Iowa Writing Project

Ride of Fear

Katie (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Unwillingly, I was shoved into the vehicle by my ruthless captor. I struggled to sit up in the back seat, so I could make a desperate attempt to escape. The villain slipped into the driver's seat and demanded that I stay put. As I quivered in fear, an accomplice entered the car planning to ride shotgun. Before I knew it, we were off with a jolt. I lunged back and forth like a tennis ball in a grueling match. What did these lunatics think they were doing?! One appeared to be as scared as I am and the other is driving as blind as a bat. We squealed around corners so fast I wouldn't be surprised if we had worn our tires down to thin rubber bands.

"Slow down! Slow down!" appallingly shouted the man in the passenger seat.

But the crazed person behind the wheel did no such thing. Crouched in the back, terrified, I squeezed my eyes shut as we narrowly missed smashing into another car. The driver was speeding down the road, showing no mercy. I helplessly pressed my face against the window. As the landscape whizzed by my mobile jail cell, I wondered if there was a way I could scramble out of the car without breaking every bone in my body; there wasn't.

I had no idea where we were going or why I had to be there. What did I do to receive this cruel and unusual punishment? Did I harm them in a past life or what?

Swerving and dodging cars left and right, I couldn't take it anymore! Bravely I snapped, "You're making me nauseous! Stop driving like a madman!"

The driver didn't acknowledge my outburst and drove through a red light.

"Yes, I feel the same way the girl does. You're upsetting my stomach," the passenger tried to reason with the driver.

But the driver was like a brick wall and we weren't getting through. We took a stabbing turn left and I slid across the back seat like a grain of sand in an hourglass. After I bumped my head on the door, I pulled myself upright again and shouted, Are you nuts!"

That made a headfirst lunge through the communication barrier. The driver turned and glared at me.

"Look out!" I cried as we collided into the back of a truck. Everyone screamed in terror, then everything went black.

* * *

I slowly opened my eyes to find my friend Kodie grinning and peering over me.

"Kodie?" I whispered, because it hurt to do much of anything.

"She's awake!" Kodie shouted to my family.

I realized I was in the hospital. I could see my parents and sister at the edge of the bed. I was in a pale green room that smelled funny. Remembering what happened I turned to Kodie.

"So," I asked jokingly, "did you pass your driving test or did you kill that poor instructor in the car?"

"Ha-ha," she mocked a laugh, "I'm retaking it next week." Kodie smiled sweetly at me and offered, " Care to join?"

"Yeah, right, like I'm ever going through that again. You can drag someone else along," I replied.

"It wouldn't have been so bad if you hadn't been so very dramatic," Kodie retorted.

"Me!" I shrieked, pointing at myself. "Excuse me, but I was not the one driving like there was no tomorrow."

"You're right. I'm sorry. I just had a bad case of test anxiety and I lost my head."

"You're forgiven. It was pretty exciting though," I sighed, "but you can take your next test alone!"