Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Scintilla #1: Morning Commute

We're in Arizona now, 93 degrees today, the land flat desert, rolling hills to mountains as we pass Blythe and stop just over the border, and I drove about 290 miles at breakneck speed. Very few cars followed the 70 mph limit.   So I was a little tired, just checking in on bloggers I like to read.

I found a neat, knuckle-biter of an airplane story from S. C. Morgan and a link to participate in The Scintilla Project. Click here to find out more or click on the icon in the right hand menu. Scintilla provides daily writing prompts for just two weeks. I was tired enough not to reisist, so jump in!  

Today’s prompt: Being trapped in a confined environment can turn an ordinary experience into a powder keg. Write about a thing that happened to you while you were using transportation; anything from your first school bus ride, to a train or plane, to being in the backseat of the car on a family road trip.
I was late. Why was it that when I was on my way out the door, my boyfriend would ask me a question that no one could answer with yes or no? I gunned the jeep just a little. Cold morning, cold car, cold fingers on the wheel. 

The jeep slid over the yellow line. Black ice. My heart jumped. No oncoming traffic. I twisted the wheel one direction. Steer into the skid! That didn't work.

I flipped the wheel to the other side, and the jeep whirled around in a circle. I watched the hills covered with snow float past the window. The jeep continued to rotate in circles, off the road, tilting, sliding. I was weightless. I remember thinking that I had no regrets. 

The jeep slammed to a stop on a dirt embankment. My back crashed out the side window. The jeep tilted on top of me, heavier and heavier. I could take this, and no more. I could barely breathe. I pounded on top of the jeep's green roof and screamed as loudly as I could.

A man ran around the back of the jeep.

"Hello there," I said, breaking off from my screams.

"Don't worry, lady. I'll get this off you!" He strained to push the jeep up and away. But the jeep didn't move. His face crumpled. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'll be back. Just stay still."

Was I going anywhere? My head felt heavy. I wanted to sleep; the jeep was a blanket. I couldn't feel my legs.

Two men shoved and pushed the jeep upright. I slithered out the window onto the ground. They covered me with a blanket and waited until the ambulance came. Outside of a dislocated hip, a four-inch gash on my forehead, and a chip out of my spine, I was alive.

Today I am still very grateful for the years since, my only marker, a tiny scar on my forehead.


  1. Hey, good to see you doing The Scintilla Project, too. I'll keep stopping by to see what you come up with. I am so loving their prompts.

    1. Wow! What a story. I didn't see the entire post in my feed, made my comment, and then came over here to see if it posted. Wow, that was quite the story. I had a rollover like that years ago. My parents' Jeep Wagoneer went out of control on a gravel logging road covered with a skiff of snow. It tossed me out on the first pass and I heard it banging away down the fill. I had similar thoughts to yours. No regrets, just how it was going to end. I ended up hiking across a meadow, communed with the cows and finally got help from a rancher who I found lying on his couch-- stark naked-- listening to Ira Blue, the old talk radio show. Memories. I haven't thought of that for years. ;-)