Vote Me a Story: Kayla’s Journey, chapter 8

    Morning came late. It was nearly 11 when Kayla stirred, rolling over in the canopy bed with the carved acorn detailing. She could hear Danny stumbling around the bathroom, which must have been what woke her.

    She pulled on her robe and reached for the list of lunch options. Seven antique-filled dining rooms, including the Old Servant Kitchen. She wasn’t sure if she wanted peanut soup and a fried oyster sandwich for her first meal of the day, but she would give it a try.

    Danny was taking forever. “Other people need that room, you know,” she hollered, pulling clothes out of her suitcase.

    He came out looking pale. “Sorry. Slept too long,” he muttered.

    She stared. He looked like he’d had a lot rougher night than eating a fabulous dinner and sleeping it off in a historic inn, but something about his distance kept her from pushing it.

    He didn’t talk much over lunch, ordering a club sandwich and coffee. When it came time to head out they simply went to Belle Grove Plantation, the closest of the historic homes, and took the self-guided tour of the grounds.

    “Do you think we can cover all 7,500 acres?” Kayla asked, checking the literature. “We should at least see the old barn and the slave cemetery.”

    “Sure,” he said. “Whatever you want.”

    She stopped, then waited until he realized she wasn’t beside him.

    “What?” he asked.

    “You’re kind of a drag today,” she said. “We can     He shook his head. “No, I wanted to see this place, too. The mountains are pretty,” he offered, with half a gesture.

    When they got back to the car, she told him to flip the coin again. “Heads Monticello, tails Mount Vernon,” she said.

    Midair, she added, “and what the heck is wrong with you?”

    He caught the coin and kept it covered. “Just tired,” he said.

    “We slept for 11 hours. I’m dying, and even I’m not tired. What’s your excuse?”

    He looked away for a long time, and when he looked back he did look tired, and sad.

The next chapter was guided by these answers:

Monticello or Mount Vernon?

112 votes went like this:

Monticello: 50 percent (56 votes)

Mount Vernon: 50 percent (56 votes)

Is Danny sick?

128 votes went like this:

Yes, terminally: 45.31 percent (58 votes)

Yes, but just a cold: 5.47 percent (7 votes)

NO!: 49.22 percent (63 votes)

Do they ever stop to watch a TV program?

112 votes went like this:

Yes: 29.46 percent (33 votes)

No: 70.54 percent (79 votes)

    This post originally appeared on, the online home of the Midland (MI) Daily News. Republished with permission.

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