It happened just as Adelaide was throwing her second u-turn on the road she would later discover they didn’t need to be on anyway.
Her eldest boy said, ‘Mum, haven’t we already been here? It’s half past twelve and we told them we’d be there at eleven’.
‘Well, thank you Captain fucking Obvious,’ Adelaide said, while simultaneously realising that her arms were long enough to reach into the back seat, unbuckle her eldest child, pull him towards her then fling him from her window in the manner of a newsagent delivering the morning papers.
So giddying was the liberating effect of this move that she repeated it for her youngest child who landed softly in the next paddock next to his brother, such was the previously unknown skill of for her extended throw.
Guiltlessly, Adelaide watched as the children were rescued by a pair of passing pelicans, who, coincidentally, were the same pelicans who had perched on the roof of the school only two days before the end of term and dropped such spectacular shits on the path leading down to the playground that the children had danced around the collected mothers at the end of the day recounting the moment that the pelican poo had almost hit Oscar and Lucinda, while the mothers could only look on incredulously until said incident had been confirmed by a teacher and a mother who was an expert in pelican poo.
Adelaide put her foot to the floor. She could afford to burn petrol like it really was juice, for just yesterday afternoon she had received the advance for her latest novel which she had, after all, written, instead of sitting mindlessly at her computer, refreshing bloglines, playing games of word twist against herself and reading Josh and Donna fan fiction.
As with her previous novels, this would bring her both literary acclaim and financial fortune.
She used her handsfree phone kit to check her messages. One from Pinky Beecroft and one from Willy Vlautin, both of whom had just penned songs inspired by her raging hotness which she hid, seductively, beneath her fragile exterior of delicate beauty.
She pressed 5, once, twice, deleting both their messages. She needed no man. She needed no one. Adelaide was a proud, independent, self-sufficient woman. She was satisfied that she had achieved to the best of her intellectual capabilities; she was heart-stoppingly excited that time had marched her through her twenties and thirties and towards the adventure-filled years that would be her forties; she was proud of the life well-lived she saw reflected in her wrinkles; and she had not even noticed that she had put on one whole stone in the last twelve months because in fact, she had not fallen into a miserable slump on the lounge, mimicking her mother by comforting herself with alcohol and unwise food choices and had not, therefore, put on even an ounce of self-punishing weight.
And she drove off into the sunset, which was especially beautiful for that time of day which was twelve thirty five, knowing that she had a suitcased filled with clean knickers and matching bras.
And then she woke up and it was all a nightmare and she was still driving around Two Wells trying to find the new dog kennel they were using because she was too ashamed to use the other dog kennel (which did pick ups and deliveries of the pups) after the last time when the cheque bounced and the woman was a bit unecessarily snippy even after Adelaide had explained the unusual circumstances and immediately transferred the money into the dog kennel account; and if they didn’t find a petrol station soon they would be not only lost at around lunchtime with no food and the children’s stomachs already grumbling, but out of petrol too, and her without a charged mobile phone.
And there was still the washing to be done.