This is an excerpt of two pieces from a stories series I had formerly written.
It was inspired by a certain Country song that was covered by several artists.
This song is also frequently played at LSU sporting events.
I want you, the reader, to see if you can guess which song inspired me to write these two pieces.
If you, the reader, can guess correctly, it will definitely enforce my belief in the subconscious mind.
I would prefer either LSU or Country Music fans or both to guess, but my question is open to anyone who is willing to answer.
Here are the two pieces, without further ado:
Good Lord, it’s cold tonight, but at least it is dry. What do you expect for early February? That’s all right because I have someone to keep me warm. I leave work and head to my girlfriend’s parents’ house. Tomorrow is special for her-she’ll turn eighteen! The air conditioning in my car is shot, but at least the heater functions well. I leave the parking garage and head to the suburbs. Now I am entering the subdivision and approaching the house. As I turn into the driveway, my headlights illuminate her stature. She is shivering. I wish she wouldn’t wait outside for me in the wretched cold, but it speaks volumes of her love for me.
I step out of my car and we embrace.
“Let’s get you warm,” I tell her.
“Good idea!” She replies as her teeth chatter.
With that, we step into my car and drive off quietly. The sun is now set-all we have are the city lights.
There is a brief silence, but then I say “I know what tomorrow is!”
“Yes, I’ll be free! My parents’ll no longer have power over me!” She replies.
“Now you know your dad is good to us.”
“Yes, he is. But my mom is a lunatic. No longer will I hear her raging about her stupid pills again.”
“Do they know that we’ve been intimate?” I ask.
“No, they don’t-and that is a good thing. It won’t even matter after the stroke of midnight.”
“That’s a relief. I know your dad likes me, but how he would react if he knew?”
“Well, I can make him feel guilty about not being around if he indeed got angry.”
We drive into the city and into my neighborhood and are now in front of my house. I park my car against the curb and escort her through my yard, closing the hurricane fence behind us. As usual, my neighbors are rolling and smoking joints. I detest the abominable smell of that smoke. However, if I reported them, they would retaliate in many horrendous ways. I am also afraid how they might try to harm my girlfriend if they ever found out she is alone in my house while I work. Because of this, I have already installed several extra locks on my doors and I’ll also buy her some Mace.
Quickly we walk in the door and sit down on my sofa. I turn on the local news and learn of the whole country is on high alert for a terrorist attack. This makes me fear for the safety of everyone I care about. I wonder about my family in the countryside and if they are prepared. Being drafted off to war also frightens me.
“Let’s turn this miserable thing off and think about us!” She says.
“Very well.” I say, switch off the TV, then continue “Would you like to eat something?”
“Sure.” She replies.
“I will order something for delivery. What do you feel like?”
“Something Asian, I guess.”
I begin to look through my telephone directory, when she says, pointing to her smartphone “Wait, I have an app for ordering it on here.”
She places the order, and we sit on my sofa. She rests her head on my chest.
Soon enough, there is a knock at the door. It is the delivery man. I pay him and he gives us the food, then I escort him back to his car.
We take the food to my dining room and eat. There is cold air coming through my drafty windows, so I turn my floor furnace on. It is located in the middle of my house, so, hopefully, it should keep us warm.
She motions for me to sit and continue eating with her. I do so, staring at her with admiration. Soon we are finished eating.
“Asian food makes me sleepy. Let’s snuggle together!” She says.
“Right behind you, baby!” I reply.
We walk to my bedroom and wrap ourselves in the blankets.
Our sleep is peaceful until she wakes up from the whistle of a freight train.
Her jerking wakes me up and then I hear the train as well.
She looks at the clock on her phone. It indicates 12:01 AM.
“I am eighteen now!” She exclaims, wrapping herself around me.
Suddenly, there are some horrible sounds. It’s a grinding and squealing, followed by several loud explosions. Then, I hear the motor on my old refrigerator shut off. I push the switch on my bedside lamp but it doesn’t turn on. The power is out. My girlfriend reaches for her phone to light up the room.
