5. Mother Knows Best

I hear sirens blaring in the distance.

“Baby girl, you have to get up,” my mother’s voice demands. “Get up!”

I crack open my eyes and see her standing over me, her face still covered.

“M-mom?” I groan.

“Can you stand?” she asks.

“Y-yeah.” I sit up and feel my head pounding. I grab it. “What happened?”

“Don’t worry about it,” she says, pulling me to my feet. “We have to get back to the car.”

I nod and reach down for the black duffle bag next to me. The weight of it almost pulls me back to the ground, but I manage to stay upright.

“Let’s go!” my mother sharply calls from a few feet away.

“I’m coming,” I call back and starting to run after her. I hear the sirens getting louder and closer.

“Catch up!” she yells, standing at the car. “I need the keys.”

I fumble through my jacket pockets for the car keys and toss them to her as I get to the passenger door. She unlocks the car, tosses her bag in the back, and gets in. I toss my bag in next to hers and fall into the passenger seat. As soon as I close the door, she speeds off.

I lean back on the headrest. “Mom, I hurt all over. What happened?” I ask again, pulling off my ski mask.

“Don’t worry, baby. We’ll get you fixed up as soon as we get home,” she replies, removing her mask as well.

“O-okay,” I whisper. I close my eyes and feel a wet warmness run down my neck and spread over my back. My head gets fuzzy and I start to fall asleep. The last things I hear are the sirens as they pass.


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