Well, this was a bit of a weird story. I wrote it while driving up the coast for a holiday (I mean, I wasn’t driving…my mum was). Anyway, here we go:
A small Asian girl, pulling her mother across the road. I had no idea what their names were, but for our purposes they can be called Kat and Mrs Chen.
I stayed in the car, rain fogging up the windows, as they approached. For two people in a McDonald’s parking lot, they sure seemed gloomy. I was about to drive away, having finished my coffee, but I saw they were heading straight for my car. What did they want?
Whatever it was, Kat and Mrs Chen were getting wetter by the second. I leaned backwards, opened the door to the backseat and ushered them in. Mrs Chen looked more sickly than I had thought.
‘Help,’ said Kat, panting a little, ‘Help us.’
‘Help you do what?’ I said, completely bewildered.
‘We’ll both die soon like this.’ Kat’s eyes were dimming, Mrs Chen’s hands shaking. ‘Please.’
I had no idea what they meant, but a sense of awful dread stuck to me. ‘What do you want me to do?’
‘Drive,’ said Kat. ‘Drive, and I will direct you.’
I’d just been celebrating that I’d finally got my P plates. I didn’t need this kind of hassle. But I found myself driving out of the car park, curious and worried despite myself.
I obeyed Kat’s instructions as the girl’s breathing became ever more ragged. But soon I slowed down. Where the hell were we? I knew the look of everywhere in a half-hour radius – I’d driven everywhere trying to get my P plates. This wasn’t possible. As I kept driving, the asphalt petered out below me, until I was driving on dirt.
‘Almost there,’ said Kat, and I wasn’t sure if she was trying to reassure me, herself or Mrs Chen. Whatever the case, I was now in a place that didn’t – couldn’t – exist. Rolling green hills, blue sky free of clouds, and trees laden with fruit I’d never seen in my life. ‘Where are we?’
Kat smiled, colour returning to her face. ‘We are in Malawai, home of the Elves.’
I drained the last of my coffee and tried to remember if I’d taken any drugs lately. Nope. Maybe she was on drugs. ‘What?’
Kat helped her mother out of the car. As I watched, their coats turned to shiny silver armour. Mrs Chen’s face regained its youth and turned male. Standing in front of me were a pair of warriors.
‘You should not have helped us,’ said the boy.
‘Shit,’ I said.