29
  • Published:
  • April 17, 2017

Category:
WEP: Delivered

What he must have seen ran through my head a thousand times as I stared at the shivering child beside me. His tiny hands were glued to the heater while his hazel eyes glared at me, letting me know he was only there because I forced him to be. His distrust for me had been evident since I snatched him from the middle of the road. Further evidence was likely appearing on my back and legs with each passing second as bruises would surely be visible the next time I looked into a mirror. For such a tiny person, he could sure throw a monster of a fit. If it was not for the hurt in his eyes, I may have guessed him a sociopath and the cause of his blood soaked t-shirt, which he refused to let me change.

“That’s no longer going to work,” I whispered, as he once again tried to lunge across me and hit the button for the child safety lock.

His fingers slapped my face as he swung, the slight sting nothing compared to his icy touch. I knew he was at risk of losing them to hypothermia, maybe even at risk of dying, but what was I to do? Short of jumping on him and potentially suffocating him, his fear and distrust left me with little options.

I stared at the gas gauge for a few moments, knowing we had an hour, maybe two, until the tank was empty. With the radio saying the storm would last the rest of the day and into the night, that failed to leave me with any since of hope for a speedy rescue.

“Okay,” I said, smiling at him. “If you want to go. I won’t stop you.”

I hit the child lock button, fully knowing the snow that now nearly covered the car would not allow him to open the door, and waited for his reaction. Again, I got nothing more than a hate filled glare. But this time it faded faster than before.

His hand barely grasped the handle and then he stared out what little of the window he could see. The top of the red community mailboxes were the only thing standing out from the white of snow and ice surrounding us. It held his attention until the snowfall fully covered the window. He then stared down at his shirt, his eyes quickly filling with tears. He ripped it off and stuffed it under his seat. He looked to me, embarrassed, letting me know he had been down this road before with little help.

My mind again wandered to what he must live with. This storm was nothing compared to what he must have endured each day, the map of bruises across his malnourished torso told me that. But I kept my thoughts to myself and simply took off my jacket. I went to place it between us but he reached out and grabbed it, his frozen fingers brushing against my hand as he took it. He quickly pulled them away, acting as if he had done something wrong. I smiled and placed the jacket between us while he fought through his shivering, still thinking it a trick.

I went to playing with the radio, trying to get something more than the static across every station, and he finally succumbed to his want for warmth. He wrapped himself in the jacket, refusing to zipper it up. He used the sleeves to wipe his eyes and flinched as I moved my hand toward him. If he could have gotten any closer to the door, he would be on the other side of it. His fear left as I calmly yanked the jacket away from his face, allowing him to see. I swear that it was the first time anyone had done such a simple thing for him, as the tension he had been holding in his body since I snatched his bewildered self off the snow-filled roadside began to fade.

“You know, it’s a crime to open other people’s mail, but I won’t tell if you don’t. Deal?” I grabbed a few letters I had yet to deliver and smirked as he nodded at me.

“Dear Mrs. Broome, I am writing to inform you that my quest to receive the $935.56 that you owe me has taken a new turn. I have sent it to a horrible witch that will track you down and call you day and night. Should you refuse to pay they may cast a spell on you and forever prevent you from buying anything again.” I smiled as I showed him the bill, knowing then and there he had never been taught how to read.

“How do you stop a bad person like the witch?”

I could barely hear his whisper, but I have never heard anything louder in my life. He inched closer, leaning over as I opened the next bill.

“Let’s see here. This is another person who the witch is after. She wants $65.24 from them. No witch stopping power here.” I chucked the bill aside and pulled open another one. “This one is free of the witch. There must be some bad people stopping power in here. Let’s see if we can’t find it together.”

I held the bill close, pretending that it held some super secret to rid the world of bad people, and turned off the car, wanting to save the remaining gas to drive us out of there after the storm. I crawled in the back, wrapping myself in the blankets I used to keep dog hair off the seats. I lifted up one side and, after much contemplation, he crawled back and slipped under them, curling up beside me.

I pulled him closer, wrapping the blankets tightly around us. He rested his head on my shoulder and stared at the bill I held up, believing it held the answer to stopping bad people.

“Now let’s see what secret they found.”

Word Count: 997

There we are. Not sure where this one came from but popped on in as I thought on what to give a spin. Plus I like stretching my skill a bit. Thoughts? Yay? Nay? Go away?

Enjoy life, forget the strife.

29 Comments

Snowcatcher

2017-04-17 13:22:35 Reply

Well, you know you touched a nerve with me. Being a retired foster parent, is like to see you finish this one. I really like how you slowly built the trust. That’s how it happens in real life!

    Pat Hatt

    2017-04-17 13:45:43 Reply

    Yeah, I thought of you as I finished it. Just popped in but then I now also have a full fledged story idea in my head.

