The car swerved and skidded across the slick and icy bitumen. Adian clung onto the edge of his booster seat and peered out of the tinted window at the darkness that blanketed the usually familiar country side. Normally, the view showed rolling fields full of plowed rows, or at the right time of the year, wheat swaying in the gentle breeze. But tonight at this late hour, the black of night obscured the scene. The young boy glanced at his mum, who was fixated on driving the vehicle along the highway. Pale blue circles shadowed her lined eyes, and her eyelids occasionally fell in the way they do when in a state of complete exhaustion.
“Mummy?” Adian’s voice pierced the quiet air.
His mum jolted upright and shook her head a few times. “Yes, sweetie?”
“What are we doing out in the car? We never drive in the car at night.”
Adian’s mum sighed in fatigue. “I forgot my purse at the supermarket, remember? They called, and asked if I could come pick it up tonight, so we’re driving to the shops.”
Silence fell. Adian continued to stare out the window. The silence stretched out into long minutes. A noise woke the boy from his reverie. When he looked at his mum, another question already forming on his lips, he was surprised to see her head tilted, her eyes closed. A gentle snoring was escaping her parted lips.
“Mummy! Wake up!” Adian shouted, his soft voice cracking with the volume.
“Huh?” His mum mumbled, prising open her eyelids as the car lost control, careering over to the opposite lane and into the oncoming truck. The last thing Adian heard before the impact was his mum’s voice: “I love you Adian.”
The mother and son were taken to hospital in separate ambulances. The paramedics worked feverishly on the lifeless body of the mother. There was nothing they could do to save her. The young boy was lucky. He only suffered a concussion from hitting his head on the seat when the car smashed into the incoming truck. The only thing he repeated on the way to the hospital was this: Where has the unknown taken my mummy? I want my mummy back.