Running Away (working title)
Retelling of running away through Amber
Changes: * if I had basically succeeded - homeless for a while, start picking up with camps, sees mom at one point, even tries to go home with her, runs away again after a week. * swap parents in a lot of cases: * Primarily running away from stepdad * Loves dad, terrified of heartbeat, resentment for being younger, etc. * Stepdad’s shit stinks * Not having a mom because of stepdad
Callbacks: * terrified of mom’s heartbeat * resentment for dad being younger * worry that will grow up with shit stinking of ash beacause dad’s always smelled like that b/c smoking in the bathroom * resentment of Jay for stealing mom
“Amber? Jeez, Amber! For crissakes, get in here!”
She was surprised at how quickly the fight-or-flight instinct kicked in. It took less than the two syllables of her name in her mother’s harried voice calling from the car. Her tail bristled out and her limbs went rigid. Her breathing first caught short, then came in short, sharp gasps.
Amber turned that pause in her step into a moment to hitch up her backpack further up on her shoulders. She drew on that well of confidence laying below the surface and converted the rush of adrenaline into the energy required to ignore her mother.
Doubtless her mother knew that she’d been heard. Amber’s ears were perked and alert, tail bristled out, and paws clenched tightly at the straps of her backpack.
She can follow me, she thought. She can drive alongside and follow me for once.
“Amber, pay attention. I swear to god.” Her mom wasn’t good at this. She had leaned across the passenger seat with the window rolled down, the better to holler, but her steering suffered for this. She kept angling toward the curb, then overcorrecting and jerking back into the road, almost into traffic.
For her part, Amber kept up her steady, ambling pace. She maintained a placid, unconcerned look on her face, afraid that if she lost control, it’d turn into a grimace of fear or manic laughter.
Her mom honked once, then again, then held down the horn. When the younger ringtail didn’t look up, she hollered in earnest, punctuating each word with another blast of the horn. “Amber! Marie! Jacobs!”
Amber halted and scowled, mastering the urge to berate herself for being so easily riled.
Before she exhausted that reservoir of confidence, she turned to face the car, bending to rest her paws on her knees. “Help you, ma’am?”
“Amber, get in the fucking car.”
Amber rolled her eyes and swung the passenger door wide, taking to heed her friends’ advice, slung her backpack into her lap — rather than into the back seat — as she slouched in beside her mother.