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55 Fiction

“The World’s Shortest Stories” yearly contest

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Ant: The Movie

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The Bus Ride

(2006)
A story reflecting the City, “The Bus Ride” is funny and angry, straight forward yet bent, confused but clear all at the same time.

In short, it describes a lot of people and very few.

an excerpt from this contemporary short story …

Tyler resigned himself to renting a car for the weekend. His conked out Friday night, so Saturday morning he began phoning.

There are approximately nine domestic car rental companies that are countrywide, although two of those are branded under the same corporate logo. He got out his list and began dialing toll free numbers.

“I’m not at the airport, I’m in San Francisco. I am over 25, I have a major credit card and am a member of triple A if a discount is available. Please quote me the least expensive vehicle you have. I will need it for two, maybe three days. I’ll pick it up today.”

A self satisfied voice on the other end of a bad connection said, “Ah, you know all the questions.”

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“What city am I calling? Bombay?”

“Calcutta.”

His own vehicle blew a coolant hose. He dared not drive it, was having it towed to the shop Monday morning. He hoped to get it back by Tuesday at the latest.

The rental price dropped with successive phone calls from $65 a day to $25. The best deal was for a compact car that came from an agency with offices under the Cathedral Hill Hotel on Van Ness at Geary.

“Oh, yah,” Tyler said to a man who quoted him the rate and introduced himself as Franco, “The old Jack Tar. I know exactly where you are.”

This story is 7 pages long, available in PDF format.
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