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The Toyota: Part one in a story about a mother and child trying to escape an abusive home at Christmas time
Posted by Douglas, Dec 4, 2007. 4609 views. ID = 375

The Toyota

Posted by Douglas, Dec 4, 2007. 4609 views. ID = 375
This post was written in 15 minutes.
The names are made up, but this is a true story. It's something that happened several years ago.
This post has been awarded 43 stars by 10 readers.
This post is Part 1 of a writing series titled The Toyota and The Stable.

Toyota might make a nice truck, but it was never designed to be used like this. Maggie twisted sideways in the seat, trying to get comfortable. Next to her Jenny shivered and snuggled closer, sharing her body heat. Her soft snoring turned briefly to a moan, then returned to the quiet, rasping breath of normal sleep.

Out the window of the truck, Maggie could see the dark silhouettes of evergreens burdened with snow. Large white flakes drifted down and settled on the windshield; soon the entire truck would be covered.

Everything here was foreign to her. Everything was a reminder of what she had left behind. She was homesick – desperately homesick. Homesick for warbling birds, tall straight palmettos, and generous, kind people -but most of all, she was homesick for the warmth of her home in the Carolinas.

When she had fled with nothing but two small suitcases and little Jenny in tow, Maine – with its harsh winters and oddly unsocial people - would not have been her destination of choice. But her high school friend Marta had offered to take her in, and Marta lived here in the cold North East. Maggie was confident her husband would not be able to find them here, so Maine - for all its strangeness - was the safest place to be.

But when they finished their long, desperate journey from the south, they found that Marta had moved to Portland, and her new apartment was too small to include a terrified runaway mother and child. With no money, no home, and with two days until Christmas, Maggie and Jennifer were hungry and cold, huddled together, desperate to stay warm in the cab of Maggie’s battered Toyota pickup.

Maggie turned away from the strange winter landscape out her window and looked again at her daughter. She saw that the blanket they shared had slid away, leaving Jenny’s back exposed to the cold. She reached across Jenny’s shoulders, gently tugged the blanket and tucked it under the girl’s slim, shivering form.

This is no way to spend the holidays, she thought. But how desperately hard it was to ask for help from strangers! “Tomorrow,” she said, and that one word was a promise heard by no one but herself and the cold wintery silence.

Copyright 2007 Douglas. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 43 stars by 10 readers.
This post is Part 1 of a writing series titled The Toyota and The Stable. The next part of this series can be found here: The Shelter.
This post is part of a writing prompt: Homeless On Christmas
This is a revised version of a post. Click here to view the original version


Dec 4, 2007
Wow! Amazing writing style on this one!!
Sad story though. :-(
   ~Posted by Katie, Dec 4, 2007

Dec 4, 2007
thanks Katie. :)
   ~Posted by Douglas, Dec 4, 2007

Dec 13, 2007
Very touching! I like the descriptions here :-)
   ~Posted by Laura, Dec 13, 2007

Jan 13, 2008
Wonderfully written, but sad, noone should have to go through such a long winters night.
   ~Posted by Sylavash, Jan 13, 2008

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