I’m writing this post while hunkered down in the my writing cave in the middle of an ice storm. If you live in the United States, chances are winter weather has put a dent in your plans (but hopefully not your car!) at least once recently. In honor(?) of this dubious distinction, I decided it was time to pull out my “snowed in” romance, which not only features snow and ice but a baby, as well. I’ll wait while you cue up Vanilla Ice on your iPod…
All set? Okay, here’s a look at what you DON’T want to happen when you’re driving on slippery roads, courtesy of Dr. Caleb Paden in Tempting Mr. Forever:
As soon as he picked up his son, Caleb would stop at the nearest hotel for the night. He hadn’t seen a snowplow or a salt truck, let alone another car. Heck, he could hardly see the road through the blowing snow.
His pilot had made the right call by refusing to fly into the storm, landing near Chicago and leaving Caleb to navigate the unfamiliar rental car west in deteriorating road conditions.
The car fishtailed, and he fought the steering wheel to keep it on the road. Or at least where he thought the road was.
“Arriving at destination, on right,” the female GPS voice chirped.
Although he couldn’t discern a driveway, he pressed the brake. The car skidded and slid sideways. To his right, nothing disturbed the layers upon layers of snow, except for the vague outlines of what might have been trees.
“Make a U-turn at the next opportunity,” the GPS suggested.
Yeah sure. He squinted through the fat flakes battering his vehicle. Behind him to the right, something—possibly the top of a mailbox—protruded from the snow. Considering his sideways position on the slippery road, he didn’t like the odds of keeping the car straight while driving in reverse. He’d have to finish turning around. He twisted the wheel and pressed the gas. The tires spun. Then the car shot forward.
Too fast. Heart racing, he slammed the brakes. The car skidded toward the ditch. Oh no. Stop! By some miracle it did, inches from the drop-off. Despite wanting to turn the ignition off and not drive another inch until the weather cleared, he had to keep going for the child’s sake.
Filling his lungs with deep, confident breaths, he shifted into reverse. The tires spun again. He lifted his foot and then pushed the gas pedal. The car shot backward. He shoved on the brake, but the car continued to glide in reverse, mocking any control he tried to exercise.
He turned the wheel in a desperate attempt not to roll trunk-first into the ditch. The car spun in a circle and then slid in slow motion, nose first, down the steep embankment.
“Arriving at destination, on left,” the GPS chirped.