General Fiction posted May 22, 2020

Very short story

Twenty and the Longest Day

by CrystieCookie999

"Don't forget to put on your seat belt!" her mother yelled.

Charlene sighed. Her green eyes clouded up just a bit with discouragement. She knew she was a nervous driver, but it didn't help to have her mother nagging her, too. In fact, she had already taken the driver's exam three times and hadn't passed. At school, the driver's education teacher, Mr. Hampton, had told her to keep up with the speed limit. But once Charlene started driving, even with someone at her side, she couldn't bring herself to go more than twenty miles an hour. "Well, at least you'll never get a speeding ticket," her instructor said, half-teasingly.

Soon Charlene's classmates in driver's education noticed she was a slowpoke, too.

"How fast do your parents let you drive? Twenty miles an hour everywhere?" Dane said.

"There isn't even a lane on the freeway that only goes twenty miles an hour," added Erin.

"I'm gonna call you Twenty, for twenty miles an hour, from now on," Jesse blurted out.

"It just makes me so nervous to speed up. It feels like I am going to faint or have a heart attack if I come anywhere near 55 miles an hour," Charlene said.

"You just gotta practice more, Twenty," shrugged Jesse.

Her father took her to a counselor. Her mother said, "Let's go practice driving in the rural part of town, just to get your confidence up." Nothing seemed to work long-term. Charlene decided it couldn't be so bad to be called Twenty the rest of her life, or at least the rest of the school year.

Finally the day came for her fourth attempt to pass the driving test. She had practiced driving on the least populated roads and finally felt ready to go faster. Merging onto the freeway, the examiner asked Charlene to change lanes.

"At the same speed?" she asked, just to be sure.

"Yes, keep your speed steady at 55 miles an hour."

This time Charlene changed lanes without hesitating or slowing down.

It seemed to take all day, but the driver's test was finally over.

"You did well, and I'm passing you, Miss Benson."

What a relief! Now Charlene could tell Jesse that he could never call her Twenty again!


Twenty Short Story Contest contest entry

Thanks to avmurray for a stunning image of a yellow car.
Pays 10 points and 72 member cents.

Artwork by avmurray at

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