Another week of TBP OLWG! The prompts are: “She put her hands on her hips and stared,” “ It’s a shame about your future,” “The crack slowly expanded across the windscreen.”
Hand wrote this on a lunch break in my notebook, so about 45 min. Then transcribed for blog post. Only managed to work in two of the three prompts this time, so I choose 2!
Renata struggled to keep her focus on the road. The drive was much longer than she remembered. Back when she was a little girl, she and her Poppy made the trip so often from San Diego she was confident she knew what was in store when she decided to make the trip solo. She glanced briefly at the urn she had carefully belted into the passenger seat. Renata couldn’t recall if Poppy ever complained about what a long drive it was to La Paz.
She worried she told her madrina she’d be there by Sunday morning. In order to keep to the schedule as promised, she’d have to drive as far into Saturday as she could manage before stopping for the night. Renata turned up the radio and sang at the top of her lungs to her favorite Tejano songs. She cranked down the windows to keep the air flowing, and took huge gulps of water from her travel bottle.
“You know, there’s a lot of oxygen in water” she could hear her friend Lupe say. “Michael Jackson used to sit in pure oxygen chamber, and I read the Japanese do it all the time to stay young and energetic.” Lupe is always full of obscure trivia, like the effect of inhaling pure oxygen. But the need to fight off the overwhelming urgency to nod off made her a believer. Renata took in another deep breath of air and another gulp of water.
“OKAY OXYGEN!” she yelled. “WORK YOUR MAGIC!”
The shot of adrenaline that rushed through her when a loud, bang, hit her windshield did more to wake her up than any deep breathing or gulps of water. A crack slowly made its way across the glass, from one end to the other, right in her line of vision. She wiggled in her seat to sit as far upright as she could manage and still reach the pedals. After five minutes her back began to cramp. She tried scrunching down and reclining her seat back, but it hurt her shoulders and arms reaching out for the steering wheel like that.
For the next three hours she shifted between sitting upright and scrunching down to avoid looking through the crack. There was no stopping, except for gas and a restroom. If she was more than even fifteen minutes later than when she said she’d arrive, her madrina would have every last policía out looking for her. She’d have to deal with her windshield after she arrived.
Renata turned off the engine and took a deep breath. She stepped cautiously out of the car, her body cramped from head to toe. She stretched and twisted, willing her muscles to release. Her madrina stood on her stoop, hands on her hips, staring at Renata while she put her body through all sorts of gyrations, then giving her the warm-hearted scolding Renata anticipated.
“Did you drive all the way without stopping, mija? What is that on your windshield? You drove with that? No wonder you hurt! You ought to have stopped, mija. I would have understood! Dónde está tu poppy? Is that him in the front seat? Ven aca, dame un abrazo, mija!”