FS Title

Four Star
Part Four

"Well I suppose we'd best be off." Den mentioned.

"You off down the zoo?" George asked.

"Yeah, a quick turn around the park then we've got an hour down at the zoo."

""Probably see you down there then, if not have a good trip."

"And you."

Den mounted Helga, Jools and I followed and after a quick count, we set off to join the traffic again.

There wasn't really much to tell the passengers as we made our way slowly back past the Reichstag and around the serpentine roads of the Tiergarten. Of course we paused to point out the memorial at the Großer Stern then it was onward towards the Kurferstendamm where we stopped briefly whilst I explained the significance of church with its part destroyed tower. It was only a matter of minutes then before we were once again pulling up outside the zoological gardens.

"I hope that you have enjoyed the short tour of Berlin, there is much more to see but maybe another visit? We have now one hour and thirty before we start our return to our hotel, we suggest you have imbiss, sorry snack as dinner is not until eight o'clock. For shopping opportunities the shopping is behind us."

For seemingly the twentieth time today Jools and I manned the doors as our passengers disembarked.

"You coming for a walk Den?"

"Nah, I think I'll catch forty winks."

"You want anything fetching?"

"Grab us a sarnie for later, cheese and something."

"Okay. Come on then Jools."

Well our forty minute walk was a bit like being dumped in Trafalgar Square and told that you have five minutes to see London, you take a couple of pics, buy a postcard and that's about it. We wandered along to the Kurferstendamm, looked in a couple of shops, Jools bought herself an 'I love Berlin' t shirt and it was time to head back to Den

Den was half listening to the radio when we got back; even with his German the traffic reports are understandable.


"Please. You two shopped out?"

"Hardly." Jools stated.

"There's not enough time on these day trips, you need a couple of days at least."

"That's coach holidays for you!" Jools chirped as she followed me back to the kitchen.

You know what its like, you're chatting away and something suddenly 'feels' wrong.

"Den? Everything all right?"

"Nena, Jools, you'd best come down."

That sounded ominous. We both hurried up to the front of Helga where we found Den and an obviously distressed George sat on the steps.

"What's up? George? Where's Maureen?"

"She's been taken ill girls, just a few minutes after we left them." Den explained.

A drew a deep breath. Maureen ill, but she's always so full of life.

"What? How?" I was incoherent as ever.

"The medics have taken her to the hospital, they think it's a heart attack. George had to stay for the passengers but I don't think he's taking them anywhere soon."

"Bummer!" Jools stated.

"You must go to Maureen George,” I stated.

"But the passengers, I need to get them home."

"No you don't, you're priority is your wife. Den and we two will sort your passengers. Right Dennis?"

"You're the boss Nena."

The next twenty minutes were one long round of phone calls and anxious waiting. Wally's head office back in Leeds wanted to fly another driver and courier out but that would leave the passengers stranded in Berlin until tomorrow. The alternative was to bring a driver from one of their other tours in Germany but that would still take half the night.

"What if I drove the coach back?" I suggested.

"You don't have a licence ,” Jools mentioned.

"Well okay it's not the full PSV but I've got class B which means I can drive without passengers."

"Well duh! George has a full bus,” my girlfriend stated.

"It's an emergency Jools. What do you reckon Den?"

"I'm sure you can do it, not that I condone it, but it would get the bus nearer to their driver. You can follow me most of the way so you won't get lost. Best run it past WA."

I'm not sure that Den told the whole truth about my qualifications but the result was that they agreed. We despatched George in a taxi to the hospital after a 'crash' course on how everything on his bus worked. He really was in a state and there is just no way he could have driven anywhere. Jools helped round up the Wally passengers and nervously I told them the plan. It was a bit of deja vu, only a couple of days ago my own passengers were fretting over me, now a different bus load were concerned for both Maureen and George.

We pulled out of the Zooplatz about thirty minutes later than planned, Den leading the way and me as nervous as hell following behind.

