Today you can write about anything, in whatever genre or form, but your postmust include a speeding car, a phone call, and a crisp, bright morning. (Wildcard: you can swap any of the above for a good joke.)
It was an inauspicious way for the work day to begin. Normally, Leigh started at 10 a.m. and worked until 5 p.m., except for Tuesdays. That was her long day. On Tuesdays, she saw clients until nine in the evening, and went home exhausted and ready for bed.
That day, however, her phone woke her out of a sound sleep. It was a client who was struggling in an abusive marriage, and when Leigh picked up the call, the woman was sobbing so hard that Leigh couldn’t understand her. Working to calm down her distraught caller, Leigh finally understood that the husband had just beaten her up and then grabbed the two little kids and hauled them to his car. Leigh was terrified that he would hurt them. His parting words had been, “You’ll never see them again–and you have no one to blame but yourself!”
Leigh promised to meet her client at her office within the hour, as soon as she could get herself up and moving. The first thing she did was to call the police, reporting the domestic violence situation and the husband running off with the kids. She gave the police his license plate number and made sure they had both her office number and her cell. They’d worked together before, and knew each other by name.
Clicking her phone off, Leigh dressed quickly and gulped down some orange juice. She grabbed her purse and jacket on the fly, knowing she was going to be battling rush hour traffic. She quickly charted a backroad route instead of her usual way to the office. Tossing her things into the car, she pulled out of the garage and backed up to the road running in front of her house. She counted ten cars going by before she could back out.
Leigh put the pedal down as soon as she was clear of neighborhood traffic, school buses, walkers and joggers. She flew around the twisting country road, praying no one would come roaring up behind her to pull her over for speeding. She couldn’t even take the time to enjoy the crisp, clear November morning as she tried to think through the best steps to take for her client.
Shelter. She needed to get her into a shelter, because the husband would be back. He was addicted to abusing her, couldn’t go very long at all before the need to attack her would drive him back to the house they lived in.
Find the children. Was he planning to harm them, or just to scare his helpless wife?
Leigh had a hard time understanding the helpless part. She would never allow her own husband to bully her and abuse her, not that he ever would. The victim of such behavior, it seemed to Leigh, also had some kind of addiction to mistreatment, believing it was all she deserved.
As she neared the turn-off to her office, Leigh’s cell rang. She pulled over quickly, picked up, and heard the officer from the police station give his name.
“Leigh, we’ve just had an accident call from over in the next township. It’s him. The license plate is the same.”
“Oh, no! The kids? Are the kids okay?”
“Banged up, but he’d taken the time to belt them in. They’ll be all right. Mr. Jones, however, is in pretty bad shape. They’re taking him by helicopter up to the trauma center. He’s unconscious. Listen, is there anything we can do to help with the wife and kids?”
“No, no, but thanks. Today, they can all just go home and stay there until we know what’s going to happen with that bum. I’m sitting outside my office right now, and the wife just pulled in. Listen, thanks for letting me know. She doesn’t have a cell–he won’t let her, so I know you couldn’t get in touch with her. I’ll let her know what’s happened. What hospital are they taking the kids to?”