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55 Fiction

“The World’s Shortest Stories” yearly contest

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Because We’re Human

(2006)
Automobiles hold an almost divine place in American culture as everyone in this story will attest.
an excerpt from this contemporary short story …

The kid was punctual. John was not.

“Knock, knock, knock,” the kid said when he realized the doorbell did not work and the front door was wide open behind the screen. It was a warm Humboldt afternoon and you could smell the salt air even from this far inland, about half a mile.

John finally poked his head around the corner of the house after the kid banged the loose fitting screen loud enough to be heard in the yard.

“Can I hep ya?” John asked while wiping a screw driver with an oily rag.

“Come about the Seville.”

A look of questioning wonder washed over John’s face until he smiled and said, “Right. I forgot. You called about buying the Caddy. Well, c’mon over here. I got it in back. My name’s John.”

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“Mortimer,” the kid said shaking John’s hands despite the obvious probability of getting grease on his own. “Mort for short.”

“Funny that. Mort for short. Rhymes. Ok. There she is. Ain’t she a beaut?”

The 1980 Cadillac Seville was gold and shone like a polished stone. It was obvious the owner was proud of the pristine automobile even if it only got fifteen miles to the gallon on the highway, ten in the city.

“Six liter V-8 in that baby. Lots of power.”

Mort walked around the nearly 4,000 pounds of steel and glass admiring the paint job, peering in through the windows, touching both side mirrors as he walked to the front where he reverently held his hand aloft above the hood insignia.

This story is 18 pages long, available in PDF format.
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