I am screaming in the back seat of the family station wagon, a tan behemoth of a car with a gear shift that looks like it belongs in a big rig and a trunk that could hold a mattress, as it whips in circles spraying dirt and gravel into the air at the intersection of Hosington Cross Road and Blood Street.
Mom and Dad have gone to Maine for the weekend leaving my fifteen-year-old brother, Tycen, and me home alone. The ride had been calm up until this point when temptation of blowing donuts was too much for my brother’s friend Josh to ignore. After three or four rotations, Josh stops the car. He and Tycen are laughing and saying how great that was. I am as angry as I’ve ever been and think I may throw up. Tycen and Josh switch places and I settle down, thankful it is over. Tycen has promised not to do any more donuts, but then he guns the engine and pops the clutch and the wheels are not straight and we are fish tailing from one side of the narrow dirt road to the other. The steel bumper on the passenger side hooks some small trees and rips them out of the ground and now everyone is yelling and screaming and no one is having fun.
Tycen slams on the brakes and we all get out to inspect the damage, a large dent and a flat rear tire, along with a now badly rutted road. The trees are pulled from the bumper but we can’t change the tire here, as there is no place to pull off. On the dirt road driving on a flat tire is not that loud, but as soon as we reach the pavement the noise increases and when the tire sheers off the rim it quadruples. Sparks are flying in the air as we drive through Danby Four Corners. I am curled in a ball with my hands clasped firmly over my ears to try to block out the horrendous noise. After what seems like an eternity, Tycen stops at small dirt pull off. Standing there in the dark, my imagination racing, I keep looking over my shoulder, certain some animal is going to come up from the ravine behind me and pull me down to my doom. Then I hear the sound of a car and before we know it we see the headlights. Josh and I scamper nearly half way down the embankment and lie on our stomachs with our heads pressed to the ground. Tycen is lying on the ground half under the car. The headlights sweep over us and continue on, leaving us in the dark once again. Josh and Tycen continue to frantically change the tire, then they pitch the mangled rim over the bank and we climb back into the car. Tycen carefully pulls back onto the road and cautiously drives home.
Despite Tycen replacing the rim, with a nearly identical one, and buffing out the dents, our parents still found out and consequently never left us home alone again.