clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Volvo from Mangan2002.

Trophies have far lasting effects on the winners. Eric's Volvo station wagon formerly driven by his adulterous ex-wife sat stalled in the parking lot of a TGI Friday's on Miller avenue. It infuriated him in its ability to malfunction at the precise moment in life when he needed its renown reliability. He hated technology. He hated being dependent on someone. He hated that his marriage failed.

The headlamps of the mechanic's truck shown brightly across the fellow's back and legs as he crawled across across the top of the engine. The shirt said Dan above the left breast pocket. He introduced himself as Tom.

Eric asked, "What do you see?"

The mechanic answered still deep under the hood, "Did it make a noise ?"

"Uh, click whirr whirr click. Then it died completely."

"Have you used a silicone surface sealer recently?" the mechanic asked.

"What? Uh. No. Not on the engine."

Dan's feet returned to the ground and he unfolded. He was tall with red hair and could nearly scratch his knees without bending over.

"Did you use a silicone surface treatment lately?"

"No," Eric said.

"Have you flushed the transmission?"

"You have to do that?" A light drizzle with brown ash started. A muddy drop hit Dan's extensive forehead and stopped at his brow.

"Have you rubbed beeswax on the upholstery?"

"No," Eric said. "No. Why does that matter?"

Dan pulled off a glove and scratched his nose with the back of his hand. He looked up at the lights in the parking lot beyond and then down at Eric.

"It's sullen. It can happen that way sometimes."

Eric squinted. "What does that mean ?"

"Your its human. It looks to you."

"What does that mean? Is it dead ? Can I drive it ? Can you get it started ?"

"Your Volvo's gone sentient on you. Bound to happen sometime. Looks like it's your turn. Old one like this, the subroutines." Dan shrugged.

Eric turned and stared at the mechanic's truck. AAA Holistic Mechanic Service.  He looked back at Dan.

"I'll have it towed tonight. We can see how it is in the morning. You have a ride home ?"

Eric shook his head. Fat dirty drops began to get serious about turning the walk wet.

"Really ? You can't get a ride ?"

Eric turned back to the truck. "I'm not going that far. I can walk."

"You're empty," the mechanic said.

"You don't have the implants, do you ?"

Eric shook his head again. There was no reason to deny it. It was a choice.

"Neither do I," said Dan smiling. "Get in. You can ride with me. This will be fine here. The truck has a console. I'll send the tow from it."

Eric nodded. He walked to the truck. The door didn't open. He looked at Dan who was watching him.

"She's empty, too. Makes it simpler to keep her running."

Eric wasn't sure if the handle was a twist, a pull, or a lift. He nodded and reached out anyway. He remembered his grandfather and smiled a little.

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