Short Story: History Never Repeats

Written for Writer’s Plot group.

Was this living? I changed the clutch up into fifth gear. Was this going to be my greatest thrill? My crimson Cadillac tore through the empty suburban street. Are my best times now behind me? Paradise City blasted at near full volume, rattling the rear windows. Is this all I have left? Roof down, my greying hair danced in the open air. Good lord, kill me now.

I drove around the bend and into the McDonald’s drive through. I ordered a NYC Benedict Bagel breakfast combo with coffee. Dark. None of that froth crap. I placed the paper cup into the pull out cup holder. It didn’t fit at first but with a little pushing I eventually wedged it in there. Where the grass is green... I tore open the brown paper bag and yanked the bagel from its wrapper. I took one look at the egg and bacon marvel before forcing the thing between my teeth and leaving the drive through, one hand on the wheel. Was it wise to eat while driving? Probably not, but I was late for work and Jenkins would have a fit if I walked in after 8.30.

So far away! Another mouthful. I felt something slide out of the bread. I looked down at my crotch and picked off a dreg of egg. The black polyester was now coated in a yellow ooze — hollandaise sauce. I snatched for the wrapper on the passenger’s seat and used it to dab up the foul spill. Take me home! Next thing I heard was a thud and a scream. I braked, and a body rolled off my bonnet. He came out of nowhere. I left the Cadillac, keys still in the ignition and walked to the front of the car where a teenage boy lay still, mangled over a zebra crossing.

I didn’t make it to work that day.

Fortunately the boy made it, but I was disqualified from driving for 12 months and I had fifty hours of community service. I chose to work for the SPCA. Not because I love animals by any means, but because it seemed like the least physically taxing option. Not admirable for a fella that darn nearly killed a boy, but at this age how could I change my nature? My duties were set. Clean the kennels in the morning before work. Walk them mongrels during my lunch break.

Lunch time came by. At my feet was an ugly square of brown and white hair, four legs and a short stubby tail; a pitbull. It stumbled along the grass, a vicious smirk across its lips. Half-heartedly I tossed a stick into the air. The pitbull staggered along after it, its short legs working double time. This one didn’t get along with the other dogs at the centre and needed to be walked separately. The Pitbull – Mad Max they called it – bundled back, stick between its jaws. It dropped the drool coated stick at my feet. What a foul little creature.

I refused to pick up the stick and turned my back on Max, looking at the traffic that passed me by as I stood alone in the empty park — alone apart from the snarling bundle of joy at my feet. A black convertible sailed on past. The driver wore sunnies, his locks of blonde hair flicking against them in the wind. That could be me in my Cadillac. I sighed. The snarling had stopped. I looked down to see Max collapsed on the grass, its chest unmoving, eyes open. Good lord, not again. Refusing to perform full doggy CPR I rolled it over and placed my hands over its ribs. I performed ten light compressions on its chest. No sign of life. I lifted the lifeless creature into my arms, almost feeling sorry for it. I carried it all the way back to the SPCA. Apparently it choked to death on an acorn. Oh how fragile life could be.

12 months passed. I had my convertible back. After sitting in the garage for the past year it was finally back on the road. I opened the jewel case of Appetite for Destruction and stuck in the disc, pressing the next track button until I heard that opening refrain. I glanced at the digital clock in the dash: 8.20 AM. I reversed down the driveway and into the street, grimacing as the gutter scraped the bottom of my bumper. I took off down the road.

Was this living? I changed the clutch up into fifth gear. Was this going to be my greatest thrill? My crimson Cadillac tore through the empty suburban street. Are my best times now behind me? Paradise City blasted at near full volume, rattling the rear windows. Is this all I have left? Roof down, my greying hair danced in the open air.

Good lord, kill me now.

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