The road through the wood was terribly and very slippery. Edwina had already skidded a few times and had now slowed to less than a crawl. Her sister, Kemba, sat in the passenger peering at the map and then up at the road before turning back to the map. They had already passed two pretty bad accidents and they didn't want to be the third but, about half a mile further on, they didn't have to worry about that so much.
"It looks like another crash, it's pretty bad but I don't see any police" said Edwina. Kemba pulled out her mobile and dialled 999 asking for the police and an ambulance while Edwina pulled as far off the road as the tree line would allow.
"Tell them it's an old Ford but it's half the size it should be. The back has been pushed all the way into the front" Edwina called. She was already out of her own car and struggling across the icy ground to the smashed car. An arm suddenly snapped out of the driver's window and gripped her wrist, Edwina shrieked but the grip just tightened.
"Where are my boys? Are they okay?" Edwina placed her hands over the one that was gripping her arm and bent over to peer into the dark car. The woman was crushed against the steering wheel but she didn't seem too badly injured, she just appeared to be stuck.
"Your boys? Where were they?" asked Edwina. The woman took a shaky grip and loosened her grip a little.
"They were in the back, I can't see and they don't answer my calls! Where are my boys?" Edwina's gaze ticked to what was left of the back of the car and sent up a silent prayer that the woman was mistaken.
"What's your name, sweetie?" asked Edwina. She dragged her gaze back from the remains of the car and tried to focus on the woman.
"Alcina, please find my boys!"
"Don't worry, Alcina. The ambulance is here now, it'll be okay." Edwina moved aside as the paramedics moved in and scrambled out of the bushes and over to where Kemba was talking to a policeman.
"She said her boys were in the back seat" said Edwina. The policeman glanced towards the crushed car and heaved a long sigh before asking them for ID. Edwina and Kemba slid back to their car and leaned in through the open window. A choked sob from the back seat made Edwina jump and slam her head into the roof.
"Son of a bitch!" she cried, stepped away from the car. Kemba frowned and peered into the back where two little boys sat huddled in the corner.
"Hey guys. Are you okay? What are your names?"
"I'm Marley and that's Herbert. He's my brother. Our car crashed but our daddy made us get out and told us to wait here until mummy came for us" said the older boy. Edwina waved her arms at the crowd of officers and one of them made his way across to them, a cheer went up as Alcina was lifted from the car. Edwina smiled at Kemba as the policeman lifted the boys from the car and headed towards their mother, Alcina shrieked and began to struggle until Marley and Herbert were placed in her arms.
"Oh my God! How did you get out?" she cried. Edwina felt the tears prick the backs of her eyes but refused to let them fall, now was not the time to be a softie.
"I found them in my car. Marley said his dad got them out. I didn't see your husband anywhere around, he might have gone a little further up the road to go look for help" she said. Alcina stared at her, eyes wide and mouth agape.
"How can . . . ? My husband died last week. We were heading to his parents, the funeral's tomorrow." A hush came over the gathered spectators as they listened to the story. Edwina felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up.
"I'm glad they're okay" she whispered. Alcina managed a watery smile before Edwina turned to the nearest officer and asked if they could go.
"We have your details. We'll be in touch." Edwina nodded and led Kemba back to the car, they climbed inside and drove as fast as the ice would allow.
"Did that just happen?" asked Kemba. Edwina was about to answer when they spotted a man standing at the side of the road, he smiled and mouthed the word Thank you before vanishing into thin air.
"Yeah, that just happened" replied Edwina. She smiled and switched on the radio while Kemba turned up the heat.