Chapter 9: Retail Therapy

It was windy on the hill where the outdoor mall was. Instead, since there was nothing better to do, everybody went to the mall.

"Well, I've gotta get some parts for the bus. They forgot to mention the wheel axel was states away from cracking off." Vince complained pointing to a parts shop near the other end of the mall.

Holly, Emily, and Tina (who dragged along Gary the pack mule) all decided to go to the boutiques next to them. Ben decided to go once he woke up from all the commotion going on in the back of the bus with Vince (even though he knew nothing about cars) and Haley tagged along (because her dad had taught her about cars a child) just to make sure they (and by 'they' I mean 'Vince') didn't screw-up and buy something that wouldn't help them.

A little bell rang above their heads as they entered the store. Decorative and ornate car pieces hung on the high red walls. Shelves lined the inside of the store, filled to the brimmed with parts even the owner probably didn't understand.

"What do we need to fix a tire axel?" Vince trailed off to himself.

"I know absolutely nothing about cars." Ben said. He was now wearing a pair of tan khakis and a blue shirt with a flag of England on the front.

Ben looked over at Haley, who hadn't yet answered Vince's question, who was now wandering the next isle.

"He's the one who thinks girls don't know a thing about cars and I probably know more than him. I figure I'll just let him figure it out."

Ben's face was covering in question.

"And what if he gets the wrong thing?"

"I won't let him buy the wrong thing. I just wanna make him feel silly."

He didn't object to that and the duo walked into another isle.

Vince, who was now at the end of the shelf, was reading a label on a tool of sorts.

"Uh, Vince?" Haley asked.

"What?"

"What're you trying to fix again?"

"The cracking wheel axel."

"You do know that container is windshield wiper fluid, right?"

Vince, not quite ready to give up, held up the other thing in his hand.

"But this'll help, right?"

Haley doubled over laughing, causing him to get partially annoyed.

"Vince," Ben said smiling, "Even I know that that's a window squeegee..."

Now they were both laughing as they walked away. Vince had no emotion as he swung the squeegee through the air, trying to figure out how it could be used to fix an axel.

"I don't see it!" he yelled after them.

Ben and Haley were now in the next room, painted blue with hollow motors hanging from the ceiling on steal cables.

"What're you getting?" Ben asked as Haley picked some things up off another shelf.

"Stuff for the wheel. Also known as THE STUFF VINCE COULDN'T FIND IF HIS LIFE DEPENDED ON IT!" she yelled making sure Vince heard.

There was a, "PUT A CORK IN IT!" from their friend in the distance.

Ben was looking at a wide variety of bolts when he heard a scream. He whipped around just as one of the ceiling motors fell from above, and landed just a few feet in front of Haley.

Her hand was covering her mouth and she had squished up against the shelf to prevent being squished herself.

After the adrenaline had stopped, the two exchanged wide-eyed glances and she knelt down to the pieces of metal littering the ground.

"Oh, crap!" she muttered shoving the machine over, to reveal a gigantic dent in the floor.

"Are you alright?" Ben asked rushing over.

Haley looked up at him with, what was possibly, the most innocent look on her face she could've created without meaning to.

Her blazing blue eyes were wide and blameless and she was biting her lower lip, leaving him speechless.

They kept in that exact stance until the manager and Vince came running around the corner.

"Oh my God, are you alright?" the older man in his uniform said helping Haley up off the floor.

"Yeah I'm -I'm fine. It didn't touch me."

Everyone looked up at the pieces missing from the ceiling. If it had hit her…

"What on Earth did you do?" Vince said, a tint of humor in his voice that only earned him a hit on the upper arm from Haley.

"Vince! I didn't do ANYTHING! It just… fell!"

"In the wrong place at the wrong time I suppose." the owner said, "What were you looking for over here?"

"Parts to fix a wheel axel."

"Well, please, as a token of our apology, let us fix your vehicle and pay for the supplies."

The three exchanged glances.

"Uh, sure… Thanks." Vince grumbled, his hand behind his head.

Vince, Haley, and Ben showed the two assigned employees where the bus was and, after further explaining the car troubles, they were told their vehicle would be fixed within the hour. "So… What do we do in the meantime…?" Haley wondered out loud as she chewed on her lip. She held her arms tight to her body as a freezing fall wind blew straight through her shirt and swept over the parking lot. "I think I should stay here with them." Vince said uncertainly, "Why don't you two go see if you can find Gary, Holly, Tina, and Emily? They should be around somewhere."

Ben looked over at Haley just as stopped shivering. She looked to him and said, "Sure. We should tell them."

"Come on." He said assuring, leading her away from Vince and the two men in uniforms working on the wheel.

Vince watched them walk away, shaking his head with a smirk on his face. He ran his fingers through his hair, messing it up slightly. He could tell something was up between those two.

And with that, he turned back to the bus and went inside to get his jacket.


So the tenth chapter is where I left off :b Literally. I ended with "Chapter 10: " Ahahaha. I'll update soon… maybe…