Nailing It (Friday Fictioneers, March 2015)

Copyright Rachel Bjerke

Fog dipped and curled on the fringes of the motorway, beading the grimy fleeces of wall-eyed sheep huddled beneath dry-stone boundaries.

Will shivered; he shared none of his father’s passion for the north of England.

I’ve become a real southern jessie now.’

“You were born in the shadow of the Pennines,” his father’s voice echoed down the years, “and that’s where you’ll die.”

A column of brake lights hurtled towards him like a Mexican wave, and as the radiator grill of a ten ton Scania filled his rear windscreen, Will wondered whether his father hadn’t nailed it… yet again.

We returned last night from one of our periodic visits to the north of England, and Rachel Bjerke’s photo, combined with my reflections crossing Saddleworth Moor on the M62 (the highest point of any motorway in England) provided the inspiration for this piece for Friday Fictioneers.  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who’s celebrating brilliant news this week, will be dancing her way through the submissions once more.  Congratulations, Rochelle, attagirl!

 

About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

96 Responses to Nailing It (Friday Fictioneers, March 2015)

  1. Dear Sandra,

    News? What news? He he. 😉 Although the work part of it has begun.

    Oh yes, your story…I’d say that Will’s not going to have much time to ponder his father’s words. One of my greatest fears is living through a terrible car crash. Your descriptions are vivid. Well written as always.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      The M62 is a very fast moving motorway, subject to rapid changes in weather conditions at its highest point. Not one of my favourite journeys this. Thanks for reading Rochelle.

      Like

  2. Great description added to this well-written piece, Sandra. A truck that close to the back of anyone’s car would be frightening. Well done as always. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  3. nowathome says:

    Great description of him feelings!

    Like

  4. Oh .. I hate it when father’s right… I guess there was not much time to ponder, more a flash of realization.. As usual a perfect prose ..

    Like

  5. A nice pastiche of glorious words, Sandra. Well done.

    Like

  6. Yes! Water does bead on the fleece of a grimy sheep… Your minute descriptions leave me in awe Sandra! My grandmother was from the north of England but I’ve never been there myself. You’re not really selling the place!

    Like

  7. gahlearner says:

    I’ve read a lot about the north of England, ‘google earth’-visited it, and really want to go there some day. Your story makes me want to go even more. This story is a great moment in time, hopefully not the last one for Will.

    Like

  8. Great descriptive writing. And that last para/sentence flows so well.

    Like

  9. First of all the photo for this week’s challenge is just incredible, isn’t it? Particularly enjoyed your description of the fog and the sheep which so perfectly fits the mood of the photo.

    Like

  10. Your description of the north of England is perfect, Sandra. Your last paragraph is so shocking, but I’ve come to expect the twist in the tail. 😕

    Like

  11. ansumani says:

    while the story paints a different pciture of a highway and car window….it still connects to the picture 100% That was good!

    Like

  12. What a way to die…this is one chilling story, from start to end.

    Like

  13. Sandra, through your descriptions I was right there with him. But these moments happen even in places that aren’t the north of England. I’ve done many a drive in terrible weather when I felt the way he did. I was pleasantly surprised not to read about someone literally being nailed, what I expected from the title. 🙂

    janet

    Like

  14. Sensory overload. I can hear the screeching tires (tyres?) You just know those stupid sheep are going to trot away a few steps and keep on chewing. And if he doesn’t survive, somewhere in the great beyond he’ll have to endure Dad’s “Told you so,” poor fellow. Very well done.

    Like

  15. paulmclem says:

    Always good to confuse the Americans with a tale of Olde England 🙂

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I’ve realised that over the three years I’ve been doing this, I’ve tended to set my stories for the majority readership. So recently I’ve been redressing the balance. I quite often have to google to understand the references in the stories on here, and even then the significance sometimes escapes me. So I’m indulging myself, I suppose. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  16. storydivamg says:

    Great work, Sandra. I love it when you take a walk on the darker side. Keep these gems coming. I’ll be reading.

    All my best,
    MG

    Like

  17. Fathers should never be right about this kind of thing. Chillingly done Sandra. P.S. The first line truly sets the mood. Kudos once again.

    Like

  18. When I was a teenage I got hit from behind. I saw the guy coming. however I was driving my father’s tank and emerged unscathed except for the memory of those headlights in my rear view.
    Thanks for the memory 😉

    Like

  19. subroto says:

    Oh dear! I think he will survive but with his memories erased in the accident, making a new life for himself. A man with no past. 😉

    Like

  20. Sandra,
    Nailed it! This seems like some dark humor to me. 🙂 The beautiful, vivid description of that first sentence goes to show why I always make sure to read your stories every week. Great job as always,
    David

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks David. I quite often watch the sheep on Saddleworth Moor – such a bleak existence and they’re so unfazed by the endless roar of traffic that slices through their grazing areas.

      Like

  21. plaridel says:

    nobody’s perfect. hopefully, his father didn’t nail it this time.

