Paths bound by rubber

Assignment #2 – Due Before 2/9

The following paragraph is an example of telling:

Loretta and Mick were driving down a lonely highway one winter night. The car hit something, making a loud noise. Loretta and Mick bickered about whether he was driving drunk or not, then they got out to see what was hit. They peered into the darkness, seeing nothing.

Rewrite this episode, showing what happens. You should stick to these events and stick to the start and end point, but you may add in anything you like. Turn this into a scene that unfolds moment by moment. It will probably include some dialogue. Also strive to include descriptions that are specific and sensory.

Keep it short, preferably under 500 words.


Mick looked beautiful under the passing streetlights, the scar that ran from his hairline to his eyebrow sliding in and out of focus under the shifting lights.  The manly stubble on his cheeks looking just slightly too manicured, exposing the care he took in sculpting it.  Loretta tilted her head back and loosed a cascading waterfall of laughter as he continued his comedic tirade about his friend Jim, grinning that sly smile which showed he knew only too well that the night would end with her in his bed.  She welcomed it.  It had been a while since she’d felt a lover’s embrace.  It was hard for a single mother of 22 to meet guys, but tonight Jake was having a sleepover at his cousins’ place two suburbs over.

Her girlfriends had sounded Mick out and he’d passed their shit tests: those semi-conscious methods of testing a man’s procreative viability through putting shit on him and assessing his responses.  He’d managed to hold his own with the whole group of them, five gorgeous young girls.  From the start, he was casual and relaxed as he turned to them at the bar, opening with an innocuous gag and chatty but seemingly on the verge of leaving to go back to his friends every moment of the 20 minutes he stood and talked to the group.  This scarcity he presented made her want him all the more.  She had no doubt the act was as carefully cultivated as his stubble, now a darker patch on the shadow of his face as they passed into a stretch of unlit road.

Mick continued his anecdote about Jim at his brother’s bucks party.

“So Jim was really sick – I’ve never seen a flu like it – and on heavy antibiotics.  He hadn’t eaten anything apart from a piece of toast and a cup of coffee at breakfast, but started drinking double-sized cans of Japanese beer at midday.  By five he was a mess.  The limo arrived at 5:30 by 6:00 Jim had spewed out the window all over the door handle.  None of the rest of us could understand why the driver was so pissed off.” Mick turned to face her again, grin back as Loretta tinkled out another bout of laughter, holding her stomach. “We had to leave him in the hotel room to sleep it off while we had dinner.  But the best part of the whole thing was – ” Mick cut off as something smashed against the front of the car and bounced along the undercarriage.  Unsure if it was real or the combination of adrenalin and squealing brakes, Loretta was convinced she could hear whimpering and her thoughts turned immediately to Jake.

In that curious way that high emotion can swing from one end of the spectrum to the other, laughter had turned to fear and blaming: “Mick I thought you said you’d only had one drink!”

“I did!  Jesus!  What was that!?  Stay in the car.”

Mick jumped out Loretta twisted in her seat, watching him as he  peered back along the road.  Squinting to adjust her eyes, she couldn’t see anything in the dim red of the tail lights.  Mick began slowly backtracking the path made by his tyre rubber.  Loretta couldn’t stand it, jumped out and rushed to join him.

“I told you to …” Mick began without conviction and trailed off, he seemed thankful for her presence.  They’d passed the point where the brakes had locked up and there was nothing.  Just the gurgling of the engine in the distance, the faint smell of invisible cattle and the coolly observant stars casting their indifferent light over the girl with her arm around the man she barely knew.

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