Writing prompt: Trip


Whoops, it’s been a while since my last post. NanoWrimo was a slight success. It got me writing more than I would have, at least, which was the whole point. Since November, not so much writing got done with all the holiday distractions, but I’m getting back to business!

Here’s a piece I wrote for my writing group. The theme prompt was “Trip.”

I remember the door opening and pouring light from the hallway on my face. He would gently put his hand on my shoulder and with the sweet smell of beer on his breath, whisper, “Wanna go for a ride?”

I never said no to my dad. I would wake my sister in the bed next to mine and in pajamas, slippers and a coat, we’d sleepily shuffle into his beat up yellow Camaro.

The town was always awake with lonely truck drivers revving away on the main roads, lined up one after another like marching soldiers. My dad’s Pink Floyd cassette, which was usually playing non-stop wherever he went, kept us company.

But once the Camaro’s headlights veered onto the dark backroads that ran through the hills, my dad would eject the tape and let the peaceful night swallow us up. Even the coughing engine of the old car was muffled by the vast space up ahead.

On these trips, my dad never said much. He would just look over at me huddled in the passenger seat and give me a goofy, puffy-eyed smile. With my kid sense of time, it felt like we were creeping through those hills for hours, but finally we would get to the best part, the whole point of the ride.

My dad would park at the bottom of the tallest hill and scoop me and my sister up into his arms. He’d carry us to the top through dry knee-tall grass and shrubbery. At the top of the hill, he would set us down and he’d gesture with an arm up at the sky, “Look at that!”

There would be the moon, full and bright and taking up the entire sky, as if it was just a few inches away from earth. Close enough to touch and my sister and I definitely tried to with our arms stretched out over us, giving little hops and yells. Somehow, seeing something that big made me feel big.

I think about that moon a lot now. About how long it’s been since I’ve looked up and seen a moon that big. I want that moon back, overtaking my sky and filling me with pure amazement. Maybe I haven’t lost that moon. Maybe I’ve just been too distracted by stuff on the ground that I forgot it’s ok to look up.

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