In the Heart of Windy Pines
In all his life, the man in the Mercedes had never had a car break down on him. Plenty of other catastrophes had befallen him, but a failing automobile was a problem he had no experience with. Lately, however, his life had been full of firsts.
Just as the three-year-old Mercedes-Benz GLS he was driving began slowing and lurching like some old junker, a series of four small, weathered, peeling billboards, each lit up in the failing twilight by a single yellow bulb, came into view.
You’re just two miles from a good night’s sleep!
Stay with us at Mistletoe Manor!
Best dinner in town is at Mistletoe Manor!
Take your next right to Mistletoe Manor. Closed Mondays.
“It’s a… Tuesday!” he decided. Funny how the days ran together now that he was retired.
He put on his blinker and veered off the highway onto Pine Lookout Road. It was a narrow road and only the center of it had been plowed. It swooped down a bit and then rounded a corner, and then went up, up, up. It would have been plenty for any vehicle to take, but his malfunctioning automobile was hardly having it. It sputtered and lurched even more violently. A low guardrail and the chunks of snow and ice on the side of the road were all that separated him from the steeply cascading mountainside on his right. His hands gripped the steering wheel in white-knuckled fear, as he pressed the gas pedal to the floor.
“Come on, you can make it,” he told his vehicle, just as it shot ahead and began behaving normally again. “Thank you. You’ve got this,” he told it, in the same tone he’d used years ago when his kids were little and they were playing soccer or field hockey. “Good job, good job. Keep it up.”