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Just Around The Bend

Just as Sandra headed around the curve on the narrow country road, her car sputtered and then coasted to a stop. Glancing down at the gauges in front of her, Sandra noted the needle sitting on empty and slapped her hand hard against the steering wheel.  "Darn it!" she muttered.  "How could I have forgotten to keep an eye on the gas?  I guess I was thinking there'd be enough to get me home."

Sandra had just been through a painful divorce that she hadn't seen coming, and had decided to come spend a few weeks with her mom and dad at the farm.  Driving through the hometown where she grew up, she noted that it seemed so much smaller and more run-down than it did when she lived there. Maybe now that she'd seen the big city lights her perspective had changed.  Still, the comforts of her old upstairs bedroom, the promise of Mom's home-cooked meals, and memories of sitting on the porch in the with her Dad in the evenings, had been strong enough to lure her home.

Now she was in a pickle though, she still had a good fifteen miles to go, and here she was, stalled on the side of a road which saw so little traffic that it didn't even rate a center stripe. There was still a few hours of daylight, but she was not at all sure she could walk that distance, and she quickly discovered that her high-dollar smart phone wasn't so smart out there in the boonies, where not one single bar of signal strength appeared.  "Great, just great" Sandra groaned, her tiredness from the long drive now compounded by her frustration at once again doing something dumb.  She could almost hear her ex's voice scolding, "You never pay attention to the details, your head is always somewhere else." She knew he was probably right.

Well, it wasn't going to do her any good to sit here hoping, so switching out her trendy sandals for sox and a pair of walking shoes, she grabbed her purse and a bottle of water, locked the car, and started hiking down the road.

An hour later she had walked about half way, and not a single car or truck had driven past.  She was hot and sweaty, and the sturdy leather of her shoes was gnawing at her heals.  She had slowed down to where she was more limping along than walking, and the time alone with her thoughts had brought back all the memories of recent months.  Before long tears welled at the corners of her eyes and soon streaked down her dusty face.

She must have been some sight to the driver of the battered old pickup truck that rumbled up behind her and then slowed down for the driver to take a look. Quickly swiping across her face with the backs of her hands, she looked up to see an older lady dressed in a t-shirt and overalls lean over and push the passenger door open.  "You look like you could use a lift there, missy, where are you heading?  There's not many folks living on this road, just a couple farms a ways farther down." 

Relief washed over Sandra as she climbed into the truck. "My name's Sandra," she said. "My parents live a few miles up ahead at the farm on the right.  I've been away awhile and was coming home for a visit, but I ran out of gas. Thank you so  much for stopping.  Where are you from? I thought I knew all the folks that lived out this way?"

"The lady looked at her and smiled kindly, her blue eyes sparkling in the sunshine.  "My name is Angelica, but most folks just call me Angie," she said.  I was heading out to the Anderson place to see about an insurance claim on one of their tractors that caught on fire.  Good thing I came along too, you look plum tuckered out."

"I sure am," said Sandra. "It's been a long time since I've gone walking down country roads, but in a way I've missed it, you know... the wheat fields, the scent of wildflowers, and the sounds of birds and such.  I used to think it was dull and boring, but right now it's looking pretty good!  You can drop me up there by the mailbox, Angie, I'd like to walk up the driveway.  I'm surprising Mom and Dad.  Thank you kindly for the ride, you were a lifesaver!"

Angie pulled the truck over and waited for Sandra to climb out and walk around to the driver's side to say goodbye. Then looking intently at Sandra's face, Angie said "You're likely going to find that there's a reason you've come home again, God always has a plan in mind.  You keep your eyes open for a handsome guy with red hair and two little ones in tow."  A bit surprised by Angie's comment, Sandra laughed lightly as she headed toward the driveway.  Then she stopped and turned back to ask Angie what made her say that, but much to her amazement both Angie and the old pickup truck had vanished without a sound.

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This post was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the prompt choices this week are curve and empty...
Come and join us there!

24 comments:

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    1. I think that's a very good possibility, Abelle! You are reading carefully between the lines! :-)

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  2. awe...another chapter coming???...now that you've hooked me..there is a great story here..well written and makes you want more...hope the red head isn't a predator...

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    1. Maybe someday I will go back and expand some of these "shorts", GS. I'm glad you liked it! I'm pretty sure the red head is a good guy in this story, but most certainly there would be others in town whose intentions aren't as honorable. All small towns have one or two bad guys lurking!

