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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2258568-Left-in-the-Dust
Rated: ASR · Fiction · Mystery · #2258568
O'Leary waddles in to solve the puzzle of the missing band bus.

RULES:
Your job:
YOU must solve this mystery in EXACTLY 21 SENTENCES!
Be sure to place sentence count at the bottom or top of your item.
<<<<<>>>>>



As he waddled towards the town square, O'Leary grumbled, "What's the point of being Captain if you can't sit back at the station with your feet up, being in charge?"

He spotted the two buses, surrounded by a milling crowd, with Smith and Dooley working vainly to impose some sort of order.

"Smith," he bellowed, "get yer a--, uh, butt over here!" Smith, the youngest member of the department, trotted over, panting like a Pekingese in the heat.

"Did you and Dooley interview the bus drivers and passengers to get their stories?"

"We did, and you wouldn't believe what they told us - they say the lead bus just plumb disappeared right before their very eyes, that one minute it was ahead of them and the next it was gone, like one o' them Twilight Zone things an' if we got aliens in Bardstown I wanna run home an' get my gun!"

"Hmm, it's been hot as Hades all week, and they came in on County 515, right?"

"Ayup, that's the route they was taking into town, all right."

O'Leary took out his cell phone and hoped Public Works hadn't closed for the celebration. "Hey, Denny, glad I caught you still at work--what's the maintenance schedule for the 515?" He listened for a moment, then turned to Smith.

"You go tell Dooley he's on his own here, then you grab your squad car and pick me up, then we drive like maniacs to where that bus disappeared."

They were on their way in minutes, a delighted Smith pretending to be in NASCAR burning up the track...until he hit the freshly-graded County 515 and had to slow down because of the dust and loose gravel.

They soon came on the missing bus half-hidden in a cornfield, with the driver and students sitting or standing around and still helping each other off the bus.

"Everybody okay?" O'Leary yelled on the bullhorn as Smith came to a screeching halt that hid the accident scene in a huge cloud of dust.

"Nothing serious," called back the bus driver, "bunch of kids banged up but looks like nothing broken but a few instruments. I went off the road and those damn fools coming behind never seen me in the dust, they just kept right on driving."

O'Leary had Smith radio in for an ambulance and tow-truck, then asked the driver, "How come nobody phoned in for help?"

"We did call, and old Deputy Fife said he'd get on it right away. Old coot probably forgot all about it, went to eat a corn dog and watch TV."

And that, as it turned out, was exactly what had happened.



DETAILED SENTENCE COUNT: Exactly 21 sentences.

1. As he waddled towards the town square, O'Leary grumbled, "What's the point of being Captain if you can't sit back at the station with your feet up, being in charge?"

2. He spotted the two buses, surrounded by a milling crowd, with Smith and Dooley working vainly to impose some sort of order.

3. "Smith," he bellowed, "get yer a--, uh, butt over here!"

4. Smith, the youngest member of the department, trotted over, panting like a Pekingese in the heat.


5. "Did you and Dooley interview the bus drivers and passengers to get their stories?" O'Leary asked.

"6. We did, and you wouldn't believe their story - they say the lead bus just plumb disappeared right before their very eyes, that one minute it was ahead of them and the next it was gone."

7. "Hmm, it's been hot as Hades all week, and they came in on County 515, right?"

8. "Ayup, that's the route they was taking into town, all right."

9. O'Leary took out his cell phone and hoped Public Works hadn't closed for the celebration.

10. "Hey, Denny, glad I caught you still at work--what's the maintenance schedule for the 515?"



11. He listened for a moment, then turned to Smith.

12. "You go tell Dooley he's on his own here, then you grab your squad car and pick me up, then we drive like maniacs to where that bus disappeared."

13. They were on their way in minutes, a delighted Smith pretending to be in NASCAR burning up the track...until he hit the freshly-graded County 515 and had to slow down because of the dust.

14. They soon came on the missing bus, on its side, half-hidden in a cornfield, with the driver and students sitting and standing around and still helping each other off the bus.

15. "Everybody okay?" O'Leary yelled on the bullhorn as Smith came to a screeching halt that hid the accident scene in a huge cloud of dust.

16. "Nothing serious," called back the bus driver, "bunch of kids banged up but looks like nothing broken but a few instruments.

17. I went off the road and those damn fools coming behind never seen me in the dust, they just kept right on driving."


18. O'Leary had Smith radio in for an ambulance and tow-truck, then asked the driver, "How come nobody phoned in for help?"

19. "We did call, and old Deputy Fife said he'd get on it right away.

20. Old coot probably forgot all about it and went to watch TV."


21. And that, as it turned out, was exactly what had happened.
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