CW: “But it DID happen!”

Just like any other weekday afternoon, seven-year-old Lizzie was walking home from school with two of her friends who lived nearby. Yoli was tall and slim, while Dorothy was short and pudgy. Lizzie was slim but only as tall as Dorothy. All three girls had brown hair, but of different hues and lengths. Yoli’s ochre braid reached down all the way to her waist. Dorothy sported a seal brown bob, while Lizzie had a sepia-colored pixie cut.

The distance between school and the girls’ houses was a little over half a mile. The town, in which they lived, was a small one and the type where everyone knew one another. It was also back in the day when kids spent a lot of time outside, returning home only for dinner.

The most dangerous part of the journey to or from school was crossing Main Street, which was a busy road with no traffic lights.

“Look left, right, and left again before you cross,” was what teachers, parents, and well-wishing neighbors told all the kids.

Aside from crossing Main Street, there were no precarious spots on the way to or from school for Lizzie, Yoli, and Dorothy.

It was a nice, warm day. Not sweltering hot, just pleasantly warm. It was probably spring because the flowers planted in the gardens near the street were beginning to bloom. The girls walked hand-in-hand, chatting about the events from school that day and giggling every now and then. To a random observer, they appeared to be the perfect image of carefree kids, even though each one of them privately struggled with different demons.

Yoli’s father was an alcoholic, and it was not rare that her mother had to go looking for him in nearby ditches. Dorothy’s father was a druggie and a gambling addict. To numb the pain and balance the books, Dorothy’s mother worked two or three different jobs at a time, often leaving the washing and the cooking to her four daughters. Lizzie’s parents were almost always away on business trips, leaving her with her grandmother, who Lizzie thought was a witch, never smiling and always complaining. What all three girls had in common was the feeling of neglect, but whenever they were together, they felt complete.

The girls made their way past the halfway mark, the busy Main Street, carefully but gingerly, eager to get back home and rest after a busy day at school. Coloring, rope jumping, and watching TV were some activities the girls enjoyed doing most.

“Hello, girls,” a foreign-looking man called out from a car that was driving parallel to the path the girls were walking on.

The girls, having been taught not to talk to strangers, did not reply and kept walking.

“Would you like a lift home?” a man from the passenger seat of the car shouted.

“No, thank you,” Yoli spat out and picked up the pace.

Dorothy and Lizzie matched her step.

The car was a navy sedan, but the girls were not interested in cars enough to know the make of it. They were also too rattled to check and remember the license plate when the car sped up and drove away. What they did remember were the two men up front and a woman in the back. The men had gold chains, bracelets, and rings. Their perfume could be smelled from across the street. The woman had a flowery scarf tied around her head. She, too, had golden jewelry and even a gold tooth. From what the girls saw, her clothing appeared to be very colorful.

“Gypsies,” one of the girls whispered, remembering a story her grandmother told her a while back.

The girls were about to breathe out a sigh of relief when they saw the very same car U-turn and head right towards them. In an attempt to put more distance between the car and them, the girls run across the street.

“Should we split up to confuse them?” Yoli asked.

“No. It’s too risky. Let’s turn in here,” Dorothy said, pointing in the direction of a non-utilized piece of land.

Years before, there was a water cleaning plant there, but it had since been abandoned.

“Are you kidding? I don’t know my way around there. Plus, there might be snakes!” Lizzie exclaimed, but did not stop running.

“It’s alright. My uncle owned a piece of this back in the day. I know a path that will take us home while keeping us off the road,” Dorothy said with conviction.

The girls ran for what seemed like miles, turning their heads every so often to check if they were being followed.

“I can’t run any farther,” Lizzie gasped, barely able to catch her breath.

“We will have to get back on the road to get home, but while we’re here, let’s try to catch our breaths,” Dorothy said and took a deep breath.

Yoli, with her long legs, did not even appear tired.

Passing by a couple of abandoned buildings, the girls subconsciously held their breaths, worried what might lurk inside.

“Okay. That’s as much cover as we will get. Now, get ready to run. Don’t stop until you get home and lock the doors behind you,” Dorothy informed her friends, preparing to run again.

Yoli and Lizzie nodded in understanding.

“On three,” Lizzie announced. “One… two… three!”

And the girls ran like never before, scared to even turn around. Lizzie’s house was the closest, then Dorothy’s, then Yoli’s.

“Thank God!” Lizzie uttered when she saw her grandmother in the garden in front of the house. “Grandma, open the gate! Fast!” she asked, pulling on the locked gate.

