Tuesday, October 26, 2010

THE RED TRUCK

It was not the most pleasant junk yard in the area.  It was mostly made of mud where the old cars and trucks were not piled upon each other.  The rusting vehicles would groan and creak when ever it rained or a strong breeze would filter through.  Piled on top of each other were old Fords, Chevys, Dodges even an old Rambler or two could be found with in the piles and piles of rust.

Off in the northwest corner of this tremendous junkyard sat an old red truck. It had been protected from other piles of rust for many years so it sat with no burden upon it's back.  It was a moderate sized Chevy from the late nineteen seventies.  You could tell it had been red because rust had not gotten to all parts of it yet.  The bench seat that was loosely sitting within it was dark red plastic.  It had been scavenged over the years so was missing many of it critical organs that use to make it work its way down the old country roads of southern Missouri.

It had been a beautiful proud truck that took on every task that its owners assigned to it.  It had been stuck in the mud four times, stuck in snow a modest six times.  It had originally been purchased by an old farmer who was humble and a hard worker.  He had expected the same hard work from his new truck.  He would load the bed of it with rock or dirt and haul it to various parts of the farm.  In the fall the trucks main duty was to carry hay bales from the fields to the troughs where the cows ate and the rest of the hay way off into the barn.

The farmer took very good care of the truck because he loved it.  He did more than the required maintenance on it and washed it at least once a week.  Even though he had a nice sedan sitting up next to his house, he always took the truck when taking his wife into town for dinner or shopping.  This was a special truck to the farmer and he had imagined it would be with him until the day he died.

That wasn't to be though.  The truck developed a problem that would not stop it from moving along, but did lessen its ability to haul large amounts of weight.  When the farmer would load it up with dirt, the truck would struggle to pick up speed or make it over the rough terrain of the fields of the farm.  The farmer had owned the truck for ten years at this point and decided it was time for a new one so he put an old for sale sign in the window of the truck with his phone number on it and continued to drive it into town on Saturday nights.

One day a young man, a boy actually, came to talk to the farmer about the truck.  The boy was just looking for some transportation and the truck seemed to fit his budget as well as his need.  The farmer made the deal with the young man and arranged for it to picked up the next weekend.  He spent a lot of time with the truck the rest of that week, washing it, doing still more maintenance on it wanting to know that when the truck left the farm, it was in as good of shape as it could be.  A new life for the truck was about to happen, a liife the truck had never known before.

It was about ten o'clock Saturday morning when the boy showed up to take the red truck home with him.  As the keys were passed from one generation to another the farmer found himself fighting back a tear or two.  The boy promised the farmer to take good care of the red truck and drove down the dirt driveway and off the farm in a slow and gentle manner.  It would be the last time the truck was driven with such care.

As soon as the boy and the truck hit the two lane highway, the boy decided it was time to see how fast the truck would go and so he pressed as hard as he could on the pedal.  The two lane was hilly with a lot of curves and trees on either side.  He quickly sped over to his girlfriends house to take he for he initial ride in the red truck.  When he arrived at her house, he pulled into the gravel driveway and hots the brakes as hard as he could causing the red truck to skid to a stop and put little gravel pits on its fenders. He jumped out and slammed the door hard.  The red truck was missing the farm already and as it sat waiting for the boy to return, there were visions of sunny lazy days on the farm with the gentle farmer driving slowly across the fields to save the suspension on the red truck.

They boy eventually came out of the house with his girlfriend in tow.  They jumped in and she slid over to the middle of the seat to sit next to him as he started the red trucks motor up and raced the engine.  As he entered onto the highway once again, he pushed the pedal as hard as he could go.  The wheels were squealing in pain every time they went around a sharp curve in the road.  The truck was traveling so fast that at the top of hills, the tires would leave the ground momentarily before landing roughly back on the highway.  The boy and girl seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely as they cam upon a logging truck on the highway threatening to slow them down.

It was on a curve when the boy finally lost patience with the crawling logging truck and pressed hard on the pedal making the red truck jump and then increase its speed once again.  The last thing the boy and the girl and the red truck saw was another logging truck coming at them around the curve.  The impact was fast and hard.  The girl flew out of the seat and through the windshield, he body smashing against the logging truck hood before continuing on through the windshield of the larger truck.  The steering wheel of the red truck and collapsed into the body of the boy holding him inside.  As the logging truck continued to push the red truck in the opposite direction it had been going, the steering wheel began to dig deep into his body eventually coming close to slicing the boy in half.

Suddenly it was quiet.  Both the logging truck and the red truck sat still among all the twisted metal.  The drivers of the two logging trucks were hoping that the two kids who had been driving so crazily could somehow be okay, but it was a wish that had no possibility of coming true.  Both the boy and the girl were dead with their bodies and faces so ripped apart they hardly looked human any more.

By nightfall the little red truck was towed to the junk yard and placed in the corner, a memorial of sorts to the kids that had so much fun in the red truck on the last day of their lives.

So here the red truck sits still today.  Silently bearing witness to two lives that tore it to pieces after being taken such good care of by the old farmer.  The old farmer comes by about once a month to look over the at the truck and he cries.  He cries for the two lives that he had put into that truck and he cries for the red truck, which will never move again.

1 comment:

  1. Ok....you have such a command of the language and insight into the humanity you create in your writing.

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