Thunder rolled on like loud drum beats and rain pelted the car’s roof in a rhythmic staccato. Lightning continued to slash at the black velvet of the sky.
Pam cursed her luck. What a day it had been! Her alarm hadn’t gone off and she had been late this morning. In her hurry to reach office on time, she had no breakfast. On the way she had realized her car was low on gas and had to take a detour to tank up. On reaching, she was frazzled to learn that the executives meet was rescheduled. Worse was to come. Her usually reliable assistant had goofed up and forgotten to get some important documents. Somehow, the day had then slipped into a neutral mode making her heave a sigh of relief.
Exhausted and hungry, she had thought of leaving with the others instead of staying late as usual but her hard -nosed Boss, Martin had called her for another briefing. The discussion had been lengthy and complicated and Martin had to catch a flight to Germany. He was leaving for a conference. So he suggested that Pam drive him to the airport so that they could finish the discussion on the way. Pam had no choice. Still, she had hoped for a peaceful ride back home and a relaxed night. But, it was not to be. As she left the airport, the weather had revolted.
Now, a storm was raging and she could hardly see the road. As she neared the turnpike leading to her neighbourhood, she accelerated a bit, keen to reach home. She entered the by-lane and her eyes widened with shock and fear. A figure was lurching onto the road .She screamed and stepped on the brakes, swerving the car to avoid crashing into the figure on the road. The slick road did not give much purchase and it slithered and skittered, finally shuddering to a stop but not before it had rammed sideways into the figure.
Pam sat hunched over the wheel, trembling. She was terrified to look up. Had she killed someone? Oh God! Please let it not be true, she prayed. No! Not again! She had never touched a drink again! Be brave, she told herself. This was not your fault-not this time! After a few minutes, she gathered her courage and looked around. She could see the figure lying crumpled in a heap on the left side of the road-immobile. Not a soul was to be seen.
Licking her dry lips nervously, Pam slowly unbuckled her seat belt..She opened the car door and fell down in a heap- her legs seemed to have turned to jelly. She crawled to the figure and saw it was face down. Gently, she turned it to face upwards and realized it was a man. There was no blood and when she checked his heartbeat and pulse, all seemed to be in order. Relieved, she went back to the car and taking the bottle of water, walked over to the prone man.
A few sprinkles of water and the man came to. After sipping a bit of the water, he felt capable of walking up to the car. Miraculously, he was unhurt. In the pouring rain, they sat in the car and he told her his name was Chris. He was new to the area and had lost his bearings in the storm. He seemed genuinely apologetic for the alarm and trouble he had caused Pam. He wanted to know if Pam could be kind enough to drop him at some motel nearby.
Pam was in a dilemma. She knew there were no motels nearby and in this weather no way could she allow Chris to go his way. In a way, she felt responsible for Chris’s accident therefore, for his well being. Wondering if she should tell him to leave or accompany her to her house, she kept Chris engaged in small talk, all the while watching him and weighing her options. He seemed to be a little older than her-maybe thirty, was well built, had brown hair, gentle eyes and she liked his smile. On the whole trustworthy, she decided. So, she asked him if he had any objections to coming with her up to her house, for that night. A little hesitant at first, which appealed to Pam, Chris agreed.
Turning the car, they headed home. Pam was surprised at how at ease she was with Chris. Once home, she found Chris to be charming company and they had a nice hot meal. Later Chris helped her by washing the dishes. That night, for the first time in years Pam felt a stirring and heard her heart beat.
The weather played up and continued to be nasty over the weekend, preventing them from leaving the house for the next two days. This was instrumental in bringing them closer faster than months of dating could have.
Soon, Chris moved in with Pam. He took interest in everything and he was especially interested in Pam’s family. Strangely though, Chris never spoke of his family. Having grown up in a happy and supportive family, Pam could not understand this. However, she was thrilled when Chris proposed .He also promised to talk about his family, once they met her parents. Pam agreed and they flew to her parent’s home.
Next day, the police found Pam and her parents murdered in their beds. A note said, “It takes two to make an accident. Re-paid with interest.”
Police investigations revealed that there was more to the story than met the eye .Years ago, when Pam was 19, she had run over a man, killing him instantly. At that point she was at the wheel and was drunk. Her boyfriend Matt was also with her. There was a furore but Pam’s Dad had pulled some strings and Matt had taken the rap. Both Matt’s family and the victim’s family had sworn vengeance.
Now search was on for the suspects..
This 999-word story(including the title) was written for a contest held by Write On Edge This is a voted contest for a chance at publication. Details are below… if you want to join in, there’s still time – click the badge above to view their site
- 1000 word limit, all genres of creative writing are welcome.
- linky is open until Friday, February 21, at 11:55pm Pacific
- Use the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote “It takes two to make an accident.” as an opening/closing line or draw inspiration from it, your choice.
- Community voting opens 2/22 and closes 2/28 at 11:55pm Pacific.
- Community and editorial choice winners will be announced on Write on Edge andBannerwing Books on Monday, March 3, 2014.
- All entries must be original work, only published on your personal blog/website, and by entering you give Write on Edge and Bannerwing Books permission to reprint your entry in Precipice, Volume III‘s print and digital formats, as well as permission to edit for grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors.