Jan 6, 2012

Iowa Palms

Kellie Elmore has once again challenged her followers to write from Time & Place scenarios for her Free Write Friday. Today's scenario is:
 You have just woken up in the backseat of a car and you look up to see palm tree’s through the back glass. The sun is setting and you realize you are far from home…

“Oh…..my head…it feels like it is going to explode. Am I late? David’s birthday party is supposed to start at 7:00. I was going to David's party wasn't I? Wait! Why am I in the backseat of? This isn’t my car. I don’t have black leather seats, a sun roof or…palm trees? I have never seen palm trees in Iowa.”   

Dani unfolds her long legs and reaches for the car’s door handle only to find it won’t budge.  She turns to see if someone is in the front seat to discover this isn’t just any ordinary vehicle, but a black limousine. Stunned she slumps back in the seat. More questions tumble through her thoughts as she tries frantically to understand why she is in this car. Her last memory was walking out the front door of her apartment.

Desperate, Dani tries the door handle again to find it still won’t open. She searches for a lock to unlock the door only to discover there isn’t one. She looks to the front of the vehicle again and begins to climb over the seats. Fortunately the small window between the driver and the rear of the car is open. She manages to squeeze through it and topples on her head into the front seat.

Just as she manages to right herself and reach for the door it is pulled open by a black leathered hand. A man just as startled as she gasps.

“Miss Taylor, what are you doing? You told me to let you sleep and come back in a couple of hours.”

Dani stares at the man thinking he has gone mad. She doesn’t recognize him. He knows her name, but she hasn’t a clue as to who he is. Suddenly she glances over his shoulder and sees a white, sandy beach. Where the hell is she?

“Sir, I don’t know how you know my name or who you are, but you better explain how I got in this car and why I am looking at sand!”

The man looked as confused as she and spoke, “Miss Taylor, I am Kyle, your driver.” You hired me two days ago after you finalized the financial issues that dealt with your winnings from the Iowa State Lottery. You told me to take you as far away from frozen corn fields as I could. I opened a bottle of champagne as you requested and we left Des Moines Monday around 9:00 a.m. to drive to Florida.”

The fog in Dan’s memory began to clear. She had bought a lottery ticket on a whim six months ago. Her fiancĂ© of four years had decided he didn’t want to get married and had left her holding a bouquet in front of city hall. She was so devastated and angry she decided to pawn her engagement ring and spend it on lottery tickets. Her misery had spawned luck.  The very next week she won Iowa’s $29 million dollar jackpot. The following months she had hired a financial advisor to manage her winnings and as soon as she could she made plans to leave Iowa’s dust far behind.

Along with remembering her lottery win she remembered the champagne. Kyle hadn’t just opened one bottle for her. He had opened three.

“No wonder my head hurts!” I don’t even drink alcohol. The lottery gods must have been watching over me. So this is a hangover. I don’t think I want to ever drink again!”

Dani looked up at Kyle and said, “Well, thank you for delivering me safely. Now help me out of this car. I want to feel that sand between my toes. Also, unless you must return to Iowa, I want to hire you as my driver and assistant. I believe I must buy some real estate.”

Kyle was rather stunned, but she made an offer he was not about to refuse.  He spoke a hearty, “Yes, Miss Dani!”

As Dani stepped out onto the sand she forgot about snow and farmland. Today she would have her moment in the sun. Tomorrow she would begin the journey that really began with a broken heart. A ring sold in pain would bring hope to others with broken hearts. She wanted to help those in need and she already had the name for her charity. It will be called, Diamond Hope.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Photograph: Palm Trees we-heart-it


  1. How great would that be?! Man, I'd LOVE to wake up in the back of a limo an instant millionaire! lol! Great story, Susie! Glad you had some time to write for me again! :) You did a fantastic job!!! Hugs!

  2. Thanks Kellie...I say if you are going to dream..dream big...lol btw I have my lottery ticket :)

  3. Excellent story, Susie! I love the ending!


  4. Thank you Charles...I love happy endings also :)