Kreative Kue 237 asked for submissions based on this photograph:
John W Howell is the author of the John Cannon trilogy of My GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice and Circumstances of Childhood, co-author of The Contract, and blogs at Fiction Favorites.
“What are you doing with that bugle?”
“I was going to play a farewell.”
“Farewell to who?”
“To whom. A farewell to whom.”
“That’s what I’m asking.”
“Okay, never mind. I don’t have time for a ‘Who’s on first’ thing with you.”
“What are you talking about? Let’s get back to the farewell.”
“See that guy in the prison clothes over there.”
“You mean the dayglo orange, so no one will miss seeing me, clothes?
“Whatever. See the guy?”
“Yes. Who could miss the guy.”
“He is loading Wanda for her last ride.”
“Yeah. Wanda Wagon. She’s gone over that mechanics bridge to the great junkyard in the sky.”
“Please. You are getting all maudlin over that pile of junk?”
“Pile of junk? That car has been through thick and thin with me.”
“Thick and thin? How do you figure? You bought her used last year.”
“Well, it’s been a tough year.”
“Don’t you think you are getting carried away?”
“Says the guy who sobbed at his Vespa’s departure.”
“That’s different. I had that scooter since I was eighteen.”
“Is that a tear I see?”
“I still miss her.”
“Didn’t you get a Harley?”
“Well, yeah. It’s just not the same.”
“I’ll say. Chrome headlights, fabulous saddlebags, terrific seat, wheels that would make you cry.”
“Yeah, she is sweet. You getting another wagon?”
“Do you have no sensitivity at all. It is too soon to talk of another wagon.”
“I’m in mourning.”
“Maybe red with a turbo V8?”
“I like blue better.”
“Ah, midnight blue. Maybe a convertible? The dealer is down the street.”
“Might do me good.”
“What about the bugle?”
“You are right. It was only a used car, after all.”
“You sure we were talking about cars?”
Na’ama Yehuda, who blogs at https://naamayehuda.com offered this touching and timely piece:
They came for the car today.
It’s just a car, she tried to tell herself. It would not make sense to keep it. Not with the fees and with the debt on it only increasing. Oh, she tried, but there was no way around the loss of it.
No way around loss. In general.
She couldn’t bear to go outside to see it off. She stayed indoors, her nose glued to the window, her sweaty palms pressing life-lines into the glass, her heart in shreds.
It’s been his car.
And he would not be coming home to drive it.
Note: Dedicated on this Veterans Day (US) and Remembrance Day (The Commonwealth), to all who fought and won and lost and left and returned, or left and did not return, or not in the same way they’d left. And to the many who still are away in uniform. You are seen. You are known. May all come home whole. And may humanity one day learn peace and no more war.
My effort was
I had no idea whose car it was.
I’m sure it wasn’t there when we looked at the house and there was no mention of it in any of the correspondence with the solicitors. True, we had agreed to buy some of the furniture, carpets, curtains and so on with the house and we’d paid for that separately, but nothing was said about a car. And yet it was there when we arrived.
It looked to be in running order, and the keys were in the ignition. We even started it up. It fired up first try. I did notice the mileometer was showing a fair bit more than two hundred thousand miles which is rather a lot, and since we had our own car anyway, we didn’t want this one.
Funnily enough, when I came back from my first overseas tour, I bought my boss’s house from him. He and his wife were planning to retire to New Zealand and had no need of a house in England. So I bought it from him and paid him cash for all the furniture, even the low-mileage car in his garage. But not this time. Couldn’t have anyway. The garages on these houses aren’t big enough to put a modern car in! They’re really more like store-rooms. The best thing to do is to wire and plumb them and put things like washing machines and tumble-driers in them – use them as a utility room or shed. The alternative was to buy a car small enough to be able to drive in them and still open a door, which cuts the choice down a lot.
But this car was there when we arrived to take possession of the house. Not on the driveway, you understand, but on the road in front of the house. For a while, we thought it may have been someone visiting one of our new neighbours, though we didn’t feel that we knew them well enough to ask. We thought it was likely to be gone in a few days so said nothing. It was only when our neighbours described it as an eyesore and asked us if we were planning to keep it that we gave any real thought to where it had come from and what we could do about it.
The local police didn’t help, either. They told us that if it is ours and kept on the road it should be taxed and insured. They were also rather unhappy about the fact that it had no number plates, so couldn’t easily check to see if it was street legal. We looked under the bonnet for the other identification plates, but they had all been removed and the serial number on the engine had been filed down.
The only advice they could give us was to scrap it, so we talked to the local scrapping firm. They said they’d need the registration number or at least the VIN to be able to scrap it legally. Obviously, we didn’t have either. They said that they’d have given us a hundred or so for it as scrap if we had the right documents, but because they have to submit paperwork to the government for every vehicle they take in, they couldn’t do that.
After some negotiation, they did agree to take it away and deal with it, but that it would cost us five hundred quid to cover their costs. Five hundred quid to get rid of a vehicle that we found on our doorstep! That’s scandalous. But there was no choice. The police and everyone had recorded us as owning the damned thing, so the cost of disposing of it was down to us.
Can you imagine how devastating that could be?
…if it were true.
Good job it’s all made up then, isn’t it?
On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at email@example.com before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.
Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next Monday.