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Weekend Jaunt (standard:drama, 746 words)
Author: Ian HobsonAdded: Sep 19 2005Views/Reads: 2805/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
"There's something wrong with the brakes!" Tim shouted. Claire screamed. Would this just ruin their weekend away or would it ruin the prospects of them spending their whole life together?

Weekend Jaunt 

©2005 Ian Hobson 

"There's something wrong with the brakes!" Tim shouted.  Claire
screamed.  Would this just ruin their weekend away or would it ruin the 
prospects of them spending their whole life together?  Not that Tim had 
popped the question yet. 

Claire's blond curls blew across her face as she glanced fearfully at
Tim. He was stamping on the brake peddle and pulling hard on the 
handbrake; but his MG convertible continued to speed downhill towards 
the T-junction and the wooden fence beyond.  "Can't you make it stop?" 
Claire yelled. 

Tim ignored her, tying to decide whether to let the car crash into the
fence or to try and make a right turn.  He opted for the fence, not 
wishing to risk rolling the car over.  A vision of himself and Claire, 
lying crushed beneath the overturned car, flashed through his mind.   
"Just hold on tight," he said, firmly.  "We'll be okay."  He hadn't 
survived the war to die in an automobile accident. 

As they reached the junction, a motorcyclist sped across their path,
travelling from left to right; his face turning towards them and 
registering horror beneath his leather helmet and goggles.  Claire 
screamed again as they missed him by inches.  Then, bracing herself 
against the dashboard, she closed her eyes as the car shot across the 
grass verge and smashed into the fence. 

Tim had aimed between two fence posts, and the ageing cross-members
shattered like matchwood, arresting only a little of the car's forward 
motion.  And unfortunately the gradient of the grass-covered field they 
had entered was even steeper than the road and worse, beyond it there 
was nothing; just the undulating cliff edge and then the sparkling blue 
sea stretching to the distant horizon. 

Claire still had her hands on the dashboard but she had opened her eyes
again, though they were now filled with tears.  Tim, realising they 
only had a few seconds left, was franticly surveying the lay of the 
land ahead.  "Hold tight," he ordered Claire again, his voice now 
betraying rising panic.  He steered the car left towards a dip in the 
field, where the grass was a little longer and hopefully the ground a 
little softer.  He had guessed right, and although the car was still 
heading at an angle towards the cliff edge, the softer ground had 
slowed it considerably. 

"We'll have to jump," Tim shouted.  Claire sat frozen beside him, her
hair buffeted by the wind.  "Claire!  We have to jump, now!"  The car 
bounced as it hit a ridge in the ground only a few yards from the cliff 
edge, and with relief Tim saw a low wooded sign bearing the words: 
WARNING DANGEROUS CLIFF, and he turned the steering wheel hard-right 
towards it.  The car hit the sign full on, almost flattening it, and 
bounced to a stop with its front wheels just over the cliff edge. 

Tim breathed a sigh if relief and turned off the engine.  His heart was
beating fast, as was Claire's, but they could hear waves crashing on 
the rocks far below.  But then they heard another sound; a creaking 
sound as the car began to tilt forwards.  Claire opened her mouth to 
scream again but this time no sound came out. 

"Don't move," Tim whispered, as though the sound of his voice might send
them to their doom.  Slowly he inched himself up and over the back of 
his seat, and as he climbed into the rear of the car, it creaked again 
as it tilted back to almost horizontal.  "Claire, I want you to get 
out," he said, still in a whisper. 

"I...  I daren't." Claire replied. 

"You must," insisted Tim.  Claire sobbed, as slowly and carefully, she
opened her door and started to get out.  But opening the door upset the 
car's balance and it began to tilt forward again. 

"Get out!" Tim cried, as he saw Claire hesitate.  Now the car had begun
to slide forward, and Clare only just managed to throw herself out 
before the front of the front half of the car slid over the edge.  Then 
as Tim climbed over the boot and jumped clear, the whole car went over 
and plummeted down to the rocks below. 

Unable to stand, Tim crawled over to where Claire lay, facedown in the
grass. And, as she raised her head and looked into his eyes, he 
realised just how much she meant to him.  "Darling," he said, "will you 
marry me?" 


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