Writing Prompt: The car broke down just past mile marker twenty six.

Good Monday morning one and all. I hope everyone is well rested after the holiday weekend. Personally I ate too much. But on the bright side I got to laugh too much as well and spend time with loved ones so it leans more into the positive column, no matter what my belly says. So it’s all good. Let’s get back into the post holiday normality and at least work out out brains if not out bellies. Ready? Good, then let’s go.

I kind of like this one. At this point the story is wide open so I have no idea what story is actually being told, but I kind of like the fact that I have no idea what’s going to happen next. it will be fun to pull out of the pile at a later date and figure out.

Monday, November 29th: The car broke down just past mile marker twenty six.

The car broke down just past mile marker twenty six.  There was a jerk as though something large grabbed the undercarriage.  Then black smoke began seeping out from under the hood as though we accidentally ran over a dragon. 

Peter pulled to the side of the road and coasted to a stop. He reached for the keys to turn the engine off when something heavy went clunk.  He quickly turned off the ignition and climbed out of the vehicle.   He closed the door and cautiously moved around to the hood.  He reached a tentative hand towards the hood when there was a soft pop and fluid began leaking out from under the car as though it lost control of it’s bladder.

As far as Peter knew cars didn’t have bladders.  Admittedly what he  knew beyond how to drive boiled down to never let the gas tank fall below empty and if anything happens take it to a mechanic.  Those were his father’s sage words of advice to him when he began driving. A those were the only bits of automotive wisdom his father had to pass on, Peter considered himself well warned. 

‘Admittedly Dad never drove anywhere.’

He knew his father had the ability to drive. He passed his driving test more to prove he could do it rather than because he wanted the license.  Later he said that it made an excellent identification.  In practice all driving was left to his mother.  His mother could drive for hours, crossing state and national lines with abandon.  Her advice was similar to his fathers, never let it get below a quarter of a tank and if anything goes wrong take it to a mechanic.

Peter was fairly certain she gave the information to his father and his father simply passed it on. None of it really helped him at the moment.  He was on a strip of road with no mechanics in site.  He had a phone, and a AAA card, but when he looked at the phone he found he had zero bars of service. 

‘So that isn’t much of a help.’  Peter looked back at the car.  It was no longer smoking. ‘That’s an improvement.’  He figured if smoking wasn’t good for people it probably wasn’t very good for cars. 

Peter vaguely remembered seeing a sign indicating a town straight ahead.  He couldn’t remember the name of it but he thought the number beside it was somewhere in the teens.  Thirteen or maybe sixteen.  Thinking that now that the smoke was gone, the engine was less likely to explode, Peter went back to the driver’s side door.  He leaned the seat forward and rooted around until he came up with a pair of comfortable sneakers. 

The dress shoes he was wearing had been suitable for his interview that morning but they wouldn’t do his feet any favors if he had to walk to the nearest town.  Peter changed shoes. ‘Please let it be thirteen instead of nineteen,’ he thought.  He sent a small prayer skyward as he laced his sneakers.  After that, he made certain he had his wallet, keys and his cell phone on him.  He then locked the car and began to walk in the direction of the nearest town. Every few feet, he checked for cell phone service bars, hoping he wouldn’t have to walk the whole way.

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