"Dad, you're kidding. Right?"
"No Son. I need your help. This is an important contract and I need to get this sloop out of the yard in Annapolis and to the Port of Seattle by the twenty-first."
"Yeah, but can't you get one of the other drivers to do it? I wanted to spend some time skiing."
"Son, I have a responsibility to the people that work for me. I won't ask them to do what I wouldn't and I won't take a chance on them not being with their families over the Christmas holidays."
"So, it's Ok to ask or tell me to do it."
"That's right. - You catch on fast David. I can tell, your college education has been worth every penny," Bill Holden said as he slapped his son on the back. "After all, this may be your last chance to drive a big over size load, before you become a legal aid or what ever it is that you've gone to college six years for."
"First off, Dad. I am going to graduate, this spring with a master's degree in business law. And, so I don't forget; I appreciate you picking up the tab. - Secondly. How big is this sloop you want me to hall to the west coast?"
"How tiny, Dad?"
"Good God son, are you turning into a pussy? You'll be legal length, legal height and way under forty tons. It's a skinny sloop. With rigging, you will still be under twelve feet wide. No pole car or rear escort service needed after you make it over the bridges."
"Ok Dad, but I want the big Volvo tractor. If, I'm going to be out on the road for eight days and have to shut down at three in the afternoon every day, I want to be comfortable."
"You are turning into a pussy. Not to mention that you'll kill me on fuel costs."
"Give me a break Dad. This is your son you're talking to. I'm not a client that you have to cry to, as you tell them how every load you take costs you money."
"Sorry son, just force of habit. Go ahead, take my favorite truck, rack up another six thousand miles on it, and wear out those expensive tires. Put me in the poor house..."
"Dad, did you have to take some special training to learn how to make people feel guilty when they ask you for something?" ----------
"Daddy, do we have to spend Christmas in Maryland? It's boring there. There is nothing to do."
"Bunny, your Mom's parents want to see you. You remind them and me of your mother. You look more like her every day."
"Well Daddy. If I have to go, then I insist that I drive my new car there. I don't want to be stuck in that morbid house of theirs. Oh, and Daddy. I want to have some fun before I get there. I want to stop at Sun Valley on my trip there. I want to spend three days there, doing nothing but skiing. And Daddy, I want a new pair of ski's before I go."
"But Bunny, it's a long drive and I all ready have the airline tickets."
"I don't care. I want to drive my new Cadillac XLR and show it off. I want to ski in Sun Valley and I want..."
"Ok Bunny, whatever you want. So long as it makes you happy."
She skipped to her father's side, in little girl fashion, and kissed him on the cheek before saying, "Thank you Daddy."
Ross Marlow smiled at his twenty two year old daughter as she hopped away. Her given name was Karen, though her father had called her his little bunny since she was two. The name stuck, though thru time it had been shortened to just Bunny.
She was indeed a mirror image of her mother. A trait that endeared her deeper into her father's heart. Ross spoiled her to a fault. A fault that he recognized but excused by telling others, 'She is all I really have of value.'
Ross now looked at the gold framed photo of his wife. Over the past twelve years, he held the beloved picture countless times. On each occasion, he would close his eyes and see her standing there before him. Her shoulder length auburn hair, her hazel green eyes and soft delicate facial features that made her seem angelic. She had a true woman's figure. Long shapely legs, hips that swayed seductively when she walked and her bust and ass caught many a man's eye.
Karen looked back at her father. He had the picture of her mother in his hand, and that look of being in a dream world, on his face. Her mind now traveled back to her mother and the last Mother, Daughter talk they had.
"Mom? How did you and Daddy meet and how did you know that you loved him?"
"Well, your father was the best man and I was the maid of honor at our best friends wedding. On our first dance, the minute that he put his arm around me, I felt a jolt of electricity run thru me and I had a feeling that the same thing had just happened to him. We fell in love just that fast. That's how it is when you find the person you were meant to spend the rest of your life with."
"Will I feel like that when I find my true love?"
"Yes Bunny. Yes you will, exactly like that." ----------
"What in the hell is this. I'm paying three hundred dollars a day to stay in this second rate hotel and ski on what. That shit you call man made snow. Where in the hell is this beautiful powder that you advertise.
