Black Will Have to Capture

We sit in silence, staring out of the windscreen at the dark motorway bridge up ahead. She's a shadow in the corner of my eye. Her glasses give off a tiny amber glow.

For a mini-moment, I daydream that I'm reaching out to her, touching her shoulder, my arm disappearing into the blackness of her shape. She's just cold air. Nothing. A void. Like she's cut out of existence. Like the vacant eyes of Mo's rocking horse.

A lorry tears past us on the inside lane, rocking the car slightly and sending up a huge crash of water. I flick the ignition on, put the wipers on full, and watch the lorry's glowing red lights bleed off into the distance.

"Can we go now?" she says quietly.

I start the car and put the gear stick into first. "Sure."

"Dad?" she whispers.

"What?" I talk loudly as I pull the car back onto the highway, gradually picking up speed.

"Why did you stop?"

"I don't know." I almost shout. "Is your seatbelt on?"

"Where are we going?"

"Is your seatbelt on?" I glance at her.

"Course it's on," she sounds scared, shaky. "Dad where are we going?"

"We're going to a place called The Actory."

"Where's that?"

"It's where your... It's where Mo used to - live."


"Why what?"

"Why are we going there?"

"Because," I lean forward against the steering wheel. "Just…"

There's another moment of silence as we stare ahead, the wipers droning across, obliterating specks of rain, the back lights of the lorry that overtook us now gaining size.

She takes a huge wheezy breath and panics, unfastening her seat belt and throwing herself against the passenger side door; a red WARNING symbol pops up on the dashboard and there's a loud, urgent bleeping noise as the sound of the road becomes deafening as she forces the door open against the wind, her hair rippling out, jagged tawny light rushing across her back, and I reach out and grab the hood of her coat as I hit the brake and swerve towards the hard shoulder – "What're you doing!"– and pull her, choking, back inside.