car racing, Daily Prompt, driving, events, humor, Stories, writing

Chequered Flag: He’s Dead Jim

Danny shouldn’t have been on the road, he shouldn’t have been driving, even at the slower than racing speeds of the national highways, but he was. Despite being offered a ride by Tracey, and despite telling Tracey he’d ring someone from work his anger and rage at not getting what he wanted had pushed him to drive himself to rehab and he was going to pay the ultimate price for it.

The truck had hit him with enough force to drive his two tonne vehicle up the concrete barrier, bounce it along the barrier and push it along the road until the brakes of the big truck managed to bring the everything to a halt.

Luck had been the only thing that had kept Danny’s ute from rolling over with the force of the truck. The airbag and the seat belt the only things saving Danny from being thrown around in the cabin too much and the skill of the truck driver and his quick responses the only thing stopping Danny be killed.

When he woke up in hospital several hours later Danny could remember the disagreement he’d had with Tracey before she left. He could remember suggesting he would ring Rick, but denied it. And he could remember driving himself to rehab, in fact he could remember everything up to when the tyre blew out. After that he remembered nothing other than looking out his broken window directly at the grille of the truck that had braked heavily but was unable to avoid him. Although he wasn’t unconscious at the time of the accident he could not recall anything between his vehicle pulling to the right and when the airbag deflated and he was able to turn his head and look out the window which was only moments before his vehicle finally came to a stop. Well at least that’s what he told the Police who were waiting to question him when the Emergency department doctors had finished with him.

The truth lay somewhere near but not quite along side what the Police were told and part of the reason for that was that Danny did not feel that the truth of what happened between the tyre blow out and the end needed to be public knowledge. There was going to be enough questioning of his motives and his abilities and the social media sites associated with the racing competition would be over run enough with social justice warriors giving their opinions. Blacking out and not remembering anything removed some of Danny’s fault and ability to make less of an accident. At least that was what he thought.

Another reason that Danny was happy to tell the Police that he blacked out rather than seeing every part of the accident was because it made no difference, not in a legal stance anyway. The accident was his fault, he would be charged on summons for reckless driving. He would also have demerit points added to his licence, be fined a figure in excess of a thousand dollars and more than likely be forced into some kind of short term driver education course where he knew more about driving than the instructor. He possibly wouldn’t have to appear in court unless he wanted to appeal any part of the Police decisions but with a fine he could afford and not actually losing his licence any reason for appeal was quickly negated by the adverse publicity he would cop in the process.

However the biggest reason Danny refused to give the entire story was because he was pissed off with the news that the Emergency Department doctors had given him. It was the kind of news that even if Danny was told could happen to him he’d have considered it such a long shot he could never have drawn enough short straws to have it happen to him.

During the accident where the side of Danny’s ute had been pushed in by the truck he’d been lucky that the deforming of the floor pan had some how been enough to stop the vehicle riding up the bullbar of the truck and flipping over. Even when the two tyres on the left hand side of the vehicle rolled off their rims and the alloy rims began to grind themselves flat on the bitumen road surface somehow the ute had not tipped over. But with the deforming of the floor pan it had crushed the driver’s compartment, pushing the ute in between the A pillar at the front of the door and the B pillar at the rear of the door.

The result was that Danny’s lower legs and feet were pinned into an area about half as big as it should have been along with the three pedals. It was one of those three pedals, the clutch pedal to be precise, that caused him all the trouble. With the limited space in the crushed foot well the pedal had been forced into Danny’s left ankle, snapping it in four places instantly and pinning it there until the Emergency services personal were able to cut him free at the scene.

By the time that had happened Danny was out of it and knew none of what was going on. When he woke up in the Emergency Department with his foot set and dosed up on pain killers he could not come up with a logical reason for the large chunk of plaster on his foot. But with the plaster stopping before his knee he at least figured there was no further damage to his already repairing knee. However when the doctor told him what had happened below the per-existing injury Danny went straight into denial. It mattered not what the doctor said, it mattered not what Tracey said, or how she tried to calm him. All Danny knew was that there was no way in the world that what he was being told was the truth.

Had Danny been not been told that his crushed ankle would see the end of his racing career he might have been a different person in the Emergency Department. Had he not been told that there was no way even modern medicine could repair the damage enough to give him anything more then the strength to support himself for the rest of his life, maybe he’d not have lied to police and been so blunt with them.

