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The War upon the Motorcar (Cont.)

October 11, 2013

CHAPTER TWO

The car, a poorly maintained, uninsured, ten year old Ford Fiesta, struck Darren right on the side of the head, and had been travelling at such a speed that it dragged the poor little boy under its front end, pushing his face into the road and for several yards before the driver, who was not very quick to react, finally brought the vehicle to a halt.

This driver was called Nobby – an extremely minor local “crim” who only had the car on loan for the specific purpose of “picking up” and “dropping off” at the behest of the drug dealer who’d loaned it to him.

Nobby had taken the short cut through the estate and been driving so fast because he was of course, terribly late for that afternoon’s first, essential appointment. Darren had only appeared to him as a tiny blurred figure just before the car struck, and Nobby spent the next few precious seconds trying to convince himself that the thud of impact he’d heard and felt didn’t belong to a small child but to a small animal such as a dog. Then he was torn between throwing the motor into reverse or getting out of the car and seeing what he could do to help the boy.

“Oh no, oh no!”

Nobby kept saying to himself. This wasn’t his first accident, though it was definitely the worst one yet, and he knew what trouble he was in.

Back in the playground, time seemed to have slowed almost to a halt, as Clara and Jason approached the neighbours they’d entrusted their son with, looked towards the open gate, beyond that to the green car parked in the road. Still too caught up in their silly argument, they couldn’t turn to each other for support, so Clara moved to ask the other mother what had happened while Jason forced himself to walk out of the playground area and into the street, close enough to see his child.

“Mate, he just came out of nowhere, I couldn’t stop in time,”

Nobby was yelling his useless excuses, knowing that not shutting up for a second was his only chance of maintaining any control of the situation.

Jason was struggling to control the vicious anger against all cars and this motorist in particular, that was threatening his judgement, so he might fail to do or think of something or make some mistake that might prevent him from saving the boy.

Nobby was saying,

“I think he’s stuck; we better call an ambulance!”

just as Clara arrived, the other parents closely behind, trying to restrain her.

“If we can lift it,” Jason was saying to himself, “If we can lift it and I can, I can pick Darren up…”

“I really think we need an ambulance, mate. I’ve got a mobile here but I think the battery’s gone. Have you got a phone, anyone?”

It was chaos, other children weeping or, in the case of one that was almost as young as Darren himself, crying so loudly that it was even harder to think sensibly about anything, everything moving too quickly except the one or two really important things that seemed frozen, that might make some difference if Jason could only think them through properly. There were enough adults to lift the car off Darren, but was that right, suppose his damaged head was stuck to the car’s undercarriage somehow?

That was too horrible a thought to even talk about and Jason watched helplessly as Nobby took a phone off somebody but then distracted himself by looking in the back of the car, “for a jack” which did not appear, and then tried to make an emergency call but forgot the new number and ended up handing the phone back and starting the engine up again, which horrified everybody, but he won the argument because he had kept talking louder than anybody the whole time and kept saying,

“I’ll back up, I’ll back up! I’m putting it into reverse, see?”

which seemed a terrible idea but he did it anyway, the car moved back and like a miracle Darren was revealed, lying frozen and face down on the ground, ready for his mum and dad to kneel either side of him, begging him not to be dead.

The car screeched to a sudden halt but the engine noise didn’t stop and, once Nobby had made sure he had a clear way out, he gunned it into an aggressive roar, reversed back up the one way street until he could execute a squealing U-turn and then speed out of the estate’s entrance way, into the relative safety of the main road, before anyone had time to think of noting down his license number.

Now that they were able to see their son Clara and Jason could calm down a little and look at each other, trying to create a sense of hope and strength. The crowd that had gathered also grew quiet, focussing its attention on the poor little boy at the centre of the drama, everyone willing him to pull through, until someone did finally manage to produce a phone and call for an ambulance.

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2 Comments
  1. This is much better than the first episode John well done

    Like

    • Thanks Floozie!

      Like

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