Thursday, August 12, 2010

In the clutch

The cacophony from the back seat exceeded Gertrude’s tolerance level as she pulled up to the stop sign where her subdivision emptied onto the main road.

“Mommy,” shrieked the boy.

“Mommy,” echoed the girl, louder

The boy escalated the volume a notch, “Mommy!”

Mommy understood these were competitive jabs at one another more than pleas directed to her. She turned around and, with a sweeping, withering look, put an end to the discussion. She let the clutch out even as she was turning back to the front, but still distracted, she mistimed the accelerator and the car bucked to a stop. Next car’s an automatic, she thought to herself as she reached for the keys to restart the engine.


A dump truck flashed across her bow.