If you read my Flash Fiction challenge post from 9/21/2021 hosted by Fandango, this is the fourth excerpt of the story I have started from that first #FFFC. In the second episode, the mystery of where Mommy (Davina) has gone or what has happened. In the third episode, a bad person comes into the mix, with Fiona and Sebastian starting to feel the effects of her not being home yet. Let’s continue, and I hope soon to have a title.
Fiona, with Sebastian at her side holding her hand, approach the door of the restaurant. Fiona looks through the window to see if she sees Davina, and of course she is not in sight nor is she probably even there. She opens the door, and they are greeted by her co-worker, Sharon.
‘Well, hey Sebastian! Good evening, Ms. Fiona! What brings you guys in here so late in the day? Fiona with ya?’
Sebastian smiled and waved at the waitress innocently without hesitation, and he was oblivious to the dire situation that was going on around him when he saw her. However, that was exactly what Gammy didn’t want to hear, and Sharon must have seen that dread in her face, as her smile dropped to a face full of perplexity. Fiona didn’t gasp, but she felt like she did inside herself. The dread in her stomach becoming fire all over her body.
‘Oh…are you guys okay, ya alright?’, she asks as she looks down at the sweet little boy that really had no idea what was going on as he still smiled at her.
‘Share, we needs Mommy to come and gib us our drinks now, okay?’
Sebastian believes Davina is still there. Gammy sighs and begins telling the sweet waitress why they have come down at such a late hour, as it was nearing the graveyard shift hours. Fiona explained that they had no idea where she was and how she never made it back to the house when she got off of work. The pit of her stomach was down at her feet, and her fear was making her heart race. She looked for the nearest booth to sit down. She was heavy on her feet, feeling a bit dizzy with anxiety. Sebastian pops up onto the seat he normally sits upon excited and anxiously awaiting his momma.
‘I’ll go grab you some water, Ms. Fiona.’
Sharon rushes to the counter, hands shaking, and she fills a plastic Pepsi-labeled glass with ice and water, while grabbing a couple of straws and milk for Sebastian. Fiona knew she was showing signs of distress, and Sebastian, thankfully, had become less observant once they got to Boo’s.
Davina was not there. She knew she wouldn’t be. As the thought raced across her mind, she was distracted by the glass of water being placed before her and Sharon’s chilled hand being placed upon her shoulder for comfort. Gammy sipped her water slightly after poking the straw into the cup. Her hands were shaking as well.
‘Sebastian, sip on your milk for a minute while I talk to Sharon. I’ll be right over here’, she stated softly while pointing across the room to an area by the counter.
He nods agreeably but still looks around the room at all the other waitresses running around the room, still not seeing his mommy.
The countertop was cold as Fiona sets her cup upon it and asks Sharon if she had seen anything odd before the end of Davina’s shift or if she had seen her before she left. They were close, Davina and Sharon. They would sometimes meet next door at the club, The Verve, where her daughter spent her late shift. If anyone knew anything, Sharon would be that person.
‘Ya know, Ms. Fiona, it was a peaceful night in here when I was first coming in, and she had been taking care of a customer over there in that corner booth. They seemed to know one another, but I had never seen him in here before. I can tell you that she was in a hurry to leave to get home to Sebastian though.’
As Fiona’s head hung lower, she looked over to see Sebastian being a kid and playing with the straw in his milk…blowing bubbles and watching them pop. Giggling. Clueless. She realized she needed to keep it that way for a bit.
‘Thank you, Sharon. Is there anyone else on her shift you can think for me to call upon? Was Brad here during her shift?’
‘I think he had left early because Laura was not feeling well. They left together, but our cook has been here since 1 o’clock because the new cook didn’t show up for his shift. He’s not busy, so I’ll have him come talk to ya’.
She waddled away into the kitchen, and Fiona laid her face on the cool counter for a moment. Her face was so hot with the anxiety building in her gut. She lifted it as she heard feet shuffling near her. “Ma’am?”
Again, she asks about her daughter’s shift and if he saw or heard anything odd on Davina’s end of her shift. He knew nothing. He was stuck behind a range full of food on that shift. Where are you Davina? Who was that guy she was handling at the end of her shift? More thoughts ran crazy through Fiona’s chaotic mind. Everyone in the room was no longer there…only her thoughts…until Sharon brought her back to reality with another pat on the shoulder, this time to bring her eyes up from the counter and hear her.
‘You may need to make a report, Ms. Fiona. She’s not next door?’
‘No, I’m going in there next…but she’s not there. I didn’t see her car anywhere parked. I haven’t driven around back yet, so that’s my next step I suppose.’ She was frustrated and scared.
‘Do you want me to take Sebastian to play with Jenna? He can stay the night while you look around.’
Sharon would help out with watching Sebastian from time to time when Gammy had to go out of town to check in on their post office box out of town and when making sure to check in with the Marshall’s in Pulaski County, Arkansas on the nights Davina worked at the club.
‘Are you sure it wouldn’t be an inconvenience? I sure will appreciate it.”
‘Not at all, Ms. Fiona. I am glad to help.”
Sharon was scared too. She didn’t know why though. She didn’t know that they had been put there to be safe from Cole, a very abusive man who almost killed her right in front of Sebastian when he was just a year old. Both ladies head to the table to give Sebastian the news that he would spend the night with Jenna, Sharon’s daughter, and he was ecstatic. As most kids behave, he was always excited for a sleepover.
‘We were waiting for Davina, so he hasn’t had much to eat.’
‘I’ll get him the usual…go on ahead and handle what you need to, Ms. Fiona. He’ll be safe with me.’
Gammy kisses Sebastian on the forehead, grabs the truck keys from the booth’s table, and heads out the door once again to find her daughter. She looks around everywhere as she walking to her pickup…nothing. She hops in the seat, pulls away from the curb, and whips the big truck down the skinny alley on the other side of the brick building that housed both of Davina’s employers. As she creeps slowly down the alley, she sees it. She sees Davina’s Prius. The driver’s door is still open. She pulls up closer, tears welled up in her eyes and heart exploding in her chest. Her keys lay there…on the dirty pavement.
Fiona calls the police. The dispatcher answers. “I need help. Please hurry”.