This week’s free Free Fiction Friday story from UnWrecked Press is “Peterson & Son Automotive.”
This story is my somewhat distorted take on Southern fiction. Love the image of our hero and his Pops in their garage as they get two special visitors — Cindy Claire and her Mustang convertible. This story was first published at 3 AM Publishing in June 2000.
UPDATE — this story and the three other connected stories that I ran at my site are now available as an ebook entitled What Was Left Standing: 4 Stories for just $2.99. You can download the ebook from Amazon or Smashwords and read the stories on your laptop, desktop, Kindle, iPad, Nook, iPhone, or whatever device you use to read ebooks. Enjoy!
Peterson & Son Automotive
Every day except Sunday I worked from four in the afternoon until one in the morning with a man I called Pop, even though he wasn’t really my father. He was the guy my mother married when I was two. Pop and I changed oil, rotated tires, and replaced clogged air filters for the people who were too busy to bring their cars in during the normal workday. It was Pop’s idea to be open at night, since he liked to watch the stories during the day.
Pop was sitting in our living room, which was also our waiting area, when the Mustang GT convertible drove up to our trailer. He had his feet up and his head back in his recliner, watching a talk show that came on after his last soap opera. It was a quarter to five. Mom was six years gone by this time, living with the bald artist who used to teach pottery at the community college in town. When the outside bell rang again, Pop had one hand underneath his back, and the other was dangling a cigarette into a crooked brown ashtray.
“Pop, haven’t you heard the bell?” I said, socking him one in the knee on my way past him and Ricki Lake. He groaned like a bad starter, never taking his eyes off the TV.
“It’s my back, Joey,” he said in a slow, serious voice. “Threw it out again. You can handle the call, can’t you?”
I bent down to look out the window and took a quick breath. “Sure can, Pop.”
On our front lawn stood a girl with long brown hair that dropped all the way down to the top of her cutoff shorts. She stood next to her Mustang, reaching her clean white tennis shoe over the muddy driveway to press against the black connected to our trailer, dinging the bell again. She looked like a tightrope walker holding her foot out over the high wire, her bottom lip caught by the top row of her teeth.
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