Mom had one of her headaches. She took her medicine before she picked us up from school then almost plowed over the fifth grade crossing guards. They waved their neon flags like crazy. Mom didn't even slow down. She just breezed through the zebra stripes like nothing. The guards yelled and jumped out of the way, and the redhead threw his plastic flag pole like a spear and it bounced off the rear window.
"What was that," Mom asked.
"Stop! You are supposed to stop," I said. "Flags mean stop."
In the backseat, my little brother had curled into crash position like we'd learned on the airplane. I told him it was okay. I told Mom she almost hit the crossing guards.
I waved a "sorry" to the redhead who was probably going to target me hard in dodgeball. Mom adjusted the rearview mirror. I don't know if it was to see the cross guards too late or to check on Joey who didn't sit upright until Mom turned into the parking lot of our complex. Then he threw open his door and jumped out while the car was still rolling. His seatbelt dangled out the door.
What was that," Mom asked.
I wasn't sure if she meant the clunk of the belt buckle or Joey jumping or something else she was seeing with her headache eyes, and it didn't matter.
"Nothing," I said. "It's fine. You should go to bed."
(From a short story in progress. Image from @194angellstreet)