Are tires squeled as Steve had to yank the van rownd in a cercle rarther than crash in to the gates. A littel car was roaring along biside us. I wotched as it drove right up clowse to the men shutting the gates. An arm came owt the windo and sprayed some thing at them. Thay recoiled in pane, screming. A skinny old man, oh my god it was CrazyStranger, how dus he get in on evry thing, then lept owt of the car and heved on the metel gates to opern them for us. We saled thrugh and Steve stepped on it. I strapped LittelBaby in to her sete and kept LittelBrudda on my nees. I operned the fridge and got owt some donuts as I coud tell the por babies had been pritty much starved in that horribel lab.
Arfter less than a minit, Zoe showtid from the frunt. ‘Weve got cumpny!’
Duncan looked owt the windo. ‘Shit, there trying to ram us in the arse,’ he said.
I looked at the sticky donut in my hand. I had a good idear. Some times I am jus brillyunt like that. I have really good idears like owt of no where.
The Dunkin Donuts van is very cool as you can serve donuts owt the side and coffees owt the back. Still clutching on to LittelBrudda, I flipped the hook on the cownter at the back and it dropped down. We were ram paging along back werds, looking straight at BludShotEyes and Monobrow who were driving like the clappers and looking right in to my eyes. I picked up a nice sticky creme filled donut and threw it with all my strenth at there wind screne. Sadley, I missed by abowt a miol and hit a por man riding a long on his bisickle. I always was shit at throwing.
LittelBrudda lent side weys from my arms and swiped a donut. I thort he must be hungry. ‘Yeh, you go ahed and eat one, LittelBrudda,’ I said. He jus looked at me like I was crazy and threw the donut smack into BludShotEyes wind screne. He picked up two more in each hand. Smack, Smack, Smack, Smack evry donut hit its targit and berst its jucy in sides, custerd or jam, all over the glars. I handid LittelBrudda a cupel more custerd filled ones. Bulls eye, bulls eye dispite BludShotEyes car swerving abowt like mad. Oh, yes, he had a good eye, that baby.
‘Good skillz, LittelBrudda,’ yelled Duncan who had sene evry thing in his mirrers. The wind screne of the car bihind was smery custardy yello with red jammy splogis. Thay put there wind screne wipers on wich dident help, as it jus made the hole wind screne yello and red mixed, so a sort of disgusting browny goo. BludShotEyes wownd down his windo and stuck his hed owt of it in a desprit bid to see where he was going. LittelBrudda was redy for him with a jammy one square in the fase. That was the larst straw and thay veered of the rode in to the ditch.
I lent back and rilaxed. I strapt LittelBrudda in next to LittelBaby. He was looking less ugley to me by the secund. ‘Whats your rele name? WunderBoy?’ I arsked him.
‘He LittelBrudda!’ cried LittelBaby, dis mayed again (she all weys sownds dis mayed) at the thort he might have anuther name.
‘Me One Nine Tree,’ he said. ‘But now me LittelBrudda me tink.’ Wow, his fase when he smiold was jus extrordinry.
We stopped at a super markit car park. Steves friend was there with a car. Zoe and Steve helped us piol the babies in. I still thort it was weerd that Zoe was Steves sister. Zoe said ‘Hey Sally-Anne. I can see why you wantid to kepe your baby. Shes imminensly cool, thats why.’
‘Thank you, Zoe,’ I said. ‘Thank you for helping us get the babies owt.’
‘Iyum sorry,’ she said, hugging me, ‘that I forsed you in to all this.’
‘Zoe,’ I said, ‘if you hadent, LittelBaby woudent be in the werld, and LittelBrudda woud be in a cage for the rest of his life, wich woud be a massiv tradgerdy.’
We waved them of. I got in the frunt next to Duncan. The car was quite crappy but more nippy than the van at least. I got a crick in my neck staring rownd at LittelBrudda. He was abserlutely captivating. Gorjuss. Intellijence radiatid owt of his eyes. The babies fell aslepe all most at the same instunt, as we got onto the M6. The car was ratterling and banging, but thay dident care. I saw there hands creeping over to wards each uther in there slepe. The next time I looked rownd, thay were clutching each uthers hands.
Duncan was looking in the mirrer. ‘Some ones following us,’ he said. ‘Look,’ and he pulled owt past a red Toyota with a granny driving it, and pulled in again arfter. The car bihind us followed us smoothly. It was uncomfertably close bihind us. I peped over my sete.
‘Two pepol,’ I riported. ‘Looks like two men.’
‘Shit,’ said Duncan, ‘Shit, shit, shit, how did the wankers find us?’
‘You can get awey from them,’ I said. ‘You are clever and strong and brave.’
He looked at me. ‘Sally-Anne,’ he said, ‘you only think I am clever and strong and brave bicause in relashun to you I am.’
‘Your not my relashun,’ I said. ‘You are jus my boy friend.’
Duncan pulled owt into the therd lane. ‘What you doing?’ I said.
