Random song title challenge: Road Tripping

This weeks challenge: Pick random song. Write story with random song as title.

This is my contribution, hurtled into cyberspace in a hurry because I am off to work in a few minutes. Yeah! Made it before the time limit. (Please excuse any spelling mistakes and other weird mistakes I’ve made. Haven’t got the time to be so anal about it as I usually am=

My song was Road Trip by Runrig.

Road Trip

By Trine Toft Schmidt

“So can I take it out for a test drive?” Mum smiles a dazzling smile at the pot-bellied forty-something man and gives the shiny red convertible another lingering look.

Danica leans back against her Ford Escape and feel sorry for the guy. She’s watched her mother work her smiles since she was a kid and know this guy doesn’t stand a chance.

“Sure, I’ll take you round the block.”

Mum’s smile dips with a dash of disappointment.

“Oh, I was hoping… You see, my grandson turns 16 in a couple of days, but my daughter is a…” an eye roll is applied “…hen-mothering control freak. Do you think we could take it out for a spin on our own? I promise we will be right back.”

“Oh I don’t know.” The man shoots Danica a look. Bites his lip.

“How about this? You hold on to the keys to her…” Flick of head toward Danica. “…dull-mobile, while we give your little tiger a spin.” She ramps up the smile up to flirtatious.

“Oh, why not? You look like nice enough ladies.” He fishes a set of keys out his pocket.


The wind is playing havoc on Danica’s hair and she is freezing. The her arms are so dimpled with goosebumps it almost hurts.

Mum is clearly enjoying herself though, she’s tied a scarf around her hair and is grinning, singing along to the radio and waving, like some Hollywood starlet, at passing cars. A trucker leers down at them from above and honks his horn. Danica looks away, but mum waggles her fingers at him and floors the accelerator.

“Jeez mum. You’re fifty nine, not twenty nine!”

“Don’t talk about my age honey.” Mum turns up the music, probably to drown out further insults, and starts sabotaging Money For Nothing.

“Can’t we turn back? We’re going away for the weekend and I want to be home when Caleb comes home.”

Mum makes a sound in the back of her throat.


“Nothing. Relax, I told you, I’ll drive down to the Plains City exit then turn back. Thirty minutes tops.”

Danica sighs. Leans back against the seat and watches the road.

“So what do you think?”

“About what?”

“The car. Isn’t she amazing?” Mum strokes the leather of the steering wheel.

“No. It’s uncomfortable, too small. Where are you going to keep your groceries and stuff?”

“A convertible isn’t about comfort or groceries. It’s about fun and love and sex and freedom!” Mum presses the accelerator again and the car vibrates underneath Danica. It’s slightly nauseating.

“I like my Ford Explorer just fine. It’s solid and steady and it takes me where I want without any fuss.”

“Sometimes it’s hard to believe you are actually my daughter Danica. You need to live a little, since you met Caleb you’ve been so… static.”

“I am not even going to dignify that with an answer.” Barbs about her husband is par for the course when she spends time with mum.

A sign saying something about Plains City and exit 79 zips by on the right and Danica closes her eyes and waits for the turn around. Does up a list of things to pack, reminds herself to pick up a couple of bottles of wine for dinner. Imagines snuggling up in front of the fireplace and having slow passionate sex under the star-filled skylight.


She wakes up, stiff and uncomfortable, when a truck honks its horn right next to her.

“I guess I nodded off.” She sits up straight. “It feels like I’ve been in this seat for hours, my ass is killing me.”

Mum doesn’t say anything, just sends her a strange smile, one she doesn’t recognize, a stiff widening of lips until they snap back into a determined half-scowl. Danica blinks and takes a deep breath.

“So, are you going to buy it?” Danica runs her hand down the seat, twirl her finger in one of the cup holders. Mum just shrug.

A green sign heralding exit 123 flies by.

Danica blink. Shakes her head and turns around in the seat in the foolish quest to re-read the sign.

“Did that sign just say New Castle? Where the hell is New Castle?”


“What? Indiana? Why the hell are we in Indiana? You were supposed to turn around at Plains City?”

“I decided not to.”

“But…” Danica snaps her mouth shut, looks at the dashboard clock. “You gotta turn around. Caleb’s could be home already.”

“No. We’re going on a road trip.”

“You are what?”

“Road trip, honey. You know the concept right? We are going to Las Vegas.”

“You’ve decided to go on a road trip, in a car… Wait. You stole the car. That’s why you told the whole my grandson’s going to be 16 lie, so you could steal the car?”

A faint hint of color touch mum’s cheeks, but she nods.


“Are you out of your mind? You put up my car as security so you could steal this junk-bucket? This is crazy. Pull over. I want to get out.”


