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FICTION: Beads Part 4: Truck

Published: March 4, 2005
Section: Arts, Etc.


( … 9 years earlier )

Do you want me to drive? he asked, wiping away the last of the snow off the windshield. She waved him away from the door.

No, no. I can do it, she assured him, throwing the last of the luggage in the backseat.
You barely got any sleep last night.

Thats ok! she replied, Im so excited I could stay up another week!

She slid into the drivers seat and turned the heat up even more. The car engine had a funny noise to it, but she figured it was just the cold;

it would probably run smoothly after a few minutes of driving. The weather was bothersome, she decided, blowing on her hands to warm them up. She was used to driving in ridiculous winter weather, but she had hoped spring temperatures would greet the beginning of their trip instead.

All right, I have the map and everything. Were set to go, he said once he got settled into the seat next to her.

She pulled out onto the street. Great! Toronto, here we come!

They had spent all of the previous week arguing over what mode of transportation to take. He insisted a car trip would be too dangerous, especially with a blizzard heading their way, but she managed to convince him that a flight would be too expensive, and a train ride too boring.

Several minutes they were driving over the interstate. From their vantage point on the bridge, they could see lanes packed with cars, barely moving in either direction, with headlights dispersing feebly through the thick snowy fog. They stopped at a red traffic light.

So, she began, squinting through the windshield wipers, were picking him up where, again?

Its a left coming up, see that parking lot by Shell? He had someone drop him off there.

OK… ugh, I can barely see anything.

I know, this snow is like, angry.

She got in the left lane as soon as they crossed through the intersection, and slowed down to a stop across from the parking lot. She put the blinker on, waiting patiently for the oncoming cars to pass.

Oh, there he is! he exclaimed.

She turned her head to see. Suddenly, another car hit them from behind. Their car lurched forward and left, following the turned tires, and wound up on the other side of the yellow lines.

He screamed, Ophelia!!!

The truck didnt have time to brake.

Gregs hands were all but frozen. He always forgot to put on his gloves;

they usually lay useless inside his coat pocket. Hearing the front door close, he looked up. His sister looked tired.

Do you want me to drive?

No, no. I can do it.

You barely got any sleep last night, he protested. He, himself, had gone to bed around 2 a.m., so he could only imagine when she had done so.

Thats ok! Im so excited I could stay up another week!

Greg laughed. He put the window scraper back in the trunk, and joined her inside the car. He picked up the letter and the MapQuest directions from the dashboard and placed them on his lap.

Alright, I have the map and everything. Were set to go.

Great! Toronto, here we come!

Adjusting one of his air vents, Greg felt a little sick. Something was wrong. Did they forget something? Gripping the door handle tightly, he looked at his sister for reassurance. It worked;

her smiling face immediately put him at ease. He sighed, figuring that he was simply just nervous. Understandable, under the circumstances. Nonetheless, he was happy that Crawford was coming along as well. It was always good to have as many people as possible when undertaking a road trip across border lines and during blizzards.

So, were picking him up where, again?

He looked out, coming back from his reverie and establishing his bearings.
Its a left coming up, see that parking lot by Shell? He had someone drop him off there.

OK… ugh, I can barely see anything.

He chuckled, I know, this snow is like, angry.

Then, Greg saw him. Oh, there he is! he pointed, seeing Crawford wave through the snowflakes. When the car got hit the first time, Greg couldnt even tell where they got hit. All he knew was that everything got brighter, and that the light was coming from his window. He turned his head to look, and saw headlights headed right for them.

Blindly, he reached for his sister, Ophelia!!!

The truck smashed violently into the passenger side, sending the car into a spin.

To be continued…