Frozen (but not the Disney musical version)
NOT A PR0MPT
Hero had never been to a drive-in movie theatre. She didn’t expect much. It was a movie, on a big screen, viewed from behind a windshield- or the bed of a truck for those who could afford that. Some might have preferred the truck bed- but not tonight.
The movie started nicely. Hero sat in the passenger seat while Lover sat in the driver’s. Lover bought the two of them snacks, and for a time, the two monched whilst watching the film- something about a kid running away from home because he couldn’t keep a pet bee (spoiler alert- the kid came home after a series of falls in puddles. The problem became that he then wanted a pet bird).
“I’m getting a little cold. Is it okay if we turn the air conditioning off?” Hero asked.
“I was about to ask you the same thing. It wasn’t supposed to get beneath seventy degrees outside, even through the night,” Lover explained. “It’s the middle of summer.” He shrugged, then began unzipping the jacket he wore. “Take this.”
“You’re cold, too. Keep it.”
Lover gave her that look, the one that reminded her that if Lover wanted to give her his jacket, she was wearing the jacket. She took it.
“Well? Put it on.” Lover rose a brow at her before reaching for the dial on the console and turning it to the left. The air turned off. Still, it was cold. “Weird,” he whispered, and he squinted at the window. “Is your side cold?”
Yes, her window was cold- freezing to the touch, actually. She looked through her window and into the windows of other cars. Many of the trucks were now full of people too cold to stay outside.
“What is going on with the w- can you check your weather app?”
The app was already opened on Hero’s phone, as she, too, became worried. It was the middle of summer and the temperature was falling to forty degrees Fahrenheit. This was not normal by any means.
“There’s a freeze warning,” Hero said.
It was in the very next moment that Hero and Lover’s phones went off with an urgent alert.
GET INDOORS IMMEDIATELY.
“Does the car count?”
Well, Hero would have liked to say yes, but the fact of the matter was this: the car was nearly as cold as the outdoors. “We need to get home.”
“It says immediately, Hero. We’re already in a sealed space.”
Before Hero could argue, the sound of spinning tires screeched by. A car was gripping the pavement occasionally as a family of four was attempting to leave. Soon after them, another car followed- a truck, another car, another car, another truck, until Hero and Lover’s car tailed behind.
“Lover, oh my-” Hero’s scream was cut off by a vehicle crashing into the concession building of the theatre. Hero tried to stay calm as she asked, “Do we help?” but her voice was a full pitch higher than usual and she felt heart heart beating against the front of her chest. If she looked down, she bet she’d see the full form of her heart trying to escape.
Lover didn’t say a word as he stared straight ahead, taking a path different than every other car- which was no path at all. He drove straight through a field, praying to whoever would listen to his conscious mind, that he and Hero wouldn’t slide into the nearby forest. Already, he could see frost forming, glistening against each blade of grass. The world, little by little, was becoming less and less saturated.
“I’m scared, Lover.”
“I know,” he said, “I know. We’re going home.”
Home was where Lover’s family was. His mother and father, brothers and pets. Hero’s family was far away and unheard from, even as Hero continued to call and text with shaking hands and a growing desperation.
Never had Lover, nor Hero, witnessed so many crashes. They’d never seen so many pale bodies either.
One car along the way had one of those BABY ON BOARD stickers, and sure enough, as Lover drove past, Hero barely noticed a car seat in the back, all crushed plastic and ripped blankets.
“Here, take this back.”
It was the jacket that Lover gave Hero. Naturally, he wouldn’t take it, saying that it was Hero who needed the warmth.
“What use are you in the driver’s seat if you freeze to death?” Hero reasoned. “You’ll kill us both. Put the damn jacket on. We’ll take turns.”
Lover nodded. “It’s impossible,” he said, “for this to happen. For the love of everything, it’s June in the Mid-East!”
Shocked by the outburst, Hero could only say, “Let’s get back. I have no signal on my phone so I’m not getting the alerts or updates.”
And so the two drove until finding home. The driveway, usually empty of a car or two, was now full of strangers’ vehicles. Who were they?
#now that’s what I call Black Girl Magic
- Ciara Renee as Elsa in Frozen on Broadway
- Kyla Stone as Anya in the national tour of Anastasia
- Keke Palmer as Cinderella in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway
- Emilie Kouatchou as Christine Daae in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway
- Morgan Siobhan Green as Eurydice in the national tour of Hadestown
- Brittney Johnson as Galinda Upland in Wicked on Broadway
- MJ Rodriguez as Audrey Fulquard in Little Shop of Horrors at Pasadena Playhouse
- Amara Okereke as Cosette in Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre
- Tiffany Mann as Jenna Rolan in Be More Chill on Broadway
- Jisel Soleil Ayon as Jenna Hunterson in the national tour of Waitress