Chapter *9.01*

News from Home

"No reply." Mad sighed.

"We'll try again later love, they're probably at a race or some such."

"Why Mum?" the teen was pulled into a hug by Carol who was more than a little upset herself.

"These things happen love , " she consoled, stroking her distraught daughter's hair.



“.... Bicycle, bicycle, biiiicycalll race!" Drew launched into an air guitar solo as the stereo pumped out the familiar interlude to Queen's anthemic cycling homage.

Unlike some return trips in recent weeks, today everyone was happy.

"You are such a rock chick, " Roni half giggled as Drew started to shake his head about in time to the music.

"You got it, shake it!"

"Well shake it a bit less please." Dave suggested from the front.

"Er soz."

"So who was ringing?" Ron enquired, referring to the missed call in the restaurant.

"Dunno, never looked."

"Don't believe in Peter Pan, Frankenstein or Superman, all I wanna do is bicycle." Freddy Mercury continued wailing as Bond junior flipped open his handy.

"‘S only Mad, prob'ly got some new nail varnish." he dismissed his cousin's effort to contact him - last time she'd rung to tell him about a new bra she'd bought!

The new bus certainly had a bit more perk than the old one and they made good time on the drive north to the Grönberg's place, Drew and Roni breaking into karaoke mode each time the stereo squawked out a familiar tune.



"Try the house phone luv, you can at least leave a message." Carol suggested as she gripped her offspring's shoulders.

"Uh huh." Maddy sniffed.

She s tabbed in the number from memory and waited for it to pickup across in Germany.

Brrp brrp, brrp brrp, brrp brrp. The phone did its customary three rings before the answer phone kicked in, even though the message was in German the message was pretty obvious 'we're not in, leave a message'.

She waited for the tone then sniffed into the phone, "Drew? Anyone? It's Maddy; ring me as soon as you can, something horrible has happened. Er bye."

She put the receiver down and turned into her mothers embrace, " W hy , M um?"

Carol didn't have any kind of answer, leastways none that would help her daughter, she was having enough trouble reconciling what had happened herself.



Beep, beep, beep.

'She seems to be stabilising.'

'BP's still fluctuating a lot.'

'Are the parents here yet?'

'I'll get someone to check.'

'I don't think she'll get through another arrest.'

Beep, beep, beep.

'Can we get some more blood in here?'

'BP's dropping!'



Dave pulled the bus onto the drive and set the handbrake. "Home!"

"Eh?" his passenger croaked.

It had been a long day and even Drew's batteries ran down sometimes.

"Come on , kiddo, up and at 'em." Dave prompted giving his offspring a nudge.

Drew stretched himself out before undoing the seatbelt.

"Bring your bag in." Dave instructed from the rear.

'Nag , nag.' Drew mumbled as he untangled himself.

"And shut the doors when you come in."

"Yes , Dad."

"And ring your cousin back."

'If it's another flippin' bra I'll strangle her with it.'

"Yes Dad."

He gathered his stuff together, shut the bus up and headed into Schloss Bond.



"I'll get it!" Drew sang out as the house phone started chirping, "probably Mads."

"Bond residence."



"Is your Dad there Jules?"

"Mum, it's Drew, we just got back."

"You're late."

"We had to drop Roni off and celebrate."

"Okay then, spill."

"Two podiums, first and third."

"I'm guessing by your tone you were the top step." Jenny opined.

"Might've been, so how'd you get on?"


"Beat you!"

"Maybe, can you put your Dad on Muffin?"

"I'll just shout him, DAD! MUM!"

"You didn't need to shout," Jen complained.

"He's downstairs, so when are you home?"

"Thursday I think."

"Dad's here." Drew passed the phone to Dave and headed for his eyrie.



No sooner had he kicked off his shoes than his Handy started emitting some bit of Euro pop that Pia had programmed in last week.


"Heya, Gabs."

"Oh hi, Con."

"How'd it go today?"

"So so."

"You won again didn't you?"

"Someone had to."

"I'm sure that's not how the rest saw things."

"That's their lookout."

"Anyway, on to important things."

"Huh, you can go off people."



"Oh right, you know its Anna's birthday this week?"

""Friday right?"



"Well P and Steff suggested a surprise party, what do you reckon?"

"Bit short notice."

"That's the beauty, she'll have no idea."

"True, so what's the plan?"




It was knocking on midnight before the round of calls came to an end and Drew finally put the phone down. It was pretty much all planned, Max was supplying the venue, Mart was in charge of music - they had to be useful for something and for once Drew just had to turn up.

"You in bed , kiddo?" Dave enquired from the landing below.

"Nearly, what did Mum want?"

"Just sorting some stuff out for the post season."


"Well you won't be interested in a trip to Japan then?"


"Keep your hair on, nothing's settled yet but the team have been invited to ride in the inaugural Women's criterium series out there, your Mum thought we could make it into a family trip - if you're up for that?"

"Am I?"

"I'll tell her yes then when she rings tomorrow, you've got school in the morning."

"Worst luck."

"Don't stay up too long."

"I won't, g'night."

"Night , kiddo."

Japan, wow!



“Did you ring England last night?” Dave enquired when Drew appeared in the kitchen.

“Sugar, I forgot all about Mad.”

“You were on that phone long enough.”

“We were planning Anna's party.”

Dave rolled his eyes, “ Well make sure you do, she left a message on the house phone, she sounded upset.”

“Geez, I'll text her when I get to Thesing's.”

“You straight home tonight?”

“Might stop at Con's, I'll let you know.” The diminutive teen replied from halfway down the garage stairs.

“See you later, kiddo.”

“Bye, Dad!”

Dave walked to the window and watched as Drew pushed the lump of the Schauff off down the drive.

‘One day, one day.' He mused at the kids' enthusiasm for life.



“Someone's happy.” Pia mentioned.

“I'm going to Japa-an!” Drew sang out.

“Japan?” Brid enquired.

“Well cool.” Anna noted.

“Not many!” Drew enthused.

to be continued....

Maddy Bell 04.09.11 © 2011

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