Running on Empty

Day 14 – March SOLSC


I jump into my car and look at the time.

“Oh man!  I’m gonna be late if I don’t get a move on!”

Just as I turn out of my mom’s driveway, I glance down at the dash board.  A quarter of a tank left.  I hit the button to see how many miles left – 73.

“Perfect!  That’s enough to get me to work today.  I’ll just get gas when I leave work, before heading to the gym.”

Fast Forward to 3:30pm

I put my bags into the backseat of the car and get in.  In goes the address to the gym on my Google Maps app.  My appointment with my trainer is at 4:15pm and my ETA is 4pm.  Perfect!  Off I go, taking the route that Google Maps is sending me.

I’m cruising down the interstate, about to switch lanes, when I glance at the gas gauge.

“Oh my goodness!” I gasp.

I forgot to stop and get gas.  The gauge is showing that I now have less than a quarter of a tank.  I hit the button to find out how many miles left – 43 miles.  Hmmm, I should be ok because the gym is only about 15 miles away – right?!

“What should I do? Should I keep going? Should I find the nearest gas station?  I should stop and get gas right?!  Ahhh maybe I’ll just keep on going.”

So many thoughts, racing through my head, all while I’m still driving along mind you.  Looking at the road, then down at the gas gauge.  Making sure not to hammer on the gas pedal (because that uses more gas-right?).

I’m not Ms. Risk-taker by any means.  So, I’m also surprised by my decision to not find a gas station.  What would I do if I ran out of gas?  Would I cry?  Would I call my uncle who owns a gas station and risk the sarcasm?!?!  I don’t know how I did it, but I just kept on driving.

I exited onto the parkway, and that’s when it happened – the gas light came on!  There were no more miles to go on the screen.  Just the words “Low Fuel.”

“Eeeek! But I’m so close.  I will make it!”

I pulled into the parking lot.  Took a breath, and got out.  My car may have been running on empty, but I wasn’t letting it stop me from getting to my training appointment on time.


I’m participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!  Thank you to the team of writers at Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful writing community.  A place for us to grow together as writers. 

13 thoughts on “Running on Empty

  1. What great build up of tension through your piece! I can totally sympathize…I, too, would have crossed my fingers and said a little prayer and hoped for the best rather than missing out on my training appointment!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m normally the same way. I don’t even like letting it get low enough for the light to come on. I usually call my husband in a panic asking if I’ll make it home. As if him telling me yes will magically make it happen! Thanks for reading!


  2. You captured an experience I have had too many times myself. Heading to work, no time so I’ll ignore the gas warning alarm (I live more dangerously than you!) only to be annoyed at myself leaving work that I have to immediately get gas. The gym is totally worth it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure there are many other people who’ve had the gas light panics! But I agree, the gym was totally worth it. I was feeling so good that I almost forgot to get gas before picking up my daughter!


  3. Surprising as it may sound, I was really glad to hear that it was your car running nearly on empty, and not you – because I think a lot of us run ourselves nearly to the point of empty sometimes, which is possibly even worse for us than it is for a car!

    Liked by 1 person

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