Joyride

Had anyone walked past the stadium that day, they would have seen in the grassy field a honkin’ green pickup truck in the throes of a death spasm. Over and over, the metal beast lurched forward a few inches before comically jerking and bucking to a stop with a pitiful dying cough.

In the driver’s seat, Olivia restrained her 15-year-old mouth from unleashing a string of expletives.  Her dad rubbed the back of his abused neck and calmly suggested she try again.  With a frustrated huff, she shoved the clunky gearshift into first gear and silently cursed the unfairness of it all.  Like it or not, she was stuck with these wheels until she graduated. Her choices were limited: learn to drive this 1974 Hunk of Junk or walk.

It was nearly twenty years later when Olivia stepped gracefully stepped out of the passenger’s side of her date’s sports car into the humid evening. When she turned she found him standing at the rear of his car, narrowing his blue-grey eyes at her before he said, “You know what would be even more great about you?  If you drove a stick.”

Olivia immediately broke into a mischievous grin and shot her hand out, palm up.  “Gimme the keys.”

Without even a moment’s hesitation, he smirked and tossed his keys to her.  “Big mouth. Let’s see it.”

With efficient ease she folded her lanky legs into the leather seat, flipped the headlights and popped the stickshift into reverse.  Leaning towards him she said seductively, “It’s been a while. Just warning you.”  He shifted nervously in the passenger’s seat and said a silent prayer for his baby.

Blowing her side-swept bangs out of her eyes, she carefully released the clutch and simultaneously pressed the gas pedal.  The powerful engine vroomed under her and her daddy’s voice was in her head saying, “You have to find the sweet spot with the clutch. That’s the key.”  Ahhh, there it was.  Once freed from the parking spot, Olivia pushed the clutch down and braked to a gentle stop.  Taking a deep breath, she shifted into first gear. Moment of truth. Releasing the clutch again, adjusting pressure on the gas for a more seamless transition…  easy…. easy…. and then the sleek car was zipping away effortlessly into the night.  Her date burst out in delighted laughter and rolled the windows down to let the night air caress their joyride.

Once Olivia returned his car to its original spot, she held out the keys with a satisfied grin as he approached her.  He didn’t take the keys, but wordlessly crushed her into his arms and ravished her still-smiling lips.  When they parted, she tilted her head up to meet his eyes quizzically.  He simply grinned down at her and said, “My GOD, that was sexy.”

As he tucked her neatly into the crook of his shoulder and they headed inside, Olivia looked skyward and sent thanks for the lessons learned from that honkin’ green truck.

_______________________________
read to be read at yeahwrite.me

This piece is being submitted into the Yeah Write Summer Writer’s Series.  What is Yeah Write?  It’s awesomesauce, that’s what it is.

Joyride

47 Responses

  1. Nice… the post and the moves. I remember my first (and only) lesson on a manual transmission. I thought my dad was going to die laughing. I did, however, drive that car for 8 years and am darn glad I can drive a stick.

    iasoupmama August 8, 2012 at 10:47 am #
    • My dad too! When he wasn’t at the chiropractor he was laughing his ass off at me!

      50peach August 9, 2012 at 9:04 am #
  2. I learned how to drive a stick lol, Ironically I still don’t have a license (it’s a phobia). I like how well this flowed and that the heroine wasn’t a damsel in distress!

    dalrie August 8, 2012 at 11:47 am #
    • Ooh, so glad it flowed well, thank you! Olivia doesn’t play damsel… ever. 😉

      50peach August 9, 2012 at 9:05 am #
  3. Love it! I’ve owned a stick but it’s been so many years; I’d be terrified if I had to do it now. Of course maybe if I were motivated by a hot date. . .Wonderful, fun story!

    raisingivy August 8, 2012 at 11:52 am #
    • Hot dates are key motivators! Glad you enjoyed.

      50peach August 9, 2012 at 9:05 am #
  4. Great post. Well told. But I always wonder why men find a woman driving a stick so sexy. Oh wait, I get it. :) Ellen

    sisterhoodofthesensiblemoms August 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm #
    • mmmmhhmmm. Silly boys.

      50peach August 9, 2012 at 9:06 am #
  5. Why do guys dig that so much? My husband was turned on too. I guess it’s phallic.

    Kimberly Pugliano (@GisSilent) August 8, 2012 at 4:27 pm #
    • Phallic, power, or is it “taboo” for a guy to find a strong, capable woman sexy?

      50peach August 9, 2012 at 9:08 am #
  6. What, that’s SEXY??!!! How did I NOT know that when I drove a stick my first 15 years of driving! Your descriptions really brought me back. Not sure when I’ll drive a stick again (kids and dog necessitate a big ol SUV) but I’m sure it’s like riding a bike. Is it still SEXY at 60? Loved it!

    Stacie @ Snaps and Bits August 8, 2012 at 4:46 pm #
    • Whew, glad the descriptions didn’t suck. There isn’t exactly a manual for descriptive writing about clutches and gearshifts. :)

      50peach August 9, 2012 at 9:09 am #
  7. My first car was a stick shift. I had no choice but to learn, but I am glad that I did.

    Kathy Kramer August 8, 2012 at 6:43 pm #
    • It’s useful! Just not in rush hour traffic….unless you want a really good left thigh workout.

