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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

79_ym_designateddriver_amrhiel.jpg
Art by Ann Marie Rhiel 2020

DESIGNATED DRIVER

 

By M.A. De Neve

 

 

 

          Sheila couldn’t find her keys. Damn.

          Why hadn’t the designated driver waited until she was inside the house before he took off?  She decided she’d give him a bad online review and call Lyft the next time she decided to go partying. After a night on the town she was in no condition to drive. At least she had gotten home.

          Her purse clattered to the sidewalk. Lipstick, wallet, iPhone, Kleenex, glasses case, all tumbled out. Some items rolled away. She dropped to her knees and started gathering things up, but she couldn’t see much in the dark. She found her flashlight and flicked the switch. It didn’t work. She must have forgotten to buy batteries again. She stumbled forward. Her keys were a tangled mess. She couldn’t find the right one in the dark. But the bedroom window was open. She hadn’t left it that way. Maybe she had. She kicked some object in the dark. Whatever it was, she had missed it when she gathered material from her spilled purse; she’d get it in the morning. She stumbled toward the window, climbed inside, snagging her panty hose on the window latch. It was dark inside, but she managed to crawl to the bed.  She fell asleep.

          Scream.

          “Stop,” Sheila moaned. Her mouth was dry; her head hurt. The woman who had screamed stood in the bedroom doorway. She was probably thirty-something, but looked fifty. Her hair was pulled back into a bun; her features distorted with anger. “Get out of my son’s bed.”

          Sheila rolled over. A wide-eyed teenage boy lay beside her, his hair ruffled. He too had just awakened.

          “Bobby?” Sheila recognized one of her students.

          “Get out,” the woman screamed. “You whore.”

          “God, I must be in the wrong house.”

          “Miss Grayson,” the boy, Bobby Benson, looked surprised. His mother pulled a cell phone from her pocket and called the police. Sheila got up quickly. Should she rush to the window and try to escape or try to explain? She chose the latter. “I went out last night, and I had too many drinks. The designated driver I hired… I…He…He must have dropped me off at the wrong address, the wrong house. I didn’t notice in the dark.”

          She couldn’t find her purse. She hoped she hadn’t left it on the lawn. She turned back to face Bobby. “I’m sorry.”

          He grinned.

          His mother shouted, “I’ll have you arrested for this.”

          “It was just a misunderstanding. The designated driver…”

          “Bobby, I hope you know you’re grounded for the next hundred years.”

          “Me?” the boy said. “I didn’t do anything.”

          “It was all my fault or rather the designated driver’s fault. He dropped me off at the wrong house.” She caught a glimpse of herself in the dresser mirror. Her mascara was smeared; it looked like she had two black eyes. Her hair so carefully styled the night before now stuck out at odd angles.

          “Get out of my house,” the woman shouted.

          “Yes, of course. Could I call a cab? I can’t find my cell phone.”

          “Out.” Bobby’s mother somehow found Sheila’s purse and flung it at her. More contents spilled out. Sheila was on the lawn looking for her cell phone when a police car pulled up.

          Mrs. Benson ran to greet the officers. “She slept with my son last night.”

          “No, I didn’t. I just got in the wrong bed. I didn’t touch him. He didn’t touch me. At least I don’t think he did.”        

          “She’s his teacher; I want her arrested.”

          After being fired from her teaching position, Sheila drove a cab. She had looked for another teaching job and attempted to straighten out the misunderstanding with Bobby’s mom and with the school board, but so far, people preferred to believe the worst about her. Bobby bragged to his friends about the night he spent with his teacher.

          Sheila couldn’t even get a job as a substitute.

          Winter brought freezing temperatures and slippery roads. Driving a cab was a hell of a way to make a living.

          She usually didn’t work the midnight shift, but the regular driver had called in sick, and she needed the money. She had pepper spray in her purse. She knew how to use it.

          Of course, she got calls from the bars when they closed. She preferred not to think about her own last evening in the bars. The hangover had been terrible, and the police questioned her for hours. Bobby’s mom insisted she was a sex offender, and wanted her listed as such. After all, Bobby was just fifteen. Mrs. Benson wanted her sent to prison.

          She pulled up in front of the tavern door, turned off the music on her iPod down and studied the man who got into her car.

          “Where’s your car?” she asked.

          “Home.”

          “Think we can make it there without you messing up my back seat?”

          He stared at her and swayed some more. “You want the address.”  He slurred his words, but she managed to understand.

          She glanced back at him from time to time as she drove. “How you doin’ back there, Greg?”

          “You know my name.”

          “We’ve met before.”

          Instead of driving him home, she drove him far into the country to a rest stop in a national forest.

          “Where am I?  This ain’t home.”

          “No, Greg, it isn’t, and you didn’t drive me home either when you were the designated driver. She opened the car’s back car door. He fell onto the pavement.

          “I’ll freeze to death.”

          “That’s the idea.” 

THE END

 

 

 

M.A. DeNeve is a crazy cat lady, tree hugger and bag lady.  Her short stories have appeared in Over My Dead Body, Yellow Mama and Mysterical -E. Her novels are available on Amazon. She lives with her husband, Peter,  and ten cats.


Ann Marie Rhiel is the Assistant Art Director for Yellow Mama Webzine. She was born and raised in Bronx, New York, presently living in New Jersey. She reconnected with her passion for art in 2016 and has had her work exhibited in art galleries around northern New Jersey ever since. She is a commissioned painting artist, who also enjoys photography. Her work has also appeared in Black Petals and Megazine Official.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2020