Having slowed somewhat in my writing, a while back(September 2022) I sat down to force myself to write 500 words a night. These are some of those word-salads. Unedited, raw, and just done for the hell of it…What concerns me most about this one is that I have no recollection of writing it. How curious.
Headlights cut through the star specked darkness as Clarissa feathered the breaks of the old pick up nervously, steepling mountain sides to one side and a seemingly bottomless drop to the other. Somewhere in the distance, beyond the lights that flickered at the end of the valley she could see the moon reflecting off of the ocean as it stretched beyond the small white houses, and out past the small boats that bobbed quietly in the bay. It was a road she felt she had driven so many times before she’d left, but it made her nervous still. Maybe it was the thought of returning home after all these years, or maybe it was just the road. She tried not to think about either.
Tyres squealed as she rounded the tight corners, the scent of the sea already thick in the air and memories of so many summers coming flooding back as she wound down the window to feel the cool night air on her skin. She reached for the battered Bakelite dial on the radio and watched it scroll right to left, the crackle and hiss giving way to a feint music that ebbed and flowed like the tides as she moved in and out of the shadow of the mountain side and wound her way down towards the town.
A battered road sign, pockmarked and faded, told her that it was just three miles to the place she had once called home, the place where she had grown up, and the place she had vowed never to return to. Those brash aspirations of youth now as distant as the life she had left behind.
The radio burst into life once more and it caused her to start, knuckles white as she gripped the old leather steering wheel tightly.
“Shit, “ she said to herself, letting out a nervous laugh. Despite the moon and stars, the sky was still an inky black and the quiet of night added to the anxiety she has sworn would not affect her when she’d decided to return to the old family home.
The woman on the radio was now singing about the troubles that comes from loving a boy with blue eyes and a pickup truck, and she couldn’t help but sympathise, but then smiled as she decided that it was probably the singers own stupid fault for getting in the pickup truck in the first place and that she should probably just stay well away from blue eyed boys if she knew what is good for her.
“Now, now, that’s all a bit cynical isn’t it,” she said aloud to herself as she decided that the quiet of night was a far better option that the woes of the singer and turned the knob on the radio until it made a ‘click’ and fell silent. The road widened and flattened as the roadside markers ticked down from three to two miles, and soon the mountain side was left behind, the ravines disappeared, and tall pines lined the road ahead.
Though she had not been home for twenty years nearly, everything had a familiar feel already. Imprinted memories from her youth resonating as the headlights lit up the last few miles and the trees soon paved the way to the sprawling lawns and large houses that were dotted around the outskirts of town. Speeding up along the long sweep that would bring her home, she smiled as the town church spire appeared over the treetops, still white and bright against the night.
Reaching down she decided to turn the radio back on and she scanned the dial as she twisted the black know and the thin red marker moved left to right. Music surged and faded, and she continued to search until the signal strengthened and the sound quite suddenly blared from the speakers causing her to start.
“Shit,” she said, heart racing as she looked down, struggling to quicky adjust the volume. The pickup veered towards the middle of the road as the small black knob came off in her fingers.”Oh double shit!” she exclaimed as it fell away into the footwell. It was soon to make little difference, as before she could look up there was a deafening blare of a truck horn over the sound of the music…and then nothing. Quiet.
Headlights cut through the star specked darkness as Clarissa feathered the breaks of the old pick up nervously, steepling mountain sides to one side and a seemingly bottomless drop to the other…