Solace in Prudence

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


4. My world crumbles.....

“Wakey wakey, babe!” I open my eyes. Mom is shaking me really hard. It’s completely dark outside and it’s raining too. Charmaine is tap-tapping non-stop on the steering wheel. All around us are cars waiting in line and I spot the airport a few metres away.

I shove my hand into the puppy carrier and stroke Chardonnay gently. The passport control man strides over in a glow-in-the-dark uniform and taps on the window. Charmaine rolls the window down and hands the man the passports. The man peers into the car and starts checking our passports.

Charmaine’s tapping becomes more and more impatient and mom starts switching her diamond rings from finger to finger, humming an oldies song under her breath. The control guy looks mom and Charmaine over suspiciously, pressing a button on his walkie-talkie. 

“Just a routine check, miss. Please step out and come this way.”

I feel really awake now. Something’s not right. Other cars are whizzing past to the airport and we’re stuck here with the airport control. Charmaine groans and unlocks the car doors, stepping out into the rain. Mom lets out a pathetic squeal and starts rocking on the balls of her feet.

Minutes later, we’re surrounded by flashing blue lights and shouting police. The doors are pulled open, Mom and Charmaine are handcuffed and the car boot is popped for searching. A large ball of worry drops into my tummy and I start rocking too, because I realize that Crimewatch was true and Sam was right. 

Mom’s in trouble. Big trouble.

Mom starts screaming and fighting back, pulling and struggling at the police. Her anger is in full throttle and I wish they knew how to soothe her tantrums. The rain beats down on her, drowning her voice and making her a black shape in the blur. I narrow my eyes in panic. 

“Mom!”  I shout from the back seat. “What’s happening?” 

A female police officer slides into the car and sits next to me.

“I’m Catherine,” She says. “Your mom and her friend need to be taken into custody for a while. Could you tell me more about your mother?”

I pause. I don’t know much about mom, except that she ran away from her home on a small island when she was twenty. I’ve never met my dad either, because he did a runner before I was born. That’s all mom ever wants to tell me. For my whole twelve years of my life, it’s just been mom and me.

I shake my head.  “Just mom and me.” I quip and Catherine sighs. 

She jumps out of the car and shouts, “Bring the girl to the station!”

Before long, I’m sitting in a police car with my luggage. I sneak Chardonnay from her carrier into my rucksack. She hasn’t made a sound, even with all the surreal drama happening. She’s such a good pup.

The car roars off towards the nearest police station. I see Mom yelling and crying in the other police car, her mascara running and her cheeks pale. I pass her, and my gut twists in horror.

I can’t stop my hand from tap, tap, tapping on the window.


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