Contestants in Round Eight were emailed challenges sent in by readers. Outside participants were given Round Seven eliminated writer Rhae’s challenge to including a reflection in a mirror sent in by me! I never thought I would be writing to my own prompt in this competition.
A note to readers … I have changed Brian’s name from last installment to include his surname Mulholland and from henceforth he’ll be referred to as “Mulholland.” The joys of writing in real time!
The night air stabbed at Sylvie cheeks as she wiggled at the window, the keys and GPS coordinates shoved in her jeans pocket. She took a moment to burn the envelope before climbing the concrete steps, eradicating thelas trace of her existence at this location. On street level, she looked up hoping to see a full moon but heavy storm clouds cloaked it. The frigid wind carried the promise of a snow storm.
The Underground was subterranean in every sense of the word. Sylvie longed to be able to lie in bed and drift into sleep watching the moon play hide and seek with the clouds. Instead she bunked down in damp, lonely basements, dreaming of la luna’s light and a man’s strong arms.
Pulling the hood of her windcheater up she refocused and strode down the empty street, turning the corner and walking the two blocks to the SUV without looking back.
Emancipated from the usual routine of being escorted, Sylvie was filled with a heady sense of freedom and wanted to spend half an hour wandering aimlessly; a chance to blow off the last of her anger with Doug. Mama had hammered into them from an early age to never leave the house with unfinished business, but her whole life was unfinished business now. Cut loose from society there was never a chance to say good-bye or I love you or I’m sorry, and her anger flared with Doug again for squandering a precious phone call. She stopped herself from mentally turning the nearest garbage bin into Doug’s head and kicking it hard, instead walking past leaving it to stand patiently on the curb awaiting dawn collection.
Crossing the street Sylvie caught something moving in the periphery. She turned and squinted hard into the gloom, waiting for more movement.
Just eerie shadows cast by the muted street lighting playing cat and mouse with her nerves.
Reaching the SUV, Sylvie ran a tender hand over the dint in the fender. The same touch she shared with a birthing woman when she entered her space – a simple exchange to say I’m here.
Pressing the button on the keyring, the locks jumped to attention and Sylvie climbed in. While there was time to open the back and ensure all the equipment was there, she didn’t dare to be so brazen in a suburban street. She threw her kit onto the passenger seat and started the car.
With the heater blowing cold air, Sylvie unfolded the GPS coordinates and angled them towards the best light, then punched them into the dashboard navigation system. The trip was estimated to take less than fifteen minutes with so little traffic. A direct route straight through the guts of the city and out to the blank area on the digital map which didn’t even bare a name.
Flicking through the radio stations she selected one with loud, violent music and revving the engine, lurched out into the street, struggling to coordinate the clutch and accelerator.
– – –
“She’s on the move boss,” Special Agent Jamieson said, moving into the shadows of the building when the midwife stopped and turned to scan the street behind her.
“Do not under any circumstances lose her Jamieson,” said Mulholland* from the comfort of his office, a fat pungent cigar smoldering between his thin lips
“I understand you boss.” Jamieson watched as she got into the SUV. “Better bring the car around Boothe she’s got wheels.” He recited the number plate and someone in head office immediately ran the number plate.
“How many are with her?” It was Mulholland again.
“She’s alone boss?”
“Are you sure – they never travel alone.”
“There’s no one boss. She’s behind the wheel.”
“The car was reported stolen earlier this evening. Make sure she’s not pulled by the Traffic Department.”
“I’m sending back up Jamieson – I don’t like this. They never travel solo.”
The SUV jumped out of the parking space and bunny hopped down the street before finding a fluid forward motion. A block later a right hand indicator went on and the car disappeared. A white car eased into the curb and Jamieson got in.
“We’ve got a fix on the car,” Booth said as a flashing dot appeared on the console of the car.
Jamieson nodded and they pulled out a suitable distance behind the SUV. Focused on the dashboard, they missed the black car in the rear vision mirror, slipping around the corner of Sylvie building.
Need to catch up? Here are links to previous rounds.