Pam wrote thousands of words (YAY!). Now it's time to pack up and drive to Dayton for the Authorpalooza event at the OELMA conference.
Mr. ATV never shows up, so we load everything in the wheelbarrow and make 2 trips in the pouring rain. We are precisely on schedule, anticipating a 2 hr drive, time out for lunch, hotel check in, and thank God--A SHOWER!
Soaking wet, we settle back in the car. I start the engine and head up the trail--bordered on one side by the seemingly endless cow pasture and on the other side by a treacherous drop into nowhere--and toward the road.
I can't get the car up the dogdamned trail!
I drive an eight-year-old mom-mobile Saturn with 140K miles on it. If it were any closer to the ground I'd be driving a dog sled. The wheels spin. I back up and gun the motor. The wheels only spin more. Steam shoots from my engine
I pull off the trail and try to drive up the grass. The wheels spin, spin, spin...hell, the whole freaking car spins!
This is so not good. Where the hell is my AAA card? Oh, wait. Heh, silly me. Kinda hard to call AAA without any phone service.
Pam gets out and pushes. The tires splatter her with mud and grass, and I'm convinced I'll back up and roll right over her. I beat my phone over my head. Where the hell is Lassie when you need her? We are alone, alone, aloooooooooooooone in the wilderness...and doomed.
"I'll run to the house," Pam shouts, "and find someone to pull us out!"
She takes off across the pasture. I stare in astonishment. Damn, look at her go! In the pouring rain, no less. I watch with fading hope as her figure grows tinier and tinier and eventually disappears over the foggy horizon.
I am alone.
And I wait. And wait. And waitwaitwait.
Should I try again to pull out of here? Chain-smoking by now, I study the muddy, rutted trail. If I lose control of the car and fly over the edge, and Pam comes back to find me gone, she might think I managed to get out and that I'm waiting for her on the road. Would it occur to her to peer down into the gulley? Will she be able to spy the smoking, twisted remains of my mom-mobile?
Tick, tock, tick, tock. No Pam, no Pam, no Pam, no Pam. For all I know, she could've been murdered by a psychopath on her way over the ridge. I gaze over at the dark rainy woods, waiting for that same psychopath to creep up on me...
I'm gonna miss Authorpalooza. I'm gonna miss fricking John Green!!! Well, at least I'll get my name in the headlines, right? Might be good for book sales. Or, possibly, a posthumous award since I'm sure as hell not in the running for any of them alive.
By the time I finish cursing myself for blowing my advance on bills instead of using it for a down payment on a Hummer, The Swamp Thing stumbles up alongside my car. ARRRGHHHH! No, wait: it's Pam, practically unrecognizable. Of course nobody was at the house, but she found another way out. "All" I need to do is drive across the pasture to the other side, and it's all downhill from there.
Downhill is right, I think bleakly. Drive across the pasture? So far I've spinned in circles every time I attempted it. If I blow a fan belt, we will die old age in this pasture if the guys from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre don't find us first.
I gun, and spin, and gun, and spin...a miracle of miracles, the car rumbles up the slope and across the pasture (with Pam screaming behind me, "GO-GO-GO-GO-GO-GO-GO-O-O-O!"). On the other side, yes, there is a tiny downhill road. Pam catches up, jumps in, and we are off to Dayton, flush toilets, Starbucks, and civilization!