Red warning lights flashed on the dashboard. I wasn’t sure what they meant. So many were going off at the same time that I found it to be rather overwhelming. Which isn’t saying much considering how often I find myself feeling overwhelmed these days. — I did the only thing that made sense at the time. I got out of the car, walked a couple of miles down the road, looked for any sign of civilization, and then when I didn’t find any I turned around & went back to my car.
So there I sat. In my car, on a deserted road, with no cell phone coverage. — Just what I needed.
As that thought crossed my mind I finally saw a black car come into view over the hill-top behind me. Relief swept through me. About time.
As the car pulled up alongside me, a woman rolled the passenger window down, she and the man with her looked to be in their mid-fifties.
“Any way we could be of help to you sweetie?”she asked warmly. She seemed kind. Almost like Nell, my old next door neighbor. The kindest lady I’d ever met to date. That’s who she reminded me of. Nell.
“Actually, yeah, do you guys know how far I am from the next town?” I asked, taking the chance that they might be from around here or at least know where here is exactly.
The lady smiled real big & her face lite up. “Oh yeah, about 12 miles from here. We actually live not far from the main red light in town. We’d be happy to give you a lift if you need it. There aren’t many houses between here & there.”
“It wouldn’t be out of our way and we’d hate to leave you stranded,” her companion added, “we have daughters & I’d want someone to share the same kindness with them.”
I hesitated for a moment, maybe two, or it could have been ten. I contemplated the risks. These people could be psycho. I’ve seen the movies, heard the stories, watched the news. It’s not that far-fetched.
I weighted my options, asked a question or two more (mostly about their daughters & the kind of town that was up ahead,) It really wasn’t a hard decision considering.
“Sure! I’d really appreciate it and it beats being stranded here over night.” Because I really had to face it, the sun would be going down soon. Who knows what kind of person could happen upon me if I camp out in my car.
“Great!” she said brightly. As her husband got out of the car & opened the door for me, I grabbed a few of my things from my car & got in.
It was the last thing they ever did. — Just like it was with Nell all those years ago, proof that kindness can get you killed.
— Writing Challenge: Start a sentence with “Red warning lights flashed on the dashboard.” —
I am almost proud of this story. I was so excited when I typed the last few lines. — However I feel that fading…
Was it predictable? I don’t know. Was it the ending everyone saw coming? I don’t know. — I didn’t see it coming until I got to the last two lines & wrote it! — But all I can think of is how I felt when I was 15 & a teacher told me that my writing was, “too predictable to make it.” & then turned to the person next to me & told them that they were an extremely talented writer.. To this day I can’t forget that. — Did it mean I lack talent? Did it mean that I can’t make it? Why can’t I shake it off? Why can’t I just think enough of myself to cancel those words out? — I need too, I know that.