The contest is this: interpret a photo that is changed each week with a piece as short or long as you would like. Here is the picture:
This is the piece I wrote:
The car suddenly made a big popping sound.
Mario’s face opened with surprise. He labored to pull the car over onto the side of the freeway.
He got out and looked to at the side of the car. “Looks like we’ve got a flat, Rhon. You wanna come out and help me a sec?”
Rhonda. One of the better names I’d made up for myself. I’d have to keep that in mind.
I climbed out of the car slowly and reluctantly. No, I didn’t really want to help him fix the flat. I’m not an auto mechanic, not even close. But I felt I owed it to the him. Not a lot of guys would pick up an eleven year old girl hitch-hiking along the side of the Arizona highway.
Leaving the air-conditioned Mustang made me realize how hot it was outside. Fortunately it was a dry heat, and I much preferred it to the humidity of the east coast, a place I’d spent a lot of time. I took a moment to roll up my sleeves.
Mario was fiddling with a long silver thing he was pressing into the hubcap of the car. I tuned out a little bit, gazing off the side of the highway into the open desert. There was a rugged beauty about the red rocks, the unwavering sunlight. Almost godly. And the complete lack of civilization. This is where I want to live, I thought. Away from all the people.
“Here,” Mario said from behind me. I turned around and saw that he had pried the offending tire from the rim. “Can you hold onto this for a little while?” He smiled and got back to work.
I got down onto my knees and rolled the tire over to me. Why was he so nice to me? Why wasn’t he like every nearly other grown-up I’d ever known, and told me I was worthless? I almost regretted not being able to tell him my real name.
Skyler. It took a moment to remember. My father used to say that it was because my heart was as big as the sky. I started conjuring a picture of my father.
No. My father was dead. No use reopening old wounds. Harden the heart.
I pulled the tire close to me and nestled against it. I didn’t worry about ruining my clothes; the dog back in Louisiana had taken care of that.
I started thinking back to the time I first ran away, two years ago. When I was nine. When I first realized that my mother was not safe or stable, and that she was going to kill me.
So I left, because it’s the only thing I know how to do. Run away.
My gaze was drawn to a falcon soaring on some thermals, wings spread as if experiencing the most relaxing thing in the world.
I wish I was a bird. You can’t trap a bird. A bird can fly, fly away from all its troubles. And it doesn’t ever have to look back.
Please understand that the formatting in this is all messed up. It was a lot prettier originally. So the really long spaces are what are supposed to be paragraph breaks. Excuse the formatting and tell me what you think!