A new month and another Wednesday. That means it’s time for #1lineWed. Since Monday was Labor Day here in the States, the good folks at RWA Kiss of Death decided an approprite theme for #1lineWed would be **WORK**. That works for me. 😉 Here’s a little snippet from a Nightrider book several away but when inspiration hits, and all that. I don’t Think I’ve posted this here, though I may have for a #ThursdayThreads flash fiction challenge some time aga. Anyway, Val is a single mom and Rebel is…Rebel.
I finished paying, grabbed the bags and turned to corral my son. Only Maxey wasn’t there. Movement in the parking lot caught my attention. Clutching my bags, I dashed outside. Sunlight bounced off the hot sidewalk and formed shimmering heat waves that danced between Maxy and me. Sweat dampened my armpits and the humid air made it hard to breathe. Maxey stood in the shadow of a man, head tilted up, mouth moving a mile a minute as he jabbered questions. That couldn’t be right. Maxey didn’t talk.
Normally, I would snag him, apologize, and skedaddle.
Today wasn’t normal. Today, CPS had served me with a hearing notice. They wanted to institutionalize Maxey. Thanks to my freaking ex. And today, Maxey didn’t corner some hapless guy to pester. No. He accosted a big, scary biker guy. Wearing a black leather vest. With patches. Standing next to a shiny black Harley. Which had captured Maxy’s attention.
I inhaled. Exhaled. Put on my big girl panties and marched over there. An apology formed on my lips, cut short by my son’s enthusiasm.
“Mom. Mom! Lookit. Motorcycle. Can I ride?”
Those were more words than he normally said in a whole day. A beautiful smile lit his face and my heart lurched in my chest. He didn’t often smile, either. Still, he knew the rules so I schooled my face. I very carefully modulated my voice to hide my fear and frustration, and my hope.
“You ran off, Maxey. You promised you weren’t going to do this anymore.”
I looked up at the sound of the deep voice and the man smiled. My big girl panties melted.
“If you say yes, I’ll take him around the parking lot.” He settled a helmet on Maxey’s head before I could respond, like my approval was a done deal.
How could I say no? “He…” My voice trailed off. How did I explain to a stranger that my son had issues, especially in front of Maxey when I was working so hard to keep him mainstreamed. I cleared my throat, glancing at my boy before meeting the man’s friendly eyes. “Maxey has…he’s…,” I struggled. Before I could explain, Maxey tugged on my skirt and started reeling off facts and figures about the motorcycle. When had he become such an expert? And how? My little boy could be utterly brilliant when something lodged in the twists and turns of his brain. In a loud whisper just loud enough to be heard over his exposition, I blurted, “He’s autistic.”
“And?” Like it was no big deal. “I’ll keep him safe. Promise.”
I believed him.
“I’m Rebel. And I’ll keep you safe, too.”
If only he could.
Do your characters work for a living? Work out? Work up to it? Work hard? Work smart? Don’t work at all? Share any words you have that work this theme. 😉 And I promise, Rebel’s story won’t be too far away. He and Val–and Maxey–keep nudging Iffy.