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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)

TITLE: The Crimson Dot
By Debbie Roome


To begin with, she was a crimson dot in the distance. A lone spot of red that wove in and out of my vision.

I was more focused on the beauty around me. The fringe of yellow beaches studded with shards of rock. The ribbon of tarmac carved into soaring cliffs and the dancing seas below. Seldom had I seen the ocean so magnificent; layered with turquoise, emerald and sapphire, and sprayed with glistening diamonds.

There were other cars on the road that morning, but they were driving sensibly. Slowing on corners, hugging the cliff face, allowing others to pass. Not the crimson dot. Her movements were erratic, unpredictable as she lurched from side to side.

My first thoughts were for myself. What if she drove into me? What if she side-swiped me and we both went over the edge, tumbling and twisting to be crushed on the rocks below?

As she drew nearer, I saw she was driving a metallic-red Honda, accelerating, roaring round the bends. She passed me in a scarlet blur, punctuated with two pale faces. Two faces pressed against the side window. Big-eyed, frightened faces.

Instinctively I dropped my speed. Two small children? Visions of newspaper headlines flashed through my mind. “Drunk driver and children plunge to their deaths.” Someone had to do something. Surely someone had reported her by now? I grabbed my cell phone but remembered the battery was dead.

I slowed a little more. I’ve never been one to interfere in other people’s business but I couldn’t get the children’s faces out of my mind. Righteous indignation bubbled up inside of me. I didn’t have to think as I pulled into a viewing spot. As I reversed my direction and set off in pursuit of the crimson dot.

It was a frightening journey, hurtling down the road, twisting and turning, watching the red spot grow bigger and bigger. I prayed God would keep me safe; that He would put His angels around us and protect everyone on the road.

It took ten minutes but I caught up to her as she fishtailed round a hairpin bend. The road was still treacherous and still she wove from side to side. For a moment I was unsure what to do next. I’d never been the confrontational sort. I was a peacemaker, a settler of troubled waters.

Ahead of me, two little faces looked out the back window, fear etched in every blurry movement. It was those faces that prompted me to put my hand on the horn. To give a few toots. I didn’t want to scare her but I needed to get her attention. The woman looked in her mirror and kept going. I followed.

Around the next corner, I held my hand on the horn; let it blare on and on as I motioned to a grassy viewing point. She seemed to stop as an afterthought. Slamming on brakes, tearing up turf as she spun onto the shoulder of the road. Shaking, I pulled up behind her. What in the world was I to do next?

She climbed out of her car, a tall woman, angular, with flat, peroxide curls, bony elbows and long fingers. Behind her, two small boys cowered in the back seat. “I‘m worried about your driving.” I said as I walked over to the Honda. Her eyes were disturbed, unfocused, heavy with drugs. “You’re endangering your life and your children’s lives.” She stared into the distance, slight tremors shaking her body. “You’re in no condition to drive. Let me help you.”

She looked straight through me. “I have to go.”

With a boldness I’d never known I caught hold of her arm. “I’m taking your boys.” I told her. “I’ll follow you, but they’re coming with me.” With my other hand I opened her back door. They stared at me wide-eyed, bewildered as I lifted them out; as I buckled them into my back seat. The woman watched, impassive, disinterested before firing the Honda’s engine to life.

We were near the base of the cliffs when she lost control. When the car spun wildly, its back ramming into a rocky outcrop. “Stay here.” I commanded the little ones.

She appeared unhurt, their mother. Just dazed, dizzy. Other motorists pulled over. Concerned, anxious, wanting to help. I told them about the children and together we stared at the Honda. The way the rocks had sliced, crumpled and crushed the back seat. They wouldn’t have stood a chance.

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This article has been read 1384 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/06/07
This reads like a true story. In any case, I was amazed at the boldness of the narrator. The descriptions are superb.
Jacquelyn Horne09/06/07
A well-told story. A bold move on the mc's part.
Joanne Sher 09/08/07
Amazingly vivid descriptions, with an astounding sense of urgency. I was right there. Masterfully crafted.
Sherry Wendling09/08/07
My heart's in my throat. What a wonderful picture of redemption. "The righteous are bold as a lion!"
Sharlyn Guthrie09/08/07
My heart pounded with every twist and turn. Superb.
valerie chambers09/09/07
This was very well written
Sherrie Jackson09/11/07
Wonderful descriptions and MC. If everyone could care about each other like this, how many lives could be saved (quality-wise also)? Great job with this; I was riveted from beginning to end.
Lynda Lee Schab 09/11/07
Very suspenseful writing that kept me on the edge of my seat. I am left wondering what was wrong with that woman! Inquiring minds want to know! This would make an interesting short story (maybe 3,000 words instead of only 750 LOL) Great job!
Jan Ackerson 09/11/07
Wowsers, is this true? If so, my hat's off to you--wonderful! Even if not, it's gripping, comelling writing. Super!
Betty Castleberry09/11/07
Thank goodness for this brave lady. This is very well told.
Sandra Petersen 09/11/07
This was a gripping story. How many people would do what your MC did? I especially liked this line: "As I reversed my direction and set off in pursuit of the crimson dot." Nicely told.
Pat Guy 09/11/07
Wow! Yes gripping and compelling in every way! I hung on every word and also want more. And that's, good writing!

Diane Bertrand09/13/07
Wow! I wonder if I'd have been that bold. This story had me on the edge of my seat and gave me lots to think about..
Janice Cartwright09/13/07
Your descriptions were vived and bold, effective and far from static. They painted a moving picture with a lively pace.
Mo 09/13/07
Wow. Congrats on your win!
Jan Ackerson 09/29/07
Debbie, I'm going to feature this on the Front Page Showcase for the week of October 29. Look for it on the FW home page.
Sara Harricharan 10/29/07
WOW! This is so intense! I love the title and I'm glad the little boys were saved. Whew! Lots of suspense. (Congrats on your front page showcase!)
Beth LaBuff 10/29/07
Congrats Debbie, for being the FW Frontpage Showcase this week! What a great story. I love your title.
Stormi Johnson11/04/07
Great article, gave me chills.
Norma-Anne Hough11/04/07
lovely story. really enjoyed reading it.