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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Flat (01/03/13)

TITLE: I Had a Bad Day
By Shellie Bailey


It was late. I was late. That is all I knew when I heard the sound of rubber wobbling underneath my white Camry. I pulled over to the shoulder, and tapped my un-manicured fingers on the steering wheel. Wow, I should do something about that. Another day. I turned the engine off, unclipped the seatbelt, and climbed out.

My eyes gazed over as I stared at the back driver’s side tire which now lazily hugged the black pavement. “That’s just great. Just great.” I stammered.

I leaned back into the car, fumbled in my oversized brown purse until my hand finally clenched the illusive cell phone. I jerked it out, and opened my voice app for Google, and felt pretty proud of my tech abilities.

“Yellow pages.” I spoke clearly into the little phone.

Google instantly went to work, searching for yellow badgers. “Noooo!” I cried.

I found the text entry search box, got my slender pointer finger ready and began typing. The auto spellchecker took me through yellow, yellow books, and yellow porch before it finally accepted my wish.

After several more clicks, and whines I finally had a tow truck company brought up: Lyle’s Tow & Go. “Nice.” I whispered.

I punched in the number, it rang three times, “Lyle’s Tow & Go, where can we tow ya?” a young woman answered in a high-pitch voice.

“Yes, I have a flat tire,” I glanced around for a sign or something to advise of my location, “on Wilmont Ave.”

“Alrighty, well we can get someone out there in ‘bout fifteen.”

I sighed. “No sooner?”

“Nope, sorry, seems to be a busy day in the tow business. Joe is out on a run, but your next on the list, and that’s ‘bout fifteen.”

“Yes, I understood.” I replied, not trying to sound snotty, but Amanda was going to kill me. I had promised to be there to handle the real estate office so she could leave.

“If you’re in a hurry you might just change it yourself.”

I laughed. “I wouldn’t know where to start.”

She chuckled, “Yeah you need to wait for Joe then, he will get you set up in a jif.”

“Fifteen, right.”

“Right sweetie.”

I ended the call and no sooner than I plopped down the driver’s seat did the little phone beginning ringing. I glanced at it, groaned, and answered, “Amanda, let me explain—,“

“What is going on? I have to leave in ten minutes.”

“—I have a flat.” I sputtered out.

A pause followed by a sigh, “Do you want me to come get you?”

“I have a tow on its way.” I replied.

“No, I am just going to come get you. I will send Richard out to fix the tire, and he and Larry can bring it over to you at the office later.”

“It will make you late,” I stammered, “I can’t do that.”

“Annie, you can’t sit there on the side of the road waiting on some tow company to fix a flat. It’s not going to make me that much later to the conference than to wait on you, and them to handle this."

“Okay, if you’re sure.”

“I’m sure. Be there in five.”

I redialed Lyle’s, waited for the spill, “Yes, I just called and I no longer need a tow.”

“Awww, you done it yourself, didn’t ya?”

I cracked a smile. “No…no I didn’t. I have a friend coming to get me.”
“Well good, good. Hate to lose business, but glad you got what you need.”
“Yes and thank you.”

“Another day honey.”

“Let’s hope not.” I replied.

I laid the phone down, “God, I just don’t get it. All I was trying to do was doing something nice, and now all this.”


Ten minutes later, Amanda’s blue Accord rolled to a stop in front of the office. I climbed out and grabbed my bag.

“See, much quicker.”

“Yes, but you’re going to be late on my account.”

Amanda shook her head, “Yeah, but it’s just some stupid realtors conference, anyway.”

“I thought you loved those things.”

Amanda shrugged, “Eh,” she giggled, “okay you got me, I do!”

“Get going then!” I replied.

No sooner than I settled into the comfy chair, did my phone ring, Amanda.
“You are not going to believe this! Just about ten minutes ago there was a massive pile up on the interstate.” She let out a whimper, “Your flat tire…saved me.” She whispered.

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This article has been read 357 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/11/13
I so totally enjoyed this story. You introduced the conflict right away and it drew me right into the story.

I noticed some minor punctuation errors like wait for you and them. You had a comma after you and you would only do that if you had a list like wait for Jim, Tim, and you. I also noticed you used an em dash to start a sentence. Most guides suggest not to do that since an em dash represents an abrupt interruption in speak. A challenge buddy might help you catch things little things like that.

I think you have an awesome sense of humor. It's subtle but perfect for your characters. I also liked the ending. I'm always delighted when I am surprised. I think some may have seen it coming because so many people can relate to that experience. It made me stop and think about all the times we never know that an irritant saved my life. You covered the topic while still delivering a powerful message. It was a delight to read.
C D Swanson 01/14/13
You have managed to not only write a clever piece, but deliver a prolific message with levity while bringing home a profound commentary.

Nicely done. God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/18/13
Congratulations on ranking 6th in level one!