"Shit, I could ski in San Bernardino on better conditions than this."
The hotel clerk was trying to calm Ms. "Bunny" Karen Marlow, so she wouldn't irritate the rest of the hotel's guests. He wanted to strangle her and was rethinking his desire to stay in the hotel/travel industry when his manager approached.
"I couldn't help but over hear, Ms. Marlow. I have some excellent news for you. By tomorrow morning, we will have excellent skiing conditions and to show you how we value your patronage, the hotel will give you a free night's stay."
"Yeah. Well you can take your free nights stay and stick it where the supposed snow won't get to it. I'm checking out, NOW!"
Bunny turned and stormed away.
"But Ms. Marlow, it's not going to be safe to drive out..."
The hotel clerk's warning of pending bad weather was cut short by his manager.
"Let her go. Don't waist your breath. As soon as the snow starts, she will turn around and return here, as a far more humbled person." ---------
Due to road construction on Interstate 84, between Twin Falls and Mountain Home Idaho, all oversize loads had to detour up US Highway 93 North and US Highway 20 West, to pick up the Interstate on the other side of Mountain Home.
"I can't believe this," David said as he keyed up the mic on his CB. "This is oversize load traveling West on twenty. I'm lookin for a safe place to pull over. Anyone out there?"
His only reply was static, and he knew that he would be in trouble if he couldn't find a place to pull over soon. Snowflakes, the size of quarters, covered his windscreen as fast as the wipers could clear them, and a wind from the Northwest was picking up. . He was berating himself for not stopping earlier, when he saw the junction of US20 and Idaho SR75. There at the junction was a sign 'Picnic Area one half mile on left.'
David rolled slowly into the two bench Picnic Area, with an audible sigh of relief.
"Nothing to do now, but hunker down and wait the storm out," he said as he looked at the medallion of Saint Michael, the archangel. His father made sure, every one of his trucks carried the medallion of Michael slewing a dragon. 'Michael, archangel and protector of Drivers and Pilots' ----------
"Shit. Oh Shit," she exclaimed as she saw the intersection in front of her.
She tapped her brakes and the car started to skid. She let up off them and the skid stopped. Thru a lite covering of snow on a sign, she thought she saw the number twenty and she knew she had to turn. At her present speed, she wasn't going to be able to stop before the intersection, let alone make the turn. Panic made her hit the brakes again and the car went into a spin. When the car stopped, it was still on the road, either by luck or the hand of a guardian angel. She was badly shaken and knew that she had to get off the road and herself to safety.
In the direction that her car was pointing, whatever direction that was, she could see the outline of what looked like a boat. She now looked in every other direction. Nothing, not that she could see far, but she recalled driving up to Sun Valley on this same road and couldn't recall seeing any sign of humanity then.
She now drove slowly and cautiously toward the boat. When she got closer, she saw tire tracks and followed them off the road.
As she pulled forward and along side the boat, she now saw that it was attached to a truck, a big truck, the biggest truck she could ever recall seeing. There, sitting in the driver's seat was a truck driver and he was looking down at her.
"Great, just what I fucking need. I'm stuck in no-man's land with some perverted trucker, who hasn't shaved or showered in a month.
"Don't look at him, don't make eye contact," she admonished herself.
She pressed the button to lock her doors and windows, turned off her headlights and wipers, hoping that the snow would blanket her car and prevent him from peering in.
"Shit! He's getting out. Now what am I going to do?"
She tried to ignore him, as he tapped on her passenger-side window.
"Lady. Are you Ok lady?"
"I'm fine. - I have a gun. - Now go away and leave me alone," she said, refusing to look at him.
"Look, lady, I don't want to frighten you, but we're in for a major blizzard."
"I'll call for my own help. I'll be just fine. Now get the fuck away from my car."
"But, you don't understand."
"No. You don't understand you stupid asshole. Get the fuck away from my fucking car."
David was persistent in his desire to help.
"Look, I know you're afraid. Please don't be. If you need anything, just blow your horn or bang on my door."
In a flood of profanity, David turned away and walked back to his truck. Either she was really afraid of him or this was the most ill mannered, rotten tempered woman he had ever had the misfortune to meet.
