Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Home for Christmas (11/20/08)
TITLE: Almost Home
By Christina Banks
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“I can’t wait to sleep in tomorrow.” Katie chattered. “It seems like ages since I woke up to the smell of Mom’s cinnamon rolls. Oh man, I desperately need a break after all those exams. My brain is completely fried.”
“I bet it is,” Josh responded sarcastically. Katie’s freshman exams were nothing compare to the Advanced Greek final he suffered through the day before.
“Look, Josh, Saginaw Street.” Katie chirped, recognizing the name on an exit sign. “We’re almost home!”
“Almost home,” Josh echoed. The words sounded wonderful. He thought about his quiet room at the end of the upstairs hallway. Only about thirty more minutes and the long trip from Bible college would be complete. Josh turned up the speed on the windshield wipers. Snow swirled in the head lights.
“Sing with me! I’m dreaming of a white Christmas...”
Josh ignored her and focused on the one lane that was clear of snow. He braced himself as a fast moving pickup truck barrelled past him in the other lane. Josh slowed his little Pontiac until the white cloud following the bigger vehicle settled.
“... may your days be merry and - Hey, is that Rudolf’s nose?” Katie giggled. A blinking yellow light pierced the darkness up ahead.
“No, it’s a snowplough.”
“You’re no fun, Joshie.” Katie didn’t wait for a response before she jumped into another song. “O the weather outside is frightful...”
Josh clenched his jaw. “Almost home,” he reminded himself. The snow was coming down slower now. It gently swirled around the car as Josh turned off the interstate.
“Do you think Mom and Dad will be waiting up for us?”
“I don’t know, Katie. It’s awfully late.”
“Oh, but I want to see them tonight.”
“We’ll have three weeks before we need to get back. You’ll have plenty of time to spend with mom and dad.”
“Guess you’re right.” Katie began to sing again, “I’ll be home for Christmas...”
“Almost Home,” Josh said the words to himself again. He slid to a stop at the sign and turned right down his parents’ road. A single set of tracks cut through the fresh blanket of snow. Two more miles and he would get his first glimpse of the old farm house. Excitement overshadowed his previous worry and irritation.
“Christmas eve will find me...” Josh’s rich baritone joined Katie’s soprano.
Josh caught the reflection of the deer’s eyes only a moment before the animal jumped out of the ditch in front of them. The doe scrambled trying to get her footing on the icy road. Josh stomped on the brakes. The car slid through the deep snow. They were almost on top of the deer when Josh jammed the wheel to the right, narrowly missing her hind quarters. Josh could feel the rear bumper of the car trying to pass them. He overcorrected the turn, sending them into a spin. Katie’s scream coursed through Josh’s brain, blocking all coherent thought.
SINGLE CAR ACCIDENT KILLS TWO
Lapeer County, Michigan – Icy roads are believed to be the cause of an accident that killed two Lapeer County university students early this morning, said the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Department.
Township firefighters responded to an 1:32 a.m. call and found the victims in their car, lodged in a tree. Names have not yet been released.
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