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Castleton Chronicles

The temperature was slowly creeping down as the depth of the snow steadily climbed. Pete Jones, a junior at Castleton, peeked out of his apartment window and swirled away the fog. He looked at his watch-9 p.m.
With the gradual formation of the night’s winter danger taking shape before him, Pete thought it best to spend the night somewhere closer to work. He soon decided his friend Dave’s house, located ten minutes from work, would suffice. He gathered up his work gear, bonded up his boot laces, and waded through the winter weather to his ’95 Toyota Corolla. Spending the night at Dave’s was, after all, easier, safer and uncomplicated.
Starting in the town of Poultney, Pete’s trek to West Rutland was quick and painless. The Corolla glided briskly through the newly paved streets of the town and ardently approached Dave’s house. Yet, to Pete’s dismay, the freshly fallen snow of the steep driveway hadn’t been touched by a shovel.
“I knew I had to floor it,” Pete stated as he recalled the event with a screened smile and a questionable giggle.
He cranked the wheel to the right and buried the gas pedal into the floor of the car. His effort was unsuccessful. The car was lodged sideways at the bottom of the driveway and Pete spun his tires for what seemed like hours before he was able to finally jiggle his way free-Strike One.
Pete floored the car again (this time backwards, into the street). He knew he had to get some serious speed in order to make it up the driveway, so he backed the Corolla into the neighboring driveway and, shifting simultaneously into first gear, cranked it forward once more.
“I’m going forward, going forward, shift into second and BAM! I miss Dave’s driveway completely and drive right past it,” Pete said, giggling once more in that contagious yet concealing manner-Strike Two.
“So I keep driving down the road, turn around,” Peter said, motioning with his hands. “Then I drive down the other way, turn around again and head for Dave’s driveway.again.”
Pete wasn’t messing around this time. His Corolla stood ready at the starting line as Pete gazed square at his target roughly twenty yards away. The gun sounded, and he was off. First gear, then second, then third.
Pete tore down the street like a crazy man, and he plunged into the driveway with more than enough speed to make it up.
But suddenly something was wrong. Someone hit the pause button and Pete’s head jerked north, then south. He looked down from his window and realized he was atop an iceberg of sorts-front wheels suspended in mid air-car performing a Polaroid pop-a-wheelie-frozen like a picture in time-Strike Three-Pete’s out.
“I was so confused at first,” Pete recalled with furrowed eyebrows. “I’m like, ‘Dave’s driveway doesn’t have a turn’ and then I realized it wasn’t Dave’s driveway.”
Pete had parked himself on the driveway wall of Dave’s neighbors.
Pete hopped out of his Corolla intending to assess the damage. He slid down the snowdrift and looked around. Standing before him was a father and son whose shoveling had been interrupted by one crazed driver. The father glared at Pete and put his arm in front of his son in order to protect him from this maniacal motorist.
“He probably thought I was drunk,” Pete laughed out.
He apologized for his mistake, explaining to the father that his true destination was the house next door, and the man handed Pete his son’s shovel and started digging at the snowdrift beneath the car. Pete followed suit and dug with all he had.
“I felt like I was on stage,” Pete recalled. “It was like, ten o’clock at night, and hundreds of cars drove by staring. Like, what were these people doing out at that time?”
The onlookers were, as it would seem, the most entertaining part of the story. A woman appeared from nowhere and offered to pull the Corolla out, emasculating Pete with her huge truck, but the duo declined and shoveled on.
Fortunately the young boy served as comic relief through the whole ordeal.
“Oh, don’t worry,” the seven-year-old offered. “This happens all the time. There’s one every winter.”
When the puerile patronization grew to be too much, the father sent his son inside.
The tires finally made their way down to the pavement and Pete parked his Corolla in his original destination on his fourth try. The couch wasn’t too comfy that night with Dave and his roommates poking fun at their wayward guest.
“I guess Dave’s house wasn’t the easiest choice that night,” Pete said as he crossed his arms and smiled.