One Reply to “3.26.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. There’s no plan, she said. We just must go. She told me to pack my things, nothing too heavy. And she checked her watch as if she was expecting something or someone. I did as she said without asking why we had to leave. She had her reasons and I could guess what they were.

    The man and the woman who had looked after us for the better part of a month, they were not nice people. They smiled and nodded and looked thoughtful when they had to. But behind the closed door of their house, they were different. It was the money they were after and that was their first priority.

    His name’s Prett and she’s Lucia. First time we saw them we sort of knew. There was a smell about them, something that could be breathed in, something on the air. They were all polite and careful and there words were soft and kissing, and they passed remarks on how handsome I was and how pretty Carmel’s hair was. But it was small things that felt wrong. He kept holding the ends of his fingers to his nose and breathing in, like he was trying to decipher an almost familiar smell. And he kept licking his lips, and the way he looked at Carmel’s tits through her dress, like if he stared hard enough he could strip back the cloth and see ‘em bare. I don’t think he really saw me, not really.

    And if I’m guessing, I reckon it’s on account of him that we have to pack and leave in the middle of the night. I piss on the carpet in my room and I write ‘fuck’ across the wall, digging my pen into the crumbling plaster so washing it wont take it off. Then I throw some things into a bag and I creep along the landing to Carmel’s room.

    I stand at the door and I watch her pack. She has money that she has stolen, rolled up into a fistful and kept together with an elastic band that she once used to hold her hair back from her face. She moves with all the quiet of a cat and she don’t look at me though she knows I’m there. She takes little with her. I notice that her bed is unmade and the sheets all anyhow, as if she has slept a restless sleep. And there’s a smell in the room, and I know it is his smell, Prett’s aftershave and his hair oil and the sour sting of his man-smell.

    Carmel hooks the bag over her shoulder and she spits on the floor, spits like a man spits when he wakes and there is a thick stale taste in his mouth. Then she brushes past me and I follow her down the stairs and out the front door. At our backs the house sleeps. We have maybe four hours to make good our escape.

    The streets are all lit up yellow and the roads are quiet and empty. I see a sudden fox. It stops in the middle of the road and it stares at us, at me and Carmel, and it’s like gold coins are laid on its eyes, as is sometimes the way when a person is laid dead in their coffin. Then it twitches its careless tail and lopes off in the other direction.

    I don’t ask where we are going and we keep walking, me behind her. The backs of my legs ache and the strap of my bag cuts into my shoulder, but still I say nothing. Maybe we are going back to Uncle Tomas’ house. They wouldn’t let us stay with him before, on account of his drinking, even though he’s the only family we got left. If we stay with him now, I think we don’t need to tell no one. I want to ask Carmel if that’s where we’re going, but it is not yet time to be talking, not when the moon is still out and the street lights stretch to the edge of where we can see and Prett and Lucia only a mile or two behind us.

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