Mo's Manic Monday - Drifting

Posted: Monday, February 05, 2007 by Travis Cody in

My friends, I was inspired by today's word.

I now present my snippet, brought to you by Morgen's Manic Monday word...


The blaring of the southbound big rig’s horn startled him awake. His head jerked and he nearly over-corrected and threw his MG under the passing 18 wheeler.

He’d almost drifted across the center divider that time. Oncoming headlights were mesmerizing on this long, lonely stretch of two lane highway.

That was close. The blood rushed and roared in his ears like a hurricane. He blinked his eyes and shook his head, watching the red tail lights fade in his rear view mirror.

He knew he should stop for the night.

But it was only another hour; just 60 more miles. She was waiting. He said he’d be home tonight. After six days on the road, it was past time for him to be home. That false labor had settled it for him. There was no way he was missing the birth of his first child.

He cracked the window down another inch. The frigid air revived him and he breathed deeply. He reached for the Ipod and spun the dial. Anything loud; anything he could sing along with; anything to keep him focused.

Steppenwolf. That’ll do. Get your motor running. Just 50 more miles.

Another set of headlights appeared in the far distance. A yawn escaped him and he shook his head again. His eyes tried to drift shut. Crank up the tuneage again. Roll the window all the way down. Take a sip of cold coffee. GAH. Cold coffee should be iced coffee; cold on purpose; an iced frappacino perhaps.

Whatever – it did the trick. He was alert again.

The car bucked suddenly and the rear end got loose. He felt the MG begin to fishtail out of control. He wrestled the wheel, raised his right foot from the gas pedal, and fought the urge to slam it down on the brake. Those headlights were right on top of him now. The wind sheer from the passing big rig nearly spun him out of control.

But he had it now. He let the MG coast to the shoulder and drift to a stop.

He crawled out on the passenger side of the car and saw the shredded right rear tire. Perfect! Just 40 miles from home, and now he had to change a blow out on a darkened shoulder.

He ducked back into the car and reached for the glove box. Something wasn’t right. Smoke drifted before his eyes. He felt dizzy. He scrubbed at his face with his hands, but no…that’s not…wait…

Why could he see through his hands?

Then he panicked. He saw flashing lights. He heard sirens. He felt a tugging in his limbs. He turned around…

…and saw the mangled MG.

Yeah, should have stopped for the night. But that thought was meaningless now as he drifted ethereally above the gravesite, watching as his heartbroken young bride tossed a handful of dirt on his casket. She cradled her swollen belly, leaning heavily on her father’s arm.

His soundless scream was lost on the breeze as his spirit drifted away from his love and his life.


  1. julie says:

    After reading this a second time...the grasp, grip, squeeze and then BAM....leaves me really really really wanting MORE!!!

  1. Oh, man! Reminds of all of the times I took too many chances. Obviously, I had a different outcome.


  1. BTW - do you know anyone with a sailboat? If so, let's pack our bags!

  1. Wow! Awesome story! You're an amazing story teller. :)
    Thanks for sharing.

  1. Turnbaby says:

    Trav: I am so proud of you and happy for you. I LOVED it. You do a good tweak there buddy--just right. I got a chill at the end every time I read it.

    Here's to you Trav. Excellent.


  1. SGT DUB says:

    Great story, sad but great. Let's see some more.

  1. JohnH985 says:

    Very good story.

    We must think alike, my first thought was to do a story and my first idea was a ghost story that I've been working on for a few years now.

    I enjoyed it a lot, very good.

  1. wow, amazing take on drifting! wow (again!)

    smiles, bee

  1. Maryfly says:

    Trav, that was wonderful, you are so talented. I loved it.

  1. Anndi says:

    See.. there it is...

  1. Sanni says:

    Amazing story, Travis! Thanks so much for sharing. I hope the next theme will inspire you, too. =)

  1. Good one! I hope to be blogging again soon. I may dump blogger and reinvent myself on WordPress...

  1. TopChamp says:

    That's horrible! So sad.... (really sorry but I've been out again and am just in - I'm genuinely terrified of this senario with the number of gigs I do in remote places which I drive home from. Maybe just a timely reminder to stop for sleep now and then.... Like now for example.)

  1. Travis says:

    Thanks to all for your positive thoughts and encouragement!!

    I just got home and I'll be by to visit soon!

  1. lisa says:

    whoa, nice take on drift! and a good story. that jerk and adrenaline rush you get when you start to drift off at the wheel, scary stuff.

  1. Oh, you made me apprehensive, joyful, frightened, peaceful and tearful - what a ride - thanks... I want to read more :)

  1. Can you please update your link to Jeff's Jetsam to point to Thanks!

  1. Morgen says:

    Holy crap, Trav!
    That was awesome - short stories, especially ones in the brief blogging format, are often tough to draw in your readers and provide a bang ending, but you did a wonderful job here. I, too, had to re-read the post because the first time I was rushing to the end that I did not expect. The sensations and feelings that you included certainly draw in the reader. I am humbled and honored that my word "drifting" was a small inspiration for this story. Actually, when I was writing short stories, this was the twist that I liked to throw in, so I really appreciated the craftsmanship that got me drawn into the story.
    Thanks so much for sharing this with us for Manic Monday!

  1. Bond says:


    I am standing and applauding

    Absolutely brilliant...

    Trav.. I am so thrilled you found the words .. they are gems on the page...

  1. good story trav, I love this instant replay, great show on the midway.

  1. Sanni says:

    Oh, Trav, please submit this one to every Manic Carnival - I love it... and I´d love to read it over and over again! Creeeeeepy!

  1. the teach says:

    Wow, Travis! Missed this one first time around. I didn't know you were a writer of fiction... Well done! :)

  1. Gattina says:

    I would have prefered another end ! some 6 months in hospital with broken , legs, rips etc but alive ! and his 6 months old baby grinning at him, lol !

  1. I so remember this post. Excellent Travis. You do this so well. Have a great MM. :)

  1. jennifer says:

    WOW! This was before I knew ye. Excellent story.