Chapter 2

Written by: Gabrielle Burt

The smile on Sybil’s mum’s face froze as the deafening sound of car horns and screeching tyres fills the air. 

The ground shaking thump that follows has Phil charging through the back door. His “Sorry Gemma.  Don’t like the sound of that!” is flung over his shoulder as he quickly crosses the lawn, hurdles the fence, then stops.  What greets him is chaos.

Burst remnants of a brightly coloured ball flutter incongruously between a badly crushed VW and a broken lamp post.  A child’s shoe lies scuffed and torn in the gutter. Next to it, a crumpled Happy Birthday cup.

A second car has swerved onto the berm.  But not in time to avoid the dents and deep scratches scarring its length.  The elderly driver looks bewildered as he sits on the kerb holding his chest.

Phil’s world changed to slow motion.

A small knot of people have started to gather. Some are on cellphones, tapping out messages. To whom?

The approaching sirens confirm someone has already called Emergency Services.

A passing jogger quickly sizes up the situation and begins to direct traffic. “Keep going. Keep going.” He urges, waving his arms in a forward motion to discourage the curious drivers from slowing down to look.

The wrecked VW, with its Bridget-Jones-flower-in-a-vase-on-the-dash, is a write-off. Its young female driver, her face ashen, lies slumped and motionless, over the steering wheel.

“Miss? Hello? Can you hear me? Miss?” Phil’s knowledge of first aid is very rusty, but he checks for a carotid pulse and notes her shallow breathing. He wishes the paramedics would hurry.

What to do? Stepping back, he surveys the twisted metal to see if he can safely extricate the girl. He thought not.

It was then he saw it!

Caught under the back bumper is a little denim clad bear, with a hole in its foot where the stuffing pokes through. Where the owner has sucked the bear’s foot until it burst. Phil knew it well.

Harry took it everywhere he went.  

Phil didn’t recognize the primal cry that came from deep inside him as he drops to the ground to peer distractedly under the car.

“For the love of God, will someone help me lift this car? There’s a child underneath. His bear…”  Time stops.

A woman, with a small dog, steps forward. “He’s not under the car. There was a little kid. Said he’d lost his ball and wanted his mum. His dad said he’d take him home. The kid didn’t want to go and gave his dad a good kick. Kid was still yelling as they drove off. They did a U-turn right here,” she pointed to the spot, “…in front of the V-dub.  Caused the accident, if you ask me.” Her face drains.  “Oh, no!”

Suddenly Mary is there; eyes huge with unshed tears. “Harry…?”

Instinctively, Phil’s arms go around her.

“I didn’t think it mattered,” she sobs quietly now and hiccupping. “Where’s our baby…?”


Had two reads and ask does the story need this next level of drama? I don't think it does.
Hi Ken
Thanks very much for your comments - I always value feedback. Who knows where this story will go. Your starter and the following author have done great work, (really good reads), but as this is only chapter 2, there's still a long way to go and the next writer(s) may find a perfectly logical and low key explanation for what, at this stage, may seem 'high drama', but is really, only 'circumstantial evidence'.
No worries Gabrielle. That is just my two cents worth. I understand as the originator of this story I have to let it go creatively.
Yes, and that is a very hard thing to do Ken. Take a look at what happened to me in our first ever serial. I couldn't believe where it went but I had to let the writers follow their imaginations. Those imaginations were pretty graphic. (: