Take This Tune

Posted: Monday, February 22, 2010 by Travis Cody in

Take This Tune is a feature hosted by my pal Jamie at Duward Discussion. Jamie puts up a video prompt complete with lyrics to the song, and the task is to write something inspired by the title of the song or something in the lyrics.

I really enjoy participating in Jamie's feature because of where the prompts take my thoughts and emotions. This week's prompt is the all time classic driving song Radar Love, written by George Kooymans and Barry Hay of the Dutch band Golden Earring. The song was originally released in 1973.

I know I've re-posted the link to this original piece a few times and you can get to it by following the link in my sidebar, but I couldn't resist putting it up again because it seems perfect for Jamie's prompt this week.

By Travis Cody
Copyright 2007

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. Akelamalu says:

    Such a sad story Trav but with a powerful message.

  1. while perfect for Jamie's feature and very well written...not my personal favorite subject...

  1. Jamie says:

    Well written, but so sad. You are right that it was perfect for the meme, but let's hope the next prompt stirs up more positive images.

  1. Man, that one tears at you. Well written but brutal.

  1. Linda says:

    I'm going to say that Jamie's prompt was excellent for this choice even though it's dark. Sometimes, though, life really is dark whether we want to look at that part of it or not. Very well written, Travis.

  1. Bond says:

    This is the darkest I think you ever went - or that i had ever read by you... I began reading and had actually forgotten the ending, which made me shiver indeed.

  1. Anonymous says:
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  1. i didnt need to read this. now i'm sad.