I got back in the truck, my cheeks burning from embarrassment, and turned to my roommate, “I don’t see any damage.”
He angled his head so he could look into the rear-view mirror and see the car parked directly behind us. He frowned and then a moment later his features set into the resolved expression I had grown to know so well over the previous five years.
“You should leave a note, anyway.”
I sighed. I rolled my eyes. I pretended to protest, but I knew he was right and I would leave my contact information under their windshield wipers. I motioned for him to open the glove box and then reached over and pulled out a pad of paper and pen that I stored there. I scrawled my details out, as legibly as I could, considering the rush of adrenaline that was still coursing through me from having backed into the vehicle.
I still couldn’t believe I had done something so stupid.
With another sigh, I got back out of the truck and walked across to car. I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t help but steal another glance at the bumper to confirm that I still saw no evidence of damage from the slight impact.
My vision narrowed so all I saw was what was necessary for my current task. I reached the front of the car, propped up the drive side wiper enough to slip my note under and then let the blade fall back into place. I was so focused on my anger, at myself for having hit the car in the first place, at the unknowns of what would come of giving them my information, at the universe for fating me into that moment, that I almost missed the slight movement of a head ducking down in the back of the car.
There was someone in there! A child, perhaps, left in the back seat while one of their parents was shopping inside?
Shaking my head, bewildered by the whole situation, I retraced my steps to the truck, stepped in, and turned the ignition.
“Happy now?” I sarcastically quipped.
This tale is a twist on a true story, and was written for this week’s Tale Weaver’s Prompt:
Remember an event that really happened to you, then take a fictional character and insert him in the story. Rewrite the event to include both you and the character, change the outcome of the situation, for better, for worse, however you desire.
Some ideas and guidelines:
– The fictional character can be anything, like: a superhero, a protagonist of a book, a part of your personality imagined and shocked alive as a character and a person that in reality does not exist, archetypes, a character from a dream you once had, and so on.
– You can rewrite the event and create a real story branching off into a fictional one, or you can write a speculative story, as in “What do I think would happen that day, if instead of person N, Snoopy was with me?”
Word limit: 500
In the true version of this story, I was in the truck by myself, and didn’t have the guiding voice of a friend to help me do the right thing: I didn’t walk back over to leave a note. Therefore, I missed that there was someone in the car. They wrote down my license plate and when their mom finished shopping they called the cops: hit and run.
Live and learn.