“Is Lance gone now Mommy? Little 8 year old Cory was in the back seat, waking up from her nap. She didn’t wait for a response, but added, “I need the bathroom!” Cathy was driving on I-75, heading north, looking now for a place to stop. “Yes sweetheart Lance is gone, we don’t ever have to worry about him again.” She was telling a lie here, she was concerned that he would follow them, but she didn’t want to worry her daughter about it.
A few minutes later she pulled over at a rest stop, but right away the place gave her the creeps. It was a large rest stop, the type that would have restaurants inside. Cathy told herself they would be quick, then grab a few maps on the way out, but there were piles of clothing all over the place, where people had been. “I don’t like this place Mommy!”, Cory said. As they got out, Cathy told her daughter to be fast when she went to potty. She also placed the .357 magnum in her purse. “Mommy, everyone is dead.”, Cory was getting more concerned, as she saw the clothing. “That’s just their clothing honey, the people are gone now…”
They couldn’t go in. Before they even made it to the door, the stench was unbearable, from spoiled food. Peering through the glass doors, Cathy could see some rats scattering in different directions, inside. She took her daughter’s hand, and backed away. They found some bushes near the car, and then headed north again, straight up, towards Ohio. Cathy’s main concern now was hunger. They were not able to pack any food, and they were living on crackers and potato chips, from vending machines.
In Pennsylvania there was a thunderstorm brewing, and Jennifer was increasingly uncomfortable. She did a lot of walking around the house, holding her belly. Miriam took her outside after lunch, until the lightning got too close, and the clouds burst with a downpour.
It wasn’t until that night though, that things started to heat up. Jennifer went to bed early, and fell asleep at about 8:00. At 1:10 in the morning, she woke up with excruciating pain. She curled up in a ball, and turned on her side, yelling, “Ahhhhhheeeeeeeeeuuuuh”. They were contractions for sure. She tried not to bother anyone, because of what time it was, but by 2:00 am the pains were getting closer together, and suddenly she felt a bursting inside. Oh no! It was her water breaking, and she yelled, “Help! I need help!” “Oh God, I need help here!”. Jennifer was not a religious person at all, but when terrible things happened, she always said “Oh God!”, and it made her feel better. Miriam and Jeremiah came running down the stairs, in their pajamas.
At this point Cathy had just crossed over, into the state of Pennsylvania, from Ohio. She was exhausted, but felt a wonderful sense of relief. She knew they still had another, 2-3 hours of driving to do, but she needed to pull over. In the rear view mirror she looked at her daughter sleeping, using her sweater as a pillow.
Once Cathy stopped, she got into the back seat with Cory. She unbuckled her, and held her close. She said softly, “I sure hope this works out, and we get some food!” Tears filled her eyes, and ran down her cheeks. She looked up at the sky, and said, “Can we get some encouragement down here??” She locked the doors, and fell fast asleep.
Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree
Peace and blessings to everyone.
“If you love nature, you will love people.”