Talk about nervy! I would have been on edge if me as myself, that is Chris was doing this. But when the reality hit home somewhere around Tempelhof that I could get into some serious trouble and I'm dressed as a woman - well that didn't help! To be fair, the passengers on here were being angels, one of them had already volunteered to make drinks but the joint thing of losing their crew and getting some strange German girl driving them back to the hotel left twitchiness in the air.

We trundled along, my confidence growing a little the longer I spent behind the wheel.

"Here you go me duck, nice cup of tea."

"Er thank you."

"Least I can do after you stepped into the breach, I know everyone is grateful for your help."

I blushed all the way to my newly bleached roots. Why is life so complicated? Talk about a turn of events. First the fire on Betsy and now Maureen - what else can go wrong this week?

Driving the autobahn was no less boring, a few trucks to pass but nothing to look at or break up the monotony. I sort of switched into automatic mode and nearly didn't see Den signalling to turn into the Magdeburg Services.

"Zirty minutes please" I announced over the tannoy after I pulled up next to Helga.

I let the tired travellers leave the bus before grabbing my bag to join them for a comfort stop.

"How're you doing Nena?" Jools asked as she joined me.

"Okay I think, it's a bit nerve wracking at times"

"I should have come with you"

"We need you on our bus"

"Maybe, but Den's the experienced driver, he could've managed on his own."

By now we had reached the lav queue, I looked longingly at the non-existent line at the gents and prayed I wouldn't wet myself while I was waiting. Sometimes being a girl sucks! At least the loo's were clean and despite some lingering embarrassment , I was soon through and heading to the cafeteria where Den already had coffee and a slice of choccy gateaux waiting for me.

"Thanks Den"

"Thought you could do with some comfort food"

"Goody! Chocolate cake!" Jools chimed joining us.

"Hey hands off, its mine"

"Meanie "

"I thought Nena needed it more than you" Den inserted.

"Humph! Ot oh, visitors." Jools motioned with her head behind me.

"Eh?" I swung my head round just in time to come face to face with a gun.

"abend, wie mochte die Englisher reisebussefahrer?"

My heart sank.

"ja, hier sitze"

"ah gut, ihr blinklicht 343435"

I let out a breath, "vielen danke" I smiled back.

"Sie Deutches?"

What to answer?

"Neh, mein mutter ist deutsche von Augsburg." it was a little lie but the truth would be worse.

"Sehr gut" he smiled, "blinklicht"


"wiedersehn fraulein, gut fahr"


The cop departed towards his colleague who was now waiting at the door.

"What the heck was that all about?" Den asked once the coast was clear.

"Apparently I've left my flashers on"

"I think he was smitten,” Jools stated.

"Was not,” I snapped.

"Girls!" Den interjected. "Best turn them off Nena, they'll hang about till you do, remember Cologne last Christmas?"

I sure did, we got a right rollicking for not getting a stoplight fixed straight away.

"Okay, and you leave my cake alone!" I glared at my girlfriend.

It felt more than a bit strange walking out to 'my' coach. Boss man suggested I get a PSV licence earlier in the year, just in case, I'm sure he never envisioned this happening tho. My full test is booked for next month so I suppose the practice won't do any harm. Den was right, the cops were waiting, I slipped on board, hit the switch and by the time I was off the bus again, they were off. So much for half an hour break, what with queuing for toilets and turning lights off I'll be lucky to get fifteen!

The guys were talking about Maureen and George when I got back.


"Yeah, they were waiting"

"Told you"

"We were just saying" Jools started, “that maybe I should come with you for the last bit."


"It's alright Nena, I suggested it, you'll need a navigator, and Jools can drive you both back to Braunlage later."

On one hand it was very tempting, on the other I felt slightly affronted that Den thought I needed help.

"I can cope okay"

Something in my tone gave me away.

"We didn't mean that you couldn't do it, its just, well you know, single girl alone and all that" Jools added.

Was I being stubborn? I'm thinking like a bloke I suppose and currently I couldn't be dressed or look much less manly than I do right now. Yeah, I would've had a go at Jools for even suggesting going alone and here I am doing just that - too much of Chris showing through!

"If you don't want..." Jools pouted.

"I er, yes that would be great, if you are sure Den?"

