“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?” – Hunter S. Thompson
For those following, you may recall that I received my very first rejection letter a little while ago. I am sure that Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine wanted to publish my short story; there just wasn’t room. But I still have two flash fiction pieces being considered by Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, so I am holding to the belief that no news is still good news. They probably can’t decide on the artwork. Yep, that’s it, alright. Artwork delays. I am sure of it.
In the meantime, I came across an appropriate (and surprisingly clean) quote from the fearless gonzo journalist/writer, the late Hunter S. Thompson. I ponder this as I am deciding whether or not to enter a micro-fiction contest – 250 word limit. The prompt is a picture of several parking meters, laying on their side, clearly pulled from the sidewalk by someone bent on revenge. Here are my thoughts on said photo:
Two Bits for Grandma
Little Billy and Zinger the wonderdog watched as Grandma was cuffed and stuffed in the back of the squad car. “One too many tickets, Zing. Remember what the judge said last time?” Zinger tilted his head, but Billy knew his dog understood. Grandma was going to jail for setting the city record for parking meter violations.
The next morning, the judge addressed the elderly woman. “Given your age, and the fact that half the police force eats at your diner, I am sentencing you to probation only. But one more ticket…and I will have to put you behind bars. Think of the example you need to set for your grandson. Please…it’s only 50 cents, you know.” The judge was being more than lenient.
Billy winked at the judge, saying “Don’t worry, your honor. Zinger and I have taken care of everything. You won’t have to worry about my Grandma; I’ll always have two quarters in my pocket, just in case…”
Grandma smiled, saying “Bless your heart, Billy. Let’s just go home. You can put those two bits in the meter tomorrow when we go shopping.”
The next day, Grandma and Billy found police officers looking at the sidewalk, where the parking meters used to stand. Grandma looked at Billy, raising one eyebrow.
“Billy? Do you know anything about this?”
Putting the quarters back in his pocket, Billy replied “You haven’t looked behind the barn, have you?”
Grandma smiled. “Nope. Let’s go shopping…for ice cream.”
[Copyright March 2011, D.J. Lutz]