Extreme Writing Challenge #52: “Flat Tire”

Returning home from a two-week vacation equals a loss of motivation for a lot of things: going to work, cleaning, cooking, and eating anything that’s actually good for me.  Luckily, writing isn’t on this list!

For this challenge, I wrote a story that doesn’t contain any five-letter words and also doesn’t contain the letter C.  This is the first time I’ve combined the idea of not using any words of a certain length and also eliminating a letter of the alphabet.  Honestly, it was pretty fun!


Today’s the day the bastard gets out of prison. I shouldn’t be driving all day to take his pitiful ass home. Somehow I’m on the interstate with Joan Jett rivaling the whoosh of the wind rushing through the open windows. I’m the only person on the road, as if the universe is emphasizing that no one supports this boneheaded mission.

The last time I saw him was the day he got arrested. For eleven months I pretended he’d been hurled off the planet. If I wouldn’t have opened that letter he sent last week, I’d be at breakfast now with Mama. I’d have an omelet and an espresso. He wouldn’t wriggle his way into my thoughts, not one time. Instead I’m driving 75 in a 65 zone and the bastard is the only thought floating around in my head.

I keep on thinking it’s a good time to get a flat tire. Out here in the middle of nowhere. It’d take all afternoon to fix it. By then I’m sure he’d find another way home. I’d apologize tomorrow and he’d understand that it was unavoidable. He’d get home another way and then I wouldn’t feel guilty. I’d burn that letter, move on with my life.

Grandpa threatened to kill the bastard on my 19th birthday. Sometimes I wish he would’ve done it. The only reason he refrained was that the next day I told him I was pregnant. When I lost the baby, the bastard was already in jail. Grandpa was the one to tell him so I wouldn’t have to talk to him. It was all that had kept me tied to him, and that was when I let go for good.

So what I’m thinking driving to the prison, I don’t know. Part of me wonders if he’s a different man now. Fooled by memories of dipping powdered donuts in vanilla pudding, and playing Battleship in the nude in a tent in the forest.

Down the road is the sign that says the turn for the prison is in one mile on the left. My nerves turn into guitar strings breaking one by one. I slam on the brakes. I’m not driving even one more foot forward.

I got a flat tire.

Or, that will be what I tell him when he phones me tomorrow.



8 responses to “Extreme Writing Challenge #52: “Flat Tire”

  1. Except for the word existence in the third paragraph or so, this was another of your good stories.-Dad

    • If your only critique is a single word, I’ll take it. 🙂

      • I knew you were testing me. I must have passed. I could not do that kind of challenge. Mine, I guess, is being able to take any piece of Scripture and turn it into a sermon, while your gift is that of writing when given a challenge word-wise. It was a great story, and I don’t think if people did not know what your challenge was they would just consider it another story in a blog. So keep it up. I am sorry that I critiqued you in the way that I did. – Again, Dad

      • Don’t be sorry! I’m glad you pointed it out and I can admit that I’m human. 🙂 Luckily you gave me the opportunity to fix it!

  2. Beautifull…both u and your writing. I deliberately spelt beautiful that way…for emphasis

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