I guess this is what fan-fiction is like.
(continues from McEwan, I. (1990 ) The Child in Time, London, Rosenfeld, J.E, pp. 15–19 in which three year old Kate has just gone missing from the supermarket where she and her dad were shopping)
They followed him into a low, cramped room in which two aisles stretched away into semi-darkness. Tins and boxes were piled untidily into racks along the sides, and down the centre, suspended from meat-hooks, were giant carcasses. The group divided into two and set off down the aisles. Stephen went with the policemen. The cold air penetrated drily to the back of the nose and tasted of chilled tin. They walked slowly, looking into the spaces behind the boxes in the racks.
Stephen was the first one to see the shoe. Half hidden between boxes. Easily missed. He quickened his pace, pulling away from the policeman. The marks on the sole – Kate’s insistence in dragging her feet along the floor to slow down, instead of using the brakes. As he ran forward, he prayed for her to be hidden behind the boxes – still attached to the shoe.
The policeman caught up with him as he was still reaching for the empty shoe and knocked his hand away roughly. Stephen’s face was stone as he understood the reason – evidence. The situation solidified in his mind – a crime had been committed here. Someone had been kidnapped. His daughter suddenly became a victim. Barely ten minutes ago she had been a happy shopper. Now she was the subject of a manhunt.
He stood slowly – feeling knees creak, feeling age settle early into his bones. As he looked up, eyes unfocused, a movement caught his eyes. What may have been a figure in a coat hurrying away from him at the checkout suddenly became reality. There – towards the end of the aisle, in the shadows – a long coat swirling, then lost in the sudden light of a door opening. Becoming silhouette. Becoming an empty doorway as shouts rang out from the police in the room.
The sound of heavy feet running towards the doorway, hurrying under the weight of their importance. But Stephen, the school sprint-champion inside him lending a burst of speed, reached there first. He erupted from the back entrance of the cold room into daylight and skidded to a halt. Blinking as he scanned the empty parking lot – willing his eyes to adjust more quickly. The only place anyone could have reached without still being in sight was a skip to the left.
He began to run towards it and was stopped as a hand fell roughly on his shoulder. The police had caught up with him. Cautioning him to let them do their job. He shook himself free – this was for him to do – he was Kate’s father goddammit!
Racing towards the skip, barely giving it a glance, he rounded its bulk and caught sight of the dark coat disappearing around the corner. He dug in, arms pumping now, and then a faint sound unmanned him.
His head whipped around towards the skip. A head with golden blonde hair, peering over the edge. He tried to turn his body and his feet tangled. Police passed Stephen as the skin ripped from his hands and knees, but he barely noticed these things as he pushed himself up and limped back to the skip – all urgency suddenly lost – all momentum stilled. Time slowed. The world stopped existing. One face, one set of blue eyes, one smile filled his vision as he lifted his daughter from the skip.
“Funny daddy. Falling down,” she burbled – all fright lost in the hilarity of seeing her daddy tumble like something from a cartoon show.
Daddy just pulled her into his chest and held her safe.