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This week we’re doing something a little different. We’re creating flash fiction of 500 words or less. The theme comes from Fiona Riplee and must include an empty parking lot, abandoned SUV, and a Chihuahua in the driver’s seat. I can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with.
Kelli was already twenty minutes late for work when the tire blew on her Mercedes convertible. The car jerked at the moment Kelli lifted her coffee for a sip. Hot brown liquid splattered down the front of her cream silk suit. She dropped the coffee cup on her lap and gripped the steering wheel with both hands.
The morning had started off in the worst possible way. Her alarm failed to go off, the dog threw up on the new white sofa, and the hot water heater went out in the middle of her shower. In the interest of time, she had taken a shorter but more dangerous route. Now she had a flat tire in the worst part of town where a double homicide happened in broad daylight less than a week ago. Just her luck. She limped the car into the nearest parking lot, empty except for an abandoned SUV, and considered her options. With no bars on her cellphone, the best choice seemed to be the convenience store on the next block.
She searched her purse and found the canister of pepper spray her dad had given her years ago. She tucked it in her pocket and clutched it with white knuckles as she walked along the abandoned sidewalk. The buildings beside her were boarded up, covered with gang graffiti and eerily silent. A shiver shook her despite the burning summer heat. She felt the weight of unfamiliar eyes watching her every step.
The heel of her stiletto caught in a crack of the pavement. She stumbled and would have gone down but for the strong hands that gripped her elbows. Startled, she looked up into the unfamiliar scarred face of a stranger. His mouth quirked in a knowing smile, sending a bolt of panic into her gut.
“Thanks,” she said and hoped her voice sounded more confident than she felt.
“My pleasure,” he replied, in a gritty voice. His hands slid up her arms and lingered on her bare shoulders.
She stepped back and tried to go around him, but he moved with her, blocking her path. Fear snaked up her spine. She scanned the street, but it was empty. Her fingers tightened around the pepper spray, ready to react if he came one step closer.
The screech of tires distracted the man as a purple Buick rounded the corner. Zebra stripes covered the seats and pink velvet covered the dashboard. The car skidded to a halt next to her and the passenger door flew open.
“Get in.” The voice belonged to a wizened old woman perched on a pillow, looking like a Chihuahua sitting in the driver’s seat. A giant pistol rested across her lap. “Hurry up.”
Kelli dove into the car as the man made a grab for her. The car careened down the street at breakneck speed while Kelli tried to right herself. The old woman glanced over at her and revealed a toothless grin. She dropped Kelli at the closest auto body shop and drove away without comment.
When her co-workers asked her why she was late, Kelli just shook her head and said she’d had car trouble. She doubted anyone would believe her farfetched tale. In fact, she hardly believed it herself.
Thanks for stopping by this week. Be sure to take the next stop on the tour and find out what creative idea Leslie Hachtel has come up with.