Never one to turn down a dare, I clenched my eyes shut as I gripped the steering wheel.

Five seconds. That’s how long I had to keep them closed.

This sort of thing happens often. Usually at night, when I am on a straight road or highway. My mind will start thinking in this sort of way:

– Work was pretty treacherous today.

– Cindy is such a bitch for making me redo that finance report.

– Cindy’s boobs are big.

– Boobs. They’re pretty cool.

– I really like this song in the radio.

– Mouth! Start humming along!

– I wonder what The Beatles would have called themselves if not The Beatles.

– I haven’t seen another car on this road for a while.

I bet I could close my eyes for five seconds.

– Five whole seconds is a lot of time. What if an animal jumps out?

Pussy.

– I’m just saying, it’s a stupid thing to do.

But at this point it’s too late. I got the Idea. Once I get an Idea in my head, I have to do it or I will go crazy.

And I mean crazy!

I will not be able to park my car until I have completed this dare, this Idea.

I’m trapped. See?

So I click on the cruise control and my eyes close.

“One Mississippi.”

I say it aloud, so as to not cheat.

“Two Mississippi.”

I don’t rush the “two” or the “Mississippi.” I am an honest player, in this game of mine. I annunciate clearly, making sure to take a full second. I am the referee, after all.

“Three Mississippi.”

My hands clamp on the steering wheel. My foot hovers over the brake pedal expectantly.

“Four Mississippi.”

Jesus, five seconds is a long time. I envision a curve in the road that I failed to observe earlier as well as some trees with my name on it.

“Five Miss…”

Surely, a deer is currently jumping into the middle of the road.

“…iss…”

I’ve been driving on this dark road for twenty minutes, without seeing another person or animal, and of course this is the moment it chooses to jump out in front of me.

Now! Of all times!

“…ip…”

In my mind it is a cartoon deer, for some reason, and not a real deer.

It’s Bambi’s mom, but cuter.

And pregnant.

She just decides to venture off through this odd clearing of trees where grass is replaced by flat gravel pavement with yellow and white lines.

I can picture her cartoony eyes get all cartoony big as this four wheeled beast slams into her at precisely sixty-five miles per hour and BAM! Sayonara life! No brakes were applied because my eyes are tightly shut for no reason whatsoever.

“…pi!”

I open my eyes to see that I have moved slightly onto the shoulder. Other than that, the road is clear and everything is normal.

And that’s that.

I win.

-Youngman Brown

0 thoughts on “The Idea

  1. Oh, thank you, thank you for not killing off Bambi's mom!

    This was great, I was fascinated by the compulsion and I loved the suspense. With the way you've ended other things, I thought for sure the character was a goner!

    Flawless writing, as always.

  2. I've actually done this before. Actually, I've both played the 5 Second Game (never went the whole 5 seconds, but I did fall asleep once) and hit a deer.

    Anyway, this story was definitely stressful. I was tensed up until the very end. I'm glad you won, though (and damn, I just lost THE game). Great flash fiction. I really like the originality and style people are pouring into their stories.

  3. I've let my eyes take a picture of a sidewalk and then closed them to see how long I can navigate without opening them. Not the same as driving. I want to go crazy thinking of doing it. I think I would jerk the wheel when I finish, if I finish.

    WG

  4. I do this too sometimes by accident…. Zzzzzz! I call it driving by braille. What..!?! That's why they put those little noise makers on the edges of the highways for right?

    Nice one YGB!

    Michael A. Walker
    Defying Procrastination

  5. When I drove for a delivery company, I would sometimes set the cruise control, get out of the driver's seat, run to the back of the vehicle to make faces at the cars behind me and then run back to the seat.

    I was a moron.

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