TITLE: HARD NOX
GENRE: Young Adult
Red and blue lights flashed in the rearview mirror, setting Nox Somner's teeth on edge. She shot a glance at the blond boy in the driver's seat.
"So, you pulling over, or should I hop out the window and make a break for it?" Nox grabbed the window crank, tight fingers betraying the anxiety behind her joke.
"Very funny." Memphis sighed, slowly pulling to the side of the road. "I don't get it. I wasn't speeding. All my lights are working. I just want to get home and drown my math test blues in biscuits and gravy. Is that so much to ask?"
"Well, if it isn't my favorite officer." Nox watched in the side mirror as Sergeant Carris bumbled around inside the car, doing whatever cops do while people wait, hearts pounding to find out what they had done wrong. Flashing lights and police presence made Nox's heart pound for a different reason. She first met the Sergeant when he came to tell her and Haden their parents were dead.
Drumming her fingers in rhythm to the rain, her eyes sought out the River Styx flowing next to the road. The curving grey water soothed her. Don't freak out. Memphis got pulled over all the time; it probably had nothing to do with her. Dr. Tom said these panic moments were part of her PTSD. It made therapists feel better to name stuff, but as far as she could tell, having a name for painful emotions didn't make them easier to deal with.