Friday, November 18, 2011

On the Road

"Are we there yet?" my brother's voice echoes from the back of the minivan. Piercing our ears.
"NO!" they yell simultaneously, their voices strained.
His shoulders hunch over the wheel, as she adjusts the pillow behind her neck. Lying back, her head faces the ceiling as a moan escapes her pursed lips.
My poor parents.
Inching forward, we make minuscule progress.
Kicking my black flip flops under my seat, I attempt to contort myself into a comfortable position. A nearly impossible task in a minivan, I read the title of the novel again:
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,
I think, do you Maya?
My mind wanders, does Maya Angelou truly know how it feels to be caged?
Or in our case trapped
in a minivan,
on a summer afternoon,
in August,
escaping with other tourists from a pending hurricane,
Only a few days before the five of us successfully managed the eight hour drive to the Outer Banks of North Carolina without bloodshed or mutiny.
For three days, we leisurely lounge ocean side. Basking in the sun, as the waves crash along the shoreline during the afternoon, and playing in the community pool during the night.  Our family vacation in its infancy, when ominous news faces us.
My skin has yet to reach it's optimum shade of brown when a buzz fills the air of the rental community. Words like "evacuation" and "mandatory exit" swirl around. Each successive day, the outlook more grim.
On day three, the newscaster delivers the report,  mandatory evacuation for all non-residents.
I refuse to believe it, dragging my book and chair across the road to the beach in hope of finding solace in the sand.
The red flag flies high in the sky, as the life guards sit in their stands. The waves are already starting to gain speed and height, as the storm inches closer to the barrier islands.
I stand in disbelief, tears pooling in my eyes.
Our family vacation over before it truly starts.
Back to the car, where we sit and wait.
Crawling along the highway amongst a sea of other families suffering the same fate.
Vacations cut short by Mother Nature.
Hour by hour, mile by mile we slowly retreat.
Our emotions raw, our patience tested, as we survive the unexpected.
Pulling into the hotel parking lot, I feel hope surge in my belly.
My mother reveals she has secured a hotel room just outside Busch Gardens in Williamsburg Va. for the next few days.
And so our family vacation continues without the sand and surf.
Write On Edge: Red-Writing-HoodThis week we asked you to take us on a road trip. So much can happen within the confines of a car, from fraught confessions to detours for ice cream, so we’re looking forward to seeing where you take us.

Remember, your characters can drive as many miles as they want, but they should do it in less than 300 words. Please only link up if you’ve done the prompt, and remember: thoughtful and constructive comments help us grow as writers and as a community


  1. Ugh, that would suck. It's difficult being stuck in a car for a length of time and then to have the fun cut off prematurely?

    At least you got SOME vacation

  2. it wasn't so much the vacation cut short...which is so hard when all you want is sun and sand, but it's the emotions you evoked. I wanted to get out of that van as much as yu didn, to NOT believe we had to leave.


  3. Wow, Mom saved the day!

    I liked your description of being caged in the car.

  4. Very evocative, loved the comparison to the novel title. :)


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