A Winding Road Adventure
“Thanks for an interesting evening.” Jim Porter raised a hand as he and his wife Marcia stepped out onto the peterson’s wooden porch on a crisp October Saturday evening.
“Glad to meet you.” Bill Peterson replied as he and his wife Francie stood in the doorway. Then he added, “We’ll have to get together again soon.”
Jim and Marcia nodded as they walked down the wooden steps.
Bill and Francie watch as the other couple got into their electric blue Toyota Prius, then they shut the house door.
“Nice couple.” Jim remarked as he drove slowly down a steep dirt drive. He braked at the bottom and turned left onto a narrow dirt road. It was dark, after nine in the evening, and Jim sighed a little as he knew they had a long twisty trip back to town.
“Seem to be,” Marcia remarked. Then she repeated what she had told him earlier.
“I thought it would be a nice gesture to get to know the new girl at work. You know how boring office work can be.”
“Yeah, I get it.” Jim took his left hand off the steering wheel to scratch his cheek, then quickly gripped the shell with both hands as a sharp curve rolled upon them again. He teased as he swerved with the road, “Getting sea sick yet?”
“That might be funny if this crazy road wasn’t so narrow and treacherous,” Marcia replied.
She sat still in her seat, as still as the swirvy road allowed, right hand gripping the arm rest above the door handle, left hand gripping the knee of her brown slacks. Again she raised her brown eyes to the rear view mirror. She caught a glimpse of the front corner of something behind them as they moved left again. She stared. Waiting. Finally the vehicle straightened out as they had and seemed to be approaching. She took a breath. “Jim.”
“I see it.” Her husband replied. “Looks like it’s gaining on us.”
“What can we do?”
Jim shrugged his shoulders.
Marcia continued in a smaller voice. “There aren’t any street lights out here. It’s dark and…”
Jim interrupted her musings. “See if your cell phone has service.”
Marcia pulled her purse up from the floor and rummaged inside for a moment.
Jim glanced quickly to his right and saw her power on the device.
“No service.” She reported glumly.
Jim muttered. “What the hell is that guy doing?”
A horn began to beep, lights flashed at them, blinking hight, then low, then high, then low.
This time Marcia’s voice went high and shrill. “He’s gaining on us. What do we do?”
Jim blinked his blue eyes rapidly trying to focus in spite of the glare in his rear view mirror. “No place to pull over. That pick up is bigger than we are.”
“What does Bill Peterson drive? Do you know?” Marcia suddenly asked.
“Nope.” Jim replied. “They had a two car garage and we didn’t discuss cars.”
Jim was watching the sides of the narrow dirt road for anywhere to pull off or turn off, but there seemed to be no end to the single minded track. Woods on either side of the road offered no answer to their dilema.
“Oh God!” Marcia cried.
Jim tightened his grip on the steering wheel as a red pickup truck loomed on the left side of his back bumper. Without warning Jim stepped on the brake to suddenly stop their car.
The red truck pulled alongside and stopped too.
All went still on the quiet country road.
Then a man got out of the pickup from the driver’s side and walked around the back of his truck to approach Jim’s side of the little car. A fist knocked on Jim’s window, then it motioned for him to lower the window. The man leaned down so that Jim could see his face. He held something up with one hand.
Jim opened his window just a crack. “What are you doing, Bill?”
“Sorry, Jim. I didn’t mean to scare you two. Cell phone doesn’t work out here so I couldn’t call. Marcia forgot to take her briefcase, so I tried to catch up with you two to give its back.”
Jim’s blond head turned to stare at his petite wife who was now wriggled sideways staring with her mouth open in relieved surprise.
“Oh, thank you, Bill.” She managed.
NOTE: This story is the result of a writing homework assignment for the Creative Writing Now course The Craft of Fiction Lesson 1: Something Interrupts the Ordinary World.
A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM MARLENE…
Please share with everyone you know. My audiobook The Purging Fire by Marlene Mesot is available through OverDrive Media at Greensboro NC Public Library. Let people know they can put a hold on it to borrow for a week.
Also, people having access to Hoopla through their public library have access to the book everywhere.
The narrator, Timothy G. Little, gave an outstanding performance. Thank you sincerely.
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