    Like

  22. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    Ruminations on mortality from between a oak and a hard place? I love this story. So in the now, as it were, and a seemingly very short now as it stands. Well done.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Like

  23. wildbilbo says:

    Brake lights like a Mexican wave – great line. The unfortunately prophetic quote from the father was a very clever little twist there too :).
    Cheers
    KT

    Like

  24. draliman says:

    Ouch 😦 Hopefully the lorry has good brakes.
    Your first paragraph was particularly good, I almost felt I was there.

    Like

  25. Life and death can certainly bring us back to our roots with a bang no matter how much we think we’ve moved on. There are lots of sheep and mist here in Donegal too!

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks for visiting Siobhan. Yes I know about the sheep and mist. I once visited Ireland riding pillion on a huge motorbike. In the rainy season, if you can differentiate a rainy season. 🙂

      Like

  26. Yikes! Parents are always right, they seem to know everything!

    Lovely descriptions on such a dark tale. Great story 🙂

    Like

  27. This is one southern jessie who’s gonna avoid the M62 in future trips oop north!

    Like

  28. Jan Brown says:

    Loved your story. The description of fast, dangerous roadway is spot on. I have a love/hate relationship with the very scenic, but too drastically winding, Pacific Highway in California. Reminded me of that!

    Like

  29. afairymind says:

    Gorgeous descriptions in a brilliant story. I hope his father proves to be wrong on this one… 🙂

    Like

  30. Ohhh, too close to home this week. We had a Grandfather who was pulling his twin grandbabies (13 mths old) in a little wagon when a young lady in a van swerved, hit, and killed all three of them. This occurred right in front of where we live.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Oh that’s tragic. We’ve had several similar incidents here recently. One in Scotland where a grandfather, grandmother and grandchild were killed on a main shopping street by a runaway vehicle. Thanks for dropping by.

      Like

  31. I loved the way you wrote it, Sandra. Beautiful work!

    Like

  32. Sonya says:

    Here’s hoping his father’s wrong… I love the sheep, and the Mexican wave of brake lights – fantastic details.

    Like

  33. Glad I had my seatbelt on for that ride. I like it.

    Like

  34. Yet again, another intriguing story. I think the dad knows whereof he speaks.

    Like

  35. rgayer55 says:

    Oh, the terror of being in a little bitty car sandwiched between two giant trucks at 70 mph. That’s when my butt checks suck up the upholstery of the driver’s seat and anxiety ties my stomach into a ball of knots. Dad is always right, you know–that’s what I tell my son.

    Like

  36. AnnIsikArts says:

    I can smell your story, Sandra – coming from even farther north, it brought it back. Lovely use of language and you end on a cliffhanger; or maybe I should say, moorhanger. 🙂

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Ann, yes, moors do have a fragrance (some would say stench) of their own. I still remember the peaty, mossy tang when I used to walk up there. The fens don’t quite cut it in the same way, but they have an openness of their own. ‘ Wheeling skies’ is the way I would describe the area round where we live now.

      Like

  37. Shudder D: My Jeep got written off by a lorry several years ago. As my vehicle was dragged down the road to the sound of shrieking metal and tyres, I thought “this is it” with incredible calmness. The shock only sunk in afterwards, especially with my son and my dog having been with me at the time (although the dog slept through the whole thing). Miraculously, we got out of the Jeep in one piece, though its front was totally crumpled with smoke belching out in clouds from the engine. Your story certainly brought the whole thing back to me. As for fathers who are always right (or think they are), I’ve experienced that one, too.
    Well written, Sandra.

    Like

  38. Potent cliff hanger at the end. Is it his end?

    Like

  39. mjlstories says:

    The revenge of the North…
    This southern jessie enjoyed it, right down to those grimy sheep.
    Advertises the north much like Wuthering Heights – enter at your peril! The first sentence full of Bronte – like foreshadowing!

    Like

  40. Margaret says:

    Fantastic descriptions and wonderful change of pace and mood at the end. Wow.

    Like

  41. I always enjoy reading your stories. No matter the subject, your writing style is always so alive! Love the Scania truck reference, next up Leyland?

    Like

  42. Liz Young says:

    Sounds as if your drive ‘up north’ was a bit hairy!

    Like

  43. hafong says:

    I feel those headlights coming up behind me. Yikes! I better speed up. Vivid descriptions.

    Lily

    Like

  44. Nan Falkner says:

    Sandra, EXCELLENT! I have been hit from behind by a drunk driver and it was right before finals in college. Wow, I hurt in my neck! Love your story, it’s spot on perfect! Nan 🙂

    Like

  45. Ellespeth says:

    I like the image of the fog dipping and curling just off the roadway – sets a tone. Seems Will was cursed.
    Ellespeth

    Like

  46. great story. If he survived I think I’d heed his Father and never go to the Penines.

    Like

  47. Better late than never, Sandra– especially with your stories. Every week you deliver such creative and well done stories. This one was so vivid and chilling. That final moment jolted me.

    Again, sorry for being late… I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants for weeks… months perhaps!
    :-p

    Like

  48. hmsberlin says:

    beautiful shot

    Like

I'd love to hear your views; it reassures me I'm not talking to myself.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s