"Hold on or Move on?"
by Kristi McCracken
I looked up quickly hoping the clouds would part and shine a sliver of moonlight on the form lurking in the trees. Was it a coyote, bobcat or just the neighbor’s dog? Heart pounding, I ran along the ditch too frightened to walk. In spite of the exertion, I shivered. Whether from fright or cold I was too numb to tell. I had to make it home before him.
Headlights behind me grew brighter and reflected off the huge puddle in front of me. Too pregnant to jump, I chanced the barb wire on the far side of the ditch rather than the approaching vehicle.
I looked up again, willing the power lines to come into focus. I couldn’t pass out now. Dare I signal for help or was it him? Had his rage dissipated?
I feared for the babysitter and Sammy if he got there first. He was a good man, but for his temper when he drank. If only I’d agreed with him, but I hated giving in.
The car sped past. It wasn’t him. Still I clung to the pole. He’d stopped the truck before he shoved me out 2 miles back. Peeling out, he headed back toward the bar.
I knew Sammy and I would only be safe if we left him. I said a prayer. The ghostly clouds parted and moonlight shone. Somehow I’d support Sammy and his new sister. I released the pole and patted my rounded tummy.
[Kristi McCracken teaches gifted fifth graders by day, writes in the evenings and then presents at book stores and state teacher conferences on the weekends. Her first nonfiction children's books The Lost King: Akhenaton by Artesian Press is now available. Her second book, Ancient Olympics is due out first of next year. She is looking for a publisher for her children's fantasy novel, Misty's Pixie.]