Distraction – Friday Fictioneers, February 2016

Copyright Al Forbes

Copyright Al Forbes

Her shirt clings darkly, as she guns the car away from the nursery.

“…but we’ve not seen Stevie today, we assumed he was ill…

It had been Joe’s turn to drop him off. Where the hell was he?

Anger curdles into fear.

Joe’s been distracted recently, stressed out. You read about people disappearing… surely not with Stevie?

Working from home, perhaps? No car on the drive

She heads for Joe’s office, as an ambulance races by.

The horrified group surrounding Joe’s car say it all.

An old man… Joe…? stumbles towards her.

“I forgot, Karen… he was asleep in the back.”

Back home, I was out taking frosty pics early this morning – makes a change from sand in your shoes, I guess.  Thanks to Rochelle, Friday Fictioneers kicks off once again.  Catch her blog radio interview if you get the chance – worth a listen.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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36 Responses to Distraction – Friday Fictioneers, February 2016

  1. Dear Sandra,

    What a horrid thing to happen. Distracted indeed. The sad thing is that it happens too often. You’ve captured the panic and despair of both parents.



    PS thanks for the linking to the interview. 😉


  2. I think I have read of such stories… horrific what can happen in a sun-warm car… I just hope the ambulance got there in time… I love how you pulled the news into the story.


    • Sandra says:

      This happened to a prominent family in the town where we used to live in Spain. And you can imagine how quickly it would happen there – a cold country with a searingly hot sun.


  3. Carolyn Page says:

    It is so common, these days, there is a name for this horrible situation – Forgotten Baby Syndrome.
    You captured the panic and desperation so vividly.


  4. ceayr says:

    I am squirming here.
    Brilliantly done.


  5. Oh my, what a tragedy. Such a strong story, all the emotions layered perfectly.


  6. Goodness the tension in this! I leaned forward further with each line I read.


  7. Modern cars, so unsafe.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dale says:

    I got chills up and down my whole body. This was so well written.
    This has happened too often in real life. I don’t know that I could ever forgive my spouse for such a thing.


  9. mickwynn2013 says:

    Chills and horror and finally despair. What a lot of emotions in such a short piece.


  10. This is horrible to imagine.
    Well written as always.


  11. ansumani says:

    Thank God that I didn’t come across such stories- real and fiction – when my kids were young. It would have me twisted up in nightmares. I can’t even imagine the pain and guilt the parents goes through.

    Great writing as always.


  12. Wow, this was frightening, alarming – plausible. Brilliant writing.

    Visit Keith’s Ramblings!


  13. Dee says:

    Excellent take Sandra, doesn’t bear thinking about. Modern life’s stresses and strains have a lot to answer for.


  14. rgayer55 says:

    Evidently, we’re a forgetful lot in Arkansas. It seems this happens 3 or 4 times a year in our state. They even post signs at the entrance of all the Walmart stores reminding customers of this danger. I don’t know how a person could live with themselves after letting this happen.

    A powerful piece, and timely, with summer fast approaching.


  15. gahlearner says:

    Heart-stopping tension, and heart-breaking end. You pulled me right in the way you hinted at the heat with her clinging shirt. I don’t know if spouses can forgive things like this.


  16. liz young says:

    Awful story well written enough to make me shudder.


  17. Indira says:

    I don’t know what to say Sandra. A nightmare for parents. Chilling for me. Beautifully written as is your style.


  18. Jan Brown says:

    What a twist! Unfortunately, this is a realistic horror story. Very effectively told, Sandra.


  19. Unbelievable how often it happens! Great writing!


  20. draliman says:

    What a terrible thing to happen. A moment’s distraction…


  21. penshift says:

    It’s gotten to the point were its illegal to leave children unattended in cars here. 😦


  22. This type of accident would always be a parent’s worst nightmare. Even a fictional story makes me cringe and your’s was extremely realistic. Well written as always, Sandra. —- Suzanne


  23. kathyd65 says:

    Tragic tale. I feel for them both. Nicely written.


  24. A devastating blow to both parents, for sure. I could feel the mothers anxiety and the fathers sorrowful emotions. An amazing write, Sandra, about a tragedy that will be a haunting nightmare.
    Isadora 😎


  25. Amy Reese says:

    What a horrible scenario, Sandra. You captured the despair of the parents and confusion very well. Nicely written. It happened once that my child was locked in a car. Luckily the fire department came quickly and the weather was mild.They told me that if it had been a hot day, they would have smashed in the window. In any case, it was a nerve-racking experience, but luckily not life threatening.


  26. I was just discussing a similar event with a good friend. Distraction can be deadly. You captured the frightening moment we have all had when we fear something bad has happened to a loved one. Very nicely written.


  27. rosemawrites says:

    Oh Sandra. You build the tension so well and your first sentence is just engrossing.


  28. Margaret says:

    A gripping story from start to finish. You capture the emotions perfectly. And the title is just right.


  29. rogershipp says:

    Powerful story…


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