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  3. That's torture, Ms. Josie. Just when we're at the peak, you stopped! ;o)

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    1. LOL, Abelle! I enjoy writing tales in which the reader has to decide how the story ends. As with most of life... it can go light or dark, depending on one's inclinations and the choices made. I vote for happy endings, though I must admit I sometimes write some things that don't quite fit that bill (or as Papa Bear notes, I have a bad tendency to kill off characters, he was pleased that didn't happen in this one)!

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  4. I love this and I so wish I could write like this. Perhaps after doing these each week I'll be able to let my imagination soar. I'm hoping so.

    I love this and I just know there is a happy ending here. It's because I choose to make it a happy ending.

    Have a fabulous day. Big hugs. ☺

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    1. My story telling is very amateur, Sandee, you could do it and do it better! I see myself more as a down home storyteller, not a creator of polished works. If my little stories get someone thinking... or puzzling... or smiling, then my work is done here and I'm happy. I've only been trying my hand at fiction for a year and found that it is much more fun than I ever thought possible! You will have to try it one week... base it on something or some feeling you know about, then it comes easy!

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  5. How lovely! I have to say I had a favorite line and it made me laugh.... it's: "... a road which saw so little traffic that it didn't even rate a center stripe." What a sinking feeling that is!

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    1. I am so pleased that you picked up on this line, Zoe, it made me smile when it appeared on screen too! I don't do a lot of thinking when I write things like this, I kind of start with a thought and then let the story unravel itself like a ball of yarn. I grew up in rural America... I know all about those little back country roads where one could quite literally wait for hours, or even days for someone to come by and rescue you. Sandra knew the odds were against it, so she had no choice but to set out walking... and of course it's always such places that lack cellphone service too!

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  6. Another cliff-hanger. But I know this story has a happy ending.

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    1. Yes, Patricia, I love unfinished stories! There is much yet to happen in this tale... her parents don't even know she's coming, she has no definite plans for the future, and then there is this mysterious red-headed guy, all based in a dusty little town. I'm with you, I feel quite certain this could end up being one of those happy-ever-after tales! The world could use more of those I think... in real life too!

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  7. Hi, this could be a novel in the works? You have fans already. I loved it. :)

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    1. It probably could be turned into that, Mary. Many of my stories here are more like snippets of bigger tales. Maybe if I ever get to retire, I will write such stories based on these in my old age! :-) I'm just happy that my simple tales meet with approval, it makes the writing fun!

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  8. Hi Josie!!!
    (I got my computer back about 15 minutes ago!! Yippee!)

    So now I want to find out about the handsome guy with the two little ones!! Great story! I can see this being a novel!!!

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    1. That's by far the best news of the day, Carrie! I've been in that spot of nervously waiting for results from the techies, you were so ready for something good to happen! :-)

      I'm sure that Sandra is going to be on the watch for Mr.Handsome, but we know that things never go as smoothly as expected and there will probably be a few more twists and turns in this tale!

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  9. I once almost thought I was going to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. Running out of gas isn't fun, even on busy streets. Great story, I really enjoyed reading it! Your good at writing stories, I enjoy reading them. : )

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    1. Running out of gas or having a car break down anywhere is scary stuff, Joseph! It's one of those things you hope you never have to experience, or that if you do someone like Angie will come along!
      Thank you for the kind compliments on my writing,for me it is relaxing and fun, that's why I do it!

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  10. You are a born storyteller, never doubt that. This drew me in and flowed. I believe in this kind of story. Very nicely done, my friend.

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    1. Thank you so very much, Annie, I truly appreciate your encouragement. I am always surprised that people like my stories.

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  11. Josie...I LOVED this story. I want MORE! :) You are a very good writer. Please write a book...I would for sure buy it!
    Love, Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

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    1. Wow, thanks Linda, this was a nice reason to smile today! :-)

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  12. Well I hope she has a happy ending! Let's be all romantic and hope the red haired man is her soul mate! Are there such things as soul mates? And if he is a soul mate could Angie indeed be a guardian angel? It's Saturday afternoon,my son has just cooked me tea,perhaps time to chill out and believe in the good stuff of life :-) Nice story writing Josie,it's fun to write,isn't it!

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    1. I love the way you think, Jess, and I love happy endings too! I do believe that good stuff happens, my life is living proof of that! There is a lot of really serious stuff we all have to deal with, and not all that happens is pretty or sweet, so we need to take some time to rest, refresh, and restore our belief in the ultimate goodness of God and mankind! Your son is a sweetie for making you tea... enjoy! I do so love to write, I could do it 24/7 with only time out for naps! :-)

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)