Ticket to Ride (She Wrote, Week 4)
by Christine Hawks
As David, who always beats me to publishing, mentioned earlier, this week we added a twist to our usual challenge. Still two short stories, still using prompts to build our tales, but this week, we participated in Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge over at terribleminds.com. Out of a list of 10 possible random items, contenders pick 4 to feature in their short story of about 1,000 words. Ironically, David and I both picked the same 4 items – the unopened envelope, the rocking chair, the horseshoe and the child’s toy. Really! We did not plan that and, as usual, neither of us knew what the other was writing about until the big reveal here. Great minds…? Polls will be opened shortly and new prompts selected on Sunday.
He thrust he walker out in front of him, then shuffled his feet two steps to catch up with the contraption before repeating the awkward two-step all over again. The going wasn’t easy; not only due to his handicap, but also because Sam Daily was traveling on a subtle incline of packed dirt that was his driveway. He made the quarter mile round-trip six days a week to retrieve the mail delivered at the intersection of his driveway and the farm road. Though the exertion left him needing a nap most days, he was grateful that he was still able to get around on his own two legs, even if it was a struggle. He knew that one day he’d require full-time use of the Gator that he reserved for days when the driveway was mired in mud or covered in snow.
When he had reached his destination, Sam noted that the stray mutt he’d befriended was already waiting there, as usual. He reached into his trousers and pulled out a few liver treats for the dog. Despite his apparent homelessness, the dog was always respectful in taking whatever Sam offered him. Sam reached down to scratch behind the dog’s floppy ear and predictably, after his snack and some attention, the dog continued up the road. “Same time tomorrow, old boy!”
Sam, now recovered from his journey to the mailbox reached in and retrieved the day’s delivery. He flipped through, though he already knew what to expect: the current issue of The Farm Journal, the sales circular for the local co-op grocery and the utility bill. But, there was an addition today that he didn’t expect. The envelope, addressed to him was accompanied by a return address from the American Planetary Tourism Board.
“What the hell?” he asked, aloud. Read the rest of this entry »