Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects including education and creative writing.
Charlie stomped on the pedal. All around him, the cars somersaulted, crashed and exploded. He had little room for error, and the wreckage of the three vehicles began to envelop him in its metal grip.
The passenger side of the windshield shattered, but that was all. He swerved and shot out of the grip, avoiding an inevitable date with death as he hit the asphalt of the lonely road ahead of him.
He glanced in his rear-view mirror, seeing the cars pile up into a smoldering mess of metal and flesh. Charlie whooped and hollered. He came close to death, feeling its horrid breath on his face. Now, he was alone, a lone survivor heading for the finish line. The money was his to take. Most importantly, the knowledge of being the king of road was his.
Yet, something strange happened. The road he raced on was void of spectators. Even if it was an illegal street race held in a secret place, there were usually spectators. Did the police discover them out in the middle of nowhere?
There were no cops either. No roadblocks, no sirens or strobe lights, not even a police copter to track his movement. There was nothing but the encroaching fog on each side of the road and an unfamiliar hill.
The further he drove toward this hill, the more the fog covered the scenery until only a single path was visible through it.
Then a realization came to him; he glanced down at his lap and discovered a square sheet of metal was embedded in his side
“What the …” Charlie murmured as the events unfolded before him. His car was now traveling up the hill.
He glanced at the shattered part of his windshield and realized that the object that caused it should’ve implanted itself into the upholstery of the passenger seat or the dashboard. It didn’t.
Then a realization came to him; he glanced down at his lap and discovered a square sheet of metal was embedded in his side. Despite not feeling it, he had a crimson gusher spraying and gurgling from the wound.
Shock took over.His mouth was agape as he gripped the steering wheel with all his might. He stared, wide-eyed at the wound. He wanted to scream but couldn't get it out.
A flash of light caught his attention. He looked up to meet a piercing, yet vibrant light. His eyes quickly adjusted to this intrusive light. But the image before him did little to comfort him. He slammed on the brakes.
Before him was a pearly, white gate stretched the width of the road.
"No," he uttered. " I won the race. It can't be."
But it was: the gate opened and Saint Peter emerged.
“Welcome Charlie,” Saint Peter said assuredly.
Peter waved his arm, beckoning Charlie to enter. But, Charlie wasn't going to have it. He put the car in reverse. But it was of no avail.
The car lurched forward and then slowly and smoothly headed toward the widening gate.
Charlie resisted, but even he came to realize it was futile.He wasn't in control anymore. With a sense of dread he stopped and allowed the vehicle to roll toward the gate. Eventually, his dread turned to acceptance, and then to contentment. There was nothing else he could do.
Damn, Charlie thought. I didn’t win after all.
More Stories of the Road
- A Bad Road Trip
Maggie's on the road, but so are some of her demons.
- Road Hazard Incorporated
Charles just wanted to drive on the freeway, but hazards abound on this curious toll road. Violators beware!
- Road Rage!
Something definitely came over Roland, and nobody was going to be safe; especially anyone on the road or in the passenger seat.
© 2016 Dean Traylor