As I slam on the gas, the squealing gets louder. I furiously reach for the heater knob and turn off the fan I desperately need. The windows fog in an instant. The radio is off already--though I wish I could listen. I keep pressing on the gas, then letting off; hoping to God it'll work this time.  No such luck. Last chance: turn off the headlights. They're the only thing left. I turn them to the runners, hoping it's enough. Nothing. I'm powerless to end the noise. I flip the lights off just quick enough to cycle the accelerator--still no sign of stopping. Heading up the hill now--the truck behind me gets impatient. I punch it and try to bear the sound a little longer. SNAP! Silence. Now there's just darkness and the pouring rain.

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