Broken Part One of Twelve


By Lloyd W. Alexander

The day was beautiful as it often was in the fall. The foliage was as beautiful as they had ever seen it. The fall colors were just bursting from the trees seeming to be jumping out to catch ones eye along the long twisting mountain road. There was s light chill in the air as well seeming to warn of colder times ahead not far down the road. Falls colors would soon disappear and then be replaced by the colder winds of winter. Jed and Erica were just another pair of tourists traveling the route through the mountains of Maine. So many twisting roads to choose from in Maine with so many beautiful vistas to see along the way that no road could lead you to a view you would not remember for a lifetime. Jed loved the rides through the mountains and especially this time of year. Erica on the other hand could take them or leave them but she just loved being with Jed no matter where he went. She knew that this was something he enjoyed so she went along peacefully with him. The colors were awesome and she enjoyed that but she was not a girl of nature. She enjoyed the city life and preferred that over the cold rugged terrain of the Maine Mountains. Jed loved to get out and hike whenever he could break away from his desk job back in Boston. He had a nice view from his 11th floor corner office but it was really not the same looking at the Charles River in a glass tower above the streets of Boston as it was just being out in the woods with only you and the land. He knew that maybe it was just a brief escape and nothing more but he needed that and often headed to the New Hampshire Mountains that he could get to fairly quickly from Boston. He loved the Presidential Mountains but was often hard pressed for time and just could not fit as much in his schedule as he wanted no matter what he tried. The trips were precious to him and this drive was not exactly what he wanted to be doing but he knew Erica was not the hiking type so he just choose what he considered middle ground of driving to see the foliage in Western Maine near Rangley. He had driven it once before long ago and remembered a place called Height of Land near Rangley. He remembered it as beautiful and was eager to get to see it again. He hoped Erica would find it as beautiful as he did so maybe he could get her to take more drives instead of more shopping trips. He chuckled at the thought. Drawing a curious look from her as it was not normal for him to show any outburst of emotion. He smiled back and that seemed to ease her mind for now.

They reached Coos Canyon near Byron and decided to stop for lunch. They had purchased sandwiches from Subway back in Rumford before leaving the smalls towns for even smaller towns on the road towards the mountains. The parking lot was about half full when they arrived and many cars were sporting out of State plates just as they were but no others were from Massachusetts. The Canyon was beautiful picturesque stop that many took the time to enjoy. The carving of the canyon over the years left beauty to enjoy. Coos was also a place were a lot of gold mining had taken place in the past and still this area produced a lot of gold in Maine for those who took the time to relax and try their hand at it. Jed explained a little about Coos to Erica who was busy looking in her mirror to make sure everything was were it needed to be as far as her make up went. Jed didn’t understand why she was like that but accepted it long ago. He figured who cared what she looked like up here anyway as they did not know anyone here. So did it matter if everything was in place really? He didn’t bother to argue with her but just kept talking and hoped she was listening. They sat at the table and began to enjoy their lunch. The sandwiches were quite tasty and both seemed to be in their own Worlds. Erica began to ask Jed about the rest of the trip with a sincerity that was rare from her about things he cared about. He eagerly told her of the things that maybe ahead such as the Rangley overlook and Height of the Land, Grafton Notch, Umbagog Lake, and other nice views on their way to a hotel in North Conway, New Hampshire for shopping at the outlets the next day before heading back home to Boston. They finished up their lunch and then headed back to the Saab to continue their journey.

Jed started the Saab and began to pull out of the parking lot but the light made it tough on him to see. He was squinting and still was struggling. Erica could tell he was struggling and reached for his sunglasses that were tucked above her visor. She grabbed then and handed them to Jed but they were dropped in the exchange. They bounced of the console and landed near Jed’s feet. He shrugged and slowly began to pull out of the parking lot. He eased to make sure that if something was coming that he would not just be darting out in front of it. He made it to far enough for both wheels to be on the tar and then the sun had begun to fade behind the trees enough for him to see a little. His eyes opened wide as he saw the 18 wheeler heading towards him at a high rate of speed. It was rounding the corner but would be there in mere moments at the rate of speed it was traveling. He had seen them before and they just drove like they owned the World up in their high perch. The trucks made runs back and forth to the mills often appearing over stacked on there rush to the mills. Jed had to make an instant decision and he chose to floor it but the rear tires spun in the dirt. They seemed to spin forever as the cloud behind him grew. It certainly was loud enough to catch the attention of the other visitors at Coos Canyon. Finally the tires gripped and the Saab lurched forward onto the pavement. The truck was very close now and the driver was laying on the air horn while trying to search for a way around the Saab. Jed pushed hard on the gas and the Saab swerved but moved quickly. Erica screamed and pushed hard into the seat waiting for the jolt she knew was coming. It never came as the driver of the truck managed to avoid squishing the car which had moved just enough to not be touched by the monstrosity that was closing upon it. The driver of the truck hit the soft sand on the far shoulder of the road and his truck strained against the weight pulling it towards the ditch beside the road. He pulled hard and the truck held just enough for him to get it to stop on the soft sand and not in the ditch. He was furious and hoped quickly from his truck. Jed had pulled over to the side of the road and quickly headed towards the truck which had just stopped. He knew that he was lucky that nothing had happened and he just wanted to apologize to the trucker. He noticed the truck had a flat tire and quickly thought he should offer to pay for the tire. Erica was standing by the car watching Jed head towards the truck driver who was now headed towards them. She was still shaking from the fear that had been racing throughout her body as she sat helpless in the passenger side of the car. The trucker was racing towards Jed and the two were seconds from meeting as the driver noticed the crowd on the side of the road checking out what had just happened. If they were not there he would lay right into this guy and set the bastard straight about who’s roads these were anyway. He was close enough know and began to yell at Jed about what a fool he was and what was he thinking, did he know how hard it was to slow those trucks down and on and on he went with his fists flying in the air when he wasn’t making some other gesture. Jed stood shocked and his thoughts of being thankful slowly turned to thoughts of his own fury. Who did this trucker think he was anyway? Soon they were both exchanging heated words and then the trucker noticed the plate on Jed’s Saab and that it was a Massachusetts plate. The driver switched into yet another gear in his furiousness as he started yelling at Jed for being a stupid tourist and a “Masshole” on top of that as well. Jed turned to walk away when the trucker grabbed his shoulder and spun him around. Looking Jed straight in the eye the trucker said, “Get the fuck off of my roads you Masshole. If, if, I see your little car on my road again. I am going to squish your snobby no good for nothing ass!! Got it you little prick!!”, as he shoved Jed forward towards his Saab. He almost felt to the ground. He thought about turning to say something back to the driver but decided against it. Instead he just walked back towards the car and motioned for Erica to get into the car. He didn’t need her making a scene right now and just wanted to get back to enjoying the scenery. She got in and he did as well before letting out a big sigh. He wanted to just pause for a second before moving but he thought it best just to get away from here and find a place that he could pull over to breathe in piece. Erica sat in silence as she somehow seemed to know that now was not the time to be asking anything about what just happened. She noticed Jed’s hands shaking as he fumbled to start the car. He soon got it going and they quickly headed away from Coos Canyon.

The truck driver stood silently watching the car leave and only hoped he would see it again without anything else around them. The company tow truck would be there in a couple minutes to help replace the flat tire. He figured he would be on his way again within the hour and probably closer to a half hour. He smiled slightly as he thought he could catch them if they did the scenic stops.

Broken Part One of Twelve


Joined February 2008

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Artist's Description

For the other parts of Broken go here… and you will find them under short stories.

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