20 April, 2012

Flash Fiction: The Politics of Patience

The television aired another soap opera and Dana could barely keep herself awake. All she knew was that Russell was still working on her new set of wheels; one of the old Mazda models. The excitement she had for the big moment had dragged her to this state of fatigue.

“Look what the Skip-Bo won me,” She told Russell when she first brought the Mazda home.

Russell had rushed up from the steps of his apartment complex. He had a heart for Mazdas and eyed Dana’s with the eyes of many excited schoolchildren at recess.

“Omg! A Millenia! That’s some prize you got there,” Russell said, exasperated with excitement. He kept eyeing the Millenia, his fingers closing in on its hood. “You must have kicked some ass at Skip-Bo for this.”

“Not just that,” Dana replied, exiting the car. “Introducing the new Queen of Skip-Bo!”

All Russell could do was to give a congratulatory bear hug, “Damn, girl! Congrats!”

After the initial excitement, Russell’s diagnosis had found many issues with the Millenia; erratic batteries, expired oils filters, and the like. He then gathered his surgical kit (new car parts, a tool-bag, some jumper cables, replacement fluid, and a boom-box) and sealed himself in Dana’s garage.

The week progressed and Dana’s impatience grew worse. She moved the television into the dining room, just to keep an eye on Russell’s repairs while watching countless news anchors and soap opera actors depress themselves in countless arguments.

This process of staring dead at the television, then darting at the door to the garage, lead to today. Dana had ran out of patience, tolerance for the politics of Days of Our Lives, cupboards of food, and quite possibly the bandwidth required to play Angry Birds on her laptop. She looked at the door again. Russell was still at it, blaring obscure dubstep tracks and the car’s engine.

She groaned and finally admitted defeat and let hours of sleep take over. She got around two days of REM sleep before Russell woke her with the news she had been waiting for.

“All fixed and ready to roll,,” Russell said. He was caked with oil and car grease all over his arms. His face had also some of the grease and oil remnants along with the zombie-like eyes.

Dana perked and rushed outside to garage to awe at the newly restored Millenia. It was just like the moment when she won it; a trophy of honor or a coat of arms. She sat herself in the driver's seat, “Keys, Russell!”

“Oh, you don't need keys with that now,” Russell said. He approached Dana and pointed at the new ignition console next to the steering wheel. “Log in and be ready to rock!”

Dana fiddled around with the console, trying to figure out the password. One, two, three, and four; or four, three, two, and one?

“Just zeros all round,” Russell said. “Don't make this moment difficult for me.”

“Psh! It ain't your car,” Dana scowled, and pressed the code onto the console's keypad.

A welcome screen came up followed by four options; normal, stealth, flight, and combat. Dana just looked at the screen, speechless. She turned her head and glared at Russell, who was grinning from ear to ear.

“Ya see that,” He said. “Took over a week to fix this. Now, it's not just a Mazada, it's a badass Mazada.”

Dana grabbed him by the collar, “What the hell did you do to my ride!?”

“I fixed it like you wanted me too! I found the problems and I fixed them! What else is there to explain?”

Dana pointed at the ignition console, the four panels still blinking on the screen. Russell sighed; all those days learning to code and use a 3D printer had backfired.  

Prompted from Flash Fiction Project's Anticipation.

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