This story was the joint winning entry for the WritingForums Literary Maneuvers challenge, Aug 2016. Prompt – Out of Time


by Sleepwriter

Steve jammed the car into gear and stomped on the accelerator. Adrenaline coursed through his veins as he passed car after car. His GPS, unaware of the time constraint he was under calmly called out the directions to their destination.

He goosed the gas as the upcoming traffic light turned from yellow to red. He flew through the intersection to a chorus of blaring horns. In the split second he took to glance in the rearview mirror, he missed the skateboarder darting out from between two parked cars.

Their eyes locked onto each other as they shared the terrifying moment. The smell of burnt rubber and screams filled the air. The teenager bounced off the hood of the car as it slid to a stop. The airbags deployed, rocketing Steve back into his seat and momentarily dazing him.

He got out of his car and looked around. The crumpled body of a boy lay on the ground about twenty feet in front of him. Steam rose from his engine; blood pooled around the kid. A group of people gathered, some called for help while others shot video with their phones.

“Hey man, you just hit that kid!”

Steve’s brain was in a fog. He just stood there by his car and watched as bystanders pulled off their shirts, using them as bandages to try and slow the boy’s wounds. Anger and insults aimed at Steve began rising from the crowd.

Strobing blue lights and ear-piercing sirens were quickly on the scene. The police pushed back the crowd and talked with witnesses as emergency crews tended to Steve and the youth. Steve had symptoms of a concussion, but was well enough to talk to the cops. The boy was carefully strapped to a back board and rushed to the hospital.

An officer wearing a dark blue uniform and more tactical gear than necessary for the situation walked over to Steve. He flipped open a note pad and clicked the button on his ballpoint pen.

“Steve, my name is Detective Runyon would you like to tell me what happened here?”

Steve looked at the cop and blinked his eyes. “It’s too late.”

“What’s late?”

“I didn’t make it.”

“Sir, you’re not making any sense.”

“The delivery…it’s too late.”

“What delivery? Where were you going?”

Before Steve could answer, another cop walked up holding something in his hand.

“We pulled this GPS from his car. It has an address programmed in it.”

The detective took it from the cop and showed the screen to Steve. “Who lives here?”

“I don’t know.”

“Send a car over and see if they know our buddy Steve here.” The cop nodded then left.

“Steve, I don’t have any good news for you. Right now, you’re being charged with failure to control a motor vehicle and speeding. Depending on what we find at that address you were headed to or if the kid doesn’t make it, you could be in some real serious trouble.”

Detective Runyon read him his rights as he cuffed him and put him in the back of a squad car.

“Do you understand everything I just said?”

Steve looked at the cop and blinked his eyes. “Yes.”

The detective shut the door and tapped on the roof of the car. “He’s all yours.” He watched the car drive away, feeling good about getting another bad driver off the road.

A couple hours later while sitting at his desk doing some paperwork, his phone rang.


“Yes, this is Officer Sawyer. I went to the address that was in the GPS.“

“And what’d you find?”

“The house belongs to a George Pezinski.”

“So does George know my perp?”

“No, but he was expecting a delivery.”

“Oh, from where?”

“He had placed an order from Zip’s Pizza, that place that guarantees delivery in thirty minutes or it’s free.”

“Yeah, I’ve never been that lucky.”


Read more winning challenge entries <here>

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