The beginning of a new book I’m developing…
From inside the stopped car, three voices sang in unison as a lullaby, “… radiance bee-eams from heaven above. Heavenly ho-osts sing hallelujah. Christ our Savior is bo-orn. Chri-ist our Savior is born.”
The voices fell silent and a whisper came from the front seat as the man in the driver’s seat turned and whispered, “Has she dropped off, Ulysses?” Sitting close for warmth to the little girl strapped into her booster seat behind the front passenger seat, the chubby tween smiled at his father and nodded, rubbing his gloved hands together.
The woman in the front passenger seat smiled and reached back to pull the blanket more snuggly up around both backseat passengers. She then pulled the voluminous overcoat with which she and her husband were covered more snugly around them as she pressed closer to him, resting her head on his shoulder. He kissed the top of her head, then rested his head on hers, cushioned against her thick, jet black hair. He smiled when she raised a hand in a friendly wave to the highway patrolman passing their car on the way back to his cruiser; the patrolman waved back with a friendly smile. About half an hour ago or so, he had stopped at their car, as he had done all the cars in the line of stopped cars, to tell them the city workmen were hand-spreading the de-icing chemicals on the hill because it was too steep for the sand truck to handle, adding that when the workmen were done, the road would be clearing in about an hour.
The man spoke softly, with laughter in his voice, “Mihra, I might get jealous if you keep flirting with Officer Polk.”
“You? Never.” She responded with gentle teasing in her heavily accented and musical voice, “Carter, you know nothing of how to be jealous.” They snugged up even closer together.
From the backseat, Ulysses whispered with sleepy approval, “Papa, you should hear mama… She’s always finds reasons to bring you up and tell people how great you are. She practically doesn’t talk about anything else.”
“Oh, hush Uly!” Mihra softly admonished laughingly. “You give papa a head too much too big.”
The tween’s chortle was muffled as he snugged back against the seat and pulled the blanket up around his jaw as his eyes closed and he too finally dozed off next to his younger sister.
When he was sure that both backseat passengers were well asleep, Carter lifted Mihra’s face and kissed her gently, then sighed happily. The snowfall finally petered out, and the lights set up for the workmen brightly illuminated the hill and the dozen or so workers toiling assiduously on the rising hill of the road before them. The couple watched the scene drowsily for several more minutes.
Suddenly, a cacophony of horns and shouts rose over the hill. A big rig hove into view at the top of the rise and started down the hill, the drive ignoring troopers and workmen trying to wave him off. As soon as the rig topped the hill, it began sliding and turning sideways down the hill, before beginning to roll violently down the hill, over parked cars ahead. Workmen scattered, diving any way they could out of its path.
Mihra screamed and wrenched Carter’s seatbelt unbuckled as she reached across, flinging his door open and shoving him out it. She reached back without a pause and did the same to her sleeping baby girl with the help of Ulysses, then shoved them both out the door. Carter flung them behind him and tried to reach for Mihra. But, she waved him away and started out the other her own door. Her cut-off screams as the semi-truck rolled on, leaving the crushed wreck with Mirha’s twisted corpse hanging half out the mangled, open passenger side door.
Two Years Later…
The sunshine pierced the late winter gloom of the small, cozy sitting room. The little girl at the window fairly glowed in the beam of light that fell across her. Her jet black sheath of hair glittered blue in the light. The sunlight split into beams as it haloed around her as it continued into the room, falling on the overstuffed wing chair and cluttered table next to the hearth. Next to the chair, a low, cozy fire danced behind the grate in the fireplace. The child pressed her nose against the pristine, broad pane of glass in the center of the picture window seat where she knelt, looking out. She sighed in a rather forlorn way, watching her father shoveling snow on the walk, up onto the waist-high walls of packed snow already lining the walkway.
Her brother, his dark hair with multi-colored streaks dyed haphazardly through the shoulder length, unkempt mess, came bumping raucously down the stairs, making enough noise for any three people together. Throwing his backpack in the corner of the window seat, he crossed the room, knelt briefly on the seat, almost on top of his sister. The prothesis extending from his knee thunked roundly against the hollow base of the window seat. He glared at his father who had finished shoveling snow and was standing at the end of the walk, wistfully watching the neighborhood children at play. The teen’s face wore perpetual scowl of annoyance which flowed into a scowl of derision and irritation as he watched his father outside.
His sister smiled up at him and greeted him with her soft, lilting voice, “Good morning, Uly.” Uly said nothing.
When his view became clouded by the fog of his own breath on the windowpane, Uly turned and sat with a flounce, fiddling with his prosthesis, before heading to the kitchen for breakfast. His sister turned back to the window and watched their father trudging disconsolately up the walk, seeming increasingly weighted with each step. It seemed almost like he was moving through treacle coming up the seven steps up to the porch.
To be continued – I don’t know when…
© 01 May 2018 by D. Denise Dianaty