Chapter 4: The Drive Home

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Thrillerz

Reads: 73

She’d forgotten what a beautiful drive it was between Indiana and Alabama since she hadn’t driven it in the fifteen years since leaving her small hometown of Cornish.  On the few occasions she’d gotten together with Rosemary and Robin, she’d flown to their chosen location and then rented a car.

The rolling hills of Kentucky and mountains of Tennessee were stunning and picturesque as they proudly displayed row after row of trees; their leaves beginning to change into their Autumn reds, yellows and oranges, a true mountainside inferno basking in its splendor.  Pine cabins and houses were visible from the road, appearing to be barely clinging to the sides of the mountain, pinned there to create the ideal optical illusion for spectators.  Thin white wisps of clouds covered the mountaintops, reminding her of how the Smokies had gotten their name.  Her ears popped as she climbed up one hill and descended down another, continuously faking yawns to clear them.

Traffic on the interstate was moderate but moving along smoothly.  Some cars flew past her like speeding bullets, their drivers over-eager to reach their destinations.  Others, like her, chose to follow the posted speed limit, also eager to reach their own destinations, but choosing to reach it alive instead of early.  Several state troopers had cars pulled over, citation books in hand ready to issue tickets, while others parked off the road and out of sight conducting speed traps.

As a kid, whenever the family took a rare road trip, going no further than Gadsden to visit Helen’s family, she’d always enjoyed reading the roadside billboards, especially the ones with a message that was spread out over multiple boards placed several feet apart.  Those kinds no longer existed, replaced by advertisements for attorneys, insurance or real estate.

For the most part, those had been the good and happy days of her life, when her little girl innocence was still pure and intact.  Reminiscing about those times inadvertently caused her to recall other times that weren’t so pleasant, incidents that, up until receiving the call from Rosemary, she’d succeeded in keeping hidden away, not wanting or needing to dwell on them. 

With the music off, silence enveloped her as she traveled the road that would inevitably take her back to where it all started.

Listening to the soothing sound of tires against asphalt, all of those long-hidden memories began spilling out, leaving her with no alternative but to remember.

And there was never a better place to start than at the beginning.


Submitted: April 20, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Glenda Norwood Petz. All rights reserved.

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The Punishment Room

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