48 hours 500ish words - Let The Challenge Begin...
The loud blast of an angry car horn made Jenny leap, only the strong biting grab of her seat belt saving her from slamming her forehead on the steering wheel. With a muttered curse she continued her kerb crawl ignoring the louder and louder beeps behind her. They could all go to blazes, this mission was too important to rush. Struggling to peer into the garish glare of the seedy shopfronts, Jenny scanned each hooded teenager throroughly, slowly, intensely. Where the hell was Immie, and what on earth was her seventeen year old daughter doing sneaking out of their hotel in the dead of night? She could not believe that her normally sensible child had changed almost overnight under the influence of an on-line acquaintance. This new Immogen was an absolute stranger to her own Mother. The once sweet dark-haired beauty had been transformed into an angry, sweatshirt-clad, sullen punk. She had even tinted her glossy brown hair with some sort of murky purple dye, though Jenny supposed she should be grateful that there were no body piercings or tattoos to worry about. None that she could see anyway.
The kerbside crawl continued. Cars now weaved around her snail-pace vehicle, drivers screaming abuse as they flew past. She had no idea what she would do if she could not find Immie. She was in a strange land, with no friends or contacts to call on... well none she wanted to renew connection with if she had a choice.
A glimpse of a plum haired beauty under a darkened hood quickened her pulse. Is it? Craning forward, Jenny rolled down the window for a clearer look. Only then did she notice the grey-haired man holding her child in his suit-clad embrace. Dear God, he was so much older, even in her wildest imagining she had not expected this.
"Immogen!" Anxiety raised the pitch of her voice, shrilly splitting the underlying night murmers. The couple turned, dismay warring with relief as Immie recognised her mother. The companion merely sheepishly shrugged, appearing resigned and prepared for this confrontation. Her anger overrode concern, and Jenny thought she could easily kill right then. How could he act as if this was not a big deal, what sort of a person was she dealing with?
"Hi Mum." Her daughter's defiance resurfaced, shock receeding quickly. She pulled her reluctant companion over to the now stationery car. "Aren't you going to say hello to Dad?"
Shocked brown eyes met the bemused brown gaze of her former youthful indiscretion, thought long left behind in her agonised dash back to Australia.
Damn internet, once Immie knew her birth father's name she would not be deterred from this destructive path. The web made the world so bloody small sometimes.
"Hello Ari. Long time no see."