Death Sentence

December 10, 2007
By Tory Hart, Hood River, OR

Walking away from the glassy surface of the deep green lake, my feet sank in the sand and the fishing pole rested on my shoulder. We were heading home from our fishing trip as I asked my step dad, “ Hey can you teach me how to drive the stick shift?”
I stood back as he backed the car out, like a baby waiting for that piece of candy he was promised. I was so excited as I sat in the driver’s seat ready to go as my step dad instructed me on what to do.
Listening to the revving of the engine, my excitement got the better of me as I let out the clutch and we were on our way. It started to rain and little did I know that that was the least of my problems. As I shifted from second gear into first, my subconscious told me to keep going, I started to take the corner and the car got loose, as if I were driving on ice. Did I mention we were driving on a one-lane road out in the middle of nowhere?
Anyway, to my surprise we came around the corner and a truck was headed the way we had just come from. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Well, there should be enough room for the truck to get over and us to scoot on by,” right? WRONG!!! The guy in the truck sped up as if it was some kind of race to see who could pass one another first. All he did was put my step dad and me at a higher risk of wrecking. As I applied the brakes and pushed in the clutch the car started to slide toward a hill. With my body full of fear, my instant reaction was to floor it and floor it I did. What I didn’t realize was that all I was doing was making the car slide even worse. By the time I realized this it was too late. The car was already on the edge of the hill and it took us for a roller coaster ride that turned into a nightmare. My step dad and I crawled out of the busted up tin can and walked to the top of the hill, my body shaking with the fear for my life as I looked back noticing that I was inches away from my very own death sentence.
As we started to walk back into town I noticed a truck that was almost identical to the one that ran us off the road coming down the road going our way. You could only imagine how pissed I was, therefore I flipped the guy off. He pulled over asking us, “ What happened here?” We answered by telling him what had happened. He must have felt bad for us because he offered us a ride back into town. The guy dropped us off at the local mill that was right around the corner from our house.
As we walked home I kept asking myself, “Is this really happening or is this some kind of dream?” but that all stopped when my mom asked where the car was. When my step dad explained what happened that’s when my mom lost it. My mom went on a rampage like a lion desperate to get the zebra for dinner. As soon as my family came back from pulling the car out of the spot where it was stuck my cousin Drew told me that I was lucky to even be alive better yet, not have a single scratch on me. Every time, to this day, that we drive by that spot I can see the car sitting where it was when the wreck happened. It’s like a nightmare playing over and over again in my head. Over time I have better prepared myself for that situation, but, on that horrific day, I was not yet ready. The moral of this story is that great skills take time to develop but eventually they will come to you.

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