I sat in the backseat of the old car shivering and rubbing my arms frantically with my hands in an attempt to keep warm. There was ten inches of snow outside and the car was lodged within it. The backseat was raised slightly in the air and the nose was submerged in an embankment of ice and snow. Directly in front of me was the full moon. I had never seen it so large and bright, it looked like it had danced off the screen of a film. The entire mountainside was lit up by the moonlight.
My dad had taken my jacket when he left the accident to get help. It was 20 degrees below zero outside and we were miles away from any town or rest stop, I gladly gave it to him knowing that he would need it more than I did. Luckily, it wasn’t a jacket for a ten-year old, but a full size woman’s jacket that had been given to me as a hand-me-down from one of our neighbors a week prior.
My dad had been gone close to an hour when my mother finally awoke. She had been passed out in the front passenger seat. My baby brother, Gooey, was standing up on the floor with his head resting on her lap as he slept. I have no idea how they both were not awakened by the crash nor how Gooey was physically unmoved.
“Turn that fucking light off, Anthony!” my mother screamed.
“It’s the moon, mom.” I said.
A few minutes passed and mom started shouting again, “Get that fucking light out of my face Anthony! I’m trying to sleep! Anthony, I’m talking to you!”
Finally she opened her eyes, “Is that a street light?” she asked in a daze.
“No mom, it’s the moon.”
“Why are we stopped? Where are we? Where is your dad?” she began looking around.
Just then. lights appeared behind us, it was a car. We could hear the door open and a man carrying a flashlight emerged.
“What happened, Asterisk?” She asked me in a panic.
“Dad swerved off the road, I told him to slow down and he wouldn’t! He left an hour ago to get help!”
“Shit! That idiot! Maybe that’s him,” she said hopefully, right before the man knocked on our window. Her hope quickly turned to disgust as she discovered it was a police officer.
She opened the door and Gooey almost fell out onto the snow. Quickly, she had realized he was there and caught him just in time. The abrupt startle forced him awake and he started to cry.
Like flipping on a light switch, her personality changed and on went “the show.”
“Are you alright, Mam?” the officer asked.
“Oh my God, Sir! I’m so glad you are here! My husband lost control of the car. He left to find help. We have been here for over an hour, I thought my children would freeze to death! Did he send you?”
“No Mam. I was driving home from the night shift and thought I saw a twinkle from a tail light. I almost didn’t stop thinking my eyes were playing tricks on me from the full moon. I’m sure glad I did though. Come with me, I’ll take you to all the station, maybe your husband is there.”
My mom wrapped Gooey inside of her fur coat and I followed them into the armed vehicle. As I walked, the officer noticed my bare arms and offered me the jacket off his back. I thankfully accepted his offer.
It all started earlier that evening. It was Halloween and my family was invited to a little Idaho town two hours away from where we lived, a family gathering. My parents loved any excuse to party and were more than excited when the day came. I spent the afternoon helping my brothers into their costumes while my mom spent her time sipping mimosas and squeezing herself into a much too small Elvira costume. Once her tits were padded and mostly exposed, she cut the slit of the skirt up almost to her waist and slipped on a pair of high heels, a black wig and her token red lipstick. She dressed my dad as a nerd, had a good laugh at his expense, and we were off.
It was almost dark when we made our way into town and pulled up to my aunts restaurant. One side of the building was the cafe and the other was a bar. My dad parked the car out front and we headed inside.
As my aunt spoiled us kids with milk shakes and burgers our parents disappeared into the bar. Another aunt kept us busy with paper airplanes and a deck of playing cards, we played together with our cousins for several hours. The evening rolled into the night and our parents still hadn’t emerged from the saloon.
The night was winding down for everyone as my aunt loaded her kids into her car. My brother, Aaron, wanted to tag along with them, and with my parents approval he did. As Aaron climbed his way into my aunts van, she told me she would have gladly taken Gooey and I along, had she the extra seating, but instead promised my parents would be leaving shortly.
Another hour had passed since their departure and Gooey and I sat alone in the dark cafe. I watched him playing around on the floor by himself. He was next to the jukebox and started using it as a means to lift him self up. Once he was standing he let go, pulled his right foot forward and took his first step. It was incredible to see and I was so excited that I forgot about the age limit and ran into the bar.
