Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Write about a time everything did — fiction encouraged here, too!
Linda was slumbering peacefully. She was dreaming of birds chirping and sunshine pouring forth from the sky. Her alarm clock went off and Linda automatically reached over to hit snooze. Then the thought came to her; “I usually don’t hear birds chirping or see the sun shining at this time of the morning.”
She opened her eyes and looked at the clock. “Oh my gosh! How many times did I hit that snooze button?”, she cried. Linda jumped out of bed, started the coffee pot, and jumped in the shower. She got dressed as quickly as she could, grabbed a to-go cup of coffee, and headed for her car.
Outside, it was raining. Linda knew she had an umbrella in the car. As she headed down the steps, one of her shoes slid on the water and Linda felt herself falling. She tried to reach for something to grab, but she was too far away from the porch railing. There was nothing she could do to stop the fall. At least she landed on some nicely wet and muddy ground. Linda sat there stunned. She did an overview and decided that nothing was broken. She would probably have some bruising, but she could live with that. Her clothing was splattered with coffee and mud. Linda knew she would have to reshower.
When Linda stepped out of the shower for the 2nd time, she looked at the clock. She was now an hour late. She supposed she should call-in and let them know what had happened and that she would be in soon. Linda wondered if she would be better off to just call-in sick and go back to bed. She already had the feeling that this was not going to be a good day.
Linda decided on a middle course of action. She called work and told them why she was late and that she would be in later. Then she sat down and relaxed with a cup of coffee. She took her time getting dressed and ready for work. Linda looked at the clock on her way out to her car. She was now three hours late. With luck, she might get to work around lunchtime.
Linda took her time going down the steps and managed to make it to her car without falling. Her trusty Buick cranked right up and she backed out of her driveway. Linda’s commute to work was usually around an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the traffic. She hoped to miss the traffic at this time of day.
Linda hoped wrong. The traffic was worse, plus there were two traffic accidents that slowed her down. Eventually Linda was past the traffic accidents. Her exit was only three miles away. Suddenly, Linda heard a thump and a bump, and her car started swerving uncontrollably to the left. Linda managed to get the car under control, turned her right blinker on, and with a few near misses made it onto the right pull-off lane. She got out of her car. The front left tire had blown out.
“Great!” thought Linda, “Now what do I do?”.
Linda knew she had a spare tire in her trunk, but she had no idea how to change a tire. She had been meaning to learn how, she just never got around to it. Linda had also meant to get a new set of tires put on, but never found the time. She took her cell phone out of her purse and turned it on; but who could she call? Her father and two brothers lived four states away. She didn’t have a current boyfriend. All of her friends were at work. Could she call 911? She wasn’t sure if a flat tire was an emergency. Linda decided to call work and let them know where she was at.
Her boss, Frank, said he would come and get her and they would call a tow truck to tow her car to a tire shop and get it fixed. Linda was okay with that, so she waited, and waited, and waited.
A State Trooper pulled in behind Linda’s car. “Do you need help, miss”, he asked.
“No, thank you, I’ve got someone coming to help.”
The State Trooper nodded and drove off. “Frank should have been here by now. He must have got stuck in traffic,” thought Linda. “I should have mentioned that to the State Trooper and I should have asked him if this was considered an emergency that I could call 911 with. Oh well. Too late for that.”
Linda’s stomach growled. She looked at her watch. It was 1:30 p.m. Where was Frank? Linda jumped when her cell phone rang. She didn’t realize she was so ‘wound up’. She answered her phone.
“Linda, this is Melanie. We just received word that Frank was in a traffic accident and had to be taken to the hospital. They think he may have a concussion and are going to keep him over night. Is there anything I can do? Do you want me to go ahead and call a wrecker for you?”
Linda was stunned to hear about Frank. She managed to mumble, “Yes, please”, to Melanie. She said a prayer for Frank while she waited for the wrecker. She was hungry, cold, and wet. Linda realized that she had been standing out in the rain this whole time. She was soaked to the bone. She got back in the car and searched for something to eat. She finally found a stale pack of half-eaten peanut butter crackers. Linda didn’t care; she ate them anyway.
She cranked the car and turned the heat on high, locked all the doors, and shut her eyes; ‘Just for a little bit’ Linda thought. She woke up to the sound of knocking on her window. Linda opened her eyes. It was already dark. She looked over to the window and saw the same State Trooper that had stopped by earlier in the day to offer help.
Linda rolled her window down and looked at her watch. It was now 5:30 p.m. “I’m glad to see you,” she said to the State Trooper.
“What happened?” he asked.
Linda told him her story.
He shook his head, “There have been many traffic accidents today, probably due to the rain, and most all of the wreckers and State Troopers were tied up with that all day. Hang on a minute and I will see what I can do.”
Linda rolled her window back up while the State Trooper walked back to his car. She stretched a bit to get the cricks out of her shoulders and neck from sleeping in her car. She wiped the sleep out of her eyes. The gas gauge showed that the car was nearly empty, so she shut it down. She was dry now, but her hair was stringy. Her stomach was grumbling again, her mouth was dry, and her throat was hurting.
The State Trooper was coming back; she saw his flashlight weaving as he walked. Linda rolled down her window.
“Good news is that I’ve got a wrecker coming. Bad news is that they will not be able to fix the tire until morning,” he said.
Linda just nodded her head. At this point she simply did not care.
“Have you had anything to eat or drink today?” the State Trooper asked.
“I had some crackers to eat, but no drink,” Linda said hoarsely.
The State Trooper was back in a flash with a candy bar and a bottle of water.
“Thank you,” said Linda as she took a large gulp of water.
Linda noticed headlights pulling in behind the ‘Trooper Cruiser’. A large, burly man walked up, shook hands with the State Trooper, then looked at Linda. “Evening, miss,” he said. “I will get you pulled in to the tire shop. Do you need a ride home?”
Linda looked at the large, burly man, then looked at the State Trooper. “Can you call a taxi to meet me there and take me home?” she asked.
The clock said it was 8:00 p.m. when Linda walked into her kitchen. The sniffles had started on the taxi ride home. Her throat was hurting worse and she felt the chills. “Fever” she thought. Linda quickly changed into some warm comfortable clothing. She fixed herself some chicken soup, took some acetaminophen, and cuddled under her covers. Before she drifted off to sleep, she had one more thought; “It’s been a heck of a day.”
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