He shook the snow off and stamped his feet before entering the truck. He hadn't put a jacket on before going out and now felt a chill.
"Nothing like a hot bowl of soup and a tuna sandwich to knock the chill out," he murmured to himself.
Once the soup was in the microwave, he selected a DVD, 'Santa Claus II', and set it to play on the thirty-six inch plasma screen. After dealing with her, he needed something humorous.
He was sitting at the table, adding slices of tomato to his sandwich and a second one. When the microwave sounded, he removed the heating bowl and poured some of the beef and barley into his soup bowl. The remainder he poured into a mug, got a plastic spoon and with both hands full, managed to stepped out of the truck and into what was now more than four inches of blowing snow.
He trudged over to the driver window and tapped on it.
"I made you some hot soup and a sandwich. I thought you might like some to keep warm."
She said nothing as she lowered her window, took the mug of hot soup and threw it into his crotch, dropped the cup and closed her window.
David dropped the sandwich and left the mug on the ground as he hopped toward the truck, his hand pulling the front of his pants away from his manhood, while a volley of profanity slid from his lips.
Once he changed into dry cloths, he sat down at the table, and with an irate huff, took his first sip of his now cold soup.
He dropped his spoon and looked again at the medallion of Michael as he spoke. "No good deed goes unpunished."
The sound of a revving car engine and spinning tires, made him cringe, just a little, as he spoke. "I don't know about you Mike, but I didn't hear a thing." ----------
Karen Marlow, was now worried as she hunkered down in her heated seat. She had no cell phone service, no food, the OnStar service couldn't connect because of the storm and her car had no traction. Without knowing, she had parked off the paved road and when she attempted to get away from the perverted red neck trucker, she dug herself a rut and now was going no place.
The car heater was going full blast but she still felt cold, as the wind seemed to steal all the heat her car could produce. Once, when she was sure that the stupid truck driver wasn't watching, she tried to make it to her trunk to get some more cloths, but the wind and snow was too much for her and all she managed to do was to get her shoes and pant legs wet.
She was beginning to wish that she hadn't thrown that soup at him. The aroma of it still lingered in her mind. Worse yet, when she turned off her music and got a radio station, they were predicting up to eighteen inches of snow, with another storm right behind this one.
"I'm so cold and hungry," she began to cry when she remembered seeing him drop the sandwich that he was carrying.
She opened the car door. The dark stain of soup was almost covered by the new snow. The sight of it caused a pain of regret until she saw the sandwich in the snow. It lay at the bottom of her footprint.
"It's only slightly squished," she encouraged herself as she leaned out and retrieved the now crushed and soggy remains.
The bread, aside from being crushed and dampened into a gummy texture, was almost clean on top. The bottom had some dirt, a little old dried grass and only a few grains of stone imbedded in it. She told herself that she'd save that part for when she really got hungry.
The reality of the situation was beginning to sink in. If she was to survive this storm and not freeze to death, she was going to have to become the sex slave of some beer guzzling, uncouth hick, who's IQ probably matched his boot size.
"No," she said thru a mouth full of tuna and with a ferocity that shocked her. "I'll hold off until I'm almost dead before I'll beg for help and before he defiles my body."
She cleared away some of the snow from her side window and looked in puzzlement at the truck windows. The interior of the truck was lit brightly, but she could make out a flickering color reflection in the mirror of the truck.
"It's a movie," she said with surprise. "I'm here freezing, hungry, my feet are wet and that bastard is in there, warm, drinking soup and eating, God knows what. Where is his compassion?"
Tears were beginning to form in the corners of her eyes.
"I'll bet I know what it is. He wants me to beg. Well, I won't, not until hell freezes over."
Over an hour passed. Karen kept her side window just clear enough of snow so she could watch the movie. Well at least the one third of the screen that she could see.
When it was over and the screen went blank, she saw him in the mirror. Well not all of him, just his stomach, belt and his crotch.
"At least he doesn't have a beer belly and his cloths look clean."
In an effort to keep her mind occupied, she was now talking allowed to herself. "I suppose, if I have to be his sex slave for however long, at least I know that he looks clean."
"I wonder what I'll have to do to earn some food from him?"
