February Flash Fiction: Bear Arms by Chad W. Lutz

Bear Arms

Chad W. Lutz

It’s hard to remain calm when there are bears in your car. One of them rolled down a window, stuck an arm out, as if leaning against a post, and just growled, low, hard, and visceral. I stood there in my underwear wondering if they were going to void my warranty. They hadn’t figured out how to start the damn thing yet, but I wasn’t willing to find out if they could.

That’s when the marshal drove up wearing a five-and-a-half gallon hat and red slickers. He stepped out of his car with a look oddly calm, given the family of bears trying to change lanes in an idle Toyota in my driveway.

“You called?” he said flatly.

“Uh,” his understated disinterest baffling, “I did.” I nodded back.

“What’s the trouble?”

“Well,” I said, struck with considerable concern, “these bears are trying to change lanes in my driveway.”

“Have they tried the ignition?” The lawman’s delivery was almost cold.

“No,” I said calmly, “but I’m afraid they’re going to void the warranty if they stay in there long enough.”

He drew a hard suck of wind and then scratched at his face a bit.

“What kind of warranty you have on that thing? Extended? Limited?”

“Limited,” I shot back as soon as he said it.

“Ah, now the picture’s coming clear.” He walked over to the car, eyes on the bears, and hand to his face in thought. “A bunch of bears sitting in an idle car covered by a shitty limited warranty. Cryin’ shame.”

Chad W. Lutz was born in 1986 in Akron, Ohio, and raised in the neighboring suburb of Stow. His works have been featured in Diverse Voices Quarterly, The Dying Goose, Haunted Waters Press, and prominently on AltOhio.com, where he serves as Managing Editor. Chad currently works in North Canton writing content for an online job resource website. An avid athlete, Chad runs competitively for a Northeast Ohio running club and swims in his spare time. He aspires to run the Olympic marathon at the 2016 games.