Hi! And welcome back to the Bohemian Legacy Chapter 4.14.
Last time, following Phoenix’s health scare, Generation 5 of the Bohemians, including a newly childified
Coriander, went on holiday to Three Lakes with their grandparents, leaving Requiem behind. Rhapsody
nearly burned the house down, Journey reluctantly bonded with Cori, and Elise obsessed over her
brother’s health. After discovering half a formula for a cure for death left in the Three Lakes cottage by
its previous owner, Elise decided that the only way to save her brother was to track down the person
who had potentially invented this cure, one Mr.Goth of Pleasantview, and the Generation 5 teens
decided to embark on an adventure in a bus.
So, if you’re with me, turn the page for Roadtrip adventures!
“Yes Daddy, I’m sure.” It was only the eighth time River had asked her that question since
breakfast. Dee smiled amiably into her father’s shirt as he nearly suffocated her with a hug. “Food,
fresh clothes, sleeping bags, emergency medical kits…I’m pretty sure I even caught Journey
lugging his guitar into the back earlier. We’ll be fine I promise.”
After several hours of brainstorming and systematically discarding increasingly elaborate lies to tell
their parents in order to be allowed to skip out on school and other responsibilities for an
uncertain stretch of time they had come up with the perfect ploy.
Tell the truth.
It was dastardly in its simplicity and surprisingly effective.
River released his daughter “Well be safe and have fun driving down to the beach.”
Ok, so not the whole truth. There were limits even with their parents. They were quite happy to
release their children into an irresponsible road trip to wander aimlessly in the general direction
of the sea side. They would most likely be somewhat less happy to release them on a very
deliberate mission to track down a potentially dangerous scientist and ask for his help in bending
the rules of humanity for Phoenix.
That was the moment Journey chose to lean on the horn and glare out the window impatiently at
Giving her parents one last perfunctory goodbye hug Rhapsody dashed down the porch and
settled into the driver’s seat of the bus.
River wrapped his arm around his wife’s waist as they stood on the porch and watched the bus
jerk its way down the road.
“They’re up to something aren’t they?”
“Almost definitely. It’s cute that they think we haven’t realized that though.”
No sooner had they left the scattering of houses that constituted their lost little corner of the
desert behind, it quickly became apparent to the seven teenagers that they were in for a
singularly boring scenery.
The desert was immense and empty. They drove for hours through the barren golden landscape,
following the straight road by sandy dunes and flat stretches of nothingness until it became
“You ok?” Turner shook Rhapsody out of her reverie several hours into the monotonous drive.
“Yeah, I’m good” she smiled, rolling her shoulders stiffly “I was just thinking about how if we
hadn’t already seen the mountains and the lakes I might not believe there was anything but
desert in the world…”
Turner squinted ahead “Well even there isn’t at least we’re not the only people who live there.
Check it out.” He nodded ahead “A town…sort of.”
Dee peered out the windshield into the dimming sunlight where Turner was pointing. Sure
enough, shivering uncertainly in the distance like some sort of heat induced mirage, she could
make out what was clearly signs of civilization.
Requiem stepped up beside Turner, a frown on her face, as they drew level with the houses lining
the asphalt highway “Strangetown?” She read a dusty metalic sign as they drove past “I don’t
remember that from any of the maps…”
The others were already crowding around the windows as they began to roll past the first signs of
life they had seen since leaving home.
“Have we taken a wrong turn?”
“I’ll check. Where did you put the maps?” Turner asked, automatically flipping open the glove
compartment. “Dee? Maps?”
“Right…maps” Dee smiled sheepishly at her cousin “I knew I was forgetting something.”
“Are you serious?” Elise, overhearing the conversation was up beside them instantly “You forgot to
bring maps and we’re already lost? How is that even possible! I looked at those directions and
there’s only one road through the desert and it’s totally straight and we’re on that road! We can’t
conceivably be lost!”
“Oh man, is this going to turn into a teen horror flick where we end up hopelessly lost being
picked off one by one?” Journey grinned settling back into his seat as his sister needlessly paused
at the stop sign on completely quiet road, “Hey Elise, start worrying, cheerleaders never make it
far in situations like these.”
“Yeah and you definitely have horror movie survival skills Journey.”
“Well they’re better than yours.”
“Guys! We’re not lost and we’re not going to die. I promise. I’ll just pull in here and we’ll ask for
“Well that’s almost as bad as saying ‘I’ll be right back’”
Satisfied sounds accompanied stretching as seven antsy teenagers piled out of the hot bus into
the slightly less hot outside.
“I am dying for a nice cold drink.” Cayenne sighed as she let a warm spring breeze roll across her
bare skin. Journey muttered something under his breath which she decided to ignore “I saw some
machines when we were pulling in. Who’s in?”
