August Flash Fiction: Insurance by Jeffrey Pride

Insurance
Jeffrey Pride

She sold me on the car. She was ugly and her body needed work. It’s an easy sell, I tell her. You want the ones with no mileage, I say. My age is forty. I carry my stomach and most days I climb ladders. I fix antennas for a cable company. My last car went kaput in this heat. And it has its hand in everything I care for.

I pay for her and go home.

There she is, I say, when people ask. The tires on her could use some rubber, but she handles great. Still, I get their looks. At home I sometimes look at her, astonished. I bought you!, and even worse things than that. This is after some months, after the innocence is stripped and all I have is this used, tired thing. I call her names, but she doesn’t go.

The market is bleak for this exact model. I put her up for sale. No one’s buying. A kid, probably new to driving, asked I lower the price. I can’t, I cried. I can’t go any lower.

She stays. She waits for me to start her up. I can’t. Things aren’t so good now. I lost the weight. I can’t get the job done anymore. Dammit, why did I buy you? I scream but she don’t listen. Rather, she talks, and it’s loud.

This crazy heat decides it’s me this time, that I should go. I go. I’m inside this girl. She tunes me out.

Jeffrey Pride is a traveler and a laborer. He lives in Washington, near Seattle, but is originally from Nashville, TN.