Genie, Nancy, and Boo the bear during Katrina's night
|“C'mon Nancy, dearest, take bear Boo with you. Mommy has a performance tonight in the pub. She is going to sing, especially for you. Will you be a good girl? “
Nancy reluctantly looks up from her tea party with Boo the bear and Slither the snake. She shakes her head.
“No? Is that a no? We are leaving in 5 minutes, dearie, you better be ready! ”
“Potty?” Nancy waves at the door and starts wobbling toward the bathroom.
“Real quick. Go potty” Genie grabs the bear from the ground and, with a guilty look on her face, unzips its tummy. Within seconds she hides a small plastic bag with 500 grams of blue pills inside the bear before closing up again.
“Did you pee, or did you have to poo? C'mon Nancy, mommy has to drive to the pub, and it’s been raining all day. There is a storm coming. We better hurry.”
Genie, Nancy, and Boo, the bear left for the pub. When they arrive, surviving the gusts of rain, it’s all over the news: Katrina, as she is called now, has officially reached a category 3. The governor is advising people to evacuate.
“Your performance is down the drain,” the manager explains, “you better take your child and drive all night to your parents. It’s not safe here.”
Genie calls her folks and arranges to leave right away. She has to drive more than 400 miles so, she is a little bit tense.
Nancy is frightened. All those people running and talking loudly; she doesn’t understand. And that rain is creepy.
Back in the car, Genie tries to calm down her daughter.
“Nancy, we are going to granddad and grandma. We stay over, okay? Just be calm; mommy is driving. Nothing will happen.”
When she hits 50 miles, she looks in the mirror at Nancy in the back seat.
“Where is Boo, dear?”
Nancy looks around and starts to cry.
“Boo, Boo. Where are you?”
Oh, shit, Nancy thinks, immediately stressing out. Where is that bear? She stops near the road to examine the back seat, but no Boo.
“Did you leave him at the bar? Where did you last see him?” She is now panicking. Nancy is crying and won’t stop. Not without her bear.
Genie pictures the content of that bear’s tummy worth a couple of thousand. OMG.
So, she can’t do anything other than turn the car and drive back.
The rain and the wind stream on her car window, wipers in overdrive. When she arrives at the bar, all the lights are out. Nobody is around.
Looking through the jalousie, she spots the bear on the bar. Sitting next to a leftover bottle of wine.
With a blow, she smashes the window, turns the key on the other side, and opens the door. She snatches Boo from the bar and is about to run toward her car with Nancy still in it when she hears another vehicle pull up on the driveway.
Two officers in blue!
“And what is this lady doing here with a hurricane on the loose?” asks one of them.
She tries to explain about her little girl in the car and that the bear was missing, but the two men snatch the bear from her hands and handcuff her for breaking and entering. Then they fetch Nancy and bring her over to the police car. The four of them disappear in the night.
The next morning they are on their way again—Genie, Boo the bear, and Nancy. Nobody suspects anything. The fine was a laugh.
Inside the car, everything is quiet now for a couple of hours. Wind and rain gush over the roof—Katrina at her worst. Genie smiles. She sings quietly.
“I need to, I need to, I need to
I need to make you see
Oh, what you mean to me.
Until I do, I'm hoping you will know what I mean.
I love you, Michelle, ma belle…”
After a while, she looks in the mirror at the back seat.
“Nancy, dear… are you still sleeping? Nancy, wake up!”
In the corner of Nancy's mouth, foam is dripping on her chin. Her face is white as linen. Her eyes are closed. Then, suddenly, she stops breathing altogether.
Next to Nancy: Boo the bear’s tummy unzipped and two blue pills on the seat.
Heart sinking, Genie starts to scream...