She turned just in time to catch a quick first view of his face as he moved in the truck.
There was surprise in her voice as she continued talking to herself. "He's kind of young for a truck driver."
Another thought flashed into her mind. "Oh my god, that must mean that there are two of them. I'm going to have to service them both. The ugly stupid one and him. Oh shit, there is no way in hell I can do this. They will find me tomorrow, my lifeless body, blue and covered in frost as my hands clutched the steering wheel."
Tears came to her eyes as she thought how her father would mourn her passing. ----------
It was dark now as David turned on the trucks running lights and looked out the driver's side window of his truck. The two seater Caddy was partly illuminated by his trucks lights. It now appeared to be little more than a small hill of snow, except for the upper corner of her passenger window.
It was hard to judge the depth of the snow as the wind kept it in constant motion, but it had to be well over a foot deep and according to the national weather bureau, the worst of the storm was yet to come. He looked at the outside temperature; twenty-two degrees. That meant that the wind chill was probably hovering around zero.
Once again, he began his one sided conversation with the medallion of Michael. "She is right, I must be stupid. I can't believe that I still want to help her."
David measured the coffee grounds for eight cups and added the water to the pot. While it was brewing, he took a frozen chicken dinner out and put it in the microwave. He wasn't going to take any chances with the hot coffee, so he got his thermos to put the coffee in. Assuming that she would be cold, he took the spare comforter from under the full-size sleeper sofa.
As he began to fold it for easier carrying, he realized that even with warm food and a blanket, she could suffer frostbite if her car ran out of fuel. Her only safe choice was to come over and stay with him in the truck. He shivered at the thought.
"No. If she comes in here, I'm likely to strangle that ill-tempered shrew. She's probably safer, staying where she is. - That's it Mike, I'll just give her these things and check on her now and again." ----------
The sudden illumination of yellow lights from the truck startled her and she looked out her peephole to see the young man's face full in the window.
He was rather handsome, in a rugged sort of way. Blonde hair, combed back and parted, with strong manly facial features. There even appeared to be a small amount of intelligence. "I'll bet he actually reads some of the stories in those porno magazines he buys," she said aloud.
When he left the window, she felt more than just cold and hunger. She felt loneliness.
With a sudden burst of strength and determination, fueled no doubt by her situation, she opened the car door and stepped out into the raging blizzard.
Her determination waned some as the sharp sting of wind driven snow hit her face.
"You can do this. You can intimidate those week minded, horny truck drivers. You can control them."
She repeated these words as she trudged over to the truck, not entirely sure of what she was going to say to these perverts. ----------
David had just finished putting silverware, a few bottles of water, and a bag of trail-mix into a shopping bag when there was a pounding on the door of the truck.
He sat in the driver's seat and powered down the window. There, standing hunched against the wind, was the shrew.
"I was just getting ready to bring you some hot coffee and food, along with a few other items."
"Yeah, Yeah. - Look, I have no intention of becoming a sex slave for two pea brain truck drivers. I need help, food and to get out of this storm!"
A puzzled look crossed David's face. "What? - Lady are you Ok?"
David meant Ok mentally. Karen took it as, are you ok, physically.
"No! Do I look Ok? I'm freezing out here. - Well, aren't you going to let me in?"
David's store of courtesy was at an end. "Lady, you're a nut case. But they would probably throw me in jail if I let you freeze to death. Here, climb in while I get you the things that I put together for you, and then go back to your car."
His words stung her, and she was shocked at his request that she go back to her car. She was having difficulty in accepting the fact that they didn't want her as a sex slave.
When he opened the door and held a hand out to help her up, she accepted, saying, "What's the matter, are you gay?"
David could only reply with a one word answer, "What?"
Once inside she scooted over the driver's seat and was shocked to see what looked like a combination of kitchen, family room and bedroom all rolled into one. Everything was spotless. She now remembered the other driver.
"Where is he? - Where is the other guy," she said in a panicked voice.
David was getting the chicken dinner from the microwave. "Lady, there is no other guy. I don't want you as a sex slave. I just want to make sure you will stay warm and have some food. Now take this." He handed her the thermos and the chicken dinner. "I'll help you back to your car and give you a few other things so you can stay warm."