Just Maddy pt. 7

by Martha Hubbard

‘So, that was that. Am I really doing this?’ she wondered, watching the wind-devils carousing around her porch while forcing herself to eat some of the soup she’d made for herself. ‘I need to do something or I’ll go nuts.’ 

She got up, rechecked her back pack and added a collection of Robert Frost poems. The shouting, laughing and yowling that passed for singing gradually quieted as the combination of much cheap alcohol and Maddy’s little helper defeated even the loudest and most determined reveller. 

‘Boy, oh boy,’ Maddy thought. ‘Are they ever going to have sore heads in the morning. And am I glad I won’t have to deal with them.’ That thought suddenly made it all real. She was leaving. Nothing and no one was going to stop her. 

At four in the morning she slopped gingerly back to the lodge. The lounge looked like a bomb had gone off in it. Bodies were sprawled everywhere. Chair legs were snapped, couches were damp with vomit and urine and the floor was awash in a mix of trash and something stinky. Maddy extinguished the last of the candles and banked the fire carefully. There was no way she was going to allow an accident to call attention to her absence. A fire in the lodge would bring in the police, and they would want to know where she was They wouldn’t lift a finger over a runaway 15 year old, but a fire might make them feel they had to look for her.. Most of the local cops thought she should have run away ages ago, anyway. At the sound of her moving about, Da opened one eye, saw it was her, grunted and rolled over, back to sleep.

Turning off the lights, she went into the kitchen. There, she boiled eggs, made up more platters of meat and cheese, covering them with cling-film, sliced bread, put out butter and jam. Then she thoroughly washed out the coffee canister and put fresh grounds in to the top. They could boil their own damn water. 

After making sure that all the doors and window were properly shut and locked, she picked up the sandwiches she had made for herself and slipped silently back up to her cabin. At five-thirty, she walked onto her porch, looked up to the stars which had come out, and set off down the road for the main gate to the camp. There was no way she was going to be late this morning. 

At twenty-five minutes past six, Maddy saw the lights of her escape chariot approaching. She signalled and it glided to a stop right beside her. 

“Morning Maddy. You’re off early?”

“Yea, Harold. One of Da’s guests got some kind of stomach bug. I’ve got to track down the pharmacist and get something to stop the vomiting.”

“They have to send a wee thing like you? None of those big guys could have gone for it?”

“They’re mostly too drunk to stand up. Let alone drive a car.” Maddy held out a fiver for her ticket. 

“I suppose you’re right.” Harold shook his head. No one in the area much liked what went on in the lodge in the winter. “Bah! Put that away. I don’t want your money. Just sit up front and keep me company.”

Maddy looked around. She was the only passenger. “Sure Harold. Thanks.” As the bus moved down the coast, weaving in and out of the small villages that depended on it, the sky lightened as dawn slowly condescended to make an appearance. By the time they got to Bangor, the canopy overhead was a brilliant lavender, while the snow carpet was spattered with silver and gold glitter from the rising sun. It was going to be a beautiful day.

“You take care now, Maddy,” said Harold as she got off in the bus parking lot.

“I will Harold, I promise.” Maddy went straight inside to the ticket window. 

“One single ticket to Boston, please,” she asked politely, looking directly into the cashier’s face with her startling, clear blue eyes.

“Boston! That’s a long way for a little thing like you.”

“I know and I’m so excited. It’s the first time I’ve ever been outside of Maine.”

“Wow! Are you sure you’ll be all right so far from home?”

“Of course. I’m going to see my Gran. She’s gonna meet me there.” 

Finis





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