Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction
Mission of MercyI peek in the rear-view mirror at my baby boy, asleep in the backseat. I chance a glance to my right at my wife dozing in the passenger seat. Why wouldn't she? It's three o'clock in the morning. Me, well I'm struggling, white-knuckled, to keep the car on the road.
The snow has been coming down for the last few hours, but has just recently started to pick up, flying nearly horizontal at the windshield. The sight reminds me of a movie I saw, where a spaceship accelerates at 'hyperspeed'. Still, I have to get to Caribou.
Sure, it's five hours away, normally, but my baby girl needs me. She called from her grandmother's, begging to come home. At five years old, she still has me wrapped around her little finger and I would do anything, including driving through a blinding snow storm, to get her.
I keep my eyes locked to the road, looking for those areas where snow has piled up, a trap waiting to pull me and my family off the road. Cruise control doesn't work here. I need to be in control, ready to adjust my speed at a moment's notice. Sure enough, I feel the familiar tug of the steering wheel. I grip even harder, forcing the more than two-ton vehicle to do my will.
In my peripheral vision, I see the flashing yellow lights that signal the coming of a plow truck, the only other vehicle on the road. He is here out of necessity. I, because of the crying voice of a little five-year old girl.
The plow passes, I slow down. Snow is thrown into my windshield. I slow to a near crawl until my view clears, my heart pounding during the white-out.
After what seems an eternity, certainly more than the normal five hours, we pull into my mother-in-law's driveway. For the first time since leaving, my fingers relax. I flex them, working out the kinks that have built up due to my constant grip.
I gently wake my wife and together we get our son from the back seat. It is now early morning and my mother-in-law is up, ready for the children to come to her daycare. When I walk in, my daughter runs and hugs me. I hold her close, knowing that I have fulfilled her desire to have me come and bring her home.
"Are you all packed up to go home?" I ask.
She gives me a curious look, then says, "Daddy, I don't want to go home. I want to stay with Grammy."
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