Writing Challenges

Behind The Wheel

Welcome to day 4 of 30 Days of Writing, a creative writing challenge. Yeah, I was AWOL for day 3. “Behind the Wheel” is today’s prompt.

Many summers ago I had a job as a bus boy at this fancy country club way out on the edge of the city. It was a terrible job and we were treated like dirt, but I was working with some friends, which took some of the edge off. I had a room at the club too, so once a week, my dad would give me a ride there and I’d find my way back a few days later.

Now the thing about driving with my dad, is that his driving scares the crap out of me. It still does. I always appreciated the ride but the journey itself was sometimes so stressful that I’d need an hour to calm down once we’d reached our destination.

I become the worst back seat driver when it comes to my dad’s driving.

“You cut that guy off!”
“Ah…he sees me!”
“You’re driving on the line!”
“I like my space!”

You get the idea.

So one morning we’re on our way and I’m not particularly stressed out by my dad’s driving at all. It’s early, a clear summer morning, and we’re riding in silence.

A dump truck soon comes up on our left side, passes and moves about a car length ahead of us when their rear axle snaps. In a split second the truck’s entire rear wheel detaches and comes bounding down the highway towards us, right past my father’s driver side window, and out of sight.

We didn’t see where the wheel ended up because we were fixed now on this huge lumbering dump truck in front of us, its broken axle grinding into the asphalt at 80km an hour and filling the road with sparks with the driver wrestling to bring the machine to a halt.

I don’t think we said a word to each other until we were off the highway.

Every so often I have to bring up that event to my dad, just to confirm that it really happened.

These days, I don’t get as stressed out by his driving, but there are moments where tucking and rolling sounds like a pretty good option. I do know that we’ve always made it to our destinations in one piece with my father behind the wheel.


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