“When your vehicle breaks down, there’s usually a friendly man or lady in a recovery truck to rescue you. Those men and woman are in reality heroes for the way they risk their lives to keep us going and the roads safe.”
I wrote this story in answer to the following prompts:
Pensitivity’s three things challenge – Shoulder – Stuffing – Resort
FOWC with Fandango — Vestige
Your Daily Word — Affiance
Ragtag Daily Word — Sprout
The Recovery Man
‘Dillon, we’ve got a single female driver in a broken down Megane soft top. She’s on the hard shoulder of the motorway. Five miles southbound beyond the Longway’s Services.’
“Roger that, Sue. Let’s not leave alone her for too long. I’m on my way.” Dillon grinned as he pulled his recovery truck out of the services and accelerated with the traffic. He loved nothing more than to improve people’s days by getting their vehicles going again. “Did she give any more details?” he asked over the radio.
‘She says; the car just died. Don’t be horrible to her if she’s run out of fuel, will you.’
“Never! I always do my best to help my customers avoid embarrassment and keep every last vestige of respect they can.” Dillon settled into the drive while keeping his eyes firmly on the big rigs passing him in the fast lane. Those and the maniac speeders kept him on his toes
This afternoon was wearing on in quite a calm fashion. Maybe it was the sunny day affording the drivers relaxed energy on their commutes. Dillon glanced in his rear-view mirror and grinned to himself. He’d allowed a moustache to sprout on his upper lip in the last few weeks. His wife hated it, but he thought it looked handsome.
The orange emergency beacons on the Megane soon came into view. Dillon engaged his recovery lights, indicated and pulled on to the shoulder behind the sky-blue car. He stopped his recovery truck thirty-feet behind his customer. There it provided a little warning and protective cover from the seventy-mile-an-hour traffic.
An oil tanker thundered by shaking the recovery truck. Dillon took a deep breath, opened his door and slipped out with his tablet in hand. This part of the job was always an adrenaline rush. Working close to the live lanes was taking his life into his hands. It was exhilarating and scary all at once. Looking like a six-foot-tall safety cone in his orange coveralls, he walked down to the car. Tapping on the driver’s window, he gave a cheery smile and spoke once it was wound down, “Good afternoon, madam. I’m Dillon. I’ll soon get you going again,” he announced himself loudly over the passing vehicles.
“Thank you for coming so quickly. I’m Jessica and this old car’s giving me a headache!” she replied looking relieved to see him.
“Pleased to meet you, Jessica.” Dillon checked her details and noted some more about the vehicle. He noticed the young blonde lady was wearing a skimpy white dress and feeling uncomfortable by the way she was covering herself with her arms. “Okay, so what happened?” he asked while respectfully averting his eyes.
“I was on my way to the New Life Spa Resort. I won a weekend there you see.” Jessica began.
“Oh, very nice. I might join you for a shoulder massage, later on,” Dillon smiled as he kept his eyes off her by watching the passing traffic.
“You’d sure deserve it if you get me going again.”
“Well, rest assured I’m not leaving you until you have a working car, or I get you somewhere safe. What happened with this old girl?” Dillon placed a hand on the black fabric roof and turned away from a cloud of dust belching from a fast-moving curtain side lorry.
“Well, I don’t really know. First, the dashboard lights started stuffing up, blinking and going out. Then everything just died. I coasted onto the hard shoulder and managed to stop safely. Now, it won’t even start.” Jessica told him with a frustrated flap of her hands. “It is fixable isn’t it?”
Dillon recorded her version of events on his tablet. “Sure, I reckon we can get you going again. Can you pop the bonnet and turn the key for me?”
“Sure,” Jessica leaned over and pulled the lever causing the bonnet to jump on its latch.
Dillon made to step around the front and flinched as a horn blared loud in his ears. He swore and squashed himself flat against the car. A double-decker car transport lorry shrieked by missing his belly by less than an inch. “Get over you, bloody idiot!” Dillon yelled shaking his fist angrily.
“Wow! Are you okay?” asked Jessica aghast.