      50peach August 9, 2012 at 9:10 am #
  8. So good. The picture, the sass, the sexual tension. I love it. Your descriptions were fun and vivid. Just how I think of you. Great post.

    outlawmama August 8, 2012 at 7:13 pm #
    • Awww. Heart you. *sniff*

      50peach August 9, 2012 at 9:10 am #
  9. Ah, I miss the stick shift, and its ability to impress men. My talent was foosball. Not nearly as sexy, I’m thinking.

    Cindy - The Reedster Speaks August 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm #
    • Hey baby, watch me smack your ball around the table…. ummm, yeah. No. Sorry, babe. #oof

      50peach August 9, 2012 at 9:12 am #
  10. Loved it! The details, pacing and sexual tension in this story really grabbed me. I drove stick for many years and thought I was a total bad ass. What a fun, compelling story!

    ateachablemom August 8, 2012 at 8:33 pm #
    • Thanks for that! I worked hard to make sure it flowed decently. The sexual tension didn’t require much effort. 😀

      50peach August 9, 2012 at 9:14 am #
  11. My first car was a 1972 Plymouth Valiant. Automatic. I could. Not. Pass. The. Driver’s. Test. In. It. My Mom finally loaned me her stick shift, because that was what I’d learned on. We own two automatics now, and it’s the first time in my life I haven’t had a stick. I miss driving stick.

    jesterqueen (@jesterqueen) August 8, 2012 at 9:59 pm #
  12. Ohhhhh man, that was hot! Nice post, you! I love driving a stick shift. I wish I still had one. It’s such a powerful feeling. And? Love that name you chose (Olivia is my girl’s name!)

    Melisa @ just begin from here August 8, 2012 at 10:57 pm #
    • Thanks, Melisa! Isn’t it badass? :) And Olivia… always loved the name. One more thing we share, my friend!!

      50peach August 9, 2012 at 9:18 am #
  13. Awesome post! You nailed the whole thing. Perfect descriptions, great story line, and I love how your star took control instead of playing the damsel in distress.
    I think that everyone should learn how to drive stick. It’s almost a necessity here with all of the snow we get, and it gives you so much control over the performance of the car.
    Of course all of my cars have been 5-6 speed, and all of my trucks too. Just not my van. 😉

    dberonilla August 8, 2012 at 11:20 pm #
    • Thanks so much, Dawn! Oh my, I’ve never driven a stick in snow. I imagine you have to REALLY know where that sweet spot is when you get going. Goodness no, no vroom vroom with the van! 😀

      50peach August 9, 2012 at 9:20 am #
  14. This brought back memories of the the 1983 Ford Bronco I learned to drive in. My dad had replaced the clutch at some point with a truck clutch. That “sweet spot” was so high… it took me a long time before I was comfortable with the clutch in a little car. Of course, it’s been years since we owned a stick… sigh. I miss it.

    Jane August 9, 2012 at 12:09 am #
    • I forgot to add that I impressed by the polish on this. Every word seems just right. It flows, nothing seems out of place.

      A Place of Greater Safety August 9, 2012 at 12:35 am #
      • Oh gosh. Wow, thank you, so so much. I felt a little down last week about my writing, but bounced back and came up with this piece. Hopefully I’m making progress. Feedback like this helps!

        50peach August 9, 2012 at 9:23 am #
  15. All I know about driving a stick is that there is a stick and there is a clutch. I liked the way you described her thought process of bringing back the memory from her father. Also, the transition from the past to the present was smooth. I enjoyed this.

    Michelle Longo August 9, 2012 at 7:48 am #
    • Michelle, thank you! I was unsure whether I had pulled that past/present transition off well. Glad you think I did! woohoo!

      50peach August 9, 2012 at 9:25 am #
  16. I LOVED this!

    Nate And O's Mom (@N8andOsMom) August 9, 2012 at 11:55 am #
  17. I love this. I learned to drive a stick in Mexico City, I don’t think I could do that anymore!

    Ellen Stumbo August 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm #
  18. Loved this! Makes me wish I’d learned to drive a stick so I could impress my hot date, ha! Well done.

    Cat Poland August 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm #
  19. Ooooh! Stick is sexy! I kinda sorta can drive stick. Hopefully that metaphor does not directly translate into, um, other areas of my life… ;-P

    Larks August 9, 2012 at 2:09 pm #
    • Ohhhh, naughty, naughty!

      50peach August 10, 2012 at 7:49 am #
  20. 50 shades territory, lady, fifty shades. And I love that photo — is it “the” truck, or just “a” truck?

    deborah l quinn August 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm #
    • Who me? :) No, the photo is not “the” truck, but it’s damn similar… right down to the chain that keeps the tailgate up.

      50peach August 10, 2012 at 7:50 am #
  21. This post was great fun. I enjoyed it immensely. I had a boyfriend try and teach me to drive a stick, but it never stuck. Ha.

    Mamarific August 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm #
    • … I see what you did there. 😀 Thanks!

      50peach August 10, 2012 at 7:50 am #
  22. Who knew that driving a stick was so sexy?!

    wcdameron August 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm #
  23. I had to learn to drive a stick with my dad, too. It wasn’t fun, but I appreciate knowing now!

    This was such a fun, well-written post. I loved both of the characters and I was swept right into their moment together.

    kianwi August 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm #
    • Yes, it is definitely a skill that comes in handy. Glad you enjoyed! Thanks so much!

      50peach August 10, 2012 at 7:56 am #
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