Crash Landing

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Welcome to another Friday Freewrite. Some days I just need to sit down and write. Some Fridays I share what I’ve written with you.

When the meteor hit Earth, I leapt for my phone.

And Caden only watched as the bright yellow letters flashed across the screen, announcing his defeat at the video game that had been keeping him distracted for the first twenty-five minutes of my shift. Then he simply tossed the video game controller to the floor, got to his feet, and left the room.

“I want a popsicle,” he said matter-of-factly as he made his way into the kitchen. I could hear the soft pop of cold air strike the room as he tugged at the bottom drawer and opened the freezer. I cringed and my fingers scuttled hurriedly across the keypad, desperate to fire off my 911 text to Ben before it was too late. Then I hastily hit SEND and leapt up from the Johnson’s brand new white leather couch.

“Nuh nuh no way, Sticky Stan.” My feet carried me across the slick tile floor as I slid into place between the fridge and the five year old, forming an X with my body. Caden looked up at me with a sad frown. All I could think about was his small, gooey, grape-covered hands hovering dangerously near the couch and my promised thirty-dollar tip for keeping all things colorful and gelatinous far away from the pristine white leather.

“Why?” Caden’s eyes were flecked with dewdrops and his bottom lip protruded prominently from the rest of his face. The patented Caden Pre-Cry. I’d seen it before. It was what came next that I’d yet to get a handle on.

My insides crumpled in a contortion of tight anxiety as I watched the twitch start in Caden’s little leg.

“’Cause your mom said so.” I tried reasoning with him and was surprised with how confident I managed to sound for only having been his babysitter these past two weeks. I tried to capitalize on the tone, hoping he’d respond to my newfound authority.

Instead, Caden gripped the bottom of his Captain America t-shirt and slid it down past his knees, stretching out the fabric to the floor.

“Now, don’t do that,” I said, reaching a caring hand out toward him. “You’ll ruin your shirt, honey.”

Just as I was about to place my palm on his shoulder, the twitch in his leg returned and Caden suddenly bolted out of the room. My own steps carried me quickly after him, but he reached the front door before I could catch him. With the ease of a trained escape artist, he twisted the knob and slipped outside.

“No—Don’t!” I shouted. “Come back!”

Caden launched himself off the front porch. A moment later, he was halfway across the front yard. He glanced back at me with a wry smile on his lips to judge my progress—

And ran straight into a pair of denim-clad legs standing at the edge of the front lawn.


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