School Run

500 word story from a writing prompt. Enjoy:

The school doors open and a flood of children burst out, screaming and laughing. Steve knew it was hopeless looking for his grand-kids in that torrent of limbs. He waited patiently at the side, watching the flood disperse as parents and guardians pulled their children out through the gate.

As the press of bodies thinned out, Steve walked up to the gate and smiled at the teacher, who had the job of stopping the children running out onto the street. She seemed relieved as each child was taken away.
“Grand-dad! Look what I made today.” Steve oohed and aahed at the paint spattered mess Liza shoved under his nose. He hoped, she’d tell him what he was looking at, it was awful when she made him guess.
“Grand-dad, I’m staving!” David tugged his arm impatiently.

Walking back to the car, David informed Steve, how he scored three goals at lunch. In between the pauses of Davids replay, Liza told him about her best friend Mary. Whom Steve was certain had been her worst enemy last week. As he buckled her into her car seat, he asked about that.
“Oh Granddad, Mary let me use her pink pen, she’s not all that bad after all.”
And like that the alliance had changed. If only every conflict was solved so easily.

He pulled the car out of the car park, slowly. With the two children in the back, he was always much more cautious. He turned into his housing estate. Meandering through the estate, watching for any kids who would dash out. He saw a woman walking on the pavement. Without warning she turned and nearly fell over the bonnet of his car, which was crawling quietly along the street.

The car stopped. The kids gasped. She let out a screech. Steve let out a short burst of air. She was going to cause a scene.

“Watch where you’re going mister!” she yelled at him.
Steve rolled down his window.
“I am very sorry. Are you alright?”
Before she could answer, David called out his opened window.
“Lady, look both ways when you’re crossing the street. Grand-dad only goes ten miles an hour.”
The woman opened and closed her mouth: failing to think of a response. Steve was struggling to keep a grave face when Liza piped up.
“Maybe you should get your eyes tested.”
Steve exploded: roaring laughing. The woman looked like someone had slapped her.
Making sure he wasn’t going to bump into her, he drove off, chuckling away.

When his daughter came to pick up the kids later, he recounted the story. Tears running down his face.
“Oh Dad, we can budget in a babysitter now. I can take the kids off your hands.”
“What? Not at all. Not going to let some stranger look after them.” Steve insisted,  “Anyway, where would Liza hang all her paintings?” he gestured to the walls and cabinets of his kitchen. Every square inch had a paint spattered masterpiece.


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