“What do you mean, no? That guy’s probably already called the cops. We’ll be in jail before the sun sets. I don’t want to be a part of this.”

“You already are.”

“No, I am not. I am calling Caleb.”

She pulls out her phone, and starts to punch in Caleb’s number. Marleen reaches over and wrenches the phone out of her hands.

“No calls.”

“Stop playing around, give me back my phone.”


“But Caleb’s at home, he must be worried sick.”

“Pah! Of course he isn’t.”

“What do you mean? If he’s not home, then he will be soon. We are going to…”

“To the cabin. Yes. I heard. I don’t understand why you keep believing him. How many times haven’t he promised you he’ll make time and then you end up disappointed?”

“That’s not true, mum give me the phone. I have to call him.”

“No, you don’t.”

Danica eyes the phone, eyes the road. Tries to calculate the risk of grabbing it. Decides against it. She cross her arms over her breasts.

“This is kidnapping. You are kidnapping me.”

“Yes. You might say that.” Mum looks down at the phone in her left hand, then looks to Danica. She flicks her wrist and the phone sails over the door and is gone. She finally looks at Danica. Send her the I-know-best smile.

“It is for your own good honey.”


Twisted Love, a challenge.

Chuck Wendig’s challenge for this… ahem… last… week, was to write a story about twisted love.

My story has two different sets of twisted love, and I had a blast writing it, but it was also seriously difficult, because I tried to write a light-hearted story that insisted on being dark and not very funny at all. I hope the result is still readable.

The word count is 1588. And some of those words are not of the pretty kind, so consider yourself warmed.

Conjugal Love

By Trine Toft Schmidt

Abby can’t get his eyes off the monitors. His heart is tearing apart in tiny icicle splinters.

She’s disappearing out of the left edge of the monitor and he clicks a button, flip the view to another angle, and she is there again, walking three steps behind George. From Abby’s birds-eye view he watch her stop at room 4 while George fiddles with a key.

George open the door and steps inside, but she hesitate. Runs her hands through her hair, finger-combs it over her right shoulder. Smooths down the front of her shirt.

Abby glances at another monitor that overlooks the bleak room 4, with its dingy sofa set and the small bolted-to-the-floor table in the middle.

George is standing at the bottom of the frame and in the middle, already sitting at the table, the psychopathic creep, that is the cause of Abby’s heartbreak, is watching the door with a hollow eyes.

On the hallway monitor Abby’s love puts on a smile, and moves into the lions den. Another shard of ice separate itself from his diminishing heart.

When George steps out of the room and lock the door Abby flips the view so both monitors show room 4.

She has stopped just inside the door, her back to the camera, looking at the crazy psychopath she calls her husband. None of them move.

Then, suddenly, they snap into action. The creep jumps out of his chair and move toward her and she, she opens up her arms for him and they collide in an crushing embrace. Abby’s heart implodes, raining down fragments of ice onto his lungs.

George step back into the office and Abby takes a deep breath. He doesn’t look away from the monitor, doesn’t even blink. If he looks away he is sure it will all spin out of control and she will die.

“What’re you doing?” There’s a creek from George’s chair when he drops himself into it, as if gravity is no longer not strong enough to hold up his ass. Abby doesn’t want to speak, but if he doesn’t, George might start to wonder if Abby’s a little weird. And a little wondering can quickly turn into a lot, and then there’ll be talks in the office and union reps and relocations. Abby needs to stay here, where he can watch over her and keep her safe.

“Just needed to stand a little. That chair seriously needs a replacement.” He flicks his head back, indicating his own chair, foam layer compacted into a half inch slap of rock by a decade’s worth of fat asses.

“Oh.” George sounds bored, uncaring of Abby’s lumbar area.

On the monitor the creep’s long thin arms are like snakes, wrapping themselves around her, as he’s caught his prey, but she is leaning into them as if she doesn’t mind the slither of his arms. It makes Abby’s legs crawl with tiny invisible fire-ants.

“So, do you have any great plans for tonight?” There isn’t room in Abby for  conversation, it’s all he can do to focus on the monitor and try to maintain a look of sanity, while anger, disgust and fear roil inside of him. He puts his hands into his pockets so he can form them into white knuckled fists unseen. He force himself to answer.

“No. Why would I?”

“It’s Valentine’s Day. You can’t possibly not have noticed?”

A psychopathic killer is enjoying the prospects of having a little Valentine’s Day conjugal love with Abby’s dream girl. How could he not have noticed?

Abby shrug.

“So you don’t have a date?”

“No. I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day.”

“Mnnnn. I’ve got tickets for a show and a reservation at LeCuisin, me and the missus is…” George drones on and Abby tunes him out.

