I used to work as a long-distance transport driver. Although low-paying and tiring, I loved the freedom that the job entailed. I was given the opportunity to travel to many parts of the country that I had not been to before. I’d met dozens of drivers just like me, and have exchanged numerous thrilling and hilarious stories with each other.
Throughout my years of driving, I’d encountered some rather dangerous occurrences. There was the time where I was chased by a group of motorcycle gang riders who’d threatened to run me run off the road. And there was the time I was almost attacked in a rest-stop toilet. And then who could forget the time where some crazy drug junkie decided to break into my truck in the middle of the night and drive away, while I was sleeping in the back of the very same truck. That was something insane.
But these incidents do not even come close to my most dangerous driving encounter. I’d escaped from my most dangerous encounter by the skin of my teeth, and it was this sole incident that changed the entire course of my driving career. And here’s what happened.
This particular driving assignment started off just like any other. I was assigned to cargo which I had to drive all the way to a small city about 20 hours away. Easy peasy. I made the trip, dropped off the goods, and headed back.
About 10 hours into my return trip, I was getting knackered and hungry, and decided to call it a day. Besides, it was getting dark, and I generally prefer to travel in daylight. I turned off the main highway, and headed down a smaller road which I’d recalled seeing a motel and diner by its side. I pulled up into the parking lot of the motel, checked in with my supervisor, and got out of the truck. This being a rather quiet highway, there wasn’t much traffic. Besides my truck, there were only a couple of other vehicles parked around.
I made my way to the motel – although calling it a motel may be a bit of a long shot. The motel was little more than a small, rickety building, with faded paint peeling off its sides. A cracked neon sign with the words “MOTEL – VACANCY” blinked at its entrance. I peered through the dusty window of the main door. The front desk seemed to be empty, and the lights inside were switched off. I was getting an odd feeling about the motel.
I tugged at the door. It was locked.
“Great,” I swore, kicking my thumping my fists on the door in frustration. It was late at night and I desperately wanted a bed to sleep on. At that point in time, it seemed that my only alternative was to sleep at the back of my truck – again. I certainly did not relish that idea, and decided to head over to the diner in hopes of finding someone to help with my lodging situation.
Compared to the motel, the diner seemed to be much better furnished than the motel. Spotlights from the ground lit up the exterior of the diner, the window panes were wiped clean, and the walls seemed to be painted within this century. It looked adequate.
I pushed open the door and the fragrance of freshly brewed coffee wafted into my nostrils. It was intoxicating. Besides myself, there were only two other customers in the small diner – both sitting at opposite sides, and minding their own businesses. A waitress emerged from the kitchen behind and nodded at me. Her name tag told me that her name was Katie.
“Hey there, handsome,” she smiled. “Could I get you anything?”
“Sure, could I get a Sprite, please?” I replied, settling myself into a booth at the side of the diner.
“Right away.” Katie winked playfully and disappeared back into the kitchen.
I drummed my fingers patiently on the table top as I surveyed around. Beside my table sat an elderly man, his face well hidden behind a piece of open newspaper. Oddly enough, it seemed like he had ordered nothing, and the only thing that sat on his table was a thermos flask.
Katie sauntered up to my table and set down a cup of Sprite. Once again, she wore a friendly and warm smile on her face. Unlike the other waitresses I had met in most other diners, she seemed much friendlier and eager to serve. I decided to approach her to enquire about a room in the motel. I raised up my glass and made to drink the Sprite, when a low hiss from my side caught my attention. I paused, the cup inches away from my lips as I turned towards the sound.
It was the elderly man. He’d lowered the newspaper and I could now see his face. His gaze was fixed intently on me, and his mouth was set in a firm, straight line.
It’s Sunday again so here I am with List #14 covering Captain Swan fics written or updated last week, 9/3-9/9. If I missed something you’d like added let me know! Happy reading! Don’t forget to show your writers and artists some love with a like, reblog and/or comment! ❤️