2 min read

#82: Prayer

#82: Prayer
Odd Spot - The Age - 05/04/2022

It was worse than déjà vu. Way worse. That first night when Matilda went out driving was terrifying, and yet it wasn't. It was their firstborn, their precious daughter, the one they could trust.

This was Rory. Their wayward son, self-inflicted piercings in all manner of places (evidently), and now, not because they wanted to, but because the state decided that a teenager could get behind the wheel of a car, by themselves, or with mates, Rory was backing out of the driveway knowing their eyes where on him.

As soon as the red lights disappear round the bend, Peter and Grace snuggle up on the couch with the iPad ready to go. The tracking device will give them a clear sense of where he is and how fast he'd travelling.

They watch the tiny yellow dot flash down Suburban St. towards the highway overpass. Grace knew not to ask what his plans were. It didn't matter, as Rory probably had no plans other than to pick up Amy and find some place quiet to... better not think about that.

When the little dot turns off right before the lights, they exchange a look of bewilderment. He, their rebel son, the one who is angry at the world, has decided his first act as an independent driver is to go through the drive through at Maccas.

"Does Amy work there?" Peter asks.

"I doubt it. She's vegan."

"Of course she is," Peter says, pinching in to get a better sense of where the car is.

Rory pulls up the handbrake and in a practiced move opens the bonnet, pulls off the adhesive tape for the GPS tracker, quickly places it with new tape onto the wheel arch of the car next to his.

If only his parents understood how the internet worked. The package arrived weeks ago with clear markings it was from GPS Friend. Who hadn't heard of it? Days later, he checked his father's iPad and sure enough, the red icon appeared. As his mother's car was in the driveway, and the tracker showed that his father's car was on his way home from work, Rory knew what they were up to.

"I bet he's eating before picking up Amy," Grace says.

The dot remains in the car park for another ten minutes before driving over the highway and out towards the industrial zone of the city. It pulls into a side street and parks.

Peter googles the address, and it's one of those nondescript brothels catering to the flouro clad clientele.

Grace swipes up to close out the app.

"That can't be right," she says, more as a prayer than a statement of fact.