Driving With Sandy (short fiction)

Daily Prompt: The Zone

Tell us about your favorite way to get lost in a simple activity — running, chopping vegetables, folding laundry, whatever. What’s it like when you’re in “the zone”?

“I’m glad you don’t mind these drives with me, Sandy. I know there’s things you‘d rather be doing at home, but it will all be there tomorrow and I can help you with them. These drives with you just mean so much too me.”

“Look, Sandy, around the bend, just over the edge. Isn’t that a beautiful place. Out in the middle of nowhere, it’s so green and lush. Everything around it is dead. It’s a small ranch. He’s got a few head of cattle.”

“What’s that you say?”

“It’s all fed by a stream from the mountain to the south.”

“Ah, Sandy, if we had it to do over again I’d find us a place like that. We could have raised the kids in a place like that. Wouldn‘t that have been great?”

“Oh my, Sandy, to the west. Those are rain clouds. I bet they pass around to the north and miss us completely. We could use the rain, for sure.”

“Look at the sky to the south. It is so beautiful. Remember as kids laying in the grass and looking up at the sky making out objects from the clouds. What’s that you say? It did look like Richard Nixon; it had the little sky jump nose and everything.”

“Sure we were kids. Twenty-five is a kid.”

“We won’t drive to the canyon today or the mountains. I know how much that frightens you.”

“We’ll just drive this ole highway until we find a gas station. I’ll fill up and we’ll head back. That way we’ll see the other side of what we missed seeing on the drive out.”

“Do you want a coffee when we stop? You never do. I shouldn’t have asked.”

“”Look ahead, Sandy, the wind is picking up. That’s what’s pushing the rain north.”

“Oh look, Sandy! That’s antelope. There’s at least fifteen. Okay twenty-five, have it your way.”

“Sandy, I could just drive for miles. There is so much to see. It looks like nothing to most people, but it’s something to me. It is a way I clean my thoughts out of my head. It’s like a mental trash day. I go through my thoughts and decide what I want and what should be sat at the curb. I hope you don’t mind the ride. I do all the talking and you listen so patiently. You know I need this drive every now and then.”

“Yes, I know, tomorrow’s trash day.”

“I’m thinking it’s time for us to go visit one of the kids. It’s time for Mike. We haven’t seen him in a while.”

“I know it’s his turn, but it’s hard for him to get away. He has a demanding job.”

“No, I don’t want to go alone.”

“How’s that going to do me any good?”

“You have a point, Magan works and Mike and I could get away for some fishing. I’ll give it some thought and give Mike a call; I should run it by him first.”

“Yes, I know, it’s better than showing up at his front door with waders and a pole.”

Jim drove home and parked the car in the garage. He took Sandy’s picture from the passenger’s seat and hung it back on the wall in the living room. “It was a nice drive today, Sandy, I‘m going to take your advice.”

He dialed the phone. “Mike… Dad… Just took a drive and doing some thinking, could you take a couple days off and do some fishing?… That’s all I got is time… Let’s shoot for next month… No, not me, I’m not lonely.”

Zoned bloggers:

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  1. Superb. Emotionally and mentally fulfilling. One of the best short stories I ever read. Perfectly delivered. Sometimes I read your stories to my wife and daughter. This one they will have to read for themselves. I am with Natasha on this one. Thank you.

    • Thanks Rog.
      If I can get one past you I can get it past anybody. No, I didn’t say that right, most generally everybody gets stuff past you. (Give a compliment and snatch it away.)

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