Fish and Chips (Chapter 1)

I drove slowly. The mist in front of me was like a great white wave, and my car was like a ship, slowly pushing through it. My car’s headlights reached out, but not far. I could see hedges. Their dark leaves guided me along this narrow, country road. I was anxious*. At any moment, another car could come along. But there were no other cars. Not one. Where was I? When I left my manager’s party thirty minutes ago, the air was clear. ‘I can get home in twenty minutes,’ I thought. But then the mist came down, and now I was lost.

I turned up the heater and leaned forward in my seat. Perhaps a town or village was round the next corner. I hoped so. I looked at my petrol gauge*. I needed petrol – quickly. I thought about my new job – my first after university – Mr Harkness, and his party. ‘I have a Christmas Eve party every year for the staff,’ Mr Harkness told me. ‘Enjoy yourself, lad.’ I did. The room was warm, the people from my work were friendly, and the food was good. But at 10pm, I decided to leave. Helen, my wife, was pregnant* and alone in our house. Mr Harkness understood. He walked me to the front door. ‘Is Helen’s morning sickness* still as bad?’ he asked. I told him it wasn’t. ‘Well, give my love to her,’ he said. I promised I would.

There was a CD player in the car, but I needed to concentrate*. My hands held the steering wheel tightly. I took a deep breath and tried to relax. Suddenly, the car hesitated*, jumped forward, hesitated again; then died. I was out of petrol. I was miles from nowhere and I was out of petrol. I dropped my head onto the steering wheel. I felt angry. ‘But that isn’t going to help,’ I told myself. I took out my phone from my pocket. No signal*.

An original story by


anxious* – worried

petrol gauge* –  instrument that shows how much petrol there is

pregnant* – will have a child soon

morning sickness* – nausea and vomiting that pregnant women often experience in the morning

concentrate* – focus

hesitated* – delay, move uncertainly 

No signal* – the phone cannot locate a mobile phone service provider

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