short story eclipse

Melissa Ann Howell Schier
9 min readApr 9, 2024

April 8 2024

She drove home from Austin, on the highway, the day of the solar eclipse. There were signs everywhere saying to not stop or pull over to watch the eclipse…to arrive early and leave late. She arrived late, and left early. lol She spent very little time in Austin, not even 24 hours. She was there to check on the shoes she was getting worked on… the ones with the soles worth saving. The eclipse was a rare event. How rare? Math would decide.

The clouds in the sky were thick and heavy as if ready to relieve themselves of rain and with the exception of a few spots of sunny blue sky, all was dark. And then the clouds would momentarily separate… so most people who were standing outside probably be able to see, if only briefly. She looked up the acronym for “eclipse”. She could see… and she did not have to stop in order to do so.

Efforts by the USAF Rome Air Development Center in computer-aided engineering (CAE) for reliability and maintainability are described. These efforts include the development of the following modules: the computer-aided design for built-in-test (CADBIT) module, automated test-ability decision tools, finite element analysis, an in-house facility called computer aided system test-ability laboratory environment (CASTLE), and the eclectic capability for logistics information and product support for electronics (ECLIPSE) system.

The word electronics piqued interest for her.

Then there was a truck that passed her as she was driving, with a sign that said “have the courage to change the rules”… and though it was pouring rain, it looked like there were bottles of “liquid courage” on the truck…. also interesting. alcohol. An alcoholic leader was the blind leading the blind she thought. Not good. Changing the rules? Hmm.

The big boss had not changed the rules. Nope. His son had actually fulfilled all the rules. Had conformed to them, building great hope as a result.

Then the sky partially cleared and there was a moment when she could see the traffic lining up in front of her in the left lane. Suddenly a white truck with the words “God’s Truck” in huge white letters on the truck window, went whizzing by going much faster than the flow of traffic. Before she could react to that, another truck came up beside her that was black and it said “my savior” also in huge white letters, also on the truck’s rear window. It was like the two trucks were traveling in tandem.

She noticed that the first truck was speeding ahead, going in and out of traffic, even passing on the right shoulder and then cutting in front of other cars. If the travel on the highway was a race, that white truck seemed like it was going to win at all costs, even driving recklessly, and without obeying the laws…driving like a pro race car driver. But in the analogy of things, the white truck could fly, could disappear, could reappear at the finish line as it was obeying the “rules” as a courtesy. It made the rules.

The second truck, the black truck, ended up behind her, and stayed in place for many miles when the white truck was no longer in view. It was, like her, following the rules. She exited the highway and watched the truck continue east.

The “God’s truck” was going “Swift”…an acronym for
“sure wish I finished training”…or “Stevie wonder’s institute for truckers”. Hmmmm. Who had not finished training? She was not the one who left “the academy”. Not only that, the rules … such as the rules of the constitution, were good rules. They insured the protection and the freedom of individuals. She was not in favor of deleting these rules.

If everything were black and white or good and bad, then these signs should be easy to interpret. If the “God’s Truck” was winning, and it was all alone, who was getting saved she wondered? God’s truck was the evidence of possibilities for all those on God’s team, she thought. Leaving behind, all that which was not in line with good.

And if the “My Savior” truck was not a leader how could it save anything or anyone? That was when she realized that the leader, so to speak, did not necessarily put himself at the front. He was in with the ordinary drivers… obeying the rules and helping others by good example…. a leader of the common people.

She thought about how, in the analogy of God and mankind, the “vehicle” God used, to get people where they needed to go, was not “the machine” (truck) but was “the driver”. Therefore seeing a computer (also a machine) as a driver for good, was not what God was using.

No “machine” was “the driver”. The big boss had some rules which were pretty basic and easy to understand and they were good … and sometimes what looked like two sides of the same coin. (how fire can be useful and destructive at the same time)
She thought about the Text from the big boss early in the morning…
It was about leaving the temple because it was empty and going with the Twelve.
She thought about how time was divided up into two sets of twelve hours. What if the reason her boss had picked twelve was because he wanted one hundred percent commitment to his way of life, from the AM to the PM, and had teachers to take responsibility for each hour and all the nuances associated with these. They were in fact “drivers” but they had to be fleeing from evil.

She had been told she had twelve men…so did that mean that she was responsible for the AM? The PM? As a “driver” she was neither pretending to be “God’s truck” as God would have to be the driver of that, nor was she “my savior” as that truck would have to be driven by Jesus.

If the Temple was significant of the body or person who housed life or “soul” then an empty temple would mean that which seemed to be lacking in soul. But she knew that there was always a “soul worth saving” even if it seemed to be completely gone. That was where the twelve came in.

Which truck was going to “get there first”? Which one could save the most souls? The race was not about time, it was about life. Choosing life and choosing those things which embraced life and celebrated it.

Interestingly she thought, that all of them on the highway were going in the same direction towards the same goal so that part was not confusing. Some apparently were equipped to go much faster while others stayed within the legal margins. She wondered if the ‘it is easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission” theory was the reason for the speeding God’s Truck, or actually, did the driver even need permission? The thought of God asking for permission to go faster than mankind made her laugh…lol.

She thought about how all of the drivers like herself were able to “see God’s truck” so they must all be on “the right path” and it was not a crooked path either. The view of God’s truck was really brief and hard to predict, but still it was meaningful… Gods truck was taking charge of the race. The “my savior” truck was easier to pay attention too and easier to follow, and was there as road support.

Like the eclipse, these divers across Texas, perhaps represented the path of the eclipse, to give a glimpse of the scope of “illumination”.

Sometimes thinking about what things meant, made her head tired. So she stopped thinking about this and went to sleep. She woke up at a little after midnight. She woke up thinking something clear which was that the two trucks were racing “east”. That word, paired with electronics stood out. She did a search.

To respond in her article in march “taking stock”, about two “air one’s”, she had written “some beach”. Galveston was east. …The search result showed there was a problem about two vehicles traveling to get to the beach that left at different times.

But she knew it was not a problem for two trucks driving in the same direction, to arrive separately. It was not a problem at all. They were both headed towards the beach. She believed the trucks racing was a message from Z. There was an ad on the same page as the “problem solved”. It was about how to make a coke cold faster, which was something she had complained about while in Austin, that her soda was not cold enough.

She wrote, “ thank you for the message (ad) on the same page as this math problem, about how to wrap a coke bottle with a wet paper towel in order to put in the fridge to make it cool faster”…but I do not need coke…and btw neither do you… or fentanyl or anything else. Got it? (just in case anyone was not sure of how she felt about that)

Also it is not just the east that needs God… It is the near, east, the far east and the mid east. Good thing is God always wins. That same “ad” had another tip on how to use a penny as a “charger” using sulfuric acid. Y was solving all her problems ? lol. Since she wrote about penny. Or was Y trying to take “charge”.

She had written a poem about Z and the smile with regards to stocks and bonds years ago. She felt like she needed to respond.

She realized that Y was referring to that poem about Z. So she responded that the article about “taking stock” was literal…not just hypothetical. The stock market was “God’s” market and was not controlled by Z, or Y or X.

And btw, she mentioned that she did not put any stock in coke or things that were addictive. Just saying. That Z smile she believed had “found God” was NOT (sorry penny) in “charge” any more…even though someone could have mustered up some weak “stomach” acid…(reflux) lol. She was sure Z was glad there was no more “throw up in the mouth”.

Any penny “saved” by God, is a penny earned, by God! Now that makes lots of cents. lol

new poem.

It is so fun with bonds and stocks
like lobsters who sleep alone in socks.
No love is lost and fair is fair
What God has joined doth make a pair.
And g.e.m.s. are not “environmental”
Respect for babies, not sentimental.
The purse is here but the bag is empty
Dollar bills do not tempt me
God has power, supplies the charge
made the card, the army large
If the race is presidential
Truth is leading, sew substantial

Lobster in a sock sleeping bag

Then she picked up her next message from the big boss…

His message was about highways…interestingly enough.

  • The highway of the upright is to depart from evil. To avoid the dangerous byways to which evil leads, one must walk straight in the path of duty.

The people in Austin were not evil but much of some individuals behavior was. She hoped that they too would depart from evil…as fast as “God’s truck” did. That was what the big boss wanted.



Melissa Ann Howell Schier

HoustonWorkout on YouTube, mom of five, journalist and artist and conservative who values life.