Publish Novellas 13 March 2022
EPISODE 4 – ROADWORTHY
A wife on the run reinvents herself to contrast her former life.
⚠️ Reader Discretion: Describes violence.
After finding a boarding room in Texas, Diana looks for a job making deliveries. She begins training to drive larger trucks. No longer concerned about her husband finding her, she applies for a Class B driver’s license and gets a job driving busses.
Settling down in Texas and registering with the DMV lists Diana’s whereabouts in the government system. She receives a letter in the mail that looks official. Pursuant to her husband’s death, she has some assets in probate. Diana acquires the house.
She heads back to Kentucky to hire a realtor and tie up loose ends. Diana uses some of the proceeds from the sale of the home to purchase a new truck cab with luxury sleeping accommodations.
After receiving a Class C drivers license, she begins interstate hauling 18-wheelers. With so many years trapped within the confinement of her home, she now enjoys traveling every day. Her home has no boundaries.
On the road, big-rig truck drivers communicate to keep each other awake on long hauls. They recommend good truck stops and warn each other of potential danger.
Lady Blade is Diana’s trucking radio handle. Since only about 7 percent of U.S. truck drivers are women, she becomes popular. Many truckers would quickly come to her aid if she sends out the distress signal: “Pies on the house!” She is a celebrity even though most have never seen her.
One afternoon, at a Denver truck stop, she looks through the window pane while sipping a cup of coffee. A big rig with a familiar license plate pulls up. A portly man with atrophied legs steps out and limps toward the cafe. He sits near the door at the counter about twenty feet away from her.
Diana tells Beth, the waitress, to box him up a meatloaf special on her tab. After telling him that his meal is compliments of the lady in the booth, he turns around to see who she is. If anything, Diana has gotten tougher over the years. The man limps over to her booth and asks to sit down.
“Suit yourself. It’s a large booth,” Diana replies.
“We’ve met before,” he says.”
“And yet, we don’t know each other’s names. What’s your handle?”
“Aces Wild. What’s yours?”
“You know it, wild boy. Actually, we’ve met twice before. Both times were in your truck cab,” Diana reveals.
“I recall one time…. Tell me why I shouldn’t phone the police,” he says.
“There’s no crime in buying someone lunch, is there? Perhaps you want to tell the cops how many women you have forced into your truck.”
“You know I was cut so badly that I had to learn how to walk again.”
”Well, payback’s a bitch! So it’s a good thing you have four legs,” Diana says callously.
“I have the mind to finish you off right here and now!” Aces Wild growls.
Calmly, Diana replies, “I can only wish you had the cojónes to try.” She then raises her voice to shout, “Pies on the house from Lady Blade!” A half dozen large truckers drop their forks and walk toward her booth.
The waitress pushes her way through the crowd to set the meatloaf order on the table before walking back behind the counter.
Then Diana leans in to speak softly without breaking her gaze. “If I ever find myself in your cab again, hear that you forced another woman back there, or smell your stanky breath in the darkness, I won’t leave any fruit dangling between your femurs.”
A few of the surrounding truckers ask, “Is there a problem Lady Blade?”
“Well men, that depends on what ‘Aces Wild’ has to say. Take note of his face and his truck. Pass the word. I don’t think he will ever require assistance on the road.”
All eyes are on him as he silently slides out of the booth with his lunch bag. While dragging his legs back to his truck, Diana finds it difficult to feel remorse. She calls the waitress over. Then she looks around at the other truckers and asks Beth, “How tasty is your pie here?”
“It ain’t the best but it’s fresh.”
The truckers are happy to meet Lady Blade in person and share dessert with the popular woman who has risen from destination nowhere to destination everywhere.
Can you identify with the plight that Diana faced at any time during this story? Did she handle her neglect well? Do you agree with her solution? What future issues do you anticipate she will face? Is Diana a champion for justice or the facade a battered woman? What psychological issues might justify the behavior of her husband? Are you interested in reading more Lady Blade adventures?