You can always run from your troubles, but sometimes they give chase.
|"This is a fun game, Mommy ... but ..."
Yvonne clamped down on the steering wheel and pressed the accelerator toward the floor. She knew what Edie's question was going to be.
"... where's Daddy?"
Yvonne shuddered in the dark as the old Chevy labored under the strain of the speed it couldn't handle. She considered slowing down, sparing the engine, but then James' face flashed through her mind. She squinted into the pitch of night and pushed the pedal all the way down.
"Daddy has to work tomorrow, honey. He'll come with us next time, though," Yvonne lied to her daughter. James' blood-spattered face was all she could see now, and his angry shouts filled her ears.
She had always known that one of their fights would end in tragedy.
What she hadn't expected was that the tire iron would fracture his skull so easily, or that the wedged end would stick -- *thud* -- between his eyes.
Now ... well, Yvonne had helped James make good on his long-standing promise. "You'll never get rid of me."
She knew she never would.
"I'm going to call Daddy."
The sweet voice broke Yvonne's trance, and she looked into the backseat where Edie held up her toy cell phone. The girl punched at the numbers, then frowned.
"It's not working!" she pouted.
"We're in a bad spot, Edie. You're just not getting any service. Things will work better in the morning."
"But --" panic ramped up in Edie's voice, and Yvonne braced for a fight, but a shrill sound cut across the hum of the engine.
"It's Daddy!" Edie shrieked.
Not comprehending what the little girl was saying, Yvonne looked into the rearview mirror.
Edie again held up her plastic phone for Yvonne to see.
The stickered "screen" was flashing with a message.
"Incoming Call -- James (Daddy)"