“I’m fine, thanks. I nearly lost 6 inches of belly quicker than one of those new keto diets then though,” Dillon chuckled as he moved to open the bonnet. “Okay, try to start her up please!”
“It’s still not doing anything?”
The recovery driver raised a hand. He’d heard the starter motor click but nothing else happened. A glance about the clean engine bay told him the car was well maintained. There was only one thing this could be. “Looks like your battery’s knackered. I’ll grab my engine starter and we’ll find out.”
“Thank you,” Jessica said still appearing embarrassed by the situation.
“My pleasure,” Dillon diced with death as he walked back along the shoulder to his recovery truck. He soon had the tools he needed and quickly wired up the battery. “Right, try and start her again,” he instructed.
This time as Jessica turned the key her car spluttered into life. “Hey! It worked. You’re a genius.”
Dillon had already begun winding his cables away. When he was done, he closed the bonnet again. “Just call me Dillon Einstein!” he flashed a smile and chuckled. “Right, if you stall or turn the engine off it probably won’t start again. Drive down to the next roundabout and go right. Two miles down there’s a left turn into an industrial estate. Pull in there. The red building as you drive in is a car parts place.”
“What if I have to stop along the long way,” Jessica’s faced taughtened with fear.
“Don’t you, worry. I’m going to follow you there and change that battery for you. I’ll flash my indicators when I’m ready. Then you can pick up speed on the hard shoulder and join the traffic when safe.”
“You’re an angel, Dillon.”
“And you’re too kind. See you in a few minutes.” Dillon swiftly loaded his gear back into his truck and indicated for her to drive on. Fortune favoured him today. Jessica was a good driver, she negotiated the roundabout and the five-mile journey without a hitch. Dillon went straight into the spare parts store to purchase a new battery. When he came back the Megane was there but Jessica wasn’t.
With growing concern, Dillon put the battery by the car and walked from the car park to find her. A look about left him smiling; she was heading down the path with an arm full of goodies from Sam’s Food truck. “There you are, I thought some rotten bugger had abducted you then!”
“So, sorry I scared you,” Jessica smiled appreciatively. “I saw the food truck and an opportunity. I didn’t know what you liked, so I bought coffee, bacon rolls and some doughnuts to thank you for helping me.”
Dillon took the coffees as they walked back to her car. “That’s the loveliest thing a customer has ever done for me,” he said.
“Aww, well you deserve it for risking your life to save others.”
“My wife would disagree. She wants me to become a postman or something. She reckons I’m selfish risking my life for others when she’s waiting for me at home.” Dillon accepted a bacon roll and began to eat while changing out the defective battery.
“I think that’s quite romantic,” Jessica told him from the driver’s seat.
“Yeah, I suppose it is,” Dillon tightened the last bolt and connected the positive and negative terminals. “Righto, start her up again.”
Jessica turned the key and the car jumped into life. “Woohoo! She’s alive again!” she said with delight.
“Mission complete. The spa awaits dear lady.” Dillon shut the bonnet for her and came around to the driver’s door. “Can you just read the screen and sign at the bottom for me? This just verifies what I did and that I got you going again. You will receive all the details by email should you need to make enquiries, complaints or anything.”
“Why would I need to complain?” Jessica read swiftly and signed. “You helped me like the perfect gentleman.”
“You’d be surprised by some of the complaints we receive. Why I helped a man of affiance a while back. In his hurry to get to the alter he curbed his car puncturing two tyres. I drove him to church and then went back to change his tyres and brought his car to church for him. Yet, he still complained that it was my fault he was late for his wedding!”
“Really? What a stupid man!” Jessica stood up and kissed Dillon on the cheek. “I think I was a lucky lady being rescued by you. I’ll be telling your boss that you’re my hero.”
“It was my pleasure you have a safe journey and a wonderful weekend now.” Dillon shut her car door and waved as she drove away. The warm feeling in his heart at knowing he’d rescued Jessica was why he did this job. Helping people safely on their way was the most rewarding thing he’d ever done.
Have a great day!