Here’s my sudden fiction piece generated by Train’s “Calling All Angels.” If you’ve ever experienced a personal moment of desperation, you may identify with Hannah. Sometimes things intervene that cannot be explained away.
by Fay Moore © 2012
Hannah’s thirty. She has a two-year-old and a husband. There are no money problems in the home that any other young married couple isn’t facing. Everyone in the family has good health.
But Hannah is tired, so tired. And with a baby to chase after and a business to run, she doesn’t get caught up on her rest before the daily grind discharges her batteries again.
She shuts herself in the bathroom and cries. She has thirty seconds to herself before there is an intrusion. The baby gets down on his knees outside the door, puts his tiny mouth to the gap between the bottom of it and the floor, and starts calling through the crack, “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.”
Hannah sits on the closed toilet lid, her face in her hands. Her crying turns to head shaking.
“I can’t even go to the bathroom and have five minutes alone,” she laments.
Hannah gets up and unlocks the door. Her toddler scoots in and wraps his arms around her legs.
“Where you are, Mommy? I look for you,” he murmurs.
“I’m right here,” she answers, scooping him up in her arms. She forces herself to smile at him.
“Honey,” her husband calls from the kitchen. “Where are the hamburger rolls?” He’s shoving things around inside the refrigerator.
Hannah carries the child with her to the kitchen.
“There aren’t any. We used the last ones the day before yesterday. We’re out of milk and eggs, too. You watch your son,” she says as she hands the toddler off to her husband, “and I’ll make a grocery run. I’ll be back in 30 minutes. That’ll give the two of you time to make the burgers and salad. Need anything else?”
“Yeah. A package of razors and a gallon of iced tea. Oh, and some pickles. Those sweet ones.”
“Bread and butters?”
“Yeah,” he says, as he puts their son in the high chair, placing a plastic bowl half full of Cheerios on the tray.
Hannah blows kisses. Her boy catches them, but her husband has already turned his back and buried his head in the refrigerator, rummaging for dinner ingredients.
Half an hour later, it’s dark outside. Hanna starts home with the groceries. She revisits the feelings she had while in the bathroom at home. She feels grim, then melancholy, then depressed. She begins to think dark thoughts. She grips the wheel with both hands, holding the car to the center of her lane.
She doesn’t know if it is her imagination, but she swears she hears conversation in her head. She is being urged to run the car off the road. She grips the wheel tighter.
“I’m tired. I’m worn out. That’s all. I don’t want to die,” she says aloud, half praying, half trying to convince herself to ignore whatever fiend is messing with her thoughts. She’s crying again. Her shoulders begin to slump as her grip relaxes on the steering wheel. The car edges to the right.
At that moment, Hannah’s mind lets go. Though she sees nothing visible, she senses a presence, no, two beings, one at each forward fender. She is driving, but the sensation is that the invisible beings have control and keep her car on the road. She travels about a quarter of a mile with this impression.
Then, it is as if she has returned to herself and shaken off whatever it was that possessed her thoughts. She doesn’t understand exactly what just happened. Her mind tries to reason that she imagined the whole episode. But in her heart, she knows she nearly died by her own hand. Something, or someone, intervened to move the vehicle back onto the roadway. She holds fast to the steering wheel and leans forward, eyes riveted to the road.
Hannah is shaken, but determined to get home safely. She wonders what she will tell her husband. How will she describe what happened?
“Angels?” she asks herself.