There was a general noise of assent which was followed by some stiff staggering steps around the
bus to fulfill their quest for refreshments.
They’d taken approximately six steps when they found themselves stopping short.
They were being watched.
Or rather, stared at.
In complete silence.
And with obvious curiosity.
It was incredibly disconcerting and the only thing they could really do was stare back. Journey
voiced what they were all thinking first “What is up with their clothes?” Elise jabbed him in the
ribs with her elbow in response.
“Testing! Testing! 1 2 3! Ladies and Gentlemen this is your captain speaking. Guess who found the
Cayenne’s enthusiastic voice echoed around the empty walls where they had set up camp. Night had
fallen quickly after the Strangetown teens had left, and the sound of rain beating on the windows made
everyone grateful they had somewhere dry to spend the night.
“What’s more!” Cayenne continued into the microphone, “Thanks to this family’s questionable,
priorities, while we don’t have any maps we do have about eight billion CDs, so…” Cayenne’s voice
crackled out to silence for a moment before being replaced by the blare of loud music.
No I don’t know where I’m going, But I sure know where I’ve been
Hanging on the promises, In songs of yesterday
And I've made up my mind, I ain't wasting no more time…
…But here I go again…
“Idiot” Journey remarked offhandedly abandoning their makeshift fire to sink down next to
Phoenix a little way off.
“Me or her? Or just people in general?” Phoenix asked, laughing.
“Her obviously” Journey scowled “Although while we’re at it, you’re a bit of a jerk.”
“What did I do this time?”
“I finally worked it out today. I’d been wondering you know. Yeah, don’t think I don’t notice these
things Phoenix.” The blonde boy glanced over his shoulder to notice his cousin scowling angrily at
a neon lighting fixture.
“You’re going to have to help me out here Journey, I’ve got no clue what you’re talking about.”
“I’m talking about this whole roadtrip thing. Ever since Elise started mucking about with those
papers and this trip you haven’t said a thing about any of it and I finally worked out why. You don’t
think we can save you do you?”
…Though I keep searching for an answer, I never seem to find what I’m looking for…
Phoenix smiled tiredly and leaned his head against the crumbling brick work “No I don’t”
“Then why the hell are you letting us all trek across the desert and put ourselves all through this if
you think we’re just going to end up being disappointed in the end? You jerk.”
Phoenix supressed the smile, he knew Journey well enough to know he was lashing out at him out
because he was upset, and he didn’t want him to think he was laughing at him. That rarely went
down well with Journey.
“My mom once told me that the hardest thing about dying wasn’t the dying bit, or the being dead
part. At least not for her. She said it was coming back and seeing how much everyone who loved
her had suffered. Grandma and Grandpa, your Dad, aunt Saffron…” Phoenix pushed the hair from
his brow as he looked at his sister, deep in conversation with Requiem around the fire “I don’t
want to die Journey. But what sucked the most when I was sick last time was how much it sucked
for you guys. So if there’s even a tiny chance that this can save me I’ll go along with it because it
makes Elise happy to have some hope, because not letting her try would be more selfish than
demanding that you do…”
“Because we’re the ones who have to live without you if you die. Not the other way around”
“You’re the most annoyingly selfless dying person I know Phoenix”
…and I’m gonna hold on for the rest of my days, ‘cause I know what it means, to walk along the
lonely street of dreams…
“Nnnnnnggghhhh…too early….so tired… don’t want to drive…...going to crash…unable to form
“There’s nothing to crash into Cayenne, it’s the desert, the worst you can do is drive us into a sand
“Do not get cute with me Elise. Who sets a cell phone alarm clock for 6 a.m when we’re going to sleep
at 3 a.m?”
“I wanted to get an early start. It’s our own fault for getting caught up in Dee’s project that we were up
“What can I say, I hear art project and my common sense goes on holiday. It’s a family weakness. And
Dee was right, there’s nothing quite like making a statement. Also we look snazzy.”
“Still if you wanted to get more sleep-”
“Elise shut up and admit we look snazzy.”
“We look snazzy.”
“Now admit that you’re just as tired as I am.”
“ Aaaaaand I’m ignoring you. Now, if we can be serious for a second! Even without maps I’m pretty
sure I’ve got this itinerary figured out. We can probably start getting out of the desert by this
afternoon, and then I think we can probably be in Pleasantview in two days.”
“Yeah right, that seems like it’ll happen.” Journey leaned over Cayenne to get to the stereo “Who
wants some driving music?”
“If we drive through the night, and don’t get distracted any more we can make it in two days.”
“Elise” Journey sighed, giving his cousin a withering look “Lighten up.” He jammed a CD and hit
play. As it turned out he was right. It definitely took them more than two days.
Whooo umm yeah...
Well, life's like a road that you travel on
There's one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind