Sunday, October 21, 2018

Mom's Taxi #4

“I can just ride on Kaa,” Samar said as Lindsay and the girls moved things around in the hatchback.

“If he’s coming with us, he needs to ride in the back or it’ll take us longer to get to town,” Lindsay explained. “Kaa can also stay here.”

“He may be needed. He comes,” Samar said and gently petted the tufts of fur on Kaa’s cheek. “And I don’t care how fast this thing can go, we have to go through the forest. I’ll take at least a day to get to town.”

“Better one than three,” Lindsay said. “We have to get back. We have families waiting for us. You girls ready?”

“Yes,” they all said.

“Everybody get in. Samar gets shotgun.”

What is shotgun?” Samar asked.

“It just means that you get to sit up front,” Lindsay replied and opened the door to get in the car. The girls followed, all cramming into the back. Samar helped Kaa get in the hatchback and then got in the passenger seat. “Buckle up.”

“Why? It’s not like there are other cars on the road,” Georgia said.

“Just buckle your belt,” Lindsay snapped. She started the car and began driving out of the cave and down a path to the north.




“You lied to us about where you were yesterday morning,” the officer said.

“I know. My husband was standing right there. I didn’t want him to know that I was with another man,” Christine sighed.

“So this man you were with, he can vouch for your whereabouts and you his?” the officer asked.

“Yes, but he didn’t do anything.”

“We still need to talk to him, Ms. Hetrick. Is there anything else you haven’t told us?”

“No.”

“What’s the man’s name? His address?”

“Michael Rolfe, let me write it down for you,” the officer slid a notepad and pen over to Christine who began writing down Michael’s name, address, and phone number. “Do you have any leads on what happened to Lindsay and the girls?”

The officer sighed. “No. No one recalls seeing the car after reaching the road construction. We have a witness who said she saw the car turn right off of Atwood. We can’t find anyone who saw her after that,” the officer revealed. “We’ve searched down the next two streets along 32nd--Hepner, which is a dead end, and Alexandria--and found nothing.”

“So what’s the plan now?” Christine asked.

The officer tapped the pen he had in his hand on the table. “Let me walk you out. We will let you know if we find anything out.”

“That sounds reassuring,” Christine sighed.




“Dammit,” Lindsay muttered. The road had narrowed to nearly nothing. A path went off into the trees but the car could not continue through. “Now what?”

“We can continue on foot or turn back and take the north path,” Samar said.

“Why didn’t you tell me that that the road disappeared?” Lindsay said loudly to Samar.

“I’m always on Kaa when I travel to the village. I didn’t think of it,” Samara matter-of-factly said while looking at Lindsay blamingly.

Lindsay sighed and crossed her arms. “Eff.”

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

“Not now, Georgia,” Lindsay huffed.

“Fu…”

“Georgia, cut it out,” Lindsay snapped at Georgia, her brow furrowed. Georgia immediately went silent and lowered her head. “If we go back and take the north path, when will we get to town?”

“Leaving now? Tomorrow night,” said Samar.

“What if we just call today a wash and leave tomorrow morning?”

“Early evening, maybe.”

Lindsay sighed again. “Then we’ll do that,” Lindsay went back to the car. “Is there a place we can camp nearby?”

Samar led them just a few feet from the road. Samar and Lindsay made a fire and sat on the ground. The girls stayed in the car and Brooklyn, Karmen, and Maddie were playing a travel version of Trouble. Karmen and Brooklyn were sitting in the front seat and Maddie was reaching through the seats to the game sitting on the console in the middle.

“I’m glad this game was still in the glove compartment,” Karmen said. “I’m so bored here.”

“Who would’ve thought the land of dinosaurs would be so boring,” Maddie said.

“Georgia, are you sure you don’t want to play? We can still put you in,” Brooklyn offered.

“No,” Georgia answered. Georgia was sitting with her back to the other girls with the passenger side back door open, her feet hanging out of the car.

“Are you okay?” Karmen asked her.

“Fine.”

“I think she’s mad because Mom yelled at her,” Brooklyn said.

“Georgia was acting really annoying. Your Mom is probably stressed enough without Georgia acting like a baby,” Maddie said.

The car door closed. Georgia had left. “Where’s she going?” Karmen asked.

“Probably to sulk in the woods,” Brooklyn answered.

“Should we keep an eye on her?” Maddie peered up out of the car. “She might get lost.”

“Mom and Samar are out there,” Brooklyn said. “She won’t go far and they can keep an eye on her. We’re not her babysitters.”

Georgia wandered away from the car and into the forest. As far as she knew, neither Lindsay or Samar heard or saw her. She kept walking, the way that they were driving, in her mind wanting to get to the town before all of them but mostly just wanting to get away from them.

After a few minutes of walking, her attitude changed and she began to forget why she was angry. She crossed a creek on a fallen log and the trees got denser. She heard a growl of an animal and stopped in her tracks. “I guess it’s time to head back now,” she said to herself and turned around to leave.

Nothing looked familiar. She walked back the way she thought she came but never came to a creek. She went a different direction for a bit but still nothing changed. Georgia then decided to point herself back toward the town and continue walking.

“Where’s Georgia?” Lindsay asked. “Off peeing or something?”

“She was mad so she left,” Brooklyn said.

“Left? Where’d she go?”

All three girls shrugged.

“Dammit,” Lindsay cursed and put her hands on her hips. “You girls should know not to wander away in strange places like this.”

“Yeah, we know that,” Maddie said. “Georgia doesn’t, I guess.”

“Well, we can’t go looking for her unless we want everyone else to get lost. I guess we’ll just wait until morning and hope she comes back or that she’s easy to find tomorrow.” Lindsay turned and looked at the trees. “Dammit.”

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