The RAC Launches ‘Driving Abroad’ Short Story Competition

Kwik FitWARNING: If you are a woman who changes her own spark plugs and/or you are squeamish, skip this part. You will only be irritated or sick. Or both.

Yesterday, on my way to meet some friends, I managed to drive over a deer. A dead deer, I hasten to add.

Usually, when I see a dead thing in the road, it’s pretty flattened – and small – so I just position my car wheels so I don’t actually drive over it and squelch it even more.

But, as I approached this dead thing (at, ahem, some speed), I realised that it was actually quite big. About the size of a golden retriever (sorry, if you have a golden retriever) and – eek – too late – BANG! There was the biggest thud you’ve ever heard.

I looked in my rear view mirror and – ugh – the dead deer had shot out from under my car and was ricocheting and spinning further down the road.

And by then, my car was making funny noises. As you would, if you’d just been bashed by a 5 stone (I’m guessing) dead thing.

I swore a bit. Then I pulled into Waitrose car park about a mile along the road. If this was fiction, as I peered hopelessly under the car (looking for things hanging off), a helpful man would have appeared and assisted me.

This did not happen, obviously, so I rang my chap and relayed the sorry tale. (My mind goes blank when it comes to cars). He suggested I take it into the nearby Kwikfit and ask them to have a look. Genius!

And that is what happened. As I had lunch with my friends, in the idyllic setting of a sun-filled courtyard in Stratford-on-Avon, I couldn’t really enjoy myself completely because I kept watching the mobile on the table, waiting for someone to ring and tell me the cost of the damage. I was imagining a bill for hundreds of pounds.

I kept replaying the scene with the deer in my head only ‘re-envisaging’ it – so that this time, I moved out onto the other side of the road – rather than hitting the blasted thing.

There was no phone call. So, as we were passing, we called into Kwikfit on the way back from lunch and they’d just had a look at the car.

“You’re the one that hit the deer,” the man said, solemnly.
“Yes.” (meekly)
“There was quite a lot of it still under the car – “

(URRRUGHGGH – shrieks and squeals from 3 women filled the macho Kwikfit garage).

But all I’d done (a miracle!) was to bend something underneath (am I getting too technical?) that was scraping against the gear box, so they’d fixed it, easily and, best of all, there was NO CHARGE!

So, my award for garage-of-the-year and generally all-round-wonderful-people goes to: KWIKFIT in Stratford on Avon. If you are passing – with or without deer parts attached to your car – do pop in and see them (but please be prepared to pay – as I fully intend to next time!)

Now then, as your reward for sitting through all of that, here is a new CAR-RELATED writing competition, that may be of interest.

rac-logoRAC Driving Abroad Short Story Competition c/d 11 Sept 2014

To celebrate the launch of their new European Breakdown Cover, the RAC are running a 1000 word short story competition based on the theme of driving in Europe.

First prize is £500 and free RAC 5* European Breakdown Cover for a year (which, let’s face it, could be handy if you hit a dead wild boar in Italy, for example). Plus, you’ll also have your story published in the RAC’s online club magazine.

Two runners up will be awarded £100 M&S vouchers and – now here’s the catch –‘all shortlisted entries have the chance to be published on our website’ (But, to be fair, that sounds like you might have the choice! I will email them and ask the question).

There’s a 1,000-word limit and “it must follow a short story narrative, rather than just accounts of a driving holiday abroad. And if the story includes the UK it must also include one or more other countries or regions of the EU.”

The rest of the rules and details of the competition are here.

Good luck. This is one I’m thinking of trying – but then I say that about every single competition I see!

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8 Responses to The RAC Launches ‘Driving Abroad’ Short Story Competition

  1. Tracy Fells says:

    Brilliant post, Helen – I know I shouldn’t but it made me chuckle. On a serious note I’ve known several friends have near misses (serious accidents) with collisions with deer so always take care if you see those road signs! You have to turn this into a story – maybe make the deer European and enter the RAC comp?

  2. Yes, deer are dangerous! We have quite a lot of them around here and they do have a tendency to Jump Out in a kamikaze kind of way (which is presumably what had happened to yesterday’s). Strangely enough, as I drove home, along the same stretch of road, looking out for it in earnest (just in case it had been shoved onto the other side of the road and would be facing me AGAIN!), there was No Sign Of It! I know there are people employed by the council who go around picking up animal corpses but I can’t imagine that had happened so quickly. It’s a mystery! (but yes, thanks for your story i – Deer! I may well do that!)

  3. Thank you I am going to try this competition, just the motivation I need!

  4. ann harrison says:

    Horror story or what? Ha ha ha. And might I remind you? You said, ‘all I managed to do was bend something under the car.’ Don’t you mean the deer, dear, with its already dead body? Yuk.
    And someone thereabouts perhaps put it on a Barbecue.
    Safe driving!

  5. Linda says:

    Ouch! I was wincing with you. I hate driving over dead bodies, even if they are squashed flat, but a deer is too big to avoid safely.
    I think I’ll pass on the RAC comp as I have no experience of driving in Europe, but just wanted to thank you for your competition news. I’ve been shortlisted for a comp that I wouldn’t have known about if I hadn’t seen it on your blog.

  6. Cheryl says:

    Oh Helen, thank you so much for making me laugh out loud; sitting here resting my poorly leg it was just the tonic, I will be returning to your blog frequently

  7. philippabowe says:

    I recently had a deer leap gaily straight at my car, knock off the wing mirror then lie bleeding for a while before it leaped up and carried on its way…a friend ran into a wild boar (a frequent occurence round these parts), her (small car) was badly damaged and couldn’t move, the towaway-truck driver turned up with a chainsaw so he could divide up the unforunate boar and give half to slightly traumatised friend, keep half for himself; she then had to have a come-and-eat-boar party as her freezer was too small to keep it all…

  8. Philippa, your wild boar definitely trumps my paltry already-dead deer! Not surprised your friend was traumatised – yuck and double-yuck!

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