On the monitor the hug has morphed into a hungry kiss. The creep has lowered his mouth over her’s, like he’s going to twist his jaws apart and pull her in, inch by inch, until she’s gone.

She has one hand under the orange fabric of his shirt and the other one is toying with the waistband of his jeans. Abby stumbles backwards into his chair, unable to stand any longer.

“How do you think he won the Valentine’s Day Conjugal Lottery? George kicks his chair closer to Abby.

Abby’s legs starts jack-hammering their way through the linoleum.

Tap tap tap taptaptaptaptapapapapapapapap

“I don’t know.” He says through his clenched jaw.

On the monitor the kiss is frantic now. Hands are flying everywhere, squeezing and pinching. Stroking. The creep is pulling her backwards, toward the sofa, his hands on her ass.

Abby’s fingers itch to wrap themselves around something. Someone. He want to carve off the creep’s lips with a butter knife. Burn his fingertips off with a thousand matches. Excise every part of her from him.

The hate is filling his hollow body with pumice and magma and sulfur. His vision blurs and the pressure builds inside, the eruption gathering under his skin.

“Abby? Are you alright?” George asks.

He’s undressing her now, tearing at the buttons of her shirt, and Abby can’t hold it inside any longer.

“No. He’s going to kill her.”

There’s a pause.

“Who is going to kill who?” George sounds the wrong kind of alarmed.

“Him!” Abby stabs a finger at the monitor. “He’s going to kill her. I know it.”

“Abby, what the hell are you on about?”

“ARE YOU COMPLETELY BLIND? Look at him. He’s going to strangle her, like he did his mother.”

“Abby, calm down. He isn’t doing anything. They are just…”

“I DON’T WANT TO KNOW! Listen to me. I worked D-section. I’ve heard him talk about killing, how much he enjoys it, how he enjoys the women who throw themselves at him, like he’s some sort of Psycho-killer-rockstar. He killed his own fucking mother, chopped up his girlfriend with an axe. He’s going to do the same to that girl.” Abby’s out of his seat, his knuckles white around the rim of the monitor. “He’s going to kill her too.”

“Abby, calm down, now. Or I am going to have to go get help. Nothing is happening. He’s not tou…”


George pulls on Abby’s arm, tries to turn him away from the monitors.

“Abby. Calm down. You know how this goes. I’ll have to report this. It’ll go on your record. You’ll loos…”

“TO HELL WITH MY RECORD.” Abby jerks his arm free and suddenly he’s running down the corridor, his hand fumbling with the gun in the holster on his hip. George is calling after him, but Abby can’t hear what he is saying. The only thing he can hear is his heartbeat thundering in his ears and the air that explodes out of him with every straggled breath.

He manages to slip his gun from the holster and he wraps his hand around the cold reliable steel of the grip, while an ear piercing howl start up above him. George has hit the alarm, is probably watching him on the monitors, seeing the gun in his hand. Abby knows he’s going to die. He doesn’t care, he will gladly die, if he can just save her from her husband.

He reaches the door and fumbles with his keys and somehow manages to extricate the right one from the bundle with his shaking hand. The lock has barely clicked, when he aims a kick at the handle and the door slams open. He raises his gun and aim it toward the sofa.

It is empty.

Abby stops dead, his gun shaking in front of him.

“What the fuck are you doing?” A voice says to his right and Abby spins around. He knows that voice.

The world split apart, like a cell dividing, become frames that merge on top of each other. Abby blinks and fights to regain focus.

She’s lying on her stomach across the table and he is fucking her hard from behind, crushing her head against the table. She’s crying and moaning in pain.

Abby blinks again and another frame slides into focus.

They are sitting on either side of the table, hands stretched toward each other, not quite touching. She’s turned in her chair, looking at Abby. Her eyes are dark with fear, locked on the gun he has aimed right at her head.

He blinks a third time and the view shifts again. She’s on her back across the table, naked from the waist down and the creep is thrusting in and out of her, his hands wrapped around her neck. Her eyes are opaque and dead.

Abby shakes his head and tries to make sense of it all, but sounds are assaulting him from all sides, George screaming at him from the door, the alarm howling and someone, a woman, somewhere, is screaming. It is all too much. The magma chamber blows.

He pulls the trigger, feels the recoil in his shaking arms, hears the loud crack and then another, louder, crack.

He is flying sideways, crashing into the sofa, sliding down until he’s on the floor. The pain is a bear ripping into his shoulder with three inch claws. Sounds disappear, light fades.

The last thing he sees before he close his eyes, is her. She’s on the floor, lying on her side, her back turned toward him, an ugly blossom of scarlet red spreading all over her white silk shirt.