Embers of trouble

Embers of trouble

“Mom? Where’s daddy? Why is not the one taking us to school today?”  The questions flew fast and thick, as innocent as there were, it felt like a spear poking at Mabel’s heart,  automatically she switched on that million megawatts smile and roughed up her daughter’s hair (aware that Isabel hated this little act of motherly love) at which the girl quickly pulled away but not fast enough as  Mabel with ease placed a smooth hand on the small delicate head, much to the complaints of her child, Michael sat at the back, sucking  on a Barney shaped flask,  intelligent eyes following the battle of wits between his mother and sister.


“Daddy had to work really hate honey, but am sure he’ll be back in time to bring you home and have lunch with us”  She was upbeat and cheerful, she had to be for their sakes, maybe it was working for her but not on either of the kids, beneath the  jovial expression, she simmered  , lines of worry creased her delicately boned face, with good reason too.  Jeff had never done something like this before,  he always kept her informed, almost NEVER slept out , that was a rule, well besides the yearly managers conference which he chaired and even that was on weekend and he came back home the next day, this was nothing like that . something was clearly amiss, she did not like being in the dark, another disturbing event was the alert from the bank they both had a joint account with, informing her of a withdrawal, the timing was odd and raised even more questions and very little answer, relax she said to herself, there could have been an emergency somewhere and he hated carrying cash around.  A devout Christian and good mother, she believed within her that nothing was beyond solution and of course she would not hesitate to dish out a good portion of her anger on him when he got home, not even his sweet talking and kisses would bail him out this time.  He had better have a damn good explanation; she stole a peek at the phone lying next to the stacks of books, no recent event. None of her calls to him had gone through and he had not called back either,  oh well more reason to tongue lash him, right now she had to concentrate on getting the kids to school , with a calm head and keep her mind in check, banishing all other assailing thoughts , she relaxed against the leather padded seat and nursed her RAV4 through congested traffic and pedestrians struggling among themselves to beat the early morning rush. Michael burped loudly , drawing a look of disgust from his sister ,  Mabel laughed ,  feeling slightly better, the kid looked  around in surprised guilt and then sat back in his protective box, a commuter bus filled to the brim with rheumy eyed passengers and a cage of live chicken strapped at the top  swung in front of her and a Coca Cola Truck, the driver obviously encouraged that she was a woman and would cower, after it was all about rough driving, Bella squealed out in fear and shock, held firm by the seat belt, stepping on the brake in a rush , Mabel bit back the stream of expletive that gathered on her lips, Never curse in front of the kids, that was a golden  rule set by Jeff , he had taught that keeping cool was the key in such crisis, she allowed herself a tiny smile as his handsome face loomed up in her  mind, again she shooed it away , reminding herself she needed to be angry; that didn’t work , her heart  was galloping out of control , she felt uneasy,  she turned around to check on her son , the crib held him safe,  and he was asleep , oblivious to what had just transpired,  he was such an adorable kid , never giving a worry about the storms brewing outside, pretty much  reminded her of his father.   Mabel sent out a quick prayer of thanks and drove on, waving to the police men who had rushed to the scene,  a few others had accosted the bus driver for questioning, she  began to pray silently, Please God, please bring him home to me , to us . She was starting to freak out from waiting; the rest of the trip went without trouble. The fun part of living in the big city Michael often told her is everyday life throws something new to you, at home, work, the constantly evolving society, on the streets and even with the kids.


The blue and red gates of Spring of Life International School came in to view, she slowed the car to a moderate speed till they came to a halt, Mabel knew she had to be strong, no matter how trying the events of the future would be-had she not prayed this morning, and all her life? Warding off any threat to her marriage and family?  She believed that the rock which their love was built on would hold steady no matter what troubles the clouds brought,  on the visor a picture of him and the kids during a vacation at Disney land stared down at her and she felt reassured


“We are here! The last one to the gates is a monkey’s baby’ it was a game all three of them had invented, and the winner usually got something extra in his or her lunch pack the next day.  She got out and opened the back seat for Michael, and then she watched as they raced to the gates, where an elderly man escorted them beyond a giant glass screen and immaculate gardens with cartoon characters tacked on the walls, they turned to wave and she blew kisses at them, then there were gone.  Feeling all alone again like she had the previous night in their bed,  hours  after she had made dinner , fed the kids and dozed off on the sofa,  waiting for his return,  his plate was still untouched when she scrambled awake, a tear stole down her cheek and she knuckled it away,  this had to stop she said to herself about the hundredth time,  she scolded herself for not keeping up the tough girl act long enough, yet she missed him terribly  and worried about his safety, he should have called by now, the confines of the car and unassailable fear of the unknown  was starting to play games, refusing her  mind the peace she needed .  Jeff should have called by now.  The clock on the dashboard read 07 55, she turned on the ignition and the car engine coughed in to life, slowly Mabel pulled her frayed thoughts together and began the long drive home.  Her eyes shifted to the phone once again, a blank and flat emotionless screen stared back, she navigated through bumps and tree branches that lined up the school premises resigned to her fate, then the phone rang splitting in two the screen saver picture of her and him with the kids on Michael’s birthday, she did not bother to check the caller, just that instant rush of joy that her phone had rang, It was a call she wished she never answered, a phone call she that turned her entire life upside down.

‘Hello?  Who’s this?”

“Are you Mabel, Mabel Azare?” The voice was feminine, bold and assertive.

Who is this? Now Mabel’s tone was alarmed, sweat dotted her face.


Silence, then the connection was broken.


Poetic None Nee. 2013

4 thoughts on “Embers of trouble” by Poeticnonny (@Poeticnonny)

  1. What is next? Hope no cheating or dying husbands in the shadows?
    Well done. $ß

  2. this was not easy to read….

  3. Can’t wait to read the next part. Good story but please use the full stop instead of the commas and also your second paragraph was too long. Improve on all this on the next part.

  4. Others have said what I wanted to say, @poeticnonny. There’s a good story here, and you’ve shown very well Mabel’s worry, but please use more paragraphs with spacing between them, and don’t use so many commas when full stops will do.

Leave a Reply