But the one thing he could not get past was that everything that had happened on that particular day was his fault and his fault alone. Sure he could try to blame others for their involvement, and over time he would, but in his own mind even he knew that the decision to drive was his and his alone. And that was a decision he’d have to live with for the rest of his life.

The End


  1. You intentionally just wanted to piss me off ending it right there. Oh bugger!

    • Thank you, I appreciate your kind words.

      Your complimentary comments help make me a better writer.


      • I’m thrilled I could help.

        • Are you really, or are you just saying that?

          • Of course I’m just saying that, I know my comments weren’t helpful, but it felt better to express myself. Grrr …

            • I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you’re getting at. I don’t have a problem with your words. I don’t see your comments as unhelpful. And I don’t have a problem with you expressing yourself.

              I’ve always suggested I’d rather honest words and comments telling me I’m wrong, did something wrong, or don’t know what I am talking about. I know not everything I write can please everyone and don’t have a problem with criticism if delivered with reason. I might make a joke of it, sometimes I don’t understand it, and sometimes I just try to make conversation out of it but it doesn’t mean I discourage it.

              Even if you wanted to suggest that your words were some how unhelpful take into consideration that I finished that story more than 6 months ago. What you wrote in comments didn’t effect Whathisname. I got sick of him a long time ago, long before I even decided to end it. It was a bit of a shitty ending but I was annoyed with where he’d got to and I did want him to pay for his mistakes, death would have been easy, making him live with it for his life was…well it was still easy but not as easy.

  2. It’s frustrating that you’re the rational one in this conversation.
    I will work on an equally thoughtful and helpful reply to your last comment soon, but not tonight.
    You are a good writer, I was just disappointed.

    • I knew you’d be disappointed, you’ve always liked the character more than I did (I can’t even remember his name most of the time) but that doesn’t mean I’m not thankful for your thoughts or in anyway think less of you for them.

      • Hey mate.
        There is no motivation for me to comment when you have already written the story. You say that it helps with other stories, but I don’t care about other stories. I care about what is happening with the characters now… in this story.
        I don’t enjoy critiquing writers because I can’t even write a freakin’ 2nd chapter. Who am I to judge other people’s art. This is your story, and you get to write it the way you want.

        You had warned me that the perfect knight was not going to be perfect and I watched you slowly eroded his character. I am not talking about the challenging situations you put him into; because it get it … life it hard. But first you wrote him lying, then he lost his manners with the woman in the parking lot, etc…

        I have heard you talk about not particularly liking HEA endings. But that is what motivates people to survive the struggles in life. The hope that in the end we make it through. We are stronger having gone through the fire sh**. Without the HEA ending, life sucks and then you die. Who wants to read that? Not me.
        I’m doubtful your still thankful for my thoughts, but you’re a good mate, and you’re a hell of a good writer -when you’re not waffling. Hugs mate.
        I get it … moving on …

        • I’m still thankful for any comments and thoughts but I’m still always open to fun and silliness. I don’t take things too seriously. I don’t get upset because people think something of mine isn’t perfect in their eyes and I don’t get upset because they express a view.

          I can’t write 5 stories a week as they are published and there is a good chance even if I did I wouldn’t change things based on comments because that to me is unfair to other people who might be reading it.

          I’m not going to go into what you did or didn’t see in Danny other than to say that the changes in his character that you’ve mentioned over time have been there from the start of the story.

          Am I sorry you didn’t like it, well yeah partly, but at the same time I’m not sorry I wrote what I did. There is nothing wrong with wanting HEA’s all the time but there is also nothing wrong with not having one. Danny risked becoming a boring stagnate character that did nothing. After two races his race life was boring. His personal life was not overly exciting either and sure I could have made him dump his wife because she wasn’t perfect, but he’d have just taken his own imperfections into another relationship. However having the two flawed characters try to reconcile was a challenge and a challenge that real people deal with rather than just walking away.
          Again I’m sorry you took things they way you did but the challenges I gave myself in this story were achieved and as the end approached I was more excited about a new story idea than I was about Danny an Tracey living happily ever after.

  3. Btw …. his name was Danny.

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