Prelude to a Storm,
Prelude to a Storm
Text copyright 2014 Cecily Magnon
All Rights Reserved
12 Angels Publishing
Table of Contents
About the Author
Books from Cecily Magnon
To my husband and kids, I do this for you. I love you guys!
To Nancy and Alita, what can I say; but this dream wouldn’t be where it is without you. I love you both!
Mid July, 1984
Sarah sighed deeply, looking at the long stretch of road ahead of her. Her right hand loosely held the steering wheel and her left arm leaned against the window as she and her best friend sped down the freeway to start their “summer-to-remember.”
She was contemplating what she wanted to do with her life. She was only seventeen, just graduated, and right now, right this moment, all she knew was that she was up for an adventure. She felt excited over the current feeling of freedom and she wanted to relish in the moment. Her parents were incredibly strict and she didn’t know when this type of “gift” would come upon her again.
“Oh. My. God! We’re gonna totally have so much fun!” Samantha smacked her gum loudly.
She looked at her friend. The girl was moving her head in circles to catch different parts of her face in the small sun-visor mirror. She applied her bright red lipstick and puckered her lips into a tissue. Sarah smiled at her friend’s preening habits and wondered how Samantha ever got herself out of the house on time. Her hair alone took at least one can of hairspray before Sam was satisfied that the stiff waterfalls she called bangs would actually hold their shape.
Sarah reached for the cassette sticking out of the player and pushed it in. She heard it click and the wheels started winding to play a song.
Like a virgin. Touched for the very first time…
Samantha squealed in delight, turning the volume up on the car stereo. “I love this song! I love Madonna! She’s totally fearless.” She looked into the mirror again and fluffed her hair, “If I dyed my hair blonde, I could totally look like her.”
Sarah looked over at Samantha posing in front of the miniature mirror. “You’re way prettier,” she snorted, stifling a chuckle, “but you sound like a cat in heat when you sing.”
Samantha shrugged, ignoring her last comment. She was back to fixing her make-up. After a moment, she turned slowly, looked at Sarah, the twinkle in her eyes shining with mischief. She raised an eyebrow and a smirk curled the corner of her glossy red lips. “Van didn’t seem to mind…”
Sarah’s eyes darted between her friend and the road. Her expression turned suspicious. “Ok, spill.”
Samantha blushed, her face matching the redness of her lips. She giggled nervously.
She could hear Samantha gulp. “What is it?”
“Whew!” Samantha blew out, fanning herself with her hand. “I’m hot! Is the A/C on?”
She eyed her friend suspiciously. “Samantha Montclair,” her tone was accusatory. She raised an eyebrow herself, realization dawning on her. “You didn’t!?”
Samantha buried her face in her hands, “Yes! I did!” she groaned, her voice muffled.
Sarah laughed and hooted.
Samantha groaned and slumped down in her seat. She looked miserable.
Sarah waggled her eyebrows. “So, how was it? You have to tell me!” She poked her friend’s side.
“I’m still sore!” Samantha was trying to stifle a laugh. “Oh my god, it hurt!”
Sarah couldn’t stop smiling at her friend.
“… but I would totally do it again!”
This was going to be a fun day. They’d left early in the morning, telling Samantha’s parents they wanted to get an early start shopping and would be gone all day. Of course, they didn’t say, they would be shopping in Tijuana, but… Sam’s parents didn’t ask.
They were almost to their destination. The Mexican border was only about a mile away and they had to start looking for a parking lot. Sarah was still trying to interrogate Sam when she spotted a lot not too far from the border. She began to slow down and turned into the gated space.
She was still prodding for info as they readied to cross the border. She’d never been with a boy and was dying to know what sex was like; that her best friend was withholding information from her was a form of unnecessary torment.
“Saaaam. Tell me.”
“There’s nothing to tell.” Samantha’s face scrunched up. “It wasn’t all that good.”
“You said you’d do it again!”
“Well, yeah, but I didn’t say it was good.”
“What?” she asked.
“We were done in like a minute! Seriously. I don’t even think he kissed me,” Samantha huffed.
“Oh.” Sarah was disappointed at the news. She thought it would be more meaningful, more special, and more breathtaking than that. “Well that sucks.”
“That’s what Van should have been doing to me!” Sam chuckled. “Instead of just poking me. I swear, I thought he was having a seizure!” Sam rubbed the back of her head. “I had the worst headboard headache. I think I’ve got a goose egg back there.” She groaned. “Ech! Never again with that guy.”
Sarah was laughing now, “Oh my god.” She wiped at her eyes, “Come on Madonna, let’s go.”
They decided to travel light, anticipating that they would be doing a lot of walking. They each brought a backpack and made sure they only brought the essentials -- cameras, IDs, and money. They twined their arms together and began their entry into Mexico on foot, both girls giddy with excitement. From the parking lot to the border was only a block, and once across they hailed a taxi to take them to Tijuana’s famous market place.
“Avenida Revolución, por favor.” Sarah said to the cab driver. Her Spanish sounded a lot better than she thought it would; four years of Spanish class with Sam was finally paying off.
“Impressive, Ms. Amalfi,” her friend snickered.
The cab driver simply nodded from his seat and waited for the girls to get into the back of the cab.
He watched them settle in from his rear view mirror, his dark eyes looking impatiently at the girls. “Cierra la puerta,” he demanded.
Sam scowled, not appreciating being bossed around. She slammed the door, rocking the old thinned door panels underneath the window. The car frame shook, knocking the little green fragrant tree, off a jimmy-rigged hook, taped against the door.
The cab lurched forward, tires screeching. The driver leered menacingly at them as he merged into tightly packed traffic.
Sarah’s eyes widened, her nails digging into the seat. She caught the driver’s stare within the rear view mirror and gasped out, “Perdón, señor,” hoping her apology would calm the driver.
The dark eyes squinted at her through the rear view mirror, and gave no heed to slowing down. He looked away from her and swerved sharply to the left. Sam fell to the floor, and Sarah slid hard to the right, hitting the other door panel with a thud. Sarah grabbed for Sam’s arm to help her back into the seat. “Apologize,” Sarah gritted out.
Sam huffed at her and rolled her eyes before catching the driver’s attention, “Disculpame, Señor,” Samantha droned out.
The cab started to slow, the driver’s temper seeming to cool with Sam’s apology, the ride becoming less jerky from frequent and abrupt stops. Sarah released her nails from the vinyl seat and finally let out her tightly held breath.
“Gracias, Señor.” Sarah offered. She was
She felt Samantha’s arm next to hers. She leaned away wanting more room while she caught her breath, but then changed her mind and decided to hit Sam on the shoulder. “You almost got us killed.”
“I didn’t do anything.” Sam said innocently, then started talking non-stop about all the shops she wanted to visit, and to remind her to get souvenirs for everyone, and to make sure that she didn’t drink any water, and to make sure she got a picture with a Tijuana Zonkey.
Was this really happening? How could Sam be this cheerful after that ride? Sarah peered at her with one eye open. “Zonkey?” she asked, completely perplexed. “What is a zonkey?”
“They are way cool! You can only find them in T.J. It’s a local tradition,” Sam replied back with a smile.
“What are they?”
Sam chuckled and replied matter of factly, “Zonkeys are donkeys painted to look like