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Loretta smiled as she saw Mick approaching the car. He opened the door and slung his backpack in the back seat.
“Hey babe. How was school?” Loretta asked eagerly.
“School was fine mommy.” Mick replied happily.
Loretta turned back towards the road and pulled out after a blue car whizzed by. Loretta glanced over at Mick to see him staring intently out the window. They drove in silence for about an hour when Mick reached out and turned on the radio.
“So what are you going to do at your dad’s house?”
“I don’t know mommy. Why don’t you ask daddy? I don’t like it that you guys won’t talk to each other.” Mick said in a very controlled voice.
“I know you don’t like it hunny. But your father and I don’t like to talk to each other.” Mick looked at Loretta with a sad face. Loretta sighed and brought her attention back to the road. By the time they got to Charlie’s, Mick’s fathers, town it was already pitch black. Loretta turned down a dark road, which served as a shortcut to those who knew that it was there. She glanced over at Mick and saw that he was sound asleep. She shut off the radio and continued down the road in silence. She saw a light moving towards her and slowed down to a stop. The light stopped as well. She watched mesmerized when all of a sudden… the light went out, like the flame of a candle. She looked around mystified and pressed her foot down on the accelerator slowly easing her foot of the brake. Loretta carefully wove down the twisting road.

Loretta looked over at Mick again to make sure he was ok, when something slammed into the front hood, making a loud thump. Loretta stomped on the brake, causing the tires to scream with effort. Mick jumped up and started to cry. Loretta reached over and hugged Mick tightly. “Shhh. Its ok, Mickey. Everything is alright.”
"Why did you slam into something mommy?"
"I didn't Mick."
"Yes you did!"
"No I didn't Mick. Now stop it."

She looked around out side the window but could not see anything but her headlights. “Mickey, stay here. I am going to go outside for just a second to see what we hit. You do mommy a favor and stay in the car, ok?” Mick nodded his head slowly. Loretta opened her door and stepped out side. She slammed her door shut and gave Mick a reassuring smile. She walked around to the front of the car and peered around carefully, trying to find the source of the crash. Loretta felt something slide into her hand and immediately looked down to see that it was Mick sliding his hand in hers. She picked him up and held him on her hip. With Mick’s help she continued to look around, but saw nothing.





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