Friday Fictioneers: The Tailgater

©

© the reclining gentleman

It was dusk, quickly darkening. L.A. Woman belted out with me singing along unrestrainedly until I became aware of the car following me. I didn’t know how long they’d been on my tail. I slowed and they flashed their lights.  The road was deserted. Why didn’t they overtake?  A knot of fear settled in my stomach inching into my throat. They were blowing their horn at me now and shaking their fists. I sped up. They followed. Too fast. Stop and ring the police. They stopped too. Two men alighted. A scream rose from my bowels.

“Your boot’s open Miss.”

In case boot is not the common term I believe trunk is used in some places.

Rochelle  hosts Friday Fictioneers each week. All are welcome to join in and write a 100 word flash, then add their link via the blue frog found on her site. Otherwise use the blue frog to see other people’s responses to the photo prompt which this week is courtesy of  the reclining gentleman.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. Commenced a masters by research in 2014.
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88 Responses to Friday Fictioneers: The Tailgater

  1. Sandra says:

    The perennial dilemma – ‘am I just over-reacting?’ And then … nicely captured. I hope the word ‘boot’ is recognised in some factions. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank Sandra. you were right that boot is not a word that all recognise so I have added trunk in an explanatory note in the piece. I am reading a book “Little Paris Bookshop” where the protagonist is travelling the French river and canal system in his barge. It has given me a bit more of a view into what you are maybe experiencing.

      Like

  2. micklively says:

    Maybe “boot’s”?
    Made me giggle.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Funny story – I’ve felt that feeling before!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Irene,

    I’m gong to guess that ‘boot’ is British speak for trunk? Love the build of tension and the punchline. You had me me going.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I understood boot. catchy piece. I know the feeling. We hear so many stories of things that can happen to a lone woman in a car on a highway, I would also have my stomach in a knot. The relief is palpable.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. k rawson says:

    I’ve been there myself! My two cents on boot is while I wasn’t familiar with the term, the context was enough for me

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh indeed.. how often kindness is misunderstood for threat

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I really liked the tension in this. (But I think you need boot’s, not boots)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Such tension! And then relief! Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It is true, we tend to overreact these days. Full of tension and nice relief at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great suspenseful story! I didn’t know that “boot” meant trunk. Loved the twist at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ceayr says:

    Nice one, Irene.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve been there, too. On both sides. DH fusses that I too often try to chase others down to let them know of broken tail-lights and open gas hatches. Glad this one had a happy ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. emiliopasquale says:

    Beautifully told. You create tension so easily.I didn’t realize it was a woman, though, until the last line.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. M-R says:

    Luverly, Irene ! – great fun. You managed to combine your natural talent for weirdness with something silly ! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. noelleg44 says:

    Great, Irene. Happened to me – I had a cup of coffee on top of the car!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Charli Mills says:

    Great use of humor to break the tension!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Dale says:

    Love that your twist was funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Have been chased by cars on the freeway, never a good thing, very frightening. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. plaridel says:

    i can relate to this story. i had a somewhat similar experience before. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. What a happy ending! Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Margaret says:

    She was right to be nervous. All sorts of weird things happen on the road. Great buildup and a lovely ending – I’m glad it was just a good Samaritan. Wish there were more of them around.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Liz Young says:

    I’d have kept driving – you can never be too careful!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Well done.
    Years ago, way before cell phones, I was traveling down the freeway with a car full of kids, each of my two sons having brought a guest. Another car started tailing me way too close. Feeling intimidated, I got off the freeway and found a place to pull over – an empty lot as it turned out. The other driver followed me. I was terrified – how could I protect 4 kids from a madman? He got out and yelled at me, “Don’t you know your brake lights aren’t working?” I didn’t know, but got them fixed soon as I got home safely. And have never forgotten that feeling of intense fear.

    Like

  25. As I read this, I could feel her many emotions. I was fearful along with her.
    I was happy they were trying to be helpful. Good ending to a tensing story.
    Loved it …
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  26. And as I read aling, I too had a knot in my stomach. But unfortunately nothing untoward occured and heaved a sigh of relief.
    http://ideasolsi65.blogspot.in/2015/09/road-to-freedom.html?m=1

    Liked by 1 person

  27. mjlstories says:

    Good story. Plays with our assumptions.
    Had the same experience with two lads following me a bit close for comfort – only wanted to tell me to close my open backpack.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Good build of tension and a humorous ending. I was expecting a bad ending.
    I am American, we use trunk. My husband who is not British, but from Cyprus a former British Colony always says boot, or the greek word which I don’t remember off the top of my head, and I have to correct him. Yet, I love learning new words, phrases and terms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blogging it is worth knowing all the different possibilities because this is probably the closest most of us will get to world wide distribution of our work and it helps if there isn’t confusion for the reader. I hadn’t thought of it at first but I will be aware for next time I want to use the term.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. gahlearner says:

    There are actually still some friendly people out there. I would have been very scared, too, and I don’t think I would have stopped. Great build-up, fun relief.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Sumana Roy says:

    love the play of tension and relief in this…sometimes i like to call this Earth a Paradise….

    Liked by 1 person

  31. wildbilbo says:

    You do a good job of building the tension here. Nice work.
    KT

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Thanks for clarifying the meaning of boot. What an odd name for a trunk 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • It comes from the coaches and the box the coachman used to sit on which held among other things his boots. I’m assuming that trunk probably comes from the chests that people took on sea voyages. As most Americans travelled by sea that was probably a more common piece of equipment than the box of carriages. Just guessing.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Amy Reese says:

    Boot! I’m going to start calling my trunk that now. Whew, Irene! For a second there, I was pretty worried. Your mind can be a powerful force in the darkness. I love your take.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Amy. The differences in language are interesting considering we both come from the same mother tongue. The Americanism I found strange was that you call car accidents car wrecks. We had an American nurse who on handover said “He was in a wreck.” None of us could work out why it mattered because to us a wreck is a car that is in poor shape.
      Glad you were taken along in the darkeness with the tension. Cheers Irene

      Like

  34. Norah says:

    Nicely done – tension building, then a happy ending. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Ula says:

    Nice ending. You had me on edge. Great tension. I could hear that scream.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. It’s trunk where I come from and boot where my sister lives but wherever your from it was a good vignette and example of how we never expect the hopeful outcome and always try to guard against the evil outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. rogershipp says:

    What a great ending!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. ansumani says:

    Great buildup of tension. I can see this happenning in real life. Nicely done story.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. subroto says:

    Nicely done. Such a superb buildup of tension and then the comic twist in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. I was hoping this was headed in that direction! Nice build up, Irene.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Good story, Irene. That would be scary on a dark night. Great twist at the end. I recognized boot from the English movies I’ve seen. I also hear some of the British English here in India as the British had an influence on the English spoken here. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

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