Morning Drive || by Brian Simmons


LIGHTNING CRASHED AS TORRENTIAL RAIN annulled my view. Thunderous echoes filled the air.  Melinda was fast asleep in the backseat. I hurriedly flicked on my hazard lights, contemplating pulling off to the side of the road. In a flash, the storm dissolved, like someone had just flipped a switch.  

The sky was clear, now, except for one solemn-looking cloud.  It was haze grey and illuminated with a twitch of flickering light. As I progressed further, I noticed this cloud was following us. Like a shot, an irate fire bolt submerged our car. It was the most boisterous, ear-splitting noise we had ever heard. The car stalled. 

 “What was that?” I asked Melinda. 

 “Can you still take me to work?” she replied. 

What a strange question, I thought. How could she think of work at a time like this? 

“Of course I will take you to work. I told you I would, earlier.”

 I turned the key and felt a tumultuous thrust. The engine started to rumble. “Yes, it works!” I shouted. I put the car in drive and proceeded down the highway. The trip to the hospital was uneventful. Upon our arrival, we were greeted at the door.

 “Can I help you, Sir?” the receptionist, at the front desk, asked.  

“I’m just dropping my wife off and then I will be on my way.” 

The hospital had a peculiar ambience. There was often a feeling of affliction and despair in the emergency room. Today, everyone seemed at peace.  

“I need to clock in,” Melinda said. 

“Alright, I will see you tonight.”  

As I started exiting the building a nurse asked me if I was okay. I told her that my car had been struck by lightning, during my morning commute. She directed me to sit down. 

“You need to relax,” the nurse said. 

“I am relaxed, but I am also very sleepy. I think I will rest my head for a bit.” 

I dozed off, forgetting all my worries and cares. Far in the distance I heard a faint voice. 

“Mr Ryan, wake up!” 

“Where am I?” I asked. I glanced up, in a daze, and saw a different, older being. This was not the same person who had treated me earlier. 

 “Ryan, you know where you are at. This is Eden,” the ominous figure said. 

 “How did I get here?”  

“You were brought in after Ms Melinda passed away. You must have bumped your head. You have been out for hours.”  

  “I want to go back!” I shouted. “I was only driving Melinda to work!” 

Without warning, the lights began to slowly dim. I felt a heavy burden lifted off my shoulders. A repetitive ringing assaulted my ears. It was my alarm clock. I was back in my own bed, safe and sound.

“Wake up Melinda! We have to go to work.” 

“Five more minutes,” Melinda said.

“Baby, wake up! I just had the strangest dream.” 



BRIAN SIMMONS is a middle school, social studies, teacher in John’s Island, South Carolina. He graduated from East Carolina University, with a B.A. in History. Brian is a United States Navy Veteran, who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Brian lives in Charleston, South Carolina with his wife, Linda.

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