Wednesday, 28 November 2012

NaNoWriMo Teaser: Oncoming Traffic

So it's the final NaNoWriMo week...and here's your last unedited snippet:

Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (please do not use without permission)

Once on the main road, Meg stared out of the window at the river running alongside, the sunshine glinting and sparkling across its surface, and Meg thought how inviting it looked. The she heard sniffles, just a little one then another. She squinted at Mum as the sun gleamed across the windscreen, and Mum choked back a sob. Meg wanted to say something, but nothing made it out of her throat. 
“I don’t know why I bother!” wept Mum, “What’s the point, everything always goes wrong…”
Meg sat, her skin prickling and her fingers clenching. 
“There really is no point. Did you know that Meg, there’s no point, no point to anything…”    
“Mum…” squeaked Meg.
“Just know that now, before life decides to rip you apart with its dreams and promises. Know that nothing’s worth it!”
Meg’s eyes welled up too.
Mum turned her head to look at her daughter. “Meg, don’t cry, that’s not worth it either. Crying doesn’t do a damn thing!” 
Tears began to slip down Meg’s face as she sat in silence.
Mum continued, as a car horn blared behind her. “Don’t cry, there’s nothing we can do, not a damn thing!” Mum released the steering wheel and Meg’s eyes widened. She cried out. “Mum!” 
Mum’s hands were back on the wheel but she was staring rigidly at the road. Not at the road, thought Meg suddenly as she stared out of the windscreen, but at a lorry heading down the opposite side of the road. Her mum was staring at the lorry. Her mum was staring at the lorry! 
“Mum!” Meg screamed, “Mum!”
The car began to veer across the double white lines, and Meg’s cries got desperate. “Mum, stop, Mum, stop!” Meg began to wail as they veered into the lorry’s lane. Meg grabbed at the wheel but Mum’s hands were too firm. Meg closed her eyes, her heart about to break through her chest and just as suddenly, the car swerved back onto the right side on the road, the lorry’s horn screaming as it passed. 
Meg’s legs were jelly, her hands sweaty and shaking and she wanted to get out of the car. “Mum, stop the car, stop the car!”
Her mum, slowed the car down, but kept driving, a car horn sounded behind them and Meg begged her mum to stop again. Finally, as they approached a lay-by her mum slowed and pulled over. The car stopped and Meg scrambled out, slamming the door behind her and running to the hedge. She thought she was going to be sick, her head thumped, her stomach swam and her heart broke.


  1. Okay, had to go get a cup of hot chocolate to steady myself after reading this. Wonderful scene, Lisa. Really great writing. I was so scared and shocked that I forgot to breathe as I was reading. xoxo

  2. I'm the same as Ruth, stopped breathing and my heart was in my mouth - way to go building the tension. Amazing writing :)

  3. Is it over? *peeks out from between fingers* whew! What a scary scene. Poor Meg!!

    Oh, you wicked writer, you had us all clutching steering wheels at our desks! Brilliantly done!! Loved it.

  4. I'm the same as everyone else, I was holding my breath the whole time. That was so intense! Wow, great writing!

  5. Oh Jesus, absolutely edge of the seat stuff. So intense, so heart stopping - I was absolutely with Meg in this and you capture her age so perfectly. I've been really blown away by the snippets you've shared - your writing is really powerful.

  6. Thank you for your wonderful comments everybody! Your encouragement this month has been phenomenal and much needed!
    It's been an adrenalin filled month and Meg's story is coming to a close, when I get back to writing (having a few days off to celebrate finishing NaNo...)

  7. So tense and terrifying! Fantastic scene. Congratulations on completing NaNoWriMo!! I'm so impressed with all of you finishers! :) :)

  8. It was as if I was in Friday's rush hour peak along the most dangerous roads here in my neck of the woods! Very detailed oriented and you made me concerned for the characters. Great job! I will definitely look forward to your next story. =-)