Driving With A Demon

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Ms Arnold is taking her driving test the following day. She is so nervous that she cannot sleep but tiredness finaly wins and the nightmare begins.

Submitted: April 02, 2016

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Submitted: April 02, 2016

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Driving With A Demon

I've got to get some sleep somehow. Tomorrow is the day of my driving test and I'm so nervous. I have spent more than two hours tossing and turning, telling myself not to be so stupid. I have gone over a list in my head of all the people I know who can drive and there are so, so many of them.  Are they all really so much more competent than me?
I just know that I am going to make a mess of it, forget the MSMM routine or the controls. I have a sneaking suspicion that I might even write off my driving instructor's car. No doubt she's insured for such eventualities but she'll still kill me.
It's too much of a struggle to stay awake though. My eyes are getting heavier and heavier. Sleep is not going to let me keep fighting it off and winning. My eyes close, refuse to open. My breathing slows.....

I am outside the driving test centre with my hand on the door handle. I take a seat in the waiting area until a man comes out of an office and calls my name.
“Ms Arnold? Come this way, please.”
The man turns and walks back through the door. He is already behind his desk but it is so far to reach the other chair. Each two steps I take bring me one step closer to it. The man just sits there looking at me expectantly.
'Please don't get impatient with me. I'm trying,' I think, and with one last effort I make it to the chair and sit down quickly. I hope he doesn't notice how tightly I have my hands clasped together in my lap.
“Now, just a few basic questions on road signs, road markings, and the rules of the road. Nothing for you to worry about, I'm sure.”
Did I imagine that gleam in his eye? It looks suspiciously like he's got something rather unpleasant planned for me.
I take a deep breath and get ready to answer my first question and that one and the next two are easy. Then suddenly he starts rattling off figures, so fast he loses me almost immediately. When he finishes speaking he looks at me over the top of his glasses.
“I'm sorry,” I say. “Would you mind repeating that for me.” Why did my voice have to come out so squeaky?
He frowns in disapproval but then he is off again. If anything this time he is talking even faster. I stare at him, dumbfounded. He scribbles something on the sheet of paper in front of him and moves on to the next question. He shows me a picture of a sign but it is not one I have ever come across before. It is certainly not one of the more common ones and I'm sure it was not included in the book.
I can't not answer another question so I make a wild guess. He doesn't even try to hide the large cross he marks on the paper.
“Ms Arnold, you did pass your theory test, didn't you?”
“Of....of course,” I stutter. “I had to, to get my learner permit.”
“Well, let's move on to the more practical side of the test. Perhaps you will impress me there.”

I am going to do so badly at this. I fumble with opening the bonnet and then find that everything has changed place. I can work it all out but it takes me so long. I am not imagining him tapping his foot.
After he has walked around the car and inspected the tax, insurance and tyres, we get in. Oh hell! The seat is stuck in position, the wrong position. I can hardly reach the clutch pedal let alone press and release it smoothly. I lean forward and pull at the lever, then push it and pull it again. Suddenly it moves and I find myself almost pressed up against the steering wheel. And of course the seat belt locks. The more I pull at it the harder it resists, and I can feel the impatience of the man next to me growing by the second.
At last, seat belt on, mirror adjusted, I start up the engine. The door locks click shut. I know that I didn't lock them. What the hell is going on?  I look to my left, to the passenger seat, and my driving instructor has turned into some kind of red eyed, grinning, evil demon.
“To pass your test you must follow my instructions exactly.” Even his voice sounds different, sort of deranged. “Now get on and drive. And make it fast!”
I check all my mirrors, indicate, check mirrors again and pull away smoothly. We are in a 30 mile speed limit so I reach 29 mph and stay there.
“Go faster! I said fast and I meant fast. Put your foot down or don't you know where the accelerator is!”
He is jeering at me. “But the speed limit.....”
“I'm the instructor. Do as I say and SPEED UP!”
I press my foot down harder on the pedal. The speed increases 40, 50, now 60mph. I try not to notice people jumping out of the way. I try to ignore the sound of the car horns.
“Now take the left junction!” he screeches.
“Next left?” I clarify.
“No, this left!”
We're right there, at the junction. I move to put my foot hard on the brake and he reaches out and yanks the wheel round. We squeal around the corner, missing a car on the other side of the road by about an inch. I fight to gain control of the wheel when he suddenly removes his hands from it.
And now there is a pedestrian crossing right in front of us. People are half way across the road. I must slow down....
“Don't think about it. Keep your foot off that brake pedal and keep us moving.” He's mad. He's lost it. He is totally insane.
“I have to slow down. There are people crossing.”
“Steer around them. Don't slow down.”
And I make it. I steer this way and that way and somehow I manage to avoid hitting anyone. How have I managed to not kill anyone?
And so it goes on, faster and faster. He will not let me stop. He will not even let me slow down. We go hurtling from road to road, swerving this way and that. Car horns are sounding all around us, pedestrians are jumping out of our way. And in the distance I hear a siren. Perhaps this signals the end of my nightmare drive. But
if the demon instructor hears it, he gives no sign of having done so. He is now taking us on a route that I know leads us straight to the docks. The end of the road! At least he'll let us stop then.
“Do you want me to do a three-point turn?” I ask as we get nearer and nearer to the end of the road.
He doesn't answer so I try again. “You want me to do an emergency stop, right?”
“I want,” says the demon beside me, “you to keep on driving until I tell you otherwise.”
The end of the road is right in front of us. I can't stop my foot from pressing on the brake pedal. But he can! He reaches his foot over and kicks my foot away.
“Go faster,” he yells, and I press my foot down to the ground.
We are flying, driving through the air. But there is nothing in front of us except water and more water. We are going to hit the surface.
We are going to sink. We are going to DROWN.....

Just as the car is about to hit the water I wake up with a jolt. I am sweating, breathing fast. It was all so real it takes a few moments for me to realise that I am in my own bed in my own room. There is neither a car nor water near me.
When I can breathe at a more normal rate I peer at the alarm clock next to my bed. It's an hour earlier than I planned to get up but there is no way I am going to chance going back to sleep again.
Two cups of coffee later I get out my book of road signs. I had promised myself that I would not even think about my driving test until I arrived at the centre but a quick glance at the rules of the road won't do any harm.
My instructor takes me on a pre-test lesson and it goes without a hitch. I can drive. I can drive well and I will pass my test.
I go into the test centre five minutes before my assigned time. I take a seat and glance through a magazine.
The office door opens and a man summons me. “Ms Arnold?”
The strange thing is that he looks kind of familiar.....

 


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