Jack was a long haul trucker on his way back home in the east. He made good money and that is what has kept him on the road for the past 37 years. He was married and hated spending so much time away from his wife and kids. He thinks back in time to all of the anniversaries and birthdays he has missed over the years. He knew that his wife, son, and daughter always supported him so much. He just had the feeling that it was time to retire from driving truck on these long hauls and spend more time with them. After all his house was paid off a few years back. Jack was on his second marriage. Jane his first wife just got tired of him being away from home for such long stretches of time. Jack never stopped loving her, but when she filed for divorce it was hard on him. Jack was smiling as he was thinking of them He called them before he left California and told them that he would be home in a few days.
His second marriage has now been for fourteen years. He has a son and a daughter from his second marriage, one thirteen and the other eleven. They deserve better he thought. He just can’t take driving on these long hauls anymore. As the years have gone by and old age is now on his doorstep, he feels it is time to quit,
It was nightfall and he was thinking about pulling into a rest area to get some sleep before heading on. He was now at mile marker 52 driving east through Nebraska when his headlights caught something ahead of him. There was a van some distance ahead but he could see that a woman was banging on the back window of the van screaming. She was in trouble and Jack was sure she was kidnapped or at least in some kind of serious trouble. He kept getting closer to the van and saw two men come up and grab her and pull her back. “OMG, they are going to rape her,” Jack said to himself.
He got on the CB radio and said, “Breaker, breaker, this is Old Jack, I need help and I need it fast.” Three truckers came back on the radio and wanted to know what was going on. Jack told them and he gave them his location. A couple of more came on the CB and said they were less than a mile ahead of him and would be there quickly. Jack said, “I’ll get this son of a bitch from behind. I need someone to get him in the front and two more of you truckers trap him in from the sides. We need to help this woman and do it fast.” He saw the woman get up to the van windows a couple of times. He could see she was beyond scared.
The truckers moved into place. Jack moved closer toward the back, another trucker on each side of the van, another slowing down in front of the van. Soon they were all in place and the van had nowhere to go. The trucks were coming to a stop. Trapped, the driver on the van pulled out a gun and fired at one of the truckers. Another trucker yanked open the passenger side door and when the driver turned toward him the trucker landed a punch that knocked him out.
The woman was screaming in the back of the van. Another trucker opened the van side door and saw two men ready to rape a young woman. They both had their pants down, so two truckers grabbed them and threw them out of the van. They pulled rope from their pockets and tied them up like cattle.
Jack got into the van and the woman wrapped her arms around him. She was crying hysterically. She said, “They jumped me when I was walking along the highway. They pulled me into the van and kept telling me what they were going to do to me. I was so scared. How can I ever thank all of you?”
Jack said, “Can one of you guys call the police?”
“I already did it, Joe, They are on their way.”
Soon the police were there and took care of the situation. The woman wanted all of the truckers names and phone numbers before they left. She got all of them and soon the truckers were back on their way. Jack was the last to go and he talked to the police for a long time. The police took the young woman home.
It was about two weeks later that all of the truckers got a call from the young woman. She arranged to have a barbeque at her home on a Saturday afternoon. All of the truckers soon arrived at her home as they said they would. Another woman was there and got the barbeque started. Soon the woman that they helped came out of the house dressed in pure white. She looked so beautiful. As she neared them she started to glow, she smiled as she neared them. They turned their heads toward the other woman and she was glowing as well.
Paul, one of the other truckers said, “What is this? Is this some kind of a joke?”
The woman at the table stood up. She looked at them and said, “This is not a joke. I am Nanette and this young woman that you saved is Pamela. We are both angels. What you saw on the highway and how you reacted was a test. You all passed it with flying colors. Pamela really did hang around and walked along the highway. She knew that sooner or later she would be kidnapped. Pamela had the power to get away any time that she wanted, but she had a mission. That mission was to see how some truckers would react to a serious situation. All of you men took it upon yourselves to help a young woman. You will all be going to heaven.”
Pete, the trucker that punched out the driver of the van asked, “There is a lot of food here, is it real?’
Nanette said, “Yes, Pete, it is real. We want you to have a good time and enjoy an all you can eat barbeque. I bet some of you can eat a lot.”
Jack sheepishly said, “I just saw that woman screaming and banging on the van windows and I knew I had to do something.”
Nanette replied, “It was you that started the ball rolling, Jack. Nanette and Pamela are so proud of you. There is one stipulation about what you did on the highway and this meal today. None of you will ever remember any of it. It will be erased from your memory when you leave here today. Someday, not too soon we hope, we will see you all in heaven. God bless you all, you are fine men.”
The men all looked at each other, talked among themselves and felt like this was all a dream. It was no dream. When they left that evening, they all would soon be on the road again delivering freight all over the country. They would not remember anything that happened, but Jack and the others would always be on the lookout for people in distress.
© 2017 Larry W Fish
Larry W Fish (author) from Raleigh on October 23, 2017:
Thank you for commenting, Nancy and sharing your experiences with truckers. I know most are great people, like you said a few bad apples just like in any profession. Truckers have a tough life, long hours on the road away from family for days at a time.
Nancy Owens from USA on October 23, 2017:
When I started to read this story, I actually thought it might be a true account. It does read like it flows from memory. And the reason I thought it might have happened is this: When I was younger, I worked several years as a waitress in a busy truck stop. During that time I saw many truck drivers perform incredible acts of compassion, such as rescuing people who had gone off roads, or donating and delivering toys to deserving people at Christmas. In your story you describe a formation truckers used to box in the van. I have actually seen that same formation take place one time when truckers surrounded a vehicle that was driving recklessly, slowing it down and just keeping it boxed in until the next town. People just don't understand that most of these drivers are really good human beings. It is only a few bad apples that give the rest a bad name.
Larry W Fish (author) from Raleigh on October 17, 2017:
Thank you for your comment, Mary. I like to write fiction by adding a twist and keep people wondering to the end. I do believe in angels, I think if people just look around and study what happens around them they will agree.
Mary Wickison from Brazil on October 17, 2017:
That was a good twist, I didn't expect her to be an angel. It makes me wonder if challenges and opportunities are a test for us by an unseen force.
Your story flowed well.
Larry W Fish (author) from Raleigh on October 10, 2017:
Thanks for the reply, FlourishAnyway! It makes me feel good when I get such nice comments. I remember when I was a kid truckers would often stop and help someone along the highway. In today's society even truckers are learey to stop and help someone. A trucker's life is not easy, but I like to think maybe angels are looking over them.
FlourishAnyway from USA on October 10, 2017:
Great short story, Larry. Well told, too! I liked the detail about tying him up like cattle. It would make a great short story series centered around the angels, in the way that “what would you do?” on tv presents various ethical dilemmas or helping scenarios and profiles various people’s reactions. Some pass and others fail miserably.