by Minnette Meador
It was cold. Twenty degrees may not seem like a lot when you're snug in a seventy decree house, but sitting on the side of the road in a dead car with three screaming kids was murder. I was contemplating it.
Paul had stumbled to my bed to snuggle around 2am. He was burning up. 104 degrees and I gathered the entourage and dumped everyone in the car. It was the eighties and single moms were all the rage. Man, was I broke. Childcare was eating up more than half of my income and a severe winter was not helping matters. My car had no tags, no insurance, and probably wasn’t street legal (thanks to DEQ regulations), but this was an emergency. I didn’t call 911. I think in the panic I didn’t even think of it. All I could see through the parental tunnel vision was hopping into the car and driving to the hospital.
The car died about half way there.
I pulled Paul into my lap and rocked him to keep him warm. The twins were bundled in enough blankets to warm the inside of an igloo. They finally settled down when Paul stopped crying and I searched what I could see of the deserted road for a solution to our dilemma.
There were no such things as cell phones back in those days. Rich people had mobile phones in their cars, but the rest of us didn’t. I scanned the terrain and there were only houses, darkened buildings, and silver ice on the lawns and streets. I took stock.
There is nothing so clear in your mind than finally reaching the realization, too late, that you should have made a different decision. Hindsight is always glaringly clear. After letting that thought fry my brain for a bit, I reviewed by alternatives: 1) I could knock on the door of the nearest house (about a block away) and ask for help, but I had three children in the car, twins aged 1 ½ and a three-year-old. None of them had coats or boots on and the triple stroller sat on the porch of my duplex because mom was in such a rush to get to the hospital she literally scooped and ran. 2) Leave the kids in the car and run to the house to get help, hoping nothing would happen to my kids. Just not an option. 3) Try to carry all three. Not in a million years.
I ran my hand over Paul’s forehead and pulled in a shaking breath. He was still so hot and now he was getting lethargic.
Religion is a very private thing for me. Because of that I do not discuss my religious beliefs with anyone… and I mean anyone. However, on that night, in that hour, I adopted them all. I closed my eyes and prayed to any god who would listen to me.
Before I was even done a cascade of beautiful blue and red lights filled the interior of the car. The wailing voice of an angel startled the twins awake and they bawled. Paul stirred in my arms and smiled up at me. I thought they had come for all of us.
Instead, there was a tapping on the window and a bright light filled my eyes. I rolled down the window in bliss, not really caring who it might be. I was just so happy to see someone!
“Hello, Miss.” The voice was deeply masculine. “Are you all right?”
He lowered the flashlight and I saw a gleaming badge on his pocket. His rugged kind face stared down at us and I couldn’t stop the happy tears from flowing.
I spilled the story out in one long wintry breath and he helped me get the kids into his patrol car. I don’t remember if it was a hundred or two hundred times I thanked him, that night and later in a letter to the department.
On the short ride to the hospital Paul sat on my lap his face lit up like Christmas. He chattered non-stop until we reached the emergency room. And, of course, by the time we got in to see the doctor, he was perfectly fine.
In this time of financial turmoil it is difficult sometimes to remember there are so many things to be thankful for. I had a boss once who used to be a nurse. Whenever there was a major disaster or things went terribly wrong, she would turn to me and ask, “Did anyone die?” It always calmed me down.
Happy Holidays to everyone. May you find your own strength in adversity and your own bliss in hopeful times.
DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT FOR A CHANCE TO RECEIVE AN E-COPY OF THE BELLE STALKER, AN URBAN FANTASY THRILLER IN ANY E-FORMAT.
Minnette Meador is a multi-published author who lives in Portland, Oregon with one slightly used husband, a black cat formerly known as Spook, and a 4 lb. poodle. The poodle, Pierre, pretty much runs the show. Facebook - Twitter - Web Site – Blog - Contact Minnette - Amazon Author Page
Watch for her newest thriller, THE BELLE STALKER, available now in Kindle, Nook, and all other eBook formats:
THE BELL STALKER
an urban fantasy thriller
by Minnette Meador