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.

“What?”

“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?”

“Indiana.”

“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.

“Yes.”

“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.”

“No.”

“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.”

“No.”

“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.”

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