Sunday, July 15, 2018

Mom's Taxi #1

Lindsay Baird crammed the duffel bag into the back of the hatchback of her car. She then went back in the house and came back out carrying a yellow and red cooler of lemonade. She closed the hatchback and, again, went back into the house. Four girls sat at the kitchen table, all of them had a bowl of cereal, glass of orange juice, and a plate of toast.

“Girls, the game is in 20 minutes. Eat faster,” Lindsay said.

“Thanks for letting me sleep over last night, Ms. Baird,” one of the girls said.

“You’re welcome, Maddie, but ‘eat faster’ did not mean to stop eating and talk to me.”

“Sorry,” Maddie jammed a massive spoonful of cereal into her mouth, milk dripping down her chin.

“She got to spend the night?”

“Georgia…” Lindsay sighed.

“Why couldn’t I spend the night?”

“You night fart too much,” one of the twins said.

“I do not, Brooklyn,” Georgia whined.

“Girls. Come on, we have to go,” Lindsay said in a loud voice.

In the car, Brooklyn sat in the passenger seat while the other three girls sat in the back. Georgia was sitting behind Lindsay. A few blocks from the house, Georgia began kicking Lindsay’s seat. She giggled as she did it then started saying “Kick.”

After a minute or so, Lindsay looked in the rearview mirror. “Can you stop kicking my seat?”

“It’s not us, Mom,” Karmen said.

“I know, Karmen. I’m talking to Georgia.”

“It’s not me, Mrs. B,” Georgia said. “Kick,” she kicked the seat.

“Well, you’re sitting right behind me and saying ‘kick’,” Lindsay said.

“No, I’m not,” Georgia responded. “Kick.”

Lindsay sighed. As she approached 32nd Street, she saw the orange and white of construction blocking the road. She sighed again, angrily this time. “Eff,” she muttered.

“I know what you wanted to say,” Georgia piped up.

“We all know, Georgia,” Lindsay said as she made a right turn.


“Georgia!” Lindsay snapped. Lindsay drove a couple blocks until she came to Alexandria Street. She turned left and kept driving. Over the course of the next mile, the scenery changed and the pavement ended.

“Mom, what’s going on?” Karmen asked, looking at the odd trees that suddenly lined the deteriorating road.

“I don’t know. The road was fine a few seconds ago. There’s no room to turn around,” Lindsay looked around and stopped the van. “What is going on?” she echoed her daughter.

She got out of the van and looked around. Something was different and it wasn’t just the odd-looking plants and trees. The air smelled different and felt different as she breathed. The sky was also different--a darker blue than she normally saw.

Georgia opened the door and got out of the van. “Are we lost, Mrs. Baird?”

“We’re not lost, Georgia. You girls stay in the…” the van door slammed closed and all four girls were now outside the van “...van…” Lindsay sighed.

“We can’t hold the game anymore,” one of the referees shouted at Christine Hetrick, Georgia’s mom, at the soccer field. “Either put in four of your benched players or forfeit.”

“But there’s a reason we keep them on the bench,” Christine said. She turned around and looked at the girls sitting down. “Get on in there. Go ahead and have fun because we definitely aren’t going to win this game.”

“That’s inspiring,” one of the girls sarcastically said.

The game began and while it wasn’t completely a slaughter, they were beaten 7 to 4. All through the game, Christine tried to call Lindsay but each call went directly to voicemail. Even the calls she made to Georgia . Toward the end of the game, she called another number.

“Christine?” a man answered.

“Hi, Andrew.”

“Hey. How you doing?”

“I’m good. I have an odd question. Have you seen Lindsay?”

“Not since our last custody trade-off with the girls last month. I’m not exactly Lindsay’s favorite person right now.”

“So you haven’t seen Brooklyn or Karmen either?”

“A week or so ago, but not today,” Andrew started to sound worried. “Is something wrong?”

“They were supposed to be here for a soccer game.She had Brooklyn, Karmen, Georgia, and Maddie with her. She hasn’t shown up and the game is almost over.”

“What field are you at? I’m on my way.”

Lindsay drove down the deteriorated path a bit until it virtually disappeared. It became little more than a footpath skirting the edge of a forest. On the other side of the road was a large plain of grass. Lindsay parked, turned off the van and got out which caused the four girls to get out as well.

“What do you say, girls? Do we keep driving? Do we turn around? There’s room to do that now.”

“Turn around,” Karmen said, her voice shaking.

“I say we drive up that hill,” Brooklyn pointed at a pointed hill in the plains. “See where we are.”

There was a sudden rustling in the forest next to them. Everyone turned and looked. It rustled again.

“I say we just get away from here,” Maddie said.

“Those birds are weird,” Georgia pointed to the sky.

“Those are bats,” Brooklyn corrected.

“They’re birds. They have beaks,” Georgia scoffed.

“Something’s not right,” Lindsay whispered to herself.

The trees rustled again and parted. A light blue creature appeared. It was a blue like a blue jay with small wispy feathers but very reptile-like.

“No…” Lindsay breathed. The creature was slightly taller than her and seemingly just as curious about her and the kids as she was about it. “It can’t be. This can’t be real.”

“What is it?” Brooklyn asked. Karmen had gotten back in the van.

“I know this sounds weird but,” Lindsay swallowed hard and stuttered. “I...I think it’s a dinosaur.”