A little something I came up with while reading the news a while ago. I'm hoping to really extend it into a novel, but that will take a long time. Usually people put a character profile in this little box here, but I won't. You'll have to read on to find out :) Otherwise knowing the characters will ruin the story for you. Have fun reading and criticising! I'm up for harsh criticism so rip it to shreds :)
Across the road lives a woman. At first glance the house is like any other on Poppy Lane, with an overgrown front yard and a rickety mailbox filled with junk. There is a small basketball hoop near the garage door, and a pink bike left carelessly on the veranda. A row of shoes lines the front door, black pumps and leather sandals next to miniature pink wellies and worn out runners. And then there’s the car, a small 1995 Toyota Corolla that hasn’t been driven for the past 6 months. It is the sight of this car that tears me inside out. Because this car killed my baby.
She goes through the motion of preparing dinner, mechanically chopping the vegetables and wrapping them in foil to be roasted. Turning the oven on to a ridiculously hot temperature, she dumps the wrapped vegetables in unceremoniously and slams the oven door shut. Dragging herself over to the dining table, she slumps down on the chair, exhausted. Ever since the accident she has not been the same. The frequent pains in her chest are killing her, leaving her breathless and sobbing after every attack. Today is no exception.
She straightens as best she could when she hears footsteps jumping down the stairs. Grabbing a tissue she quickly wipes off the tears and slaps on the brightest smile she could manage. The kitchen door swings open to reveal her son, or what is left of her son. The boy rummaging through the pantry has her son’s big brown eyes, but these are so sad. He has her son’s agile limbs, but these are covered in baggy jeans that look two sizes too big for him. She wonders for a brief moment why he is even wearing jeans. He despises them and wears shorts all year round, even in the middle of winter.
Her wonderings are cut short when her son turns and looks straight at her. She sucks in her breath. He hadn’t looked at her like this since, oh, what feels like a lifetime ago. His face lights up with a wonderful smile, a smile with gaping teeth. She stares in surprise, raking through her brain to find when he lost his teeth, but unable to remember. Filled with sudden desire to hold her baby, she springs up from the kitchen chair, knocking it over in her haste.
“Jude,” she whispers as she kneels in front of her son, her arms wrap around his thin frame. His body is slack; he makes no attempt to hug her back. She wraps her arms around him even tighter, hoping for some response.
“Jude, I love you.”
He wriggles, and frees both arms from her grasp. He flings an arm over her shoulder, as if hugging her. She leans in closer, waiting for the sweet moment his arms would close around her neck. But she is disappointed.
Jude reaches into the empty air behind his mother, and makes the motion of grabbing something. Freeing himself completely from her clutch, he heads toward the door, pulling along an invisible thing.
“Come on Jackson, we’re gonna be late!!” he says to the thin air.
Her baby leaves the kitchen without looking back, hand grasping the invisible hand of an invisible person. She kneels on the kitchen floor still, eyes fixed on the kitchen door. It’s like he never saw her at all, just another obstacle to overcome. It’s like she doesn’t exist in his world anymore.