Once more, a flash fiction piece, on the theme “Break”. I originally wrote this story purely as dialogue, but it worked better as full prose.
The sun was setting on a balmy Georgia spring evening. On the verandah of an ornate house in the suburbs of Savannah, a fastidiously neat middle-aged lady was pouring iced tea for three young men and herself, as they sat on green cast iron garden chairs.
“So, Preston,” she said as she sat down, “Were the roads good?”
“Smooth sailing all the way from Charlotte, Aunt Holly,” her crop-haired, wiry nephew said with a smile. “And there’s no roadworks anywhere between here and Miami.”
“The real problem was the SatNav,” droned Daryl, his slouched, thick-set, lank-haired companion.
“Or rather, Mike and the SatNav,” Preston said edgily.
“Yeah,” Mike uttered sheepishly. He had close-cropped hair, like Preston, but was much taller, thinner and more athletic.
“This lame-brain told the device to take us to 263 Larson Drive, Savannah,” Preston said irritably, jabbing a thumb at Mike, “Rather than 263 Carson Drive. We ended up in completely the wrong part of town.”
“Why didn’t you stop him when you saw he was going the wrong way?” Aunt Holly asked.
“He was playing Magic The Gathering with me,” Daryl grinned. “This dude gets pretty engrossed with that game when he plays it.”
Aunt Holly snorted. “Next time use a map, like motorists used to!”
“Actually, Ma’am, it’s quite good we got lost,” Daryl shrugged.
“No shit, buddy,” Mike chuckled.
Aunt Holly gave an indignant squeak.
“Better not curse here, guys,” Preston warned. “She’s a strict Baptist.”
“Then best not tell her our plans for Spring Break,” said Mike, pretending to stretch out contentedly while giving a theatrical wink.
“So why was it good you got lost?” Aunt Holly persisted.
Preston began the story. “Well, Aunt Holly, when we found that we were lost, Daryl jumped out of the car because there was a 7-11 nearby and he needed the bathroom. While he was walking over there, Mike reprogrammed the SatNav properly and turned the car around.”
“We were just driving towards the 7-11 to collect Daryl,” Mike continued, “When we see him further down on the sidewalk, yelling at this crazy black chick with real short hair while trying to pull this tyre iron off her!”
“She was about to go into this dude’s driveway and smash his car!” said Daryl, flinging his arms up. “I managed to block her but then she went for me!”
“So we run up and I pull the tyre iron off her and throw it away,” said Mike, “Then I shout at her and demand to know what she’s doing attacking Daryl. She yells she was after the, quote, ‘cross-burnin’ cracker in there who put that on his car roof’. You see Ma’am, Clorinda – that’s what we found out her name was later – had taken exception to the man’s Dodge. He’d painted it to look like the General Lee.”
“You ever watch The Dukes of Hazzard, Aunt Holly?” Preston smiled.
Aunt Holly shook her head. “I don’t hardly watch anything except the news and National Geographic.”
“Well, in that show,” Preston explained, “The heroes, Bo and Luke Duke, do all kinds of crazy stunts in an orange Dodge Charger with the Confederacy flag on the roof. The General Lee, they call it. This guy was obviously a fan of the show.”
“Well, this Clorinda isn’t going to let it lie all the same,” Mike went on. “She’s still pis… er, angry that the car’s named after a confederate general. But just then Jeff, the man who owned the car, comes out of his house with his wife Mary.”
“The joke was on Clorinda!” Daryl laughed. “Turns out Jeff’s wife was black! Boy, did she look awkward!”
“Well Preston, Mike, Daryl,” Aunt Holly smiled, “It sounds like you did Jeff and Clorinda a good turn. I hope they were both grateful.”
“They were,” said Mike. “In fact, Jeff treated us all to a cup of coffee before we went on our way.”
“How nice,” said Aunt Holly, still smiling. “Well, I’ve made your beds ready for tonight. I hope you all get a good night’s sleep. I’ve sure you’ve got some exciting things planned for Florida.”
“Somehow, I doubt it’ll be half as exciting as what happened today,” said Preston, smiling back. “Cheers!”
They all gave a toast with their glasses.