Solace in Prudence

Dedicated to 6Pru 2K'16, this story is based loosely around Kate Maryon's 'Shine'.


5. Midnight disaster

We drive to the police station and Catherine sits me in a room with a brown plastic table and flimsy yellow chairs. I hear mom screaming from somewhere down the corridor, saying lots of swear words and shrieking. Chardonnay hears her too, because she starts scrabbling in my rucksack.

“What’s your name?” Catherine asks, and I tell her.

“Clare, I’m really sorry, but we have to keep your mother here for a bit, while the case is being sorted out.” Catherine smiles, trying to make things sound better.

“What about me?” I croak.

“Well,” She says in a trying-to-be-kind way, “Do you have any relatives that might take you in for some time?”

Irritation bubbles up inside me. Ask Valerie, a.k.a my mom, not me! She’s the one who landed us in this mess, she’s the one who cooked up this whole disaster with her stupid kleptomania! Catherine must have guessed how I feel, because she pats my hand gently. It doesn’t help, though.

Chardonnay chooses this time to take a giant leap and try to break out of my bag. The bag tumbles to the ground.
Catherine picks up the bag and peers inside. Reaching in, she holds Chardonnay up.

“Look what we have here!  Your puppy?” She asks, and I nod, my throat dry. Catherine wasn’t supposed to find Chardonnay!  

“I’m sorry dear, but your pup has to be put to the kennels. Your mom is likely to be put in jail and you’re only a kid. Neither of you can handle this pup well. Don’t worry; the police force will take care of her.”

I try to protest, tears welling up in my eyes. But my voice gets stuck in my throat.

Inwardly, I sneer at myself. I must be the only girl who’s had a dog for a day.

Catherine leaves the room with Chardonnay. My pup’s eyes are wide and sad, like she knows what’s going on. I blink hard because I won’t let myself cry. My ears fill with the sound of keys clattering and door clunking. Mom’s still shouting in the background. I look at my phone. It’s one o ‘clock in the morning. 


Catherine comes back in-Chardonnay’s gone, but in her place is mom.


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