“Let me go to the kitchen. I have a rechargeable flashlight there plugged in between the refrigerator and the stove.”
“Go get it, but after let’s keep snuggling.”
“Of course. You know I don’t want to be anywhere but in your arms.” I tell her, retrieve my light then climb back in bed.
“We can stay together now because I am legal!”
I give her a kiss, but I am full of anxiety.
Suddenly, our phones display messages of a civil emergency.
A few minutes later there is a knock on my door. I open it.
A policeman greets me and sternly says “You must leave immediately! There has been a train derailment which resulted in a chemical release.”
I wonder to myself if this was a terrorist attack…
“All right, let me just get a few things,” I tell the policeman.
“Where could we go?” My girlfriend asks me. “I don’t want to be with my mom.”
“If you don’t want to go there, we can go to the country and visit my family.”
“Are you sure?”
“What other choice do we have?”
So I grab, my composition books and my flash drive, my rechargeable flashlight. my phone and charger. My girlfriend grabs her purse, phone and charger as well. God, it’s cold. I hope my car can make it out of this wretched city. All I have is a wing and a prayer.
We walk out of my house, locking the doors behind us. Then we walk through my front yard and to the curb then shut hurricane fence. We get in my car and thankfully it fires right up.
I turn my car radio to the news and information station. My theory is proven correct; this was a terrorist attack. Contraflow is being used on all of the main highways out of the city. Right now it’s bumper to bumper, I hope and pray the terrorists don’t strike again right here. I must get off this Interstate as soon as I can and take an alternate route. That way, there’ll be less traffic and less chance of another attack.
There is a heavy police presence but I guess that is a good thing. I hope and pray that they are not harmed by those damn terrorists.
For forty-five minutes the traffic moves like molasses in the dead of winter. She rests her head on my shoulder and I repeatedly kiss her forehead. We are making the best of a bad situation. Finally, we are now moving.
“Once we get out of the city, I should get us some coffee and food. I need something to keep me awake.”
“Sure, do what you need to do.”
We are now out of the city and on the Interstate. Thank God, the traffic is now moving. Just as planned though, I will get off.
I see an exit to a dark, but well-maintained highway two-lane. Right away I take it.
“Looks like we are safe now, but why are you getting off right here?” My girlfriend asks.
“Because I don’t want to take the chance of someone wrecking or breaking down. If that happens, traffic will back up and the terrorists could possibly strike again.” I reply.
“I hope you know what you’re doing.”
“Look, I am trying my best. You must know that I am just trying to get us out of harm’s way.”
“I guess,” She says with irritation.
“Let’s not fight, if we do the terrorists have another victory.”
“Yes, thank God we weren’t away from each other when this happened.”
“You’re right! I would rather die with you than live and us be apart!”
“I love you so much!”
“And I love you too, baby!”
“How much longer from here?”
“About four hours.”
“Yes, I just hope and pray my car won’t break down,” I reply.
“What’s your family like?”
“Let’s just say interesting.”
“I hope they will accept me but I’m afraid of what they will think of my mom’s pill habit.”
“Don’t worry, they’ll accept you. They always wanted me to find love and now I have because of you. They just might tease you about being from the city.”
“What about the pills? Would they judge me about that?”
“No, they won’t. My family has always taught me that no one is perfect and that we all have faults. Plus, you’re not the addict; your mom is.”
“What’s your hometown like?” She asks.
“Boring, flat and quiet. I guess that is a good thing at the moment. It’s not an important place so the terrorists wouldn’t try to strike there.”
“So you think we’ll be safe there?”
“Yes, there is only a two-lane highway in and out of town and there are no waterways, railroads are airstrips. It’s nothing a terrorist would want to hit.”
“You should call your parents first, to let them know you are coming.” She tells me.
“You’re right. I was going to, but you know I should conserve my minutes, especially for my job.” I reply.
“I don’t think you will be returning to work for a while and, to me, that’s a very good thing. Besides, you can use my phone.”
“Are you sure?”
“Of course. I love you and would do anything for you.”
“Oh, I love you too baby! Thank you so much.”
