Leaving by Intuition (500 words Day 1, 12/18/17, 3rd person, fiction)
She flinched as the car door slammed. Her eyes stayed glued to a broken plastic bottle lying next to a trash can, not giving him the satisfaction of anything more than the flinch. She counted the thumps of her heart as they raced and then found their way to more space between them. She was ok, she was alone, and she was in control of the car if nothing else. The wind blew through and moved the broken bottle further from the trash can. She blinked and shifted the car into gear as if the wind had told her it was time to go. She checked all the mirrors without turning her head and, when she looked in the rearview mirror, made eye contact with the bright eyes of Sam, her little boy. His eyebrows were high and his lips were pursed. “We’re ok, Sam. It’s time for us to go.”
Sam’s face relaxed and he gave his mother a big grin. She smiled in spite of her stress and fear. They were both ok and, like she’d said, it was time for them to go. Pulling her eyes away from Sam, she carefully drove down the alley dodging the various bits of garbage in her path. She wouldn’t need to see this alley again for a very long time. She might even be lucky enough to never find herself here again. The thought brought a smile to her face and Sam, sensing the shift in energy, let out an excited squeal.
She stayed at high alert until they got onto the expressway. The open road combined with the speed of the cars erased the last bits of fear and tension from her shoulders and neck. Sam started singing to himself which made her chuckle and reach for the stereo. “You want to sing songs, Sammy? Let’s sing together.”
The music that poured into the car wasn’t familiar to her, and that didn’t matter. She and Sam sang along with words and sounds of their own making for miles and miles. She kept pace with the other drivers and kept her eyes on her surroundings with particular attention to the exit signs. She didn’t have a plan for where they were going beyond the desire to put a lot of distance between them and that alley. Her gut would lead them to the right exits as long as she stayed focused. Losing focus and ignoring her intuition had gotten her into the mess she just left, and she was determined to do better this time. The huge giggle from the back seat drew her eyes to the rearview mirror. Sam was the good that had come out of her last mistake, and she loved him beyond measure. Now that she had to feel for the both of them maintaining focus was even more important.
The sun moved down in the sky to the point at which visibility was compromised so she pulled down her visor as she pushed her car though a tight turn. As the road straightened up she saw a sign that pulled at her navel. “Crow’s Neck – 15 miles” was clearly where she was supposed to go right now.
* All 500Words are fiction. Any resemblance to people or events is strictly coincidental. *