Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Journey

 It's Day 10 of the  Blogging from A to Z  April 2015 Challenge



Another week of frantic story writing

Already ten tales under my belt
And only sixteen more to go!




'Are we there yet?’ said a sad little voice. 

He was driving fast, too fast. He wanted to get home and curl up on his sofa with a whisky in front of his glowing log fire.

‘Are we there yet?’ 

It was pitch black. His cars headlights aimed a pair of silver blades into the night. Its tyres protested as he swerved this way and that on the winding road that twisted and turned in the darkness ahead.

‘Are we there yet?’ 

His eyes and ears were assaulted by raindrops hammering on the windshield. Sudden gusts of wind hurtled him left then right as he fought with the wheel to stay on the road.

‘Are we there yet' 

He roared through a cathedral of bowing trees. A wood pigeon flew straight towards him. Instinctively he hit the brakes and the car slithered and jerked throwing his head against the window. It shuddered to a halt.

For a moment everything around him became a blur. He opened his eyes wide and thanked God for keeping him on the road.

‘Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’

'SHUT UP!' he yelled. He turned round and found himself gazing at an empty seat.

For there was no one in the car but him.

He started the engine and set off homeward.

He stabbed the radio and the soothing sound of a Beethoven sonata began to relax him.  He passed the Anchor Inn then swung left down the winding lane which led to his cottage, passing the crooked red post-box and crossing the sandstone bridge. Almost home. Nearly there.

‘ARE WE THERE YET?’ screeched a voice. 'ARE WE THERE YET?’

He skidded to a halt and spun his head round although he knew there was nobody there. What the hell was happening?

A thud on the floor startled him. For several minutes he sat motionless.

He massaged his temples then eased himself to his feet and threw a log on the fire.  He picked up the glass he’d dropped, refilled it and slumped back on the sofa. 

For a while he gazed at a photo of the child he lost in an accident. It had been his fault, he was driving far too fast.

His eyes drifted closed as a  tear trickled down his cheek.

‘Are we there yet?’ whispered a voice in his ear. ‘Are we there yet?'









My short story for Monday is called Knock knock

40 comments:

  1. oh no so very sad! Well told with just the right amount of tension and words!

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    1. Thanks Kathe. My first draft was twice as long and I was worried it might lose something when I trimmed it down.

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    1. My my, you have a wonderful way with words 'Wynn!

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  3. The torments can haunt the person and it lingers on in his conscience. Great short story Keith!

    Hank

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    1. Thanks Hank. Although I've written about it, I really can't imagine what it's like to be tormented in this way and I hope I never will.

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  4. This is quite an impactful piece! Loved it!
    Thanks for stopping by :D

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    1. Thank you Sanaa. I'll be stopping by your place again soon!

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  5. some sorrows get washed in tears, but some you carry to your grave, great post

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    1. In his case it's some of the former but mostly the latter. Thanks for your kind words.

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  6. Oh, sad Keith! It does feel very frantic. 'Are we nearly there yet?' has become a cliche, hasn't it? Happy writing! It's a little cool and blustery today so you're probably in the best place.

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    1. It certainly is and I can still hear my kids saying it on every journey we ever made! As I read your comment the sun came out! Thank you!

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  7. Oh! Loss of a child in an accident can haunt you for a long long time. Very powerful and gripping narration, Keith!!
    Co-Host AJ's wHooligan for the A to Z Challenge 2015

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    1. I can't really imagine what it's actually like, I can only guess and that's what led me to write this story.Thanks for your kind comments Shilpa.

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  8. I have goose bumps. Well done! I'm pleased to see you getting so many reads. I have bookmarked your blog. ~grin~ Oh, and I'm number 1295 on the A to Z list today. Best wishes!

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    1. Glad to see my story is getting the reaction I hoped for! I've placed you on my blogroll. I keep forgetting to put my A-Z number on my comments! Thanks so much for visiting me.

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  9. Goosebumps...very powerful and emotional. I am envious of people who can grip the reader from the get go and keep them holding on tight until the very end.

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    1. Thanks so much Heather. Your kind words are so appreciated.

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  10. Greetings from a fellow A to Z traveler in the Colonies!

    You wrote a strong piece. The poor man is justifiably haunted by his loss.

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    1. Not easy to live with something like that. Tanks for dropping by Elaine.

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  12. Oh very well written; didn't quite learn his lesson did he? Still driving fast, no matter what it had cost him.

    betty

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    1. Indeed. Thanks for dropping by Yvonne.

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  14. Your prose is quite power packed. I could imagine the scene but I wished he hadn't been drinking when he made the mistake.

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  15. This story is riveting, and scary.

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  16. Wow! Very powerful, such a lesson for all of us. One second, and everything changes.

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  17. What gripping, descriptive writing. Sad and powerful.

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  18. You're the master of spooky!

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