“The Breakdown”, chapter1, by Contel Bradford

This is an exerpt of Contel Bradford’s well written story. For those who are interested in reading the whole story and buying his book, you can email Contel here:
As the sparkling white snow began to trickle down onto the cracked
windshield, Dave gave another desperate attempt at starting the engine. But even
he knew the possibilities were next to none. It was quite apparent when the
vehicle suddenly shut down and commenced to drift to the right side of the
crowded expressway. Dave recognized the terrible noise from years ago when he
endured a similar misfortune. The perturbed motorist was surely stranded.
“Dammit!” Dave gave the accelerator a steady foot as he turned the key but
there was still nothing. It seemed as if the life span of the ten year old Sunbird
had finally come to a halt. Fuming, Dave pounded the horn and prepared to suffer
the fierce cold wind.
This had to be the worst fate since his untimely incarceration about a year ago.
Just when it appeared that the young man was restructuring his life, accomplishing
positive goals, something of this magnitude had to occur. He was actually starting
to enjoy his job at the home furniture warehouse. Several attractive women
occupied the facility as well as a few down to earth, pot smoking fellows. The
work wasn*t too difficult; lift a few sofas and entertainment centers, float the hi-lo
around to transport the heavier freight; it wasn*t bad at all for $10.50 an hour. But
due to Dave*s misuse of his sick time he couldn*t afford to suffer another absence;
not without being terminated.
“Fuckin* piece of shit!” Dave gaped down at the car*s organs while holding up
the dysfunctional hood with one arm. To the naked eye everything appeared to be
in order; exactly the way it looked before the vehicle stalled.
“Fuck!” Dave slammed down the hood and retreated back inside the car. The
temperature was just above thirty degrees and the snow was falling more
“Can*t believe this shit,” he pouted as he removed the frosty winter cap. This
had to be the worst time for such a crisis. Believing that he would be able to
borrower Fred*s adapter once arriving on the job, Dave left his charger sitting on
the kitchen table, leaving him with a powerless, worthless cell phone.
Dave simply smiled as he pressed the phone*s power button with great force.
He figured it was worth a shot. Though the situation was very exasperating Dave
tried his best to maintain his composure. An irrational mentality would only
complicate matters. He just needed to ponder on the disaster with a clear, cool
head. He reached into the pocket of his warm red coat to find a soggy, torn,
unsmokable cigarette.
“Kiss my ass!” Dave tossed the damaged cancer stick in the passenger seat
along with a pile of other useless trash. “What else could go wrong?” Before
another terrible thought could be presented Dave peered into the rearview mirror
to find a pair of flashing blue and red lights.
“Ah shit.” Swiftly, he collected the two marijuana bags and transferred them
from his jean pockets into the thermo socks covered by the steel toed boots.
Hopefully the two officers approaching didn*t notice his movement; they certainly
wouldn*t object to searching a man*s boots and socks, leaving him standing
barefoot on the snow covered concrete. Dave took a deep breath and prayed for
the best as the officers neared the vehicle.
The state trooper tapped on the window with his baton, signaling for Dave to
roll it down.
“Its broke,” Dave replied, still tampering with the faulty power lock.. “Roll
down the window,”
the officer demanded, becoming irate.
“Its broke dude!” Dave shook his head, amazed at the man*s ignorance.
“Dumb ass,” he thought, grabbing the handle and opening the door.
“Freeze!” Before he could get his left foot from the vehicle, Dave found himself as a
likely target of police fatality. The officers cornered both sides of the Sunbird,
aiming their fully loaded pistols at Dave*s head. Overwhelmed with panic, the
unarmed man threw his hands to the sky.
“Get out of the car!” The officer pulled Dave from his seat with a forceful grip
as his partner strolled from the passenger side. The aggressive policeman then
spun him around, slammed his head on top of the vehicle and instructed him to
place his hands behind his back. “Got any weapons on you? Guns, knives, hand

Dave couldn*t elude the negative beliefs. Rodney King and Malice Green were
just two men viciously mauled by the unruly arm of the law. Unfortunately for
him the chances of someone recording the brutal crime on camera were rather
slim in this grueling weather. Dave sighed and tried his best to cooperate.
“I ain*t got nothin* on me man. Just sittin* here tryin* to get my ride started.”
He became even more annoyed as the other officer commenced to search his body
for illegal objects. The antagonistic antics of the troopers bothered him so much
that he wasn*t even concerned about the small dosage of reefer in his socks. Dave
was more worried about his physical being at the moment.
Okay, what seems to be the problem?” The officer ceased his search. App-
arently he didn*t locate the incriminating evidence he was looking for.
That*s suppose to be my line,” Dave snickered. He then turned around to face
the two white males. “My car stopped on me. I think the engine gone. Can*t get
her to start.”

“It*s a string of cars pulled over on this freeway,” said the shorter, thinner
officer. “This weather*s a killer.”
“Bet ya*ll ain*t pull the heat out on they ass,” thought Dave. But he would
keep his opinions secretive. There was no need in provoking these vigorous
lawmen. “I was just about to head up the ramp to use a pay phone.”
The officers then stared at each other, both feeling some what guilty for over
reacting. “Its colder than hell out here,” spoke the taller man sporting thin framed
glasses. They say we*re suppose to get four to six inches for this shit*s done with.
Nobody needs to be walking in this crap.”

Yeah,” his partner joined in. “We can at least give you a ride to a bus stop or