Escape To Tranquility


My Mustang purred smoothly, the engine not even noticing the hills as it crested them and zoomed around curves.

Until it died.

A cough from beneath the hood was the first indication of trouble and of course it couldn’t happen in a worse place. Miles from the last town and probably more miles from the next one. Civilization, such as it was in that remote area, wasn’t much anyway, towns consisting of a handful of buildings, half of which were empty. The other half were all too often closed.

That first ominous car cough was followed by a couple more that were louder until a last one was followed by silence. Dead, complete silence. My beautiful Mustang, a gift from my parents, was dead.

The sudden, unexpected death of my Mustang reminded me of how I’d got here, and the memory had me fighting tears as I stared at a sparkling lake surrounded by evergreens that was so close to the road I was on that I could be in the water in a few steps.

But I didn’t see those things. Instead I saw every single detail of my recent life as the reason that led to my being here came roaring back.

I remembered the death of my parents in a plane accident, followed by the numbing news that their business – the one that had given me a good education, a lovely life, an expensive sports car, and everything that goes with all of those things – that business was broke. Totally, completely insolvent. I’d inherited no money at all and nothing of value beyond the Mustang.

“There’s enough to pay the bills if we sell everything they owned,” their lawyer said from across his desk. “And I’ll find enough to keep you going briefly.”

“Are you sure?” How could they not be rich? We’d lived as if we were rich, and I’d always thought we were.

“I talked about it with your parents. The money thing. That they should put something aside for a rainy day. But they said they wanted to give their child – you – every advantage so they said the rainy day would just have to wait.”

He reached across that desk and took one of my hands in both of his. “Then the rainy day arrived and it was all they could do to keep afloat.” He shrugged eloquently. “They were poised to come out of it okay. To get back to where they’d been. Except the accident happened. And now I’m afraid you are broke.”

So I sold the house and everything else they’d owned, paid every single bill to keep their memory unsullied, gave most of my personal things to Good Will, stuffed the rest of my things into the trunk of the Mustang and what wouldn’t fit there I dumped into the back seat of my beautiful classic car in a cloud of depression and grief.

Then I took off for parts unknown. Pedal to the metal with no concern for what people I’d once considered my friends might think of my unseemly exit because they weren’t my friends once they learned I wasn’t rich after all. Never mind, I’d thought. I’d make new friends. Somewhere. Somehow.

And here I was. Definitely somewhere unknown, totally alone and on my own, without friends and with a car that had just died without warning, just like my parents had died also without warning, with both deaths leaving me very suddenly in a very bad place.

I couldn’t help what happened next. It was all I could do to let the car drift to the shoulder of the road until it stopped moving. When it was completely stopped, I put on the parking brake, dropped my head to the steering wheel, and cried.

I sobbed. Absolutely wailed. I cried loudly and I didn’t care how loud because I was all alone in the wilderness. No one for a hundred miles at least. No one to listen and judge me. I simply clutched the steering wheel and let the tears fall fast and furious.

“Are you okay, Miss?”


Read the rest of this story in


(Hint: everyone loves a good romance.)

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