‘Wotch this,’ said Duncan. He continewed in the therd lane, crusing to the right of a grene minni in the secund lane. The car following us came quite clowse bihind us in the therd lane too. ‘Hold tight,’ said Duncan. ‘Theres an exit, Sally-Anne, what Iyum gonna take, but, right now, Iyum prertending Iyum not gonna take it, OK?’
The next secund he had yanked the stereing weel to the left and zipped in frunt of the minni what beeped, then cut across the ferst lane in frunt of a lorry what honked and zoomed left up one of those lanes that you are not ment to go on un less you are an imergency. The car following us had not had time to do all that and was stuck on the moter way.
‘Oh, your so clever, Duncan!’ I brethed in admirashun. He is a grate boy friend aksholy.
We kept driving as farst as we coud. It felt grate to have two babies insted of one. I kept looking rownd at LittelBrudda. He was so intreaging. We were still heding North. This time we woud get the bowt to the far ilands.
‘Thayull be arfter us, Sally-Anne,’ he kept saying, checking the mirrers, ‘we carnt stop.’
‘Who is thay?’ I arsked.
‘Who knows?’ he ansered. ‘But the police for one. Bicause of you know who.’ We dident like talking abowt NarstyLady, so we tried not to menshun her name. ‘And then, sientists from LittelBruddas lab. You carnt jus waltz in, grab some ones clone speri mint and not ixpect reeper cushons.’
‘Duncan?’ I said.
‘Yes, Sally-Anne,’ he said.
‘Whats reeper cushons?’ we said to gether.
I laughed bicause Duncan all weys knows what I am going to say.
‘Its like when something happerns bicause of what you did,’ he said.
‘But evry thing happerns bicause of what some boddy did,’ I said.
He smiold. ‘I guess thats true,’ he said.
So dus that mene evry thing is a reeper cushon then? So insted of saying ‘Hows things?’ you woud say ‘Hows reeper cushons?’ Onistley, why pepol have to go using really long werds to explane some thing really quite simpel I will never know.
I looked owt of the car windo at the grars vergis going by. Sheep, and horsis, probly with werms in there lungs, and fiyulds. Littel towns, rows of howsis. I wundered what evry one was doing in those howsis, in the towns, in the werld. Can eny one ever know what goes on in pepols howsis? No, is the anser. Thay carnt. I wundered if pepols thorts all kind of add up and make one big wall of muddel and wether we can may be change things with are thorts.
‘Duncan?’ I said.
‘Yes, Sally-Anne,’ he said, pulling owt parst a lorry and changing into fith gear and squeezing my leg like all at once.
‘Can we change things with are thorts?’ I arsked.
He was quiert for a bit. Sometimes my queschuns are so hard that even Duncan carnt anser them.
‘I think so,’ he said. ‘Some times. Uther times, no.’
I looked at him. He nodded in to the back setes at LittelBrudda. ‘See, are thorts got him owt. We magined how it woud be and we thort it thrugh and then we did it.’
I laughed. ‘I dident magine it quite like that thogh. I never thort Iyud get to have a go on that chare on weels.’
‘When we have a howse,’ said Duncan, ‘Iyull buy you a chare on weels like that.’
‘Thay are quite hard to get owt of,’ I tolled him. ‘If I hadent come up against the wall ivensholy, I woud still be going back werds and trying to get up.’
‘Iyull get you one with a brake,’ he said.
We picked up some rolls, cheese, termartoes and lettis at an MnS, left the A rode arfter abowt an awer and took a winding lane thrugh a forist. Ortum was in full flud arownd us, gowld and yello and red leves tumberling down. We stopt by a river. We had to, to let the babies have a wee. They hardley needid nappies as they liked to wee owt in naycher. We had a pick nick. I jumped up and down and did a bit of darnsing cos I was stiff from siting in the van so long. LittelBaby stomped up to the streme. LittelBrudda followed her. ‘LittelBrudda!’ said LittelBaby, pointing at the streme. ‘Ook. Big big iver.’
‘Ooh,’ said Brudda, ‘Wotta dat?’ stufing cheese in his mowth like he hadent eaten for a munth. Thay padeled in the streme. Thay splashed each uther. Thay dident seem to fiyul the cold. Thay picked up pebbels. LittelBrudda terned his fase up to the sun and looked at the shimmering leves in wunder.
We drove on. We had joined up with the M6 again. It felt like are hole life was going to be spent on this rode.. Are next stop was of the moter wey. We went along side a fiyuld with cows and stopped by a ford. LittelBrudda woke up and blinked at the sun light. ‘Oh, oh,’ he said when he spottid the cows.
LittelBaby looked at him. ‘Cow,’ she said.
‘Cow,’ said LittelBrudda. ‘Oo, big dat.’
LittelBabys eyes filled with teres. ‘LittelBrudda never seed a cow bifore,’ she exclamed. ‘Por LittelBrudda. Mama we gotta showshow LittelBrudda evry ting. All de hole werld.’ She took LittelBrudda by the hand. Thay toddeled of to gether. ‘You knowknow de rose hip?’ LittelBaby picked a rose hip and gave it to LittelBrudda. You knowknow de blatt berris?’ She picked a black berry for him. She picked up a pebble. ‘Peddel,’ she said and parsed it to him.
