I was working a hundred and fifty miles from home. It wasn’t ideal. My family were at a bungalow in Wales and I was a teacher in the Midlands. It wasn’t too bad, every Sunday night I would drive across the pass and head into England. From there to my mother-in-laws where I would stay until Friday when after work I’d get in the car and drive home.
One day though the drive out of Wales was more adventurous than I’d thought it would be.
The night before had been the first frost and it wasn’t too cold but enough to give a bite to the air. Anyway, I was in the car and had come to the part of the mountain pass where the road does a series of hairpin bends. I’ve seen some silly driving in my time but that night a car shot past me going far too fast. I mean fantastically fast. He swung around a bend and disappeared from sight and as I rounded the curve I was expecting to see him just ahead of me.
He was gone.
There was no sign of the car. Odd, I thought and carried on driving. It was then that I saw the fence was out, and only because my headlights caught the broken pieces. He had just missed a huge barrier and instead ploughed straight into a farmer’s post and wire fence.
It took a second to realised what I was seeing and then I stopped.
I turned the hazards on and got out. Walking over I looked down. I couldn’t see anything. But the break I the fence was fresh.
“Hello?” I yelled down and I’m just about to leave when I hear.
“Hello…” It’s quiet but it’s there.
I turned from the drop, but now it was to get a rope. I’m a part-time mechanic and I always carry a rope in the car. You never know when someone might need a tow.
I know the valley is steep and ends in a stream winding through the bottom. From the sound of the voice I can tell that the man hadn’t hit the bottom.
Tying the rope to one of the posts, after giving it a push to make sure it was steady, I throw the rope down in the direction of the voice.
“Do you see the rope?”
“Yes…” the voice said.
“Can you climb up?”
“Yes.” The voice sounds surer now and I saw the slack on the rope disappear. Reaching for my phone I call for help.
As the voice in my ear asks what the emergency was I see a young man come out of the gloom. He had a cut above his eye and blood covered half his face but apart from that he was moving easily.
I tell them and then hang up to help him up. He smiled up at me and I grinned down. For a moment I see his car pass me again only this time he doesn’t climb the rope. With a lump in my throat we waited for the ambulance, both sitting on the verge, our backs to the broken fence and gathering darkness, smelling wet grass and petrol.
“That was close,” he said, and I have to agree with him. It was too close.
This is a short story based on the daily prompt – daring do. It is also true, except the man going to work was my dad – he pulled the young man from the mountain pass between Wales and the Midlands, England. He never heard from him again, but for that young man my dad was a hero.