Just Passed

car illustration

I’m gonna have cramp in my hands at this rate. Is that normal? Surely that’s not normal. Maybe I’m holding on too tight. But if I loosen up a bit the whole fucking steering wheel shakes and I’ll end up weaving across all four lanes and I’ll kill everybody.

Is it just my car that rattles like it’s about to explode when I get over 50 mph? Is it ‘cos it’s a doddery old piece of shit? Probably. Couldn’t afford much else though, could I? All my money went on the driving lessons and the retests.

Oh shit, there’s a lorry on that slip road. I can’t pull out; it’s just solid traffic in the lane next to me. Should I indicate and see if they let me out? But they’re all moving so much faster than I am and I’m genuinely concerned that this fucking tin box on wheels will just unravel at the seams if I manage to match their speed and then there’ll be bits of metal all over the motorway and I’ll get squished by a passing Audi.

Oh fuck, it looks like it’s coming straight for me. He’s gonna slam right into the side of me and shunt me over to the other lanes and I’ll end up killing everybody. I can’t pull over, I really can’t. I don’t know what the protocol is. Why can’t they just teach you motorway driving in your driving lessons? I mean, if I’m qualified to drive on the motorway, surely I should know how to drive on the motorway? Just an excuse for the fucking instructors to squeeze more cash out of you for their Pass Plus bullshit, isn’t it?

No, no, no, no… oh… okay… right. He’s gonna slip in behind me. That’s fine. That’s okay. Only now I’m sandwiched between two HGVs and I feel a bit like an ant sat between two human feet, preparing itself for being squished. Why is he so close to my arse? I can’t go any faster than the lorry in front of me, can I? Maybe he’s trying to make a point. Maybe I should’ve pulled over. I wish I’d got one of those green probationary plates so people would know I genuinely have no fucking clue what I’m doing. Maybe they’d go easier on me. Or maybe they’d look at me and think I’m a windy wanker who’s scared of the roads. They wouldn’t be wrong.

I wish I could put some music on to distract myself but if I put music on I’ll distract myself and I’ll probably end up doing something really stupid and killing everybody.

Killing everybody is a running theme, I think.

Christ, I’ve only been going 45 minutes. Google Maps says I’ve got another four hours ahead of me but at this bloody rate it’ll be more like six. I’ll have to stop somewhere at some point. I already feel a wee coming on and I only had one just before I left. I can’t bear the thought of having to pull off at a service station and pull back on again. Joining the motorway has to be one of life’s most terrifying everyday activities. I’ll just have to try and hold it for as long as possible, and I better stop drinking water, too.

Holy shit he’s pulling around me. A HGV is overtaking me. That’s a bit tragic, isn’t it? Even if it is my first time on the motorway. I mean, it’s my first day driving anywhere on my own. Two hours ago the examiner ticked the “Passed” box and now I’m driving the width of the country to meet a stranger from the internet.

What the fuck am I doing?

Shit, another slip road. Oh, fuck, there’s three lorries on it. I’m gonna end up killing everybody.


This story was inspired by prompt no. 40 at ThinkWritten.com: “Car Keys: Write about someone getting their driver’s license for the first time.”

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Author: Ellie Scott

Ellie Scott is a freelance copywriter and fiction writer from Sheffield, UK. She writes speculative and silly short stories and flash fiction. She has published two short story collections - 'Merry Bloody Christmas' and 'Come What May Day'. In 2018 she was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize Short Story Competition. She can often be found loitering on Twitter (@itsemscott), Instagram (@tinysillystories) and Medium (@elliemaryscott).

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