Blacktop Bad

Blacktop Bad Writing Prompt

BLACKTOP BAD

FLASH FICTION WRITING PROMPT

It’s finally summer and you and your buds are on a road trip. It’s the time of your lives, until…. 

Write this using 500 words or less.

After you’re finished writing this prompt, why not post it for feedback from the community? We’d also love to see all the responses in the comments below!


Author Notes

9 Comments for “Blacktop Bad”

says:

The cool burn of liquor sloshed down Reggie’s throat, the comforting fire of familiarity dancing happily through his being. He dropped the bottle into a stained cup holder, and a splash of liquid spattered droplets across his paint-stained jeans. The man chuckled, leaning back into the molded cushion of his moth-eaten seat, his hands strewn lazily over the worn wheel of the Freightliner. The truck careened smoothly over Route 50, incandescent headlights the only illumination for miles. The gray Nevada desert rolled out to the horizon, fading into the bases of shadowy mountains in the west.
Reggie rolled down a grimy window, welcoming the fabric of cool desert air that caressed his skin. He smiled, the wind swiping his gray hair across his cheek. He took another swig and looked finally at his wedding ring, rusted and plain under the inky Nevada sky. It mocked him from its settlement on his finger, stuck in place by rolls of loose skin that seemed to have grown around it. The ring hadn’t moved in 30 years. In one swift motion, Reggie plucked the bind from his heart and tossed it out the window, sending a mouthful of spit in its wake. Dry wind thrust the ring into the lagging path of tire tracks. Reggie guffawed, and with another douse of singing fire down his throat, he leaned over the steering wheel and pressed the gas pedal to the floor, the past being covered with dust like dark snow.
When the truck skid its way around a bend in the road, two lights blossomed on the rocky horizon. Reggie squinted at the bright orbs bouncing along the highway, and finished off the bottle with a satisfied burp. He shifted in his seat, hands resting on the steering wheel idly. His eyelids, heavy from thrill of escape, fluttered closed.
We saw the truck. The eighteen-wheeler sped intimidatingly over the road, its journey purposeful and eager. Our radio sang out the tunes of our youth as cards were passed around, the same games being replayed tirelessly as we sailed across the west, invincible rebellion glinting in our eyes. Laughs and Doritos were exchanged across three rows of seats, brothers and sisters bonding over memories that were more important than blood. Kisses were shared as the desert opened up the world before us, the road to nowhere leading us on our journey to everywhere. The stars spelled out our future in constellations, and we walloped in the joy of endless possibility. Zacch, his hands firm on the steering wheel, glanced over his shoulder bearing the smile of someone who didn’t have a care in the world. It was then that the beaming headlights of the truck darted into our lane, blinding our vision and our dreams.
The past became covered with dust like dark snow.

Marcia Yearwood

says:

“What??!! You’re telling me this is the DeLorean that was in Back to the Future? No way. You think I was born yesterday dude? Come on, tell me the real story.”
“Well…Josh, that’s what I was told but like you I don’t believe it. But it’s a nice thing to tell the ladies.” Jered chuckled.
“Dude, “the ladies,” Josh air quoted, “as you say won’t believe you any more than I do. Let’s take this baby for a drive.”
Josh lost no time jumping into the passenger seat and checking out the interior as Jered started the engine. The red and silver interior seemed in pretty good condition for a car this old. And the instrument panel was really unusual; wonder what it looked like when it was lit up. Josh tried to remember how the DeLorean panel looked in the movie. As best he could recall, this one was a pretty good imitation of the Back to the Future car.
“Wow, listen to her purr, man!” Josh said appreciatively.
“Here we go.” Jered gunned it and the DeLorean’s tires squealed as she surged forward.
Jered grinned from ear to ear as he glanced over at Josh hanging on to the grab bar. “Scared man? I feel the need…the need for speed!!”
“Man, it really flies! How ‘bout letting me drive it sometime Jered?”
“Sure Josh, in fact I was thinking maybe we could take a road trip this weekend.”
Josh grinned, “Works for me, can I drive now? There’s parking lot on the right. See it?”
“Yep!” as Jered pulled in, Josh was already unbuckling his seat belt. “You in a hurry dude? Maybe I changed my mind.”
“No man! Don’t do that to me!” Josh leaned over the driver door trying to pull Jered out.
“Ok, ok, I’m getting out! Be sure to adjust the seat for your long legs dude.”
Josh adjusted the seat, checked the mirrors and turned the lights on. The unusual instrument panel lit up like a Christmas tree. “Wow will you look at that? It looks just the movie!”
He couldn’t resist the flashing lights and without thinking pushed one. All of a sudden, the DeLorean turned itself on, did a 360 degree turn and raced down the highway. The car steadily gained speed until at 50 mph, it made a strange loud noise that sounded like airplane tires being folded up.
“Wait what’s happening? What was that noise? Are we in the air? No it can’t be! I got no control over this thing! Josh said as he wildly tried to turn the steering wheel, “Jered? Did you know that this would happen? Are we headed back to the future? Jered? Jered, man, say something!”
Jered’s eyes stared straight ahead without seeing as he white-knuckled the grab bar for dear life. He was too panicked to speak. Josh thought Jered must be in shock.
It appeared they were on their road trip a little earlier than planned…and in the air no less!