She turns her phone on and I call out the ten digits. She then puts the speakerphone feature on and we hear the ringing.
“Hello.” My mother answers, half asleep.
“Hey, momma it’s me. There has been a terrorist attack in my city and I am headed your way. Put the news on, you’ll hear all about it.” I reply.
“Are you all right?”
“Yes. I am fine, but I have someone special with me.”
“Whom do you have?”
“My girlfriend. I will explain everything when we arrive.”
“Okay, be careful.”
“I sure will.”
“How much longer until you’ll be here?”
“If everything goes right, about four to five hours. As soon as we find a truck stop, I will get some, food and coffee to keep me awake.”
“Okay, you drive safe and I will see you then. I can’t wait to meet this lovely young lady.”
Suddenly the signal fades out.
“Momma, can you hear me?”
“Your mom seems nice.”
“Oh, she is very nice. I wish I could see her more.”
“It’s a good thing she is not like my mom.”
“The worst she does is take a shot of whiskey every now and then. It’s only to help her sleep.”
I continue to drive. It is cold and dark. The heater is working well for the most part. My girlfriend snuggles next to me and we keep warm.
I see a truck stop sign ahead, so activate my turn signal. We get off the highway, then pull into the parking lot.
We drive up to a pump, then go inside to pay the cashier.
My girlfriend pulls out her debit card and says “Let me pay. My dad deposited grocery money in my account, but I think we need gas more than groceries right now.”
“Thank you so much, baby! I wish I could repay you!”
My girlfriend replies “It’s the least I can do. By the way, when we get back home, you can repay me all night long!” Then, she tells the cashier and says “Forty Dollars on pump five.”
The young cashier says, blushing “Y’all are so cute.” She then runs my girlfriend’s card.
We go out to pump the gas, then come back after we’re done. I desperately need food and coffee, so I ask the cashier, “Is your restaurant open?”
“Well, we were going to close, but could sure use the business.” She pauses then calls the waitress. “There are some customers, don’t shut down just yet.”
We walk into the diner and the waitress greets us.
“What’ll it be?” She asks.
I look at my girlfriend and say “Tell her.”
“I would like some strawberry pancakes if that’s all right.”
“Sure. And for you?”
“Whatever sandwich you can make. And coffee lots of it.”
“Where are y’all from?”
“The city south-east of here. There was a terrorist attack and we are refugees.”
“A terrorist attack?” She asks.
“Yes. Turn your TV on. You’ll learn all about it.” I tell her.
“Can’t. Cable’s out.” She replies.
“Well, these radical extremists purposely derailed a train right where the transmission lines cross the tracks. That caused a chemical release and the power in most of the city is out.”
“Good Lord, that’s awful.”
“Yes. And it’s her eighteenth birthday.” I tell the waitress.
The waitress looks at my girlfriend and says “Well since it is your birthday, Y’all both eat free. Y’all have seen enough hell for tonight and it’s the least we can do.”
“Thank you so much; I surely appreciate that,” I tell her.
“Yes, y’all are both welcome. Just tell any travelers about this place when you can.”
“I just hope and pray that you’ll get more refugee customers coming from the city, but most are probably on the Interstate. I took a back road so we wouldn’t be caught in all that traffic.”
My girlfriend and I happily eat and converse with the waitress and then we get coffee to go.
“Here’s a thermal mug with our company name on it. Tell everyone you can about us.” The waitress says.
“I sure will,” I tell her.
“Come back if you’re ever passing through again and we’ll take care of Y’all.”
We leave the truck stop and get back on the highway. I am now awake and alert thanks to the free coffee. My girlfriend is sleeping on my shoulder. I hold her with my right arm and the wheel with my left. Three and a half hours before I am in my hometown…
I see plenty of yellow lines and reflectors and at least my car is running smoothly. Finally, I see the junction and turn to go into town.
I pull into my parents’ driveway. We step out of the car and I ring the doorbell. My momma greets us…
Now that you, the reader, have hopefully read both pieces, can you tell me which Country Song inspired these?