Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: See (07/22/10)
TITLE: Thank you, Truck Driver
By susan woolen
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The weather stormed in cold and icy a few days before school let out for Christmas. I was driving with two, dear friends to visit family for the holidays. We had packed our suitcases and gifts carefully in the trunk of my old car - a jalopy really with aging tires and a heater that wouldn’t stop hissing. It was all I could afford at the time.
Driving on the highway, I spotted the ice covered overpass ahead and approached with trepidation. There were many cars on the road and I was uneasy. I gripped the steering wheel with both hands and prayed for our safety; but in an instant, the wheels skidded on a patch of black ice and slid my car straight toward the cement abutment bordering the overpass. In a daze, I glimpsed the freeway flowing underneath and was terrified that we would fly through the abutment and crash on the busy road below. My friends, who had been chatting just seconds before, gasped and clung to the inside handles of the car.
Suddenly, the car veered just inches from the crash wall, spun in a circle, and thudded to a stop, facing the wrong direction of traffic. I was afraid that we’d be hit head on as the other cars flew by, their horns blaring. I didn’t know how I was going to turn the car back into the right direction without hitting or being hit by the passing cars. Noone slowed down enough for me to maneuver around and ice was constantly being thrown onto the windshield. “God…” I cried, “Please help.”
The engine roaring, a semi-truck pulled along side the car. The tall driver jumped out of his cab and ran to us. “Are you alright?” he shouted. “I think so but I can’t get turned around!” I cried. The driver sprinted into the middle of the highway and directed traffic to stop; and as he blocked the lanes with his huge truck, he signaled me to turn the car around. The engine sputtered as I hurried to turn the key, but it finally kicked in. Trembling, I guided the car through the overpass, drove a short distance, and pulled over onto the shoulder of the road. I wanted to thank the truck driver but he was already gone.
My friends and I sat motionless for a few minutes, trying to catch our breath, then turned toward each other and smiled and cried at the same time. “Wow! That was close! I thought for sure we were going over the fence!” We rested awhile, then I took hold of the steering wheel again and we set out on the rest of our journey. Rattled, I drove with extra caution; and we arrived at our destination safely.
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