says:

Oh my goodness, Marcia, this is great! Made me chuckle. Also, you captured perfectly the diction between two teenage boys. Good work!

Marcia Yearwood

says:

Thanks Annalie! It was fun to write. I think I posted it in the wrong place HERE though and don’t know how to delete it. Oh well… I have reposted it in the “posts for review” now. Thanks for your kind comments and the read, I really appreciate it!

says:

Anisa, This is a compelling story. It had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t wait to get to the end. One nit – I couldn’t handle the anticipation, so I pulled flicked my blinker. flicked? Good writing and good luck in the contest.

Anisa Claire

says:

Fresh morning air spilled through the open passenger side window. The soft material of the seat rubbed against the upper part of my thigh as the truck sailed over the blacktop of the highway. Freedom. I breathed in, taking a moment to appreciate the moment. What was life… if not to be lived in the truest sense of the word?

Pondering where to go next, I leaned forward, lightly brushing the steering wheel. Music seemed appropriate at this point, so I turned the worn dial to the right, waiting for the sound to pour out from the crackling speakers. It didn’t matter that the sound wasn’t clear, nothing mattered except being present in that particular moment in time. I adjusted myself in the seat, sitting up straight as a new ‘hit’ song played in the background.

Trees, fields and houses whizzed by in my peripheral vision. My brain accounted for most of it, but much of the landscape escaped me. I stared forward, focused on leaving the past behind me. Happy didn’t do it justice. Ecstatic hardly reached my feeling of finally taking that step, packing my bags, and hitting the road… escaping it all.

My mobile phone vibrated beside me, pulling me out of the moment. The name of my doctor’s office flashed on the screen. My heart sped up, just a little, as my brain took it upon itself to flash through all the worst-case-scenarios. Why would they be phoning? I’d passed all my blood tests on the last visit.

I couldn’t handle the anticipation, so I pulled flicked my blinker, and slowly pulled over on the soft shoulder. Gravel crunched beneath the tires, such a soothing sound. I lifted the phone to my face, pressed the voicemail button, and put it up to my ear.

“Catherine, this is Amanda calling from Dr. Horrice’s office. Dr. Horrice decided to run your blood one more time, just to be on the safe side, and there are results you should probably know about. Call us at your earliest convenience, please.”

Without thinking, I dialed the doctor’s office. It rang once, and then Amanda picked up. “Hello, This is Dr.-”

“Hi Amanda. It’s Catherine. You just left me a message…” I trailed off.

“Oh, hi, Catherine! When are you available to come in?”

“I’m not,” I said, quickly. “I’ve left town and I’m not coming back. Can you just tell me over the phone?”

“Oh.” Amanda went silent. “Well, you know our policy…”

“I know, but I’ve been your patient for twenty years now. Surely this once…”

“I’m sorry to hear you won’t be coming here any longer, Catherine,” she said, pausing. “I hope everything works out for you! But maybe pick up a pregnancy test as soon as you can, just in case.”

My stomach dropped. I choked on my words, “Thank you, Amanda. I will. We’ll talk in the future, hopefully.” I hung up the phone.

Pregnant. With his child… My eyes burned, but I refused to cry. No, I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. I placed my foot on the gas pedal, turned my blinker on, and kept going.

I’d figure it all out later… some other day. Today I would live in the moment.

says:

Holy… amazing job, Anisa, as usual. Already I am clung to your character and hoping that it works out for her. Such a significant contrast of life and burden, past and present, conveyed with so few words. Your imagery and dialogue comes naturally, and this entire scene plays across so perfectly in my mind. This is a keeper, Anisa!

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