“Mom! Dad! Come here! Look at Gooey! Quick!” I shouted.
“Get out of the fucking bar!” my mom screamed.
I looked around to realize where I was, “I know I’m not supposed to be in here but Gooey just took his first step!”
My mom rolled her eyes but followed my to the cafe anyway. Gooey was sitting on the floor.
“He’s on the floor,” she slurred drunken and annoyed.
“I know but he just walked!”
She strutted over to Gooey and picked him up, “Oh sweetie baby boy, did you just walk? Ahhhh, good boy,” she said, putting on a show for my benefit. She kissed him on his forehead leaving a red lip imprint then sat him back down before turning to me.
“Listen to me, Asterisk,” she slurred with her eyes bulging, “Don’t fuck with me, okay? I’m serious. Don’t. Fuck. With. Me. We will leave when I am ready. You need to sit here an behave. I’m warning you, don’t fuck with me.”
My dad walked out, “Come on, Asterisk. We are having a good time. Don’t blow it for us. Just watch your brother. I’ll get your mom out of here in a bit.”
“Don’t promise her shit, Anthony! She’s a little selfish bitch! I can’t stand her!”
It was close to 2 am when my dad went out to warm up the car. I was still awake and Gooey was asleep on my lap. Once the car was heated I carried Gooey to the back and began buckling him into his child seat. My dad and my uncle were helping my mom to the car. She still had a drink in hand and was unable to keep her footing. Once she was finally seated inside she started to shout at me.
“Give me Gooey! Give him to me now. I want my baby.”
“Gooey is fine in his seat. He’s asleep,” I said.
“He is not your child! He is mine, I am the mother! Not you!”
“Then act like it. You missed his first step tonight.”
“Asterisk! Please, just give Gooey to your mother. I don’t need this shit right now,” my dad lectured.
I unbuckled the baby and passed him to the front seat. My dad pulled out of the lot and entered onto the dirt road. It had started to snow again and the roads were icy. He was driving well over the speed limit.
“Dad, you need to slow down,” I begged.
“Stop it, Asterisk. You are just like your mother nagging me all the time.”
“Seriously Dad, you are going too fast. You need to slow down.”
“Do you have a fucking drivers license?”
“No, but I know the speed limit!”
“When you have a fucking drivers license, you can tell me how to drive, but not now.”
I sat back in my seat and had just clenched the handle on the door when it happened.
One of the wheels went over a rock and the bump set the car off course. The tires slipped on the slick ice and threw the vehicle into a spin. We spun in a full circle as I began to scream, then again. The car had just started into the third spin when it shifted and instead skid in a sideways line off the side of the road, through the snow and slammed into the embankment.
Once the car had come to a halt we sat in silence for what seemed like minutes. Finally my dad reached his head back to me, “Are you okay?”
“Ya, I’m okay. How’s Gooey?” I asked in a panic.
“Still asleep. So is your mom, but that’s no surprise. She drank enough to kill a horse. I’m going to go get help. Give me your jacket.”
I peeled it off my body and handed it to him. He fought with the too-short sleeves for a moment then zipped it up, before heading into the freezing night in search of help.
It was 4 am when we finally pulled into the police station that night. My dad was there, still in my coat.
“Oh my God! I’m so glad you guys are okay, I just got here. I walked the entire way. I tried to hitch a ride by some assholes in a truck but they flipped me off. Then those mother fuckers threw beer cans at me,” my dad yelled.
We all took seats in the warm office together. The off-duty policeman who had given us a ride made some hot cocoa before handing me a cup. It was warm and sweet. We sat back and waited for my uncle to come get us while watching a small black and white TV.
My uncle arrived roughly an hour later.
“You wont believe this,” he said once inside the station, “I saw your car sitting on the side of the road, did you have someone tow you out of the embankment already?” he asked a bit shocked.
“No,” my dad said, “I was going to ask you to do it.”
“That’s what I thought. Well, I guess there’s a Good Samaritan out there somewhere who you owe a beer to. Lets get going, these kids need to get to bed.”
“No shit!” my dad said shaking his head in disbelief, “I guess the world is not fully corrupt after all.”
We walked out of the police station and huddled into my uncles truck just as the sun was starting to rise.