This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Tim eased the Jalopy into the center marked parking space of the only three available spaces at the Mirror Falls Overlook. A shrill squealing protest issued from the weary brakes. Sarah cringed in the passenger seat and openly gritted her teeth, wincing her eyes. Tim noticed her reaction with a furtive, sidelong glance. As the dilapidated primordial vehicle came to a stop, Tim lifted the emergency brake handle with some effort, switched off the headlights, which could easily be described as headlamps, and turned off the engine. It chugged and clunked a few more times before falling silent completely. Cushion springs creaked as Tim shifted in his seat to face his wife, placing one arm on the large steering wheel and casting a suspicious eyebrow at her.
“It’s not all that bad, is it?” he inquired.
Sarah held her exaggerated cringe a moment longer and then relaxed, putting one hand over her face in an unsuccessful attempt to hide her spreading smile. She parted her forefinger and middle finger slightly to get a glimpse at her husband’s reaction. Finally, her wild giggling gave it all away. Tim stoically held up his façade of wariness.
“I think you’ve had a little too much to drink,” he admonished.
“Oh please,” Sarah feigned incredulity. She continued to giggle. “I only had two glasses of champagne!”
“Yeah, and one of them was mine!”
“Oh, phooey! You’re driving… exactly what you are driving, I’m not entirely certain.”
Tim patted what passed for a dashboard, scuffed and cracked from deep age and sun exposure. “The Jalopy is a masterpiece of modern engineering. It runs like a clock.”
“Yeah, a broken one!”
Tim’s expression changed. He appeared pensive, almost hurt. He looked down, then sat back in his seat and gazed out his side window. Sarah stopped giggling, suddenly caught with the feeling that she had said something that hurt his feelings.
“If you feel like leaving, you know you can go,” Tim intoned seriously, still looking away from her.
“What? Wait, I…”
He turned to her suddenly, slightly teary-eyed. “But why don’t you stay until tomorrow?”
“What are you talking about? I’m not going anywhere…”
Tim’s voice turned more melodic. “If you want to be free, you know, all you got to do is say so.”
“What are you doing, you goon?” She now suspected Tim was playing around with her and her concern lightened as the smile returned to her face. Then Tim poured on the charm and the vocals as he burst into full song.
“And when you feel cold, I’ll warm you…”
“Oh, please, Tim…”
“And when you feel you can’t go on, I’ll come and hold you!”
“Really?” she wondered mockingly, nodding her head up and down vigorously.
“It’s you and me forever…” Now Tim was all smiles, leaning in close. They sang the following main chorus line of Hall & Oates 1976 classic “Sara Smile” in unison.
“Sara smile; won’t you smile awhile for me… Sara.”
They stopped, their respective gazes examining each other’s features, measuring the depth of their shared connection.
“You know, that’s not even how my name is spelled,” Sarah said.
“It still reminds me of you. Besides, I got one on you.”
“That you did, honey, in more ways than one.”
They kissed, long and sensual. When they pulled away, Tim’s expression intrigued Sarah.
“What are you thinking about?” she asked.
“Lots of stuff.”
“Yeah, me too.”
He began singing again, softly. “One and one make two…”
She followed suit, knowing the words perfectly. “Two and two make three…”
It was a special song between them, one they had created together. It spoke of many events and loves in their life together, the relationship they shared and the children it had produced. But Sarah was feeling a little giddy, so she took it a bit further.
“Five to one, baby…” Sarah belted out, trying to imitate the late Jim Morrison of The Doors.
“One in five…” Tim mimicked.
“No one here gets out alive…”
“You get yours, baby…”
“I get mine…”
“Gonna make it baby if we try!” They finished in unison again.
Falling suddenly silent, they both turned, looking beyond the windshield. The full moon cast the night in twilight. The glow and sparkle off of the Upper Carp River as it split and spilled over the edge of the cliff to become Mirror Falls was mesmerizing. Without looking, Tim reached over and gently scooped up Sarah’s hand into his own. She squeezed back.
“I feel a bit dizzy…” She touched her forehead and closed her eyes. He looked over at her with sudden concern.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, yeah… I just got a little dizzy. It’s kinda stuffy in the old Jalopy, you know? I’m gonna step out for some fresh air.”
“That sounds like a bully idea, babe. It’s a nice night. I’ll get a blanket from the trunk in case a chill picks up or we want to sit down.”
“Good idea, hon.”
The vehicle’s doors groaned as they both exited the Jalopy. The night air was crisp and clean smelling with a slight coolness, appropriate for mid-Autumn. Sarah walked slowly towards the overlook, weaving slightly in step. Tim missed this as he made his way to the back of the Jalopy and opened the curved trunk. Inside, a bald spare tire and an old bent tire iron greeted him.
“Darn, Sarah,” he said with a raised voice so his wife would hear, “I forgot the blanket!”
He didn’t hear any reply, which wasn’t too unusual, considering the noise of the river and falls. He pulled a small penlight from his coat pocket, turned it on, and examined the contents of the Jalopy’s trunk further. No blanket was to be found.
“Hey, Sarah?” he called louder.
He closed the trunk, looking for her, smile fading from his features.
His wife was nowhere to be seen.
Carolyn Hahn-Re: I really liked this story! The writing was well done, and the plot was suspenseful. I couldn't stop reading chapter after chapter, on the edge of my seat! The characters were well developed, and true to form. Thank you so much for this wonderful read.
gunter1987: I just want to say here that this is my first review, but I really wanted to review this story. I apologize if I don't write English to well, I am French.Reading through the many science fiction stories posted here and other places in the world, I started to see a few linking themes: heavy-hande...
Darren Powell: Very nice read. Lots of surprising treats from: Schrodinger’s cat and dervish dance forms; to sensei masters and brownian motion. I wasn't expecting this, so it was a pleasant discovery.Also liked the 'cross-over' events connecting one character's/or group's journey to another. I like how that wa...
Jan Imonti: Loved the story, but didn't like the delivery...had to read this on my computer on line. Wasn't able to download it to my kindle. Excellent story, lots of twists and turns. Fairly quick read. Love the versitility of Mitchell's writing. Keep up with the great mysteries.
Remini UDA: Death's apprentice was a very fun story for me, it reminded of "The messenger of Fear" series and originally i thought this was inspired by those books but i was happy to say the story took things in its own way.To start with i will say that the plot and idea of death being an eccentric age old ...
M.L. Bull: Hello, Aalia!Your story compelled the emotional pain and struggle of a teenage girl very well.. The imagery was also convincing and well-written, showing the different personalities of your characters and their actions. However, I do think that many of your sentences are too lengthy and could use...
Someone: This was a fun, entertaining read. Although the novel wasn’t stylistically polished, and although the first couple of chapters struggled to hold my attention, the rest of the novel was engaging and beautifully done. You had me fooled until the end. The rest of this review will contain spoilers fo...
Alex Reltin: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...
harry142018: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."