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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Rattled (05/09/13)

TITLE: Seeing Red
By Holly Hoell


The windshield wipers were swiping back and forth as fast as they could go. Trying to glance at her Google map directions out of one eye, Lisa grew more confused. Chewing on her lower lip, she searched for any sign she was headed in the right direction. The speaker had better be good at this retreat.

A red truck came up close behind her. “Just pass me.” Of course, the person couldn’t hear her. Wonderful, a gas station, now he can pass. She pulled in, filled up, and asked directions.

“You took the wrong road!” the weathered old man pointed on the map. “Well, the only thing you can do is keep a’goin fer about five miles. You’ll come to a fork. GO LEFT or you’ll be goin the wrong way agin.”

Getting her vehicle back on the road, Lisa noticed the red truck that had been following her parked nearby with a man in it. Strange. Thankfully the rain had stopped.

After polishing off some chips, she thought she saw the truck in her rear view mirror. Another glance, no, must have been her imagination. Looking back at the road her eye caught something. She swerved. WHAM. Her front tire hit a huge pot hole. “Darn it!” A rattling noise arose from that side of her car. She turned up her praise music and continued onward, viewing the deserted countryside.

Turning into the left fork, a huge fallen tree blocked her way. She steered back to the right. “I can’t believe this!” She pounded on her steering wheel, practically in tears. Grabbing her cell phone, it registered no service. She pressed down the gas pedal.

Her car was handling poorly and the ride was getting bumpier. Pulling over, she got out and walked to the front. Her right tire was flat. Tears streaming down her face she knelt down to get a closer look. There was a huge gash in her tire rendering the fix-a-flat can in her trunk useless. “How am I going to change a tire?”

“Need some help, ma’am?”

Startled, Lisa spun around and saw a large rugged looking man. It’s the guy from the red truck! “My tire is flat,” she said nervously.

“I’ll change it for you. Sit in your car.”

She flipped through the radio stations, hearing; “the man is extremely dangerous and is driving a red pickup truck.” Then the forecast came on. Looking at the man, he didn’t seem dangerous; in fact he seemed a kindly soul.

Her mind raced. I could take off right now. No, he has that truck. He could catch me.

She jumped as he tapped her window. “Ma’am, I need you to open your trunk.”

Reluctantly she got out of the car and complied.

“You’re all set; I’ll put your stuff in the trunk.”

As he bent down to pick up the flat tire, she noticed a steep embankment. Raising her foot high, she gave him a good kick. He went tumbling. Hopping in her car, she took off.

Lisa drove at high speeds, constantly eyeballing her rear view mirror for the red truck. Finally she came upon the cabins. She checked in and told her roommate what happened. They called the police, described the occurrence, and were told it would be investigated.

That evening, women gathered to hear the speaker Andrea Barton. As she stepped up to the podium, Andrea’s voice cracked. “Please pray ladies. My husband was supposed to be here earlier today. I haven’t heard from him; he’s never late. I want to deliver the message God put on my heart for you without any distractions.“

As they began praying, two police officers came in asking for Lisa Harper and Andrea Barton to come with them.

Andrea grabbed the policeman’s arm, “is my husband alright?“

“Yes ma’am he is at the hospital being treated for minor abrasions.“

“What happened to him, Andrea asserted“

Looking at Lisa, the officer said; “that man that you pushed down the embankment.”

“Yes,” Lisa swallowed hard, stomach churning.

“He is Harvey Melton; one of Pennsylvania’s most wanted criminals. He ran from the scene into the woods as we pulled up. Ms Barton’s husband was tied up in the back of his truck. We figure you were going to be another victim. The women here will want to keep their rooms locked and travel in pairs till we catch him.”

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This article has been read 304 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LaVonne Wood 05/16/13
Wow! What a story. I'm surprised the guy changed the tire and didn't just take the gal.

This could be a start to a longer story or novel. I still want to know what he was going to do with the guy he tied up.

Blessings, LaVonne
Vince Martella05/17/13
Impressive! This was a real thriller and kept me guessing. I thought for sure there was a misunderstanding and she had kicked the speaker(then I thought the husband after reading further) down the hill. My only red ink is that her trunk would have had to have been open already for him to get her spare tire. The ending was surprising and powerful. You definitely have a knack for storytelling. I can't imagine this one not placing well. I'm looking forward to more of your writing in the future.
Genia Gilbert05/21/13
I enjoyed your story, and it was well told. The title was very clever too. Good job.
C D Swanson 05/22/13
Great job!!! Come on, book in the making???

God bless~
Virgil Youngblood 05/22/13
On topic and definitely a chiller-thriller read. Well done.
Nancy Bucca05/23/13
Wow, this is an awesome read. It's a great take on the topic and I love all the little plot twists and turns it takes - just like the road your MC was on. I do agree you have a knack for storytelling. I hope to see this in the winner's section.

Christina Banks 05/23/13
Congratulations on your highly commended, Holly!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/23/13
Congratulations on placing 4th in your level and 25 overall! (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/23/13
Oohh you have a wonderful knack for suspenseful stories. My heart was pounding all the way through. I noticed some tiny errors like a missing capital letter at the beginning of a quote, but overall you did a fantastic job. Try to find a good proofreader and in no time you will be flying up the levels as you definitely have a gift for suspense. Like the others, I could see this as a longer book!
Judith Gayle Smith05/23/13
Not nice to leave an asthmatic breathless! What a story! Love it! Praise YHWH! Congratulations!