Fiction Friday: The driving lesson (NaNo excerpt)

By Wednesday I was feeling a lot better so decided to skip library work but take Nigel for his pre-test lesson. It was raining heavily and I hoped Nigel wasn’t freaking out about that too much. As the time drew nearer I got myself ready, made myself look presentable for the first time in days, and left the house. I got into my instructor car and drove to Nigel’s house, wipers going furiously to keep up the with pounding rain. When I got there he dashed out of the house and we did a fast swap. He was already soaked and turned to me with wide eyes.

“Far out! This weather is crazy!”

“You’ll be fine. You’ve driven in the rain plenty of times.”

“Not done my test in it though. Geez.” He sounded pretty rattled as he adjusted everything.

“Ok positives: there should be less traffic on the road, and your tester should give you slightly easier manoeuvres due to decreased visibility. You just have to stay calm, ok?”

He nodded, still looking uncertain. I told him to start the car and we set off. I had him practice a few manoeuvres I was sure he would be asked to do, and he did them well, staying nice and calm. Feeling rather proud of him, I told him he was more than ready and told him it was time to head to the Queensland Transport building for his test. He breathed deeply, hands gripped tightly on the wheel.

“Hey, relax a bit. You’ll be fine, really.” I asked him to do a u-turn when it was safe and he did that no problems. As we drove along the rain-lashed, darkened road I started feeling a bit light-headed, and when Nigel approached a pedestrian crossing I saw a tall figure start to cross the road. I slammed on the brakes, and in the wet the car fishtailed and slammed sidelong into a parked car. Glass on the back right side shattered and rain hammered through the broken window. The airbags deployed as we came to an abrupt stop and I felt bruised and beaten. I looked over at Nigel; he was okay thankfully, though clearly shaken.

“Why did you do that?” he yelled. I gasped in a breath, feeling winded from the airbag. Frowning, I gestured at the crossing.

“You didn’t even see that man, again! You could have killed a person Nigel!” Residents and shop owners were starting to appear, hesitant to brave the rain but driven by guilty morality. Someone stooped and looked in the window.

“You ok?” he shouted over the rain. I nodded.

“Yes we’re fine. Is the man who was on the crossing ok?” I rubbed at my gut, where the seatbelt had dug in.

The man frowned at me. “There’s no one on or near the crossing.” He stood and I hear him make a call to 000. Nigel was looking at me, shaking his head.

“There was no one on the crossing Lauren. No one.” He opened his mouth to say more but thought better of it and shut it again. My world reeled. I had seen someone. He was tall, really tall—hang on, too tall. The person I saw had to have been well over two metres with abnormally long limbs. They didn’t make them like that around here—so what was it? The man who had first spoken to me ducked back down and told us the ambulance was coming, and the police. I nodded my thanks, and phoned Queensland Transport to tell them Nigel wouldn’t be sitting his test, and then phoned my driving school to let them know what had happened. I felt a bit queasy, knowing that it was my word against Nigel’s and I now had the sinking feeling that what I’d seen wasn’t really there at all.

Nigel had his head resting against the airbag. I told him we should get out and wait for the emergency services to arrive. We got out of the car, and I winced at the pain in my abdomen. A cafe owner helped us into her store and we huddled at a table, wet through, waiting. Nigel refused to speak to me, so I just sat and gazed down at my hands. I noticed something in my sleeve, catching the light, and picked it out and held it up. It was a sliver of glass from the rear window. It glinted accusingly at me, and I turned it over and over, studying it absently. The sound of sirens broke me from my reverie and I got up from the chair. I looked down at Nigel, head pillowed on his arms, and decided to leave him there. Heaving a sigh, I went outside to confront the authorities.

—-

Prompt: Your Main Character picks a sliver of glass from their sleeve and gravely inspects it……..( now keep writing)

I decided to use this prompt to flesh out my story more… my MC is a driving instructor so I realised a car crash would be a nice little plot device. Need to stretch out my word count after all!

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6 thoughts on “Fiction Friday: The driving lesson (NaNo excerpt)

  1. That’s great you managed to get the prompt into your NaNo story! I spent all morning thinking I wouldn’t be able to, but as you did, maybe I could have a go. Not too convinced though.

    Your story sounds really interesting. I hope you give us more glimpses of it over the next month. How are you getting on with it?

  2. Wonderfully written. A very interesting situation you’ve set up here. I’m curious as to what’s going on with your MC. I too would love some more glimpses as you work your way through NaNo.

  3. What did Lauren see on the road then, is it the reason for her light headedness? Is she perhaps being hunted and thats why she hasn’t left the house in days? So many questions, I am intrigued, please do share more. 🙂

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