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Fiction #313
(published January 18, 2007)
Saturday Morning on the Way to the Mall
by Margaret B. Davidson
Bart stomped on the accelerator. "Shit! Why won't this thing go no faster?"

"Dunno, man, but you're only doin' thirty and that old geezer behind's gonna have a chicken fit if you don't get out the fast lane." Vernon tossed his cigarette butt out the window.

"Goddamn Mercedes. Guy thinks he owns the goddamned road!"

Hot air blasted the truck, as the Mercedes roared past in the right lane, its driver leaning heavy on the horn.

"Gonna teach that asshole a lesson," muttered Bart. He stomped on his accelerator again, but after bucking forward a few feet the truck slowed to twenty. "Shit!"

"Hey, chill out, man. It's Saturday. We're goin' to the mall and cruise for chicks. Life's good."

"Life sucks. What d'you s'pose an old guy like that makes? Ownin' a fancy set of wheels like that?"

"Dunno. Probably some kind of doc or somethin'."

"Nah. My old man says those guys don't make much no more, what with them HMOs and stuff. Says the way to go is come up with something that sells. That can make you real money."

"Yeah, so why don't you do it then, Bart?"

"Do what?"

"Come up with something that sells, stupid. Become an auntie prenner."

"Entrée prenner, stupid. Anyways it's too late. All the good stuff's already been invented."

"Yeah, prob'ly." Vernon fished another cigarette from his shirt pocket.

Bart frowned in concentration. "Take duck tape, for instance. Now there's an invention. Can do anything with duck tape. Mend things. My old man used it to fix the hole in our livin' room couch, and he fixed the thingy back on the toaster when it fell off. Hell, our whole house is stuck together with the stuff. Guy who invented it must be rollin' in dough."

"Guess you missed the boat, man."


Before Vernon could respond the two were jolted by a loud thunk and then a screeching, grinding noise that seemed to make waves in the hot summer air.

"What the fu—!" Vernon swiveled around and peered out the back window. "Hell, man, there's black smoke pourin' out behind us."

"Goddamned muffler must've fell off again. Fixed it yesterday, but guess it didn't hold none too well."

"What d'you fix it with?"

"Duct tape."

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