The Car

My shoulder hurts from the seatbelt. Daddy is slumped over the steering wheel. I shout, but he doesn’t answer. Amy wriggles in her car seat.

“Did Daddy crash the car?” she asks.

“Be quiet,” I tell her. “I’m older, so you gotta listen.”

“Is there a fire?” she asks with a cough.

I crane my neck to look outside, but the smoke is so thick I can’t see anything. I try the door but I already know it won’t open cause of the child-locks.

I fumble with my seat belt. Daddy always unclicks it for me cause I can never work it out. I ignore Amy, who’s started crying and continue to fumble with the seat belt.

It clicks. And I tumble forward into the back of Daddy’s seat. He groans but doesn’t wake up.

I clamber into the front seat and shake him. I think he’s hurt bad. His head rises for a moment and then thumps onto the steering wheel. Amy has stopped crying.

The smoke’s getting worse, so I know the fire has to be close.

I have to save Daddy. And even Amy.

I climb over to the window press my mouth up to the tiny gap which is open, pushing the hosepipe to the side.

I feel Daddy’s hand on my back. When I turn, he gently pulls me towards him into a deep warm hug. He’s okay. I feel safe again.

I hear a click as he locks all the doors.