Thanks to everyone who participate in the suggestions for today's flash fiction! This week's Saturday Challenge winner is Michelle for her prompt: "Serendipity."
Michelle is a writer on a journey of words. She calls herself a "late bloomer" writer but doesn't let that stop her dream as she looks forward, not back. Light hearted and full of perk, her fiction carries her personality in every sentence and the reader along with it. For the A to Z Challenge, she is writing 26 original fiction pieces that each have something to do with music. So far, we've seen fiddlers, improvisation, lullabies, and reverberation, just to name a few.
Her stories' connection to music constantly makes me stop and think, sparking further inspiration for my own stories. Be inspired yourself and check out her blog at Writer-in-Transit.
And now to the flash fiction inspired by Michelle!
Copyright © 2012 by Jessica Marcarelli and Visions of Other Worlds
“So. Is Aspen your name or just, like, your favorite tree?” He grinned. Crookedly. What made it worse was the fact that Allery Mason wasn’t even looking straight at him and she could still see the expression. She concentrated on the gas pump.
Yo? Who said that anymore? Allery looked at him.
The stranger grinned again as he leaned against her car. “Your plate.” He bent and tapped it as if she’d be looking for dinnerware. “Is it your name?”
Allery frowned. “License plates don’t mean anything.”
“They do if they have a particular name or something on them.”
“This one doesn’t.” The nozzle handle clicked. Finally. She could get away from this stalker wannabe.
He hopped away from her car and made a grab for the nozzle. “I’ll get it.”
“I have it.” Allery wrapped her hand around it.
“No, really.” His teeth shone inside that predator’s smile. “I want to.” His fingers touched her hand.
Allery yanked both her hand and the nozzle out of his reach. She slammed the nozzle into its place on the pump and slid into the driver’s seat before he could make another move.
He peered in through the window. “Are you a feminist?”
She rolled the window up and turned the key in the ignition. Nothing happened. Frowning, she tried it again. The lights on the dashboard came on then flickered off. Allery pursed her lips. Twelve hundred miles across the country and the car chose to die twenty minutes from her destination.
She looked out of the corner of her eye. The stranger waved.
She laid her head against the seat back. “Why me?” Holding back a grimace, she got out of the car.
The stranger flashed a wide smile. “Change your mind?”
Allery’s mouth flattened. “Do you live here?”
“Nope. Gas stations aren’t my thing.” He winked.
Could she punch him and claim self-defense? “I meant this town. Do you live in this town?”
“Have a nice little apartment down the street. Care to see it?”
She held back the smart remark that sprung to her lips. “Is there a mechanic anywhere around here?”
“My car won’t start.”
“Mine will. Where are you going?”
Allery glared at him and reached for her cell phone.
“Hey, wait.” He held out a hand.
Her phone rang. It was the movers. “Hello?”
“Miss Mason? Ben here. We just got in but we can’t find Chestnut Street.”
Allery’s brow furrowed. “What do you mean you can’t find it?”
“I mean it isn’t here. We’ve driven all over. It’s a small town, you know?”
“Okay, hold on. Let me get the map for Jackson.”
She pushed past the stranger, who still had an enormous grin on his face. “Yes, Ben, Jackson. Where my new house is?”
“We’re in Jamestown, Miss Mason.”
The blood to Allery’s face stopped flowing. “You’re what?”
“We’re in Jamestown, Ohio. Is something wrong?”
“You’re in the wrong place!” She lunged across the driver’s seat for her road map. “Check the address on my paperwork.”
Papers rustled. Ben cleared his throat. “Nope. It’s still Jamestown.”
Her finger found Jamestown on the map. “That’s eighty miles from here!”
He said something to someone else. “If Jackson is the proper place then we can be there first thing tomorrow morning. It will cost extra, though.”
Allery shook her head as her voice rose. “Ben, listen to me. I need my furniture tonight. Can you be there tonight?”
“Miss Mason – ”
Her phone beeped. She held it away from her ear. The batteries were dead. Her hand shook slightly before she growled and threw it into the backseat.
“Whoa, hey. No temper tantrums.”
She glared at the stranger. “Shut up and leave me alone.”
“I thought your car was dead.”
“And so is my phone, so get out of my way.” She slammed the door and headed for the convenience store attached to the station.
“Hey, wait a minute.” The stranger blocked her path. “My uncle is a mechanic. He owns a shop a couple blocks away.”
Allery wanted to scream. “Then why didn’t you say so in the first place?”
He shrugged and grinned. “Look, stay put and I’ll go get him. Then we can talk about our upcoming date.” He ran towards a blue pickup truck.
“We are not – ”
“Name’s Jonathan!” He jumped into the truck and pulled out of the station.
Allery clenched her fists as tight as they would go and began counting to ten. The money for this move couldn't have come at a better time - she'd seen it as a serendipitous gift from the universe for all the stress her Gram's disease had caused. But every turn since then had gone from bad to worse.
She glared down the road after Jonathan's truck. With any luck, she'd be over wanting to kill him by the time he got back.
It's never too late to start thinking of the next challenge! If the story inspired you, feel free to leave your suggestion for next week and the chance to get your blog advertised. Next Saturday's letter is Y and is the last challenge of April. Rules are HERE.