Second Chances

 

Portal ND

The engine had picked up a mewling sound in Minot. Or maybe it had always sounded that way and it was only the vast, featureless flat that made him hear it.

The Trans Canada route was killing him. Maybe after Saskatoon he’d look into a Pacific job. He hadn’t worked those lush and winding roads since he was a young man. Which made him think of Sheila. And the baby, who wouldn’t be a baby anymore. Kid’d be what, fifteen? Sixteen? With a biting guilt, he realized he couldn’t remember the last time he’d tucked a twenty into a truck stop birthday card for the kid. He’d blown it—along with every single chance at love and fatherhood.

Then, that sound again. This time, he took the exit, rolled to a stop, and swung the hood back.

The source of the sound came at him: angry, furry, needing, desperate:

“Meow.”

150 words.

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

20 Comments

  1. Sounds like a real second chance to me! Great visuals.

  2. So much atmospherics in this story. I detect a second chance in the offing.

    1. Indeed! Thanks for reading Neel!

  3. a truck stop birthday card ~ this explains so much and not enough. I love it.
    And I love the idea of a cat, perhaps bringing solace? (Besides the fact I totally love cats.) Well done.

    1. Thanks Alicia. My cat provided the inspiration on this one 😉

  4. peterkirsch

    Awww…poor thing. Minot to Saskatoon? That’s a long, terrifying trip.

    Fantastic character development in a very few words.

    I’m anxious to learn which one of these masterful creations is going to spur your next story.

    1. Haha, next one? I’m still sifting through the train wreck of the last one.

      Have you been up by Minot or Saskatoon?

      Thanks for reading and thanks for your kind words.

  5. So many of life’s opportunities missed, so much passed by. Wonderfully written, Karen. A reall feeling of losss and regret throughout

    1. Thanks Lynn, so glad you liked it!

      1. My pleasure. It was a great tale Karen 🙂

  6. Dear Karen,

    I’m grateful to your cat for the inspiration. So much emotion and backstory tucked between the lines. Wonderfully written.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    1. Thanks Rochelle, my cat says thanks too 😉

  7. At least it wasn’t a badger or a rattlesnake.

    1. Yikes, that would get ugly! Thanks for reading and for the humorous and frightening visual 🙂

  8. I enjoyed this story with so many layers of history, regrets and the ending was so sweet with a feeling of hope. Beautifully written.

    1. Thank you so much!

  9. The source of the sound came at him: angry, furry, needing, desperate…

    And lucky to be alive.

    1. No kidding! Thanks for reading, James.

  10. Ah company at last – loved the way how you brought out the hope in a hopeless situation. Awesome!

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