      Snowcatcher

      2017-04-18 01:20:32 Reply

      Awesome!!!

Denise Covey

2017-04-19 03:04:41 Reply

Hi Pat. You got a tear or two out of me with this one. Very deftly done with the slow reveal, which is realistic. So many hurt kids in this world. A good way to share peace and love in a world where there doesn’t seem to be enough to go around. But one by one, we can make a difference. Yeah. You really affected me.

Denise 🙂

    Pat Hatt

    2017-04-19 09:45:11 Reply

    Good thing it is here and not the cat’s, he’d run away with the emotions going lol

    One by one indeed is what it takes.

Olga Godim

2017-04-19 05:43:03 Reply

I definitely want to know what happens next. This story is unfinished, a clear cliff-hanger. I hate cliff-hangers. Tell me fast: how does it end?

    Pat Hatt

    2017-04-19 09:45:49 Reply

    Cliff hangers sure do suck. I know the ending, but spoilers can suck too lol

Elephants Child

2017-04-19 06:48:05 Reply

Sweaty eyes here.
Slow steps, tiny steps, hugely important steps.
More please. Pretty please.

    Pat Hatt

    2017-04-19 09:46:48 Reply

    Step by step ever so slowly will get one there. Whole idea was spun from this so I’m sure more shall show.

Pat Garcia

2017-04-19 10:19:25 Reply

Hi Pat,
I love your how you reveal the damage done to a young child that has probably run away because he was badly mistreated. Your portray of the child’s fear is beautifully done.
Good job.
Shalom aleichem,
Patricia

    Pat Hatt

    2017-04-19 14:24:36 Reply

    Revealed as I pealed on back, glad it was enjoyed at my shack

Nilanjana Bose

2017-04-19 11:12:40 Reply

Very real, very sad, very moving. Too many kids like him out in the world. Hope rescuer and rescued both come out of the snowstorm safe. Beautifully done flash. Loved it. Definitely a yay from me.

Best wishes,
Nilanjana.

    Pat Hatt

    2017-04-19 14:25:13 Reply

    Too many indeed. Sure the snowstorm will be the least of their issues

N. R. Williams

2017-04-19 22:19:36 Reply

I think this was well written and so sad. I fear that neither will survive that snow storm.
Nancy

    Pat Hatt

    2017-04-20 09:36:36 Reply

    They have shelter, that is the main thing.

Yolanda Renee

2017-04-19 23:03:14 Reply

You are one full of surprises. I like that you’re stretching. This is lovely and I can imagine an abused kitten reacting the same. 😉

Yes, please finish it and share. Cliffhangers are a bitch when they aren’t on the next page! 🙂

Thanks, Pat, you done a wonderful job with the prompt. Don’t you just love the way the mind works when introduced to one!

    Pat Hatt

    2017-04-20 09:37:25 Reply

    The mind can go many a way when it is prompted to do so indeed.

dolorah

2017-04-20 03:56:25 Reply

Quite the mystery. Excellent world building, and great insight to the characters. Well done.

    Pat Hatt

    2017-04-20 09:37:57 Reply

    Two for one, works under our sun

DG Hudson

2017-04-20 06:48:15 Reply

Well done, Pat. To many kids, living with abuse is all they know. You touched my emotions with this one and I liked the gentle way you had the main character treat the child. Peace and Love is definitely in this story.

    Pat Hatt

    2017-04-20 09:38:40 Reply

    Too many indeed. Have to slowly build that trust.

artman413

2017-04-20 07:58:45 Reply

Gripping, intriguing and very moving.

I love how you set up the tension between the characters and the way the narrator gradually builds trust with the child while offering little hints of backstory.

And I actually like the cliffhanger. Leaves the reader free to imagine their own happy or sad endings.

    Pat Hatt

    2017-04-20 09:39:53 Reply

    That is one good thing about cliffhangers, let’s the readers mind go where it wants.

Sally Stackhouse

2017-04-20 09:04:47 Reply

Stuck in a snowstorm with a stranger must be as frightening as being abused. I like the way the need for trust is slowly built up. Let’s hope they are rescued or manage to escape the snow.

    Pat Hatt

    2017-04-20 09:39:13 Reply

    Yeah, would be as scary, the not knowing.

Laura Clipson

2017-04-20 09:51:16 Reply

This is a great story, very moving. It has made me curious, though! I’d love to know the rest of the story.

    Pat Hatt

    2017-04-20 14:14:27 Reply

    Plenty more to tell as in my head it does dwell

J Lenni Dorner

2017-04-24 06:20:30 Reply

A very interesting story. I could feel the frustration and the patience, the determination, of the narrator. Good choice for the WEP.

    Pat Hatt

    2017-04-24 10:32:48 Reply

    Takes determination indeed to come to seed

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