Tuesday, May 10, 2011


The wind blows gently over her face, mussing her hair. She tucks it more securely behind both ears and turns to her right to check one more time.

She gets the go-ahead. She takes a deep breath, trying to calm her nerves. The metal is cold against her sweating fingers. She turns the keys. The engine catches and rumbles to life.

Looking down at her feet, she repeats to herself, "Clutch, brake, gas".

On her right, the stick is firmly in first. With hands glued at 10 and 2, she eases her foot off the brake. Oh! Wait. She forgot to release the clutch. Her right foot slams onto the gas while she yanks her foot off the clutch. The car splutters, protesting loudly, and then goes silent.


She breathes.

Positions her feet back onto the clutch and brake, prepared to try again. Looking right, she gets a quick smile. Turning her attention back onto the road ahead, she checks her mirrors.

Turns the key. Checks the mirrors again, just in case a car has appeared on the deserted dirt road behind her in the last 12 seconds. She's still in first.

Clutch off, brake off, gas on. Gently. Oh so gently. Carefully.

The car jerks forward. And goes silent.


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