My first attempt at fiction! Inspired by an accident I saw a few weeks ago. Let me know what you think...
No, really. Criticism is welcome.
"Why don’t you tell me again how it happened. From the top.”
Opal glanced around worriedly. Her eyes swept past the police, the paramedics. Thoughts of Paul and his inevitable lectures about how a woman her age shouldn’t be driving filled her head. Ever since that little fender bender last year he’d been just unbearable. She hadn’t even been hurt! Just a few little bruises. Paul certainly had a temper.
The flashing blue lights of the police car snapped Opal back to the present. “He came out of nowhere!” She blinked back tears. It was true. Maybe she had been going a little too fast, and of course that curve was the site of many an accident, but the young man on the motorbike must have been invisible until the moment of impact.
Officer James sighed. Miss Opal was going to be in a world of trouble if that boy in the ditch didn’t pull through.
They both looked up as the paramedics loaded the man into the ambulance. One of them caught Officer James’ eye and shook his head slightly. It didn’t look good.
"Come along with me to the station, ma'am, and we'll talk more. And we'll call your son, too."
As he helped her into the patrol car, Quentin James thought back on his eight years in the Highway Patrol. Never had he seen an accident like this one. The motorcycle was actually embedded into the front of Opal's Cadillac. They hadn't been able to identify the boy on the bike yet but he hadn't been wearing a helmet. If he hadn't been thrown to the water-filled ditch, he would have surely died already.
Officer James looked up warily as a black BMW screeched to a stop in front of his patrol car. Must be the old lady's son.
"Mother!" The kid was out of the car and scuttling towards them, engine running and door open, barely stopping to put the car in park. He looked more angry than worried. "Mother! What were you thinking?"
Opal cringed, shrinking into the back of the car. "Paul, please..."
Officer James tried to keep the peace. "Son, your mother's had quite a scare. This isn't the time to be berating her."
"Officer, is my mother under arrest?"
Quentin didn't like the man's tone, but he was used to dealing with all sorts in his line of work. "No, sir, she's not under arrest. I do need to talk to her, though, and get this mess straightened out. How did you even know about the accident?"
"It's a small town, Officer." Paul looked at Quentin disdainfully. "Good news sure travels fast."
"Son, you can either come along to the station with me and help get this taken care of or you'll have to go."
Paul shot his mother an evil glare.
What kind of relationship must they have? Officer James was baffled at the malevolence in Paul's face. He really seems to despise her.
"She just doesn't listen!" Paul spat the words out, giving each one it's own sentence.
"Now just calm down." Officer James tried to diffuse an increasingly explosive situation.
Paul took several deep breaths and appeared to gather himself up.
Officer James' radio squawked to life. After a hushed conversation with the disembodied voice on the other end, Quentin turned back the Opal and Paul. "He died en route. Ma'am, you have the right to remain silent."
"Oh, no you don't!" Paul darted to his car, ruffled around in the glove compartment and turned back, triumphant, with a gun in his hand. "Leave her alone," he said. "I'll deal with her later."
Instantly, Quentin's own gun was in his hand. "Boy, you don't want to do this. Just think about what you're doing."
"I am thinking. You're going to arrest my mother! I can't let you do that." A wild look had come into Paul's eyes. The look of a man on the brink of losing control.
A light rain started, darkening the street around them and whispering through the trees.
"Put the gun down." Quentin spoke firmly, yet calmly.
Paul sighed enormously and rushed him, closing the space between them in five giant bounds, gun in hand.
A deafening roar.
Opal looked at Officer James, his gun still smoking. Paul lay in a heap at her feet, a pool of blood slowly spreading beneath him as the rain began falling in earnest. Silently, she began to cry.