#70 Radiant Reagan (500 words)

Inspired by: Motorpsycho Nightmare

Sadie’s car sputtered and lurched. She managed to pull over the side of the road before it started wheezing and died. 

“No! I’m late enough already.”

She pounded her head against the steering wheel and tried the ignition again. The engine coughed, and black smoke billowed from beneath the hood. 

Sadie opened the hood but had no idea how cars worked.

She took her bag from the trunk and walked, praying a mechanic wasn’t far off. 

She walked a mile uphill and came across a decaying gas station. It looked abandoned, but the front door was unlocked, and a cowbell rang when she opened it. 

“What do you want?” A voice from beneath the counter yelled at her. 

“Uh, my car broke down about a mile that way. Is there anyone who can look at it, or should I call a taxi?”

A man who Sadie would conservatively guess was one hundred popped up with a toolbox in one hand and a shotgun in the other. 

“We got these tools, but that’s it!”

“I have no idea how cars work. I don’t suppose you can look at it?”

“And let your friends rob my blind? I ain’t leaving this place while I got a breath in my body.”

“Friends? I’m all alone.”

“That’s what they all say… Reagan!”

“Yeah, Pa?”

“We got a customer. Don’t let her try any funny stuff.”

Reagan stepped out of the backroom and was the most beautiful woman Sadie had ever set eyes upon. 

“Alright, Pa. Where’s your car miss…”

“Hawkins, Sadie Hawkins. It’s down this hill.”

“Nasty place for your car to breakdown, huh? I’m Reagan. Let’s take a look at her.”

“Me?” Sadie asked, blushing. 

“The car.”

The women walked down the hill to Sadie’s still smoking car. 

“Oof, I’ll see what I can do. What brings you out this way?”

“I’m visiting family for the week. In Marieville.”

“Where you coming from?”

“Beacon.”

“That’s a hike. Your car probably isn’t used to trips that long.”

When they reached the car, Reagan buried her head beneath the hood, occasionally asking Sadie to hand her a tool. 

Before Sadie knew it, her car was alive again and sounded as good as the day it came off the factory floor. She hugged Reagan.

“I wish all my customers were like you!”

“Oh, yeah. What do I owe you?”

Rita looked down at Sadie, their face inches apart. 

“This ones on the house.”

“You sure?”

“Just don’t tell my dad.”

Both women smiled. 

“If your sure there’s nothing I can do.”

“Spending an hour with you was my pleasure.”

A car approached, and they released their embrace. 

“Let me give you a ride back, at least.”

“Deal.”

Sadie drove Reagan up the hill and dropped her off. Reagan stuck her head back in the car.

“I’m actually taking a hotel management course in Beacon in the Fall, maybe I can look you up.” 

“Definitely!” 

They said goodbye, and Sadie smiled the whole way to Marieville.

Published by einquin

Writing personal exploration flash fiction as well as building the foundations for a comic book universe.

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