite of the kids during my school readings. One class of eight year-olds asked if they could participate in the reading. I was thrilled. The kids had a blast reading their parts out to the class and got quite into the characters.
I will also be doing a live reading of this story shortly, so please visit www.RunningLProductions.com and simply hit the ‘follow me’ button or subscribe to my newsletter to learn about upcoming new releases of books and videos. You can also follow me on Facebook. Videos and new release information will be posted there as well.
Eight year-old Jessie Farrell lived in a two storey gabled house at the end of a dead end street where toys and bicycles littered the yards. The tree lined street on which her house sat was alive with fall color. The houses were decorated for Halloween. Pumpkins grinned at people passing by from front porches. Black cut-out witches hung inside windows. White sheeted ghosts hung from tree branches.
There was a rusty squeak as the garage door suddenly flew open at the Farrell house. Mr Farrell pulled the family van out of the garage. He stopped in the center of the drive and slid open the side door so that his family, Thomas, Eddie, Sarah, Amy, and his wife, Mrs. Farrell, carrying a wailing baby, Emma, could climb into the van. The kids all jostled for seats.
Jessie followed along behind them, dragging her feet. She had wanted to go see a movie, not venture out into a muddy corn maze, but once again, her tiny voice was ignored.
One, two, three, four, and baby makes five…where’s six?
Come on, Jess, hurry it up.
We’re going to the corn maze, end of story.
Jessie was about to answer, but her mother and father switched their attention to Thomas and Eddie who were laughing and poking Sarah in the sides, trying to make her pee her pants.
Stop it, you guys.
Boys, that’s enough!
Thomas, kitchen duty for two weeks.
Eddie, bathroom duty for a week.
The boys knew better than to argue.
(To his wife)
Need some help, hon?
Mrs Farrell rolled her eyes at her husband, and then bounced the baby up and down on her lap.
Thanks, honey, but Thomas can help me.
Thomas took the baby from his mother and strapped her into the car seat. The baby gurgled and smiled up at her big brother.
Jessie stood outside the van looking in as her brothers and sisters goofed around. No one seemed to notice her.
Mrs Farrell slid the van door shut with a thud, and then slipped into the front passenger seat. She closed the door and gave her husband a thumbs-up sign.
Mr Farrell pulled out of the driveway.
Jessie stood helplessly, arms at her side, her mouth open in a silent “O”. How could her mother have not noticed she wasn’t in the van? Yet again, her family had forgotten her.
The van screeched to a halt. It backed up. The side door slid open.
Jess? What are you doing? Come on, get in.
Jessie looked inside the van. There was no place to sit. Tears brimmed in Jessie’s eyes.
(squishing little Amy against the window)
Come on, sis, you can sit beside me.
Jessie wiped away her tears and climbed into the van.
Thomas slammed the sliding door shut, and the family was off on their adventure.