Laura's mum is in trouble. She wants to save her but doesn't know how
|“When will it get here?” Laura muttered to herself as she jogged on the spot in front of a crowded coffee shop. It was 8pm on a frosty December night and she had just received a call from her mum, telling her in an urgent and desperate voice to find her in Aronsville, followed by a shriek and the call had then ended. Laura did not know where Aronsville was, and Google Maps was not helping either. When she had tried calling her mum again, no one replied. She had called a taxi 10 minutes ago, but it still wasn’t here.
“I’ll call Dad,” Laura decided and dialled the number.
There was no answer. Sighing, Laura cut the call and wondered what her mother meant by finding her in Aronsville. Where is Aronsville? Who was the person who had shrieked on the phone? As these questions clouded her mind and tears rushed down her face while she thought of all the possible things that could be happening to her mother that very second, she nearly missed the cab that rolled to a stop in front of her. It was only when the window rolled down and the driver shouted, “Were you the one who called me and my taxi?” that she realised.
A shiny, black Volkswagen stood in front of her, almost hidden in the darkness of the night. She nodded her head and opened the back door, slipping into the warm seat and the lovely heat of the car. She closed the door to block off the cold, harsh wind that had been blowing ever since that snow blizzard on December 7th.
“Well, where to then, young lady?” the man turned around and asked. Laura looked at him and thought. Where should she go? Home? But there would be no one there. At least, no one who could help her. Her mum might be pranking her but it is better to be safe than sorry.
“To Granger’s Car Repair please,” she replied, reciting the place where her father worked.
“What would a lovely 13-year-old like you want to do there?” the driver asked.
“My dad works there,” Laura replied bluntly and tugged on the seat belt until it strapped round her. She buckled herself in and the driver began the half hour trip to Granger’s Car Repair.
40 minutes later, they were trapped in a long traffic jam. Jazz music poured out of the radio. The driver, whose name Laura had found out was Charles Walker, was bobbing his head up and down as they sat in the traffic. It had started raining and rain lashed against the windowpanes.
Laura moaned as her stomach rumbled again. It had been a long time since she had eaten, and she was hungry. Charles turned round to look at her and gave her a half smile.
“There is some food in the boot of the car. One of my customer’s toddler had broken it and I still haven’t got a replacement fixed in. So just take off your seat belt and reach into the boot,” he said and pointed behind Laura. Nodding, Laura took off her seat belt and turned around. In the boot, sure enough, were many snacks. She took a ‘Ready Salted’ crisps packet and was about to sit down again when a small parcel caught her eye. It was the size of a thin book and was wrapped in brown paper. There was a piece of paper on top of it. She reached out to grab it but her conscience stopped her.
“Don’t do it,” one part of her mind said. “Do it. I want to know what’s in it,” the other part of her mind commanded. “Don’t do it.” “Do it.”
After a mini battle in her mind, Laura had decided. She reached to the paper on top of the parcel and took it. She read it and felt her brain go woozy and more bewildered with each word she read.
“Hello, Laura Smith, it read, “Who I am you do not need to know. I, however, need to know who you are, and what’s more, I already know who you are. Do not wonder how I know, that is not necessary. I also know that the parcel underneath this piece of paper will be of importance to you. Open it. Do not ask the driver if he knew that this parcel was in his boot because he will not be able to see it. If you want to see your mum again, I would advice you to open the parcel.
Who was that? She knew it was someone whose initials were H.M but that did not lead her anywhere. She took the parcel and sat down again, buckling her seat belt. They had barely moved in the traffic in the time she had taken.
“You finally found the treat that you like?” the driver asked, looking at her from the rear-view mirror.
“Yeah,” Laura replied absent-mindedly. She opened the crisp packet and stuffed her face, so that she wouldn’t be asked any more questions.
She looked at the parcel sat on her lap. There was a piece of tape where the paper had been stuck on. She ripped open the paper, not caring about the easy way that she could have opened it on the side.
Sat on her lap was an I-pad, just like the one she had at home. She tapped the screen nervously and the I-pad sprang to life. The screen turned white and a sentence came up. It read,
“Say out loud where you want to go.”
Laura thought for a moment. She knew she wanted to go find her Dad. But if she wanted to find her mum, she needed to go somewhere that does not exist on Google Maps.
She knew where she wanted to go.
“Aronsville!” she yelled.
White light flooded the car. The last thing she saw was Charles puzzled face before everything turned black…