Encounters with the Writing Process
|Oct. 28: - CONTEST ROUND: Plot Background Story
Write a story that sets up your plot.
She gazed back out of the window. The sun was hitting the driveway at such an angle that the color on the red-tiles looked like blood.
“It’s all right, Eve,” Vicki said. “Things happen. It was an accident. You were going straight. The other guy hit you. He was drunk.” She reached for Eve’s arm and squeezed it. When she pulled her hand away a few seconds later, Eve imagined the blood Vicki couldn’t feel.
“No need to feel such guilt,” Vicki continued. “I am sorry Barbara’s hurt so badly, but you know, between us…” She lowered her voice to a whisper. “Barbara has made your life a living hell.”
Eve sighed. “Yes, but she raised me, nevertheless.”
“You told me that. Regardless of the relationship, what happened was an accident. An accident you didn’t cause.” Vicki shook her head, then pushed back her strawberry-blond curls.
“I didn’t?” Eve couldn’t help the distrust in voice. “Instead of paying attention to the road, I was thinking something else at the moment. I was thinking and feeling relief that finally, she was leaving and that in a few minutes I would be dropping her at the airport. Now, can you tell me I’m guiltless, scot-free?”
“Yes, I can. Show me one reason why we should be responsible for our feelings and whatever pops into our minds.”
“While driving a car, especially with a passenger sitting next to me, feelings or the mind’s wandering is inexcusable.”
“Half the world’s driving while texting, talking on the phone, even eating and drinking, and you’re feeling guilty for what pops up into your mind. It doesn’t make sense, Eve. And you don’t have the obligation to take care of this woman in your very home. Leave her in the hospital or put her in a hospice. Don’t do this to yourself.”
Eve felt Vicki meant well, but she just couldn’t do that. Barbara had been mean to her all her life. At least, that’s what it felt like ever since she had found out about the facts of her origin, that a birth mother existed. Yet, Eve had to do the right thing, even if it hurt every bone in her body and even if it chopped to pieces every dream she ever had.
“She is still my mother, Vicki. I truly appreciate your caring for me, but the facts stand. I was the driver. If I had seen the other crazy car speeding toward us from the side road, I might have veered to the other lane or something. The lane to the left of me was totally empty at that moment.”
“No matter what I say, you’re going to torture yourself, aren’t you!” Vicki seemed exasperated.
“You know what she did?” Eve choked. “She screamed when it happened. Then she looked at me, her eyes wide open. She smiled, Vicki. She smiled at me. Despite the pain, she had to be feeling. Then she passed out.”
“Oh, Eve! You’re only traumatized, Dear.”
“I thought she was dead. So, I prayed muttering that frightening part about the valley of the shadow of death. I only hope she didn’t hear me. I feel absolutely awful.”
“Don’t you worry! She told me she didn’t remember a thing. She said she was telling you something, and the next thing, she opened her eyes in the hospital.”
“At least that,” Eve said, wiping her tears with the back of her hand. “Lots of vehicles came then. I don’t even recall making the call to 911. If I didn’t, someone else might have, but they say I did. So many vehicles there were, you wouldn’t believe. Someone questioned me, I don’t know who, with the EMTs from the ambulances huddling over us. It was then I noticed that the airbags had popped open.”
“I heard nothing happened to the other driver.”
“He was out, too. I thought he died, had a heart attack or something, and that’s why he plowed into my car, but he was only drunk and had passed out. Both cars are totaled, but that’s the least of it.”
“I thank God for saving you. I know it is difficult to go through a thing like that, but you should think about doing something about your car situation.”
“I know. I didn’t even have the time to think about that, but Art rented a car for me and brought it over.”
“That is so nice! Art is a good guy.”
“I know. He always was, but we couldn’t make it together, possibly my fault. At least that’s what mom thinks.”
“Never mind that biotch! She’s always making you feel incompetent or guilty. “ Vicky stared at Eve, shaking her head “Why do you carry the whole world on your shoulders, my friend? Sometimes, things just don’t work out. If you ask me, I am better off without a man anytime.”