Peter was now operating on some subliminal level, barely aware of the deserted road, the great dark trees along the verges and the rhythmical flashing of the street lamp. He hurtled towards the motorway. Screeching after him in their unmarked car the police knew that it would be a mistake to let him get as far as the six lane highway. There it would be relatively quiet at this hour and so would open the opportunity for greater speed, greater risk and heaven forbid but the chance of this lunatic escaping.
“Christ Bob the idiot’s on his mobile. How stupid is he really? I think it’s time to let him know we’re here.”
In the car Peter’s world of pain stepped up a level. “Peter, it’s Matron. If you’re driving will you pull over, dear? I’ll call you back again in a couple of moments, just find somewhere to stop your car.” The little handset quieted.
“No, no! Matron!” He yelled at the phone. Not for a moment did he consider stopping. That the Matron had rung back carried a message he refused to acknowledge but the worm of desperation wriggled in his whirling brain. The coruscation of the brilliant blue light didn’t register for long moments, not until the police car had raced close enough for the dancing beam to fill his rear view mirror to flick and pester at the corner of his vision.
“No.” The one word was a simple statement, a whispered denial. He wouldn’t, couldn’t stop. The two tone siren screamed at him, once, again and then again. They were nearer now, undeniable and real in the midst of this insanity. The alteration in his level of awareness brought him down a bit. As he began to regain some cognisance of the situation the tiny screen lit again and the mobile vibrated in his fingers. He jabbed with his thumb against the button, accepting the call he didn’t want. “Peter, are you parked, have you pulled over?” The screaming siren filled the world now and he could barely hear the woman.
Sitting in her night dimmed office the Matron was barely breathing, she knew he was still driving, could hear the roar of the engine and now the scream of the police siren. She had dreaded something like this as she had made the call. This was the part of the job that she disliked, with a high proportion of elderly patients in her care it was a rare week that didn’t bring her to this point. This boy though was different. She had expected an extreme reaction when the inevitable happened. They had long been impressed by his devotion, although some of the staff had found his adoration of the old lady disquieting and rather odd. She could do nothing now, her instinct was to hang up the call but if she did would he then try to dial while driving, an even worse scenario than the one that she was already a party to.
In the car Peter was yelling into the handset, “Tell me she’s okay, tell me she’s still there, Matron, please tell me she’s okay.” Of course, she couldn’t tell him that but with the scream of the siren and the gasping, pleading voice she found that, impossibly, she couldn’t think of what to say and so simply listened helplessly to the unfolding drama, invisibly enacted somewhere on the desperate highway
2 responses to “Peter”
You have built the tension beautifully.
Thank you very much
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