End of Story
The way down became increasingly steeper. I glanced at the figure beside me. Involuntarily, I cried out: "The brakes won't hold."
Let me begin at the end of the story. It will help everyone understand what went before.
As the car plunged over the cliff, I could see through its rear window the outline of the figure in the passenger seat. The vehicle disappeared and there followed a crash like metal doors slammed together by a giant hand. An explosion followed the crash and a flash of flames lit up the night. I turned and tottered away as quickly as I could move my trembling legs.
Still working backward, I had eased the car along the dark, winding road and over the pass between two high peaks. The way down became increasingly steeper. I plied the brakes. I glanced at the figure beside me. Involuntarily, I cried out: "The brakes won't hold." I wrenched open the driver side door and flung myself out just as the car approached a hairpin curve.
Earlier in the day, I had packed the car for the drive across the state to my sister's place. Some of us were gathering to celebrate her birthday. It would be an overnight trip so I put extra blankets in the car along with packages of birthday presents. I helped Jason into the car and fastened a seatbelt around his overstuffed waist.
That morning, when Dad had learned I planned the trip and would drive over the mountains after dark, he had reservations.
"I don't like it, Geraldine," he said. "You'll be alone on a dark road."
"No, Dad," I said. "I'll have Jason."
"Jason? Who's Jason?"
"The full-figure blow-up doll I bought to put in the passenger seat. I call him Jason. He makes it look as if I'm not by myself, that I have a big, burly man with me. People leave me alone. Don't worry."
I gave him a kiss and said I'd be back the following week.
OK, here's the real ending. State troopers brought me home safe from the crash. I missed my sister's birthday party. I miss my car. I miss Jason.