I've decided the blog is getting way too serious, so I thought I'd dust off a couple of my less serious stories and post them for your enjoyment.
I posted this story to the SSS short story contest in 2001. It was inspired by a road trip in horrid traffic, but the events are otherwise completely made up.
Hot. Sticky. LOWS in the 90s. Janey called. “Let’s get out of town. I’ll finish work at noon tomorrow. How about you?”
“I should be done with this paper tomorrow morning.”
“Good. I want to get into the ocean.”
Janey made reservations for a camp site. She has a friend working at a state park, so we managed to get one.
When Janey came by early Friday afternoon, I was in the living room, eating a popsicle and watching television. She knew from my guilty start that the paper wasn’t done. She turned off the television. I finished my popsicle quickly.
“How much more?”
I bit my lip. “I’ll work quickly.”
“I’ll put together a bag for you.” Janey went upstairs. I typed. Janey went to the store to get road food. I continued typing. By three-thirty, I finished, and we drove away.
Of course we ran into traffic.
“Why can’t all these people go somewhere else? Why can’t they drive faster? Why do they have to tailgate?”
Janey made soothing comments. She even let me choose all the CDs we played. It wasn’t enough. “I HATE traffic. Why couldn’t we go earlier this week?”
“When are we going to GET there?!”
Janey half-smiled, half-snapped, “You won’t like what happens if I pull this car over, Missy.”
And then it started to pour. “This is stupid. I hate rain.” Janey glanced at me, and kept driving. “These people don’t like to be outside in the rain. They can go home. I HATE traffic.”
“Michelle, enough. Take a nap, or talk to me. Stop whining.”
I glared out the window. How can she be so calm?
We needed to change lanes. No one would let us in. “Why can’t these idiots learn to DRIVE?” I flipped off a particularly offensive motorist. Janey put her signal on again, and pulled off at the next exit.
“Where are we going?”
“I’m pulling over.” She pulled to the shoulder in a small wood. She unbuckled both our seatbelts, and got out. Tropical air rushed into the car. Janey walked around, opened my door, and then the back door of the car. She pulled out the hairbrush.
“I’m sorry. I’ll stop whining, Janey.” Even that was a whine.
“Get in here. NOW.” Reluctantly, I climbed across her lap. My bottom was immediately on fire. The brush seemed to stick to my sweaty skin. She paddled my thighs until I was nervous about whether I’d be able to sit at all.
Hairbrush smacks and drumming rain filled the car. I finally stopped wiggling and kicking, and lay across her lap.
“Janey, I’m sorry, I won’t whine anymore. I promise.”
“Good,” she said, finally. “Now get back in your seat, and think about what I’m going to do when I get you to the camp site.”