Wednesday, January 5, 2011

To Lock or Not To Lock

Things couldn’t get any worse, Natalie thought as she rushed out the door of her work place to her car. She took one step and slid on the ice covered sidewalk. She caught her balance before she ended up on her behind in the landscaping, and moved more cautiously towards her car.

She was late; it was 9:30 PM and she was supposed to be at the party by now. It had been one of the busiest days she could remember EVER. Customers were demanding and crabby and she had to be nice to all of them. That was expected of her as the receptionist.

The weather was the topic of everyone’s conversation as they waited their turn to be seen. “Did you hear there were seven accidents alone on the freeway in the last hour?” She should have been more careful walking out the door.

She punched the unlock button on her key fob and tried the door. It was frozen shut; no amount of tugging would open it. She knew she shouldn’t use water to thaw the lock, but she was in a hurry. She carefully made her way back into the office and got a large cup of water, then poured it on the lock. Finally, it opened. She might not be too late after all.

She got inside and closed the door, starting the car. It would take awhile to warm up and defrost the windshield. Maybe she would go back into the office to wait. She pushed on the door, but it wouldn't budge. It had once again frozen shut. Now she was locked inside her car.

Well at least the heater was beginning to work. She would start towards her friend’s house. If it wouldn’t open when she got there, she could call on her cell phone to have her bring a cup of water.

The streets were gleaming with an icy sheen reflected in the light of the overhead lamp posts. She took it slow and gave herself lots of room behind the car in front of her. At the intersection the light turned green for her left turn lane. As she made the turn, her car door flew open, letting in a blast of cold air. She grabbed it to pull it close, but it wouldn’t latch. Just then her car began to slide to the side of the road.

She held onto the wheel with one hand and the door with the other as the car’s tires finally regained their grip and the car moved back onto the road. That was it, the final straw. She was going home. Her safety was more important than the darned party. It would be just her luck to get their and find that everyone had already left.

When she rounded the corner onto her street and spotted the welcome glow of the front porch light, she finally relaxed. She realized things could have been a lot worse today. She started to laugh. At least she had a funny story to tell with a good ending.


  1. This is how my car looked this morning when I left for work. It's still better than those cold Alaskan mornings I remember. Thanks for sharing your new story. Are you finished with the NaNo story? Editing?

  2. This happened to my niece and I thought it would make a cute story. I have not yet begun my NaNo editing. I want to read "Self Editing for Fiction Writers"(Browne and King)before I start. Right now I'm reading "My Name is Memory" by Ann Brashares. Next week..probably!

  3. Living in Wisconsin, I can verify that you did a very accurate job with your winter weather descriptions. I had no idea while I read your story that it had actually happened to someone you know. You're wide open for story prompts--good for you.

    Guess what? I'm presently listening to the audioversion of "My Name is Memory" when I'm driving. Another coincidence!!! It's a very unique story isn't it.

  4. Yes, especially when I tell you that Paula recommended it to me, since my NaNo story has a soulmate theme. We'll have to compare notes. I'm about half-way through it.
    I'm thinking of rewriting this story from Natalie's guardian angel's perspective!

  5. Lock de-icer, people. Lock de-icer,windshield de-icer & a scraper/snowbrush. All available at your local auto parts store! Don't let this happen to you! lol

  6. Would have been a good Christmas gift, huh!

  7. Changes in latitude, people. It's been unseasonably cold here, but there are still surfers out every day (in wet suits though) and folks walking on the beach in bare feet.

    Yikes on the story. TOO believable.

  8. Ok Natasha. Wherever you are....that is where I need to be! lol

  9. Great story with great descriptions. I'm glad I live in Okieland where the ice and snow only come in rare occurances. When it does come I stay home cuz people drive crazy here.