Here’s something new. I never write fiction. But a good friend of mine has a habit of throwing out sentences that feel like the beginning of a short story. So I wrote her one. She supplied the first sentence and the last phrase. Presto.
To Change a Tire
Mark Driskill taught me how to change a tire. He taught me how to find the jacking point and to raise up the car after the lug nuts are loosened but before they’re removed. He taught me the proper way to handle a pipe iron. He showed me what to do when a lug nut gets stubborn or if the tire won’t come off due to rust. He taught me how to get the spare out of its hiding place in the trunk and how to secure it in position, wimpy life-saving impostor that it is. It all looked as easy as breathing when he got down there in the gravel and worked his tire-changing magic on that sunshine afternoon.
He didn’t prepare me for the cold darkness of a Kentucky roadside. Or damp earth that seeps through the soles of flimsy shoes. Or the loneliness of standing in the curve of an empty road, accompanied only by the barking of a worried dog in the distance and houses with close-shut eyes. He didn’t prepare me for the loneliness of waiting for a savior.
He taught me how to change a tire, but he never said I had to be stubborn and do it myself. He said God put men on the planet for a reason and sometimes even the most liberated damsels need rescuing.