Moonshine stormed out of her house, her face red with frustration and her fists tightly clenched. She slammed the door behind her and ran up the street, but didn’t get far before she had to double over, holding a stitch at her side, gasping for air.
Parents were totally unnecessary, she thought. It’s always ‘do this’ and ‘do that’ with them. Especially her stepfather, the miserable old waste of life. He was so bored with his own life he had to try and ruin hers! Ironing, washing up, ironing, ironing, washing up, vacuuming the house, and now its ‘get a job’. Now she’s a slob, lazy and good for nothing. And getting a job was just, well, effort!
Once she’d reached the only bench on the whole estate, just on the borders of Healey Dell - the nature reserve - she threw herself onto it, still knackered from that brief outbreak of strenuous physical activity. She knew from past experience, running was something she should never do. She pulled her legs up with her onto the bench and put her face in her hands. ‘I’ve had enough!’ she thought desperately, ‘I’ve had enough of boredom and rules and stupid stepfathers! I need to get away … I need to do something exciting – something different. I was never meant for this stupid little estate. I need fast cars, money, diamonds and magic! And not the kind of magic my next door neighbor sells to teenagers in mushroom form.’
She folded her arms to pull her jacket tighter around her to keep away the cold. She’d just noticed goose bumps raising all over her skin, making her shiver, but then she felt her phone vibrate from her skirt pocket. She pulled it out and looked at the caller ID. There was none.
For a few moments she considered not answering her phone, but then she decided that nobody at home was smart enough to withhold a call, so if it were they, their names would flash up on the screen. She clicked a button to answer the call and pressed the phone against her ear, waiting for the caller to speak.
‘Hello? Moonshine? Hahaha.’
‘Yes?’ she replied uncertainly.
‘Haha, parents are driving me insane.’
‘Mike?’ she laughed. ‘Oh, it’s you!’
‘Yup, hahaha.’ He replied. She could picture the huge grin on his face.
‘You don’t sound very angry.’
‘I am. Hahaha. I’m totally furious. Ha.’
Moonshine thought for a moment. They needed escape their controlling parents … but where to go…? Suddenly Moonshine was blinded by a bright light that came from above her. It was late evening, so it can’t have been the sun. She peered up curiously, squinting; just about making out a light bulb floating inches from her head. Strange.
‘What does the appearance of such a thing mean…?’ she wondered, scratching her chin. She could hear Mike still chuckling about his rage on the other end of the line.
Quite abruptly, the light bulb brightened so that Moonshine had to cover her eyes with her free hand, and with it realization dawned on her.
‘I know! We should go to Japan!’ she exclaimed into the phone and jumped to her feet, hitting her head on the burning lamp in the process. She cried out in pain and slapped a hand to her scorched forehead.
‘Japan? Haha, that’s better than my idea of Rome, haha!’
‘And my previous idea of Mexico! That would be way too obvious!’ Moonshine laughed excitedly, forgetting about her blistering forehead.
‘Yes! We could do some crazy street racing! YEAHH!!! Hahahaha.’ Mike was suddenly overcome with giggles.
When they had both calmed down a little, Moonshine put on a very serious face and said, ‘Now all we need is enough money to get there …’
She thought deeply, a hand twisting a strand of loose hair. She sat back down on the bench as Mike chortled thoughtfully.
Meanwhile a chav on a bike peddled by. He did a wheelie and fell off the end, turning bright red before leaving his bike dumped in the middle of the empty road and getting a cigarette out of his pocket, lighting it and smoking with his hands in his pockets and his Burberry cap askew.
‘Moonshine.’ Mike suddenly said, and Moonshine snapped out of her contemplative trance. ‘There’s a time in everybody’s life when they are forced to take drastic measures to succeed.’
Moonshine was taken aback by his sudden seriousness and drop in pitch.
‘Moonshine, I think the time has come to live on the other side of the law.'
'So how will we get the money?' Moonshine asked, intrigued.
'Ahahahaha. I know a guy...'