First Day of Vacation

from Mantradevi

It was late afternoon before we were packed and ready to leave on our vacation. My husband had been up all night; I’d slept only a few hours. We thought about waiting until the next morning, but decided against it.

My husband was driving and I was in the passenger seat when apparently we both fell sound asleep. The next thing we knew, we were crashing down a steep embankment heading for a ditch. He woke up just in time to slam on the brakes with such force that the torpedo-shaped roof box, true to its name, kept on going even when the car itself came to a jolting halt.

A truck driver saw us go over the edge and was on the spot in a matter of seconds. Fortunately, we weren’t hurt; nor was the car. Even the “torpedo” was fine. It was a steep drive back up to the road, but we made it.

Looking back over the edge, for the first time we noticed a line of big poles running parallel to the ditch about the width of a parking space apart. Easy for a careful driver to avoid; a lethal hazard for someone asleep at the wheel. The poles stood evenly spaced in both directions as far as we could see—except for one wide gap right where our car had plunged through.