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When you can see it coming

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Old 11-05-2015, 09:09 PM
IZA (Offline)
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Default When you can see it coming


The worst thing about the moments that alter your life unfathomably and irrevocably is that they typically play out in slow motion.

You see it coming.

And you are powerless to alter the waterfall that leads inevitably and inexorably to a long-ago understood and foreseen conclusion.

Think about it: The birth of a child. The purchase of a home. Marriage; divorce; death.

Or, maybe, nodding off at 80 miles an hour behind the wheel of seven tons of carefully polished steel and aluminum as I-25 starts snaking through the Rockies heading north out of Santa Fe towards Denver.

See, everything has a cause: if you forget to pull out, you're going to wind up with a kid. If you buy into a bubble, you'll wind up underwater. Meet the right girl and buy a ring: boom, you're married. Cheat on her? Now you're divorced.

Fall asleep behind the wheel... well... you could wind up dead.

Marty knew this was a potential outcome when he lit out from Oklahoma City with just four hours of sleep to recover from the last thirty-three hour haul covering seventeen-hundred miles.

But he was hoping that caffeine pills, shitty gas-station coffee and two packs of Cowboy Killers would do a decent job of keeping him alert until the sun came up. He even changed his route - opting to head west through Albuquerque before grabbing I-25 north to Denver to keep the highway swinging and turning and force his attention.

The original route, north up I-35 paste Wichita to I-70 was a ram rod straight and flat as Kansas. It was a sure-fire recipe for disaster. Nod off out there and you're in a headed for a six-foot deep ditch, and then a six-foot deep hole.

He thought he did everything right: heading out of Oklahoma City at 5 AM, he figured he could hit Albuquerque by 1PM and be skirting the Rockies by the afternoon. With any luck, he'd get into Denver as the sun was setting and be able to grab dinner before he crashed for a full night's rest.

Not everything goes according to plan, though.

As Marty dug deep into the throttle and let the big Dodge's 440 roar, he noticed that the trailer began a rather disturbing oscillation at 85 MPH.

Marty sighed. If he kept the needle under 80 - and kept the trailer in control - he would never keep to his timeline. That would mean tackling the twisty run up 105 into the south-side of Denver in the dark, and that was something he didn't want to do.

He was hoping he'd luck out and the oscillation would settle down as the needle crept into the triple digits, but that didn't happen. For a while, he settled for flirting with 100 while making disturbingly large steering inputs to counter the trailer's sway. He ran like that for a good forty minutes before he managed to catch a glimpse of the light-bar on an Oklahoma State Trooper's cruiser sitting just above the median's shrubbery.

He let off the gas and grabbed fourth gear, hoping the big motor's compression would drag him out of you're-going-to-jail speed and into hefty-ticket land. Marty really wanted to stand on the brakes, but he was afraid whacking the pedal would lock up the trailer's tires and cause even bigger problems than a ticket for twenty-over-the-limit.

While he was busy staring in the rear view mirror and making considerable steering inputs to counter the trailers sway, he blew past the Statie at something north of 90.

Marty wasn't even fully past the trooper before he saw the lights flip on. As Marty pulled to the side of the road, he knew he wouldn't be keeping to his schedule.

He calmly rolled down the window and waited for the officer to appear, praying he wouldn't find some ridiculous reason to search the trunk.


Last edited by IZA; 11-05-2015 at 10:07 PM..
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:31 AM
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Seems a bit verbose for my ADD addled existence.

There are some dogged, pedantic types who will hang with this every word of the way, I daresay.
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Nick Pierce View Post
Seems a bit verbose for my ADD addled existence.

There are some dogged, pedantic types who will hang with this every word of the way, I daresay.
Definitely is more wordy than my other stuff.

And moves at nearly no speed at all, compared to other pieces.

I might chuck it. Was just playing around with a way to creatively inflate word-count.

And you caught me. You bastard.
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by IZA View Post
You bastard.
You only say that because you are looking at my good side.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:56 AM
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This is an effective second person narrator. Successful at reeling your readers into thinking about the cause-and-effect game of reality. Seems like a lose/ lose situation every time huh?

You request readers empathize with Marty who is about to be busted. The title and narrator satisfies the good faith in writing clause and we expect the story to resolve as we continue to empathize with Marty. This is good writing that breaks the rules.

However, some re-organization will improve the plot. The place where Marty decides to take a different route should come a little later. It's a good place to change the flow of the plot if you can execute it.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:44 PM
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What the hell is he driving? At seven tons it ain't no pickup (unless that trailer you mention weighs eight thousand pounds in which case it's no wonder it whips around a bit at 85) and a semi wouldn't be running a 440.

Motor home?
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Old 11-13-2015, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Prodigalson View Post
What the hell is he driving? At seven tons it ain't no pickup (unless that trailer you mention weighs eight thousand pounds in which case it's no wonder it whips around a bit at 85) and a semi wouldn't be running a 440.

Motor home?
A big four door Dodge pick-up with the long bed tips the scales at just over 6,000 pounds.

Add in a 4,200 pound Challenger (I'm a MOPAR guy; what of it?) and a 2,800 pound trailer, plus extra tires, fluids, etc. and it adds up pretty quick.

Truly a hair raising experience trying to haul that kind of weight down from any decent speed.
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:29 PM
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Hi IZA.

I enjoyed reading this. For a period of my life this area was my stomping grounds.

No, I was never a long haul driver with illegal cargo.

Nice pace to this, and in fact, I read it quickly and felt breathless at the end when when the narr. didn't die.

***********************************************

Two night ago I was in the process of telling you my thoughts on your story. I had CNN on to keep me company. Something came to my ears about shots being fired in Paris. I began to watch TV. Ye Gads! The weaving of the world is unravelling. Now it's two days later.

Now I'm back. I was surprised you didn't treat the moment when he thought he would die. Not the 'life passes before his eyes...' But something more original. The dog will starve because no one will feed him. The Love of his life will never be kissed again.

I wondered why you didn't treat the life changing moment when he realizes he'll live...

Both of those topics would knock the socks off some readers.

And finally, I'm suffering a little reader greed. When can I read more of this story? I really enjoyed what I did read.

Have a nice writing day as you continue working on this story.
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Last edited by wrc; 11-14-2015 at 08:46 PM..
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by IZA View Post
A big four door Dodge pick-up with the long bed tips the scales at just over 6,000 pounds.

Add in a 4,200 pound Challenger (I'm a MOPAR guy; what of it?) and a 2,800 pound trailer, plus extra tires, fluids, etc. and it adds up pretty quick.

Truly a hair raising experience trying to haul that kind of weight down from any decent speed.
I dropped a built-up 327 'Vette motor in a '60 Chevy shortbed pickup one time. During my initial speed run I neglected to drop the tailgate partway. The ensuing low pressure area behind the cab started lifting the rear end of the truck off the ground above 145 or so.

That's about the hairiest haul-down I've had to do but yeah, hauling down an overloaded trailer from way too high a speed ain't no joke either.

The shit we'll do to get from point A to point B in time though, eh?
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