#SOL15: March Challenge Day 20 – Unexpected . . .

Classic beginning?



A variation?

 It was a dark and cloudy morning.


It was a dark:30 morning.

Or just begin?

“N o o o o o o o,” I whispered.


The thud vibrated through my decelerating car as it came to a complete stop.  I heard the items on the front passenger seat slide to the floor.


I sat there shaking, adrenaline-fueled and yet caffeine-depleted.  If only I had finished that cup of coffee because then I would have been two minutes later.  NAH! Four minutes with a pit stop before leaving.

Shaking, I unfastened my seat belt and grabbed my phone.  I was in desperate need of the flashlight app.  “Where is it? Have I used it on this phone?” I wondered.

Completely dark and silent . . . not a sound greeted me as I emerged from my Pontiac Vibe.

As I pushed the home button on my phone, it lit up the morning darkness.

“Could be worse!”

No metal touching the tire.

Frame still looks square. (I think)

Cardboard-y inner wheel well-lining is drooping some.

Enough to be harmful?

Duct tape?

Do I really have any?

Looks ok!

Check for fluids?

. . . Is it possible? .  .  .   Driveable? . . .

Less than a minute has passed since I began my inspection, but the weight of worry made it feel like an hour.  “Oh, man, going to be late today and here I was already a bit panicky about the two hour trip!”

Possible options flashed through my mind in milli-seconds.



Must Dos,

Nice to Dos.

Ulimately . . .

Driveable, YES!

Off . . . and running.  In 15 minutes a pit stop in a well-lit convenience store, another quick inspection, dripping fluid???

Ah, just from the windshield wiper fluid reservoir that is visibly cracked.

Drive, drive, drive, drive and an hour and thirty minutes later . . . at work.

I survived three of these with only one involved in my incident as they casually sauntered across the road as if they owned it.


Now, the repair task for the damage caused by this critter (who, yes, walked away) owned by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (at any rate that is who issues the hunting licenses)!

Insurance claims!  Yay! FUN! (not)

Tufts of deer hair in the car frame CAN ruin a very positive attitude!

The good news . . . yes, the car is driveable! And I made it to my day of professional development okay – a bit rattled, YES!  But okay!

Unexpected damage to the front passenger quarter panel, hood, and front, and passenger door that does not open . . . TODAY, an extra cup of coffee and daylight before I leave!

What unexpected events have you handled lately?


Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place for us to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

30 responses

  1. Your story is a great example of Show, Not Tell. I was saying deer and picturing deer but you never SAID that word in your writing! And the step by step description lets the reader feel the numbed panic felt. Beautifully crafted! Maybe the only bonus to having to live that moment! So glad you and the car are OK.

    1. Thanks, Sally.
      Narratives are hard for me. I’m working on them!

      I wrote this in my mind as I drove with both hands firmly planted at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel. My colleague said, “You writing about this tomorrow?”
      “Of course!”

  2. So scary! I appreciate the way you kept us guessing about what actually happened. A great mentor text to share with students. Glad you (and the critter) are OK.

    1. Thanks, Rose.
      I have this in a Word document so it is ready to go in my collection of demonstration texts (that’s also why I left my opening choices . . . as I asked myself how to begin this story? Beginnings can be tricky!

  3. I’d say you nailed this narrative! Wow, what a way to start your day! You had me on the edge of my seat waiting to discover what happened to your car.

    1. Thanks, Lee Ann! Rehearsal does pay off. And I knew who my audience was going to be with our slicing challenge! (I’m learning to be more observant when events happen!) 🙂

  4. This is a great narrative! And one we can connect to here in Iowa. These fine creatures sure know how to take over a road that’s for sure. They are beautiful to watch in a field though.

    1. Kendra,
      When not standing in or crossing the road, they are magnificent. Not so much when in the roadway!

  5. Oh my gosh! You had me right there with you. All of those thoughts running through your mind. So glad you are ok. So much for those wild hazards! Shouldn’t the state have to pay?!

    1. Julieanne,
      The state makes you pay to hunt them (even when on own property if you are not a farm) so I think they should pay! Stay tuned . . . I’m taking a different POV tomorrow! FUN!

  6. Fran, this narrative hit home with me–I HATE running late and it always makes me anxious! The way you structured it made me feel that early-morning panic. Glad you’re safe and made it through your day okay after all.

    1. Thanks, Jackie.
      Sometimes these types of days can create even a tighter focus, but so nerve-wracking when “in the moment”!

      The inconvenience bothers me the most . . .time. . . estimates . . .etc.

      Thanks for commenting!

  7. I had the same thing happen to me once when I was going to work. It involved one critter running into the passenger side of my car and. Didn’t even hang around long enough for me to get its insurance information Glad you are OK and you made it to your destination.

    1. The critters that can run away are always so entertaining! Not much “hurt” to those critters can sure be a huge problem to a vehicle!

      Thanks for commenting!

  8. Excellent use of inner story and timing to really grab us readers!

    1. OMG – Erika – was NOT thinking of inner story as I wrote it. . . but I did. Thank YOU! I was focusing on “timing” and also on “showing” and I knew that I strengthened those!

  9. So scary. Well written. My heart missed several beats. I am glad you are ok.

    1. Thanks! (And so was I)

  10. You had me on the edge of my seat, Fran! So thankful you’re okay and the car is drivable. Darn those deer!

    1. Exactly, darn dear!

      So thankful on many levels because it could have been MUCH worse!

  11. Oh that is so scary! I am terrified of that happening to me. I’m so glad you were safe and were able to get to where you were going. I got goosebumps reading your piece. Try not to make the reader visualize so well next time, please. 🙂

    1. Erin,
      I do have some experience with deer in my neighborhood . . . there are a lot! And they seem to like whatever I am driving!

  12. What a RIDE. Woah. Can’t say I saw deer coming as others have commented. Perhaps that is my urban driver coming out. Such engaging, edge of my seat read. And thank heavens you’re all right.

  13. […] If you missed the story from the driver’s point of view, you can read it here. […]

  14. The deer tells a very different tale. Glad you looked at it from both sides. Makes a funny story rather than a frustration.

    1. Exactly!
      Like the glass half full /empty! Which one’s the real one??? Darn, now I am wondering if the car has a different version? LOL

  15. I didn’t get to read this point of view the other day, being tired and sick and all; Wow! I’m so glad you are ok (and the deer, too)! They DO think they own the road, don’t they?

    1. They sure act like they own the road – so casually strolling along. No sense of urgency or fear!

  16. […] my car was “repaired” from the “deer damages” (see slices 20 Unexpected and 21 The Real […]

  17. […] of view.  She had revisited the two versions of the deer story that was quite popular last March here and here and wondered what could lend itself to that same CCR. A. R. 6 Point of View standard. […]

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