‘Peddel,’ he said.
‘Ha ha,’ said Duncan, weeping with the funny ness of it. ‘Pebbel, pebbel, LittelBrudda.’
We had to let them have a rest. We had been driving for awers. We were nere the border. I sat by the streme on a rock. I put my toes in the water and wotched LittelBaby and LittelBrudda picking up pebbels and throwing them plop into the streme. It was like perfict. We were a proper famly. I wantid these moments to larst for ever. I wantid to kepe LittelBrudda and LittelBaby safe. Bu I under stood suddernly that these moments are so preshus bicause there are not aloud for there to be too meny of them. I was scared. ‘Duncan?’ I said.
‘Yes, Sally-Anne,’ he said. He was lying on a bank in the long tangerled grars and daysies and moss, hands bihind his hed, his eyes clowsed.
‘How can we kepe things like this, Duncan? How can we hold on to LittelBaby and LittelBrudda?’
There was a pause. All I coud here was the rushing of the water in the streme and the squeles of dilight of the babies. ‘Sally-Anne,’ he said.
‘Yes?’ I said.
‘Im not shure we can,’ he said. ‘I think thay are some pepol very cross abowt us having LittelBrudda. Thay are angry with us. Crazy angry probly and trying to find us.’
I felt teres going down my chekes, farster and farster, plopping and plopping on to the erth. ‘I know,’ I said, ‘I know, Duncan.’
I went over to him on the bank and lay biside him. I put my hed on his arm pit. We held each uther tight and warm. Duncan was kind. Its like he coud fiyul my down hartidness. We wotched LittelBaby and LittelBrudda padeling in the streme thrugh harf shut eye lids. My teres made evry thing split into rane bows. Big arcs of meny culours sored across my vishun. LittelBaby and LittelBrudda were un bareabley beautifle suddernly. My boddy gave a sob. Duncans arms hugged me harder. ‘Dont be sad, Sally-Anne,’ he said, ‘Whatever happerns, no one can take this awey from us, what weyuv had all redy.’
‘But LittelBaby and LittelBrudda nede us,’ I sobbed, ‘and thay nede each uther.’
Arfter anuther four awers driving we put up the tent in a cops near Inverness. We were of the rode in thrugh a mass of brambels in a real thickit. No boddy coud of spottid us even if thay were looking.
The babies were talking to gether in there own non sencicol langwidge. ‘A gogo gotta peddle for youyou.’
‘For meme! Peddel! Tank oo.’
‘Me trow dat peddel farfar wayway.’
Thay waddeled abowt with there littel nakid boddys in the dapply evening sun. I went in to kind of a trance with the beauty of it. The berds were signing, the grarses were softly sweying and the erth semed to be brething. The light was pulsating softley. The babies ate more bred, sardines, appels and black berris. Then thay crawled in to the tent and fell aslepe with there arms arownd each uther. I crept in biside them. LittelBaby opernd her eyes and looked at me. ‘Mudda,’ she said, ‘I lub LittelBrudda. I lub hib so much.’
‘I love LittelBrudda too, LittelBaby,’ I said, ‘and I love you too, very very much.’
She nuzeled in to my arm and fell aslepe.
Next day, we left at five in the morning and drove and drove. ‘LittelBaby,’ I said. ‘The truth is, the pepol who had LittelBrudda in the cage will want him back. Thay are looking for us.’
‘I know dat, Mudda,’ she said, solemley. ‘But I tell dem, dey can not hab de LittelBrudda. He my Brudda. I need hib.’
I cried again, looking at her and how luvley she was. How coud I tell her that her needs had nuthing to do with it? How coud I tell her how evil the werld was?
‘Mudda,’ she said. ‘LittelBrudda made me fiyul bedda. I fiyul hole proper. I fiyul me. I am me.’ She gazed at LittelBrudda with love. He looked at her owt of his massiv black eyes. When thay looked at each uther there was like a flash, a spark of elexrisaty. You coud see it.
We all weys tried to stop at farst flowing rivers as they loved water so much. At abowt eleven in the morning, we stopped nere Aberdene, and wotched them in growing wunder as thay played to gether. Thay were scooping up the sandy mud from the botterm of the streme and slopping it into piols on the rocks. ‘Me make an ‘owse,’ said LittelBaby. She piold sticks and pebbels on to it and scooped owt the middel. She stuck things in the top. LittelBrudda did the same. He smoothed the big piol of wet mud with his hand. He fetched water in a big flat lefe and pored it over the top to make it smooth. He cuvered the owt side with leves. He made a dor. He was so abzorbed in his tarsk and we were so abzorbed wotching him, even LittelBaby, who was fetching piols of leves and grars, that we dident see them approche. We dident here a thing until we were sarowndid by and hand cuffs snaked rownd my rist and clicked. I exclamed and looked rownd. Duncan had been pinned to the grownd by a humungus uniformed thug.