Rocks shimmer in the sunlight, darkened by dry seaweed. Cold sea sloshes against them. My heart suddenly misses a beat as our van swerves around a tight corner, missing the edge by half a metre.
“Sorry about the road,” Dad says as the van recovers from the near miss. Mum and I say nothing, we’re too tired and carsick to do much.
Minutes later the van swerves around another corner, this time missing the edge by centimeters.
“Dad, Slow down!”
I shout with an obvious tone of anxiety. Jack, my baby brother stirs in his carseat, then, little blue eyes blink open.
“Good morning mischief,” mum says.
I sigh deeply as the road widens out and becomes straight.
“Dad, can you stop please, I need some fresh air,” I groan at the effort of talking.
“There’s a picnic clearing just at the end of this strait.” mum replies
“we’ll stop there.”
Creaking madly as I haul it open the sliding door reveals an almost unreal view. Silently I hop out of the van onto the fresh grass.
“I’m just gonna go toilet,” I call to mum.
Dancing along through the undergrowth I eventually find a big enough bush to go toilet behind.
As I finish up I hear a very strange sound: whispering. For the second time today I feel scared, this is not like me. The whispering has suddenly become louder, it sounds like whoever they are, they’re having an argument. I suddenly have the urge to run, run away from these scary voices. But no, whoever they are will hear me desperately crashing through the bushes and … That's silly, i’ll just run.
I am half a step away from the clearing where mum and dad can just see me ”Tai hoa!” A deep booming voice. I pause, dead still. Isn't that maori for stop?