"Thank heavens for that, I thought I was going to have to force you to take her! I'll feel a bit happier with the two of you together."

So I was manoeuvred into it but, well it will be comforting to have someone else along. I finished my cake and coffee and in a still contemplative mood the three of us headed back out to our transports.

"Hello everybody, my colleague from Global, Julia, will be travelling with us to your hotel as I can't drive and read the karte. Hopefully we will arrive about acht heure in time for your evening meal. So sit back and enjoy."

I gunned the motor and set off to follow Den back onto the autobahn.

"So, where are we headed?"

"A liddle village called Lautenthal, I marked it on the map."

"Oh right, I got it" Jools confirmed.

"We follow Den to Braunschweig then go across to Goslar I think."

"That should work. I'll just do a bus walk, we've got a while to go yet."

The drive west continued without incident and all too soon we were approaching Braunschweig where we would lose Den as a guide. Jools reported a lot of sleepy passengers and I just crossed my fingers that the rest of the trip would go as well.

"Next left"

"We can't, it's a motorway!"

"Oh sorry, the next junction then."

I'd sort of worked that out myself but she was trying to help and I did feel better for having her along. Goslar was signposted at the top of the ramp and I felt confident we could at least get that far without incident. I hadn't really noticed as I was concentrating on driving so much, but the weather was turning rapidly from the blue skies and sunshine of Berlin to impending rain. The first spots of wet hit the windscreen a bit short of Goslar and quickly developed into a full-blown downpour. The sudden drop in temperature resulted in a sudden misting of the coach windows, which the air con struggled to cope with.

"Which way?"

"Erm, straight I think"

I eased the bus through the lights but the unequal argument the blowers were having with the condensation left me none the wiser, I decided to go with Jools# navigation.

"We should come to another junction shortly, we need to go left."


The rain was coming in sheets the wipers struggling to clear the water quick enough. The traffic was slow and I followed the car in front at a goodly distance.

"Left, left!"

I hit the brakes and luckily there was no traffic behind so I was able to change lanes to take the turn.

"You are sure?" I queried, as we seemed to be heading into a housing estate.

"Yup, we should come out of the houses in about erm, half a mile"


It wasn't the wide road I was expecting but that's not unusual in Germany. I had to negotiate some narrow traffic calming but we did indeed soon leave the housing behind and start to climb into the northern Harz. There was next to no traffic, which was surprising, but given the weather...well maybe they're just not out. The road wound upwards and into the pine forest, the rain still coming down like stair rods.

Jools studiously followed our progress on the map; I kept mine on the road. We had been going for about twenty minutes out of Goslar when she spoke.

"I think we've gone wrong"

"How? There's not been any turnings since we left the town."

"Well we should have got to another junction by now according to the map."

"You sure?"

"Yep, and the map doesn't show those squiggly bits we just came through."

A feeling of dread came over me, if we are on the wrong road, bum, we could be anywhere! I looked for somewhere to pull up, hell we might be going completely the wrong direction. I spied a pull off and stopped Wally's Trolley.

"Lets have a look at the map"

"Sorry Chr... Nena"

I took the map off of my girlfriend and quickly located Goslar. Hmm, that's the way we came in, along to the junction, left, yep that seems right. Hang on; I'm sure we didn't pass a hospital. I backtracked our route tracing it with my finger. Hmm, I saw the town gate but we turned before we got there. Bugger! I spotted the error, we had turned too soon!


"We've gone wrong haven't we? It's all my fault!"

"Calm down. We turned too soon in Goslar."

I traced the new road on the map, it fitted exactly what we had just covered."

"Can we turn round?"

"Not easily. Look" I showed her our current position, "if we keep going we can work our way round,” I told her with more confidence than I felt.


"Anyone could have done it Jools, that rain, the windows steamed up."

"Anyone could, I did"

"We'll just be a bit later getting there"

I started us away again, taking the microphone from the dash.

To be continued.

Maddy Bell 25.10.05


Pictures of Nena have been generated using Ania's 'Cherie' Fkiss doll on Angy-Chan's template and are Copyright 2004. They are used with permission, if you'd like to see more go to www.acharsi.prv.pl

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