I noticed a big rig coming up fast on my tail. I turned off the cruise control and slowed the truck down. The guy had his bright lights on and rode my rear bumper as we crested a hill and rounded the curve at the bottom. As we came out of the turn I felt a jolt as his grill hit my rear bumper. I gripped the steering wheel tight and stomped on the accelerator. Harley sat up and looked around.
“Get on the floor,” I said. For once he listened to me and jumped to the floor boards. “Good, boy, now stay.”
My truck didn’t pick up speed very fast, but it was faster than the semi and I put a little distance between us. The lights of Glenwood shone in the distance and I pushed hard on the accelerator. The semi did the same. We made a dangerous duo shooting down the highway in two heavy duty vehicles. Luckily no deer bounded onto the road and I was able to maintain a spread until I reached yet another hill and came upon a slow moving car in my lane and an oncoming car
in the opposite lane.
The semi’s lights flashed almost as if to tell me that he knew he had me. I had a burst of brilliance as the bright beams reflected off my rear view mirror. Right before town was a gravel pit with a wide approach. I might be able to shoot off onto it without killing myself or endangering the other motorists. I gripped the wheel with sweaty palms and tried not to lose my nerve when I recognized the row of pine trees immediately before the gravel pits.
I eased off the accelerator and pulled onto the narrow shoulder. The semi touched my bumper again. The approach appeared in my headlights and I slammed on the brakes and cranked the wheel to the right, then hit the accelerator. The rear end fish-tailed wildly but we didn’t spin out until we made it to the wide open space of the pit. As the truck spun, I caught a glimpse of a semi with a red cab and a bold yellow stripe down the side hooked to a cattle trailer shooting past the approach.
I managed to control my truck and brought it to a bouncy stop. Harley whimpered on the floor. It took me a a minute to be able to relax my grip on the wheel. When I did I wiped the sweat from my forehead with my shirt.
“You okay?” I asked Harley. He crawled over the four wheel drive shift control and put his chin on my lap. I stroked him and concentrated on breathing slowly. When my heartbeat settled into a fast, yet steady rhythm, I put the truck in gear and crept back onto the road. No traffic, so I drove into Glenwood craning my neck at every intersection to see if I could spot the semi. I drove the rest of the way to Dyersville hyper-vigilant, checking the mirrors every few seconds.
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