Thursday, April 21, 2011

Short Story: 100 Feet

Hello blogging world. Been almost two years since I posted anything here. Two years of creativity dulling BS, but that's life. This isn't a return to blogging either, but the other night I finally wrote a new short story and this is the only place I've got to put it. First thing I've written in a long time, but it felt good to write again. It's a sequel to my previous short story 50 Feet that's been in my head for awhile. I was amused with the different responses on how people took 50 Feet, so this should be interesting. And oddly enough after writing this one, I've got another sequel idea.

Anyway, if anyone still drops by here to read it, thanks for that. See y'all again in two years...haha

100 Feet by Eaglewing

God giveth, and God taketh away.

Thats what they taught him in Sunday school many moons ago, but they never confirmed if the giveth was good, or the taketh was bad. It was assumed, he reckoned now, and he knew well what happened on an assume. On such a blanket statement, details were onerously missing, and as usual, the Devil was in the details.

It’d been three years now since that rotten night. A night that was full of take. He’d been pushing hard in a close to hundred foot Rocky Mountain double tractor trailer with the hammer down coming up a grade and when he crested that hill it didn’t matter how good the brakes were. A man, stone drunk, out in the middle of the road with his eyes to the sky instead of the inbound coffin filler went to meet his Maker in a hurry amidst screaming tires, hot brakes, and crunching bones and metal. Even now, with a few years distance, he could still see the man standing there right before impact. What was worse, he could still feel it. It was just another given moment of time, but one that would take from both men’s lives.

He’d been a wreck afterward. Nightmares brought the fear that no therapy could help, and the fear kept him out of his home - his rig. And not being able to face driving anymore triggered a hell of a chain reaction. The bills piled up, the self esteem dove down, and the bottle was in easy reach. His wife tried to help, but eventually got fed up and took the kids and left. He didn’t blame her. Bouncing off rock bottom, he even tried a church. He asked God to give him a break. The next day they repossessed the house. On the one hand, he didn’t have to worry about the mortgage anymore, but it wasn’t the break he was looking for. Either God had a twisted sense of humour or he should have been more specific.

So with nothing left to lose, he sought out a job from a friend of a friend for a company that needed long haul drivers and weren’t worried about details like vehicular manslaughter or logbooks, to put it mildly. It was off the books, but he didn’t care anymore. He drank just enough to dull the shaky nerves but still had a hard time climbing in. Sitting there staring out the windshield, he actually said another prayer. He’d had enough, and muttered to God to just give him some damn peace once and for all. He figured it probably bounced off the roof, but was worth a shot. He fired up the engine and promptly stalled it in first gear. Then he took his mind out of it and his muscle memory kicked in and he was off down the road and catching that next shift felt so damn good.

He didn’t even want to know what he was hauling, and kept to the back roads. It meant a twisty and hilly and long route, but that was the price of contraband. He didn’t mind, it gave him time to think. Of all that he had given just to have it all taken away. He wondered if the drunk he had killed had thought the same. Was there a God in charge of it all, or were we just colliding with each other in a fit of chaos? Why were some given the world while others had it taken away? And if it all was the slip shod enterprise it appeared, then what was the point? It was a joke he couldn’t get. Maybe some day he would. He guessed it was all in the way you looked at it, but that was hardly comforting.

To ease his mind, he took another pull of whiskey from his hip flask, and toasted God for giving him a second chance at the wheel. Swallowing, he was taken aback at the sight out the windshield of a lone deer in the middle of the road. Not an uncommon occurrence this high up in the hills, but one he wasn’t prepared for. Sluggish reflexes trumped thought, and the brakes locked on black ice. As fate would have it, the curve lay ahead. The deer bolted on to the shoulder, and the rig bolted off the ledge and sailed through the air, gravity welcoming it with open arms.

As he sat in the cab, eyes wide watching the rocky valley below rushing up, he suddenly knew what he’d say in the coming face to Face. The damn prayer had made it farther than the roof, because here came peace once and for all. He figured he had about another hundred feet before he met his Maker, and he started to laugh.

A hundred feet.

Give or take.

The End.

Comments on "Short Story: 100 Feet"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (April 26, 2011 8:35 PM) : 

Cool! A new story!

I knew I kept this link on my link page for a reason. :-)

I confess that I'm still chuckling at the direness of the story... same as I did with "50 feet". It's not that I think the story is funny (I didn't think the other one was funny either), but just that they are written in such a way that half of it grips your emotions, and the other half grips your head... that is, you end up smiling and shaking your head in disbelief. :-)

I like the theme on "give and take." On a serious note, I do believe that God does give through taking sometimes. I'm not sure how I'd summarize the situation for the guy in this story though. But it seems that taking is the only way God can get through to us sometimes.

I heard a (possibly true) story last week, about a local guy who got rich on high rise condominiums. Very rich. Owned a whole bunch, and then sold them all to a conglomerate or something. Shortly later he was driving to church in his shiny new car and had a head-on collision with someone else driving to church, going the opposite way. At least that's how the story was told to me. It reminded me of Luke 12:15-21.

In the end, I guess it is wise not to focus so much on the things we can't change, and for the guy in the story, that would include both the Past and the Future. All we got is Now. Best not to waste it.

Looking forward to the next story! Hopefully it won't be two years in the making. :-)



Blogger Eaglewing said ... (April 29, 2011 5:42 AM) : 

originallru - Thanks for the comments. As for the direness, I guess thats a side affect of my love of noir. Bleak, but with gallows humor. Interesting thoughts on give/take, but yeah, best to live in the now. Thanks for reading!


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