Friday Fiction – Delays

This week’s FF photograph reminded me of an old FF entry here, but I went a different way instead with my story and you can read it below. I welcome comments and critique; I’m particularly interested in any suggestions for a better title. I feel there must be a great one out there, but it’s eluding me this morning.

Thanks to Rochelle for hosting and Sandra Crook for the photo.

hay-bales-sandra-c

Delays

“Oh God, move it!” Dad yelled.

Amy looked up at the castle on the hill. They’d passed signs advertising “Les spectacles des chevaux”, which sounded like glasses for horses, but meant equestrian shows. She’d have made a joke, even suggested they go, but the car was thick with Dad’s anger at the tractor so she kept quiet.

“You’d think he’d pull over and let us by!”

A few miles later, the tractor turned off. Dad floored the accelerator and narrowly avoided a pensioner who’d chosen that moment to cross.

“Now, is there anywhere you’d like to visit today?” Dad asked.

 

***

An extra thought…

The lesson in this story is one I try to bear in mind as Sebastian and I are walking through the freezing wind and he stops to study a discarded plastic bottle or a pile of dirty snow. I’m not preaching – I know that it’s too easy to be “Dad” and get swept away with the need to get somewhere without ever stopping to wonder if you’re already there.

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35 Comments

Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

35 responses to “Friday Fiction – Delays

  1. First of all I like the story.. tells a lot of the relationship between father and daughter… and the glasses for horses joke was great..As for title I usually can find it quickly but I find it difficult this time… so I cannot come up with one.

  2. A nice message in there. I try to be patient with my daughter too and try to hold my temper if she’s in the car with me. If she isn’t I’ll curse like a sailor. I should probably work on that…

  3. I liked the idea of the car being ‘thick with anger’ and felt sorry for the poor girl. Nicely done. Title? ‘Getting There’? ‘Stop, Look & Listen’? Nothing inspiring comes readily to mind.

  4. I likey a lot. As someone occasionally *Uhmmm* prone to fill the car with anger when stuck in traffic I can relate with missed opportunities. Love the horse spectacle imagery. What about a title like “At the Fork”, “Chances”, Yes title is tricky….

  5. A nice reminder to check our anger!

  6. How about “Hold Your Horses” for the title? I see more than one of us deal with road rage tendencies or know someone who does. 🙂 As you mentioned after the story, having a child can really help you slow down and smell the roses or take a second look around. Children so often love to explore and take their time. I’m like Sebastian when I want to take photos of everything. 🙂

    janet

  7. Cooler heads should always prevail but something about having your hands on the wheel and a few hundred horsepower at your command brings the road rage out in all of us I suppose. Luckily the father didn’t cross paths with someone with more rage lol

  8. Good story with the sound of reality. Many parents need to pay more attention to their children’s ideas as they’re soon grown and gone.

  9. Dear Jennifer,

    I couldn’t help but relate to this. I hate being in a car with ‘beast on wheels’. Dad needs to learn that you can’t change traffic by fuming and fussing. But if he’s like my road rage king he’ll never learn.

    Well done…particularly the air being thick with Dad’s anger.

    “La Rage au Volant” perhaps? (Road Rage in French.)

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    • Thanks, Rochelle. I’m glad the thick with anger line was popular, it came at the last minute in the editing, but it seems to work. I think everyone knows (or is!) a road rager; it’s too easy to get caught up in rushing and forget what the journey is about. Same with life, I suppose.

  10. I loved the story, and was left with a sense of the father’s missed opportunity because his focus was on his own journey. Regarding the title – how about Horses for Courses (I’m assuming this is an international figure of speech and not just an Irish one – if it doesn’t make sense to anybody else, let me know!)

    • I’m British and horses for courses is definitely a phrase there too. You are spot on with Dad – I think he’s too busy focusing on the road to appreciate the journey, or something like that!

  11. Hmmm. There’s a bit of myself in that dad. Must practice breathing.

  12. My favorite part: the car was thick with Dad’s anger.

  13. Being in a hurry for the sake of being in a hurry is something I know too well, darling. Thank you for the reminder to stop and breathe. Your characters always come to life so easily. Great job.

  14. camgal

    Nice moral to this one 🙂 good job

  15. I have finally dropped the need to be anywhere. Others still push that on me, but I do my best (sometimes, vehemently) to let them know that I don’t have a fast speed anymore. A stroke can do that to you.
    Scott

  16. I like your closing thought. You’re are going to be a success at this mom thing.

  17. I like your take on the prompt. I have serious road rage issues myself when I’m pent up in the city, but on vacation, its always a different story. I’ve learned to relax and enjoy the journey. I hope Dad eventually learns that lesson too.

    Nice, tight writing. A simple but enjoyable tale.

    Regs,
    MG

  18. This brings out the tension that happens when people on the road are being idiots and put a damper on everyone else. Very much a realistic snapshot of life behind the wheel!

  19. Nicely done! Loved the atmosphere of the whole story.

  20. We can all relate to this kind of bottled-up road rage “…the car was thick with Dad’s anger…” Very well done!

  21. There is such a lightness to that last line, as if the anger never happened. I hope she plucks up the courage to say she fancies the horseshow, but I wouldn’t look forward to his response.

  22. Obviously, that was Joe’s tractor blocking their path. Dad just needs to turn on some Pink Floyd and go with the flow. The truth is, slowing down often enables us to see things we might otherwise miss. Nice moral to this story.

  23. Having had some useful advice from you on my own road-rage story, I can appreciate how well you nailed it here. This one has everything necessary for a great piece of flash.

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