Her grandmother, a stern lady, did not appreciate Lizzie’s hysterical demands. “And why would I do that?” she asked, sauntering towards the gates.

“Because I’m being chased by Gypsies!” Lizzie screamed out, frantically turning around to see if the navy sedan was anywhere in sight.

“What now?” Grandma asked, slowly inserting the key into the gate.

“They wanted to kidnap me, Dorothy, and Yoli,” Lizzie explained, her eyes welling up.

The moment the gate was opened, Lizzie ran through it and slammed it shut. Even though Lizzie’s parents had a landline, neither Yoli’s nor Dorothy’s did, which meant Lizzie had to wait until the next day to see if her friends made it home all right. For a moment, she considered going over to their houses, but she quickly realized it was too big a risk as the kidnappers might still be lurking around.

Thankfully, Yoli and Dorothy appeared at school the very next day unharmed. They tried to share what happened the day before with others, but no one believed them. Soon, they stopped mentioning it even amongst themselves.

Decades later, for a split second, even Lizzie starts to doubt herself.

Just because others refuse to believe in something doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen,” Lizzie tells herself as she looks around the park wearily. She clutches the knife in her pocket a little harder.

***

“Write a story told entirely through one chase scene.”
– prompt used for this CW piece.
[Source: Reedsy]

***

P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!

Stay golden,

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***

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29 thoughts on “CW: “But it DID happen!”

Add yours

  1. Good job! While on vacation my sister, my daughter and I made a video that was all chase scene. I recorded my sister chasing my daughter on foot, biking, swimming, climbing over rocks, running on treadmills, riding horseback …! At the end of the video she finally caught her, and my daughter was forced to return her overdue library books.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all, I like the pacman picture. It fits the theme perfectly.

    If this would be a book, I can totally see how the girls would meet again after many years and describe how this chase has changed their lives.
    Maybe Lizzie turned into a psychopath, Yoli in an over protective mum and Dorothy denies it ever happened.
    But the boy in the navy sedan, tied up in the back of the car, knows the truth.
    Only one of the girls saw him. He reached out to her years later.
    What are they hiding?
    How would their life have been if they did step into that car?

    Make it happen and I will definitely read it!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. O
      M
      G

      Andrea!

      That is such an awesome plot! If I wasn’t far behind with my original book I would totally make this happen. Maybe it’s a great opportunity for you to write something? I will, however, copy this comment to one of my drafts for future reference.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am having goose bumps and a grin from ear to ear! How wonderful is it to get inspiration from your CW post!

        This is definitely going to be on mind a lot and I think for once I should just write ideas down.

        But if you ever have the time and feel inspired, please go for it!
        Imagine if this one day gets sold in a book!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Right? I started the CW in hopes that people would read the prompt and write their own piece. (That’s why the prompts used to be on top.) But it never really took off.

          Now that you have some more time, I think you should definitely write some ideas down. I would totally help you edit your book. It’s much easier for me to edit other people’s work than mine.

          I have high hopes for our futures!

          Like

  3. I don’t want to be overly critical but the one detail that seems to be out of place is “multiple lanes of traffic in each direction”. Having lived in that type of small town my whole life I have never seen one with a main street like that. Maybe just saying “a busy street with no traffic light” would work better. Other than that a good read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Darnell.
      My wrote it thinking about it more in terms of self-defense. But I find it fascinating that you and Andrea were thinking about Lizzie becoming a psycho.
      It just goes to show how easy it is to bounce ideas off of other bloggers and how awesome collaborations can be on here.

      Like

    1. Kids are known to make things up. I was speaking to the nicest little boy a couple of weeks ago when he told me his cat was dead. He proceeded to tell me that he saw the blood oozing out of his head… That freaked me out so I went on investigating. Nope, the cat is alive and well. Hahahah

      But that doesn’t mean that I will never believe him about traumatic events again.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was reading this and thinking of how the internet and tech has made it so easy to communicate…Imagine having to wait until the next time you see someone to find out if they are ok…. we take it for granted how easy we can contact people, though there was this one time our internet got shut down and I have feeling it may happen again in the not too distant future.
    Great story had me at the edge of panic… and just because no one else believes something didn’t happen ….
    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so true. We got so used to phones/instant messaging/Internet, etc.

      People panicked when coronavirus hit. I cannot even imagine the panic if the Internet was to go down world-wide…

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, B. Stay golden!

      Like

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