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Flash Fiction

Plovember 8: Flight

People don’t know what to do with widows, especially those under the age of 65.

I was 30.

People on my job treated me differently as did folks at church. I hated living in that house; the neighbor’s son broke in a few months after the husband died and stole my pistols (I had the serial numbers from both and submitted to the database, but you know those numbers were filed off in about two seconds flat) and the neighbor, the thief’s dad, tried to push up on me. Ew.

I panicked in my desire for difference.

It started with some bad personal choices, one of which led me back to my old college stomping grounds in New Brunswick. As I sat near the train station, my eyes kept turning to the Court Tavern, the local watering hole where I and my radio station comrades spent the better part of four years. I thought about my friend Don, who I have written about a few times. I almost went into the Tavern; I chose not to because I had my four-year-old with me and, well, a woman walks into a bar with a baby … that can’t turn out well, can it? I imagined going in, asking after my friend, leaving a business card with my number on it because I figured someone in there had to know him and how to get in touch, just because that’s how it was.

But I didn’t.

I went back to Chester and survived. I tried buying a house just on the other side of the Commodore Barry Bridge in NJ, knowing if I couldn’t get a car, how in the world would I get a house?

Eventually, I got a job in Jersey and moved into an apartment. It was a nice, three-bedroom affair — large enough for all the stuff I kept from the duplex in Chester without need for a remote storage. I met Christopher at the new job and soon enough, we were thick as thieves.

It was during our early years of acquaintance that the Contour was stolen from the driveway. With Christopher’s drums in it (if you’ve been around for a while, you may remember that he was a percussionist). I had insurance on the car and the renter’s insurance on the apartment replaced his equipment, thank goodness. It was after that debacle I got the next vehicle.

Image result for mitsubishi galant

Almost exactly like this one, the last in a line of nameless vehicles. Photo courtesy CarGurus.

I think mine was a bit more gray than gold. I can’t remember. It was a nice ride, but the first recall made me panic and it was time to trade …





  1. Lyn November 9, 2016 2:14 am

    If you kept all those cars, you could have started your own car yard 🙂
    About your neighbour (the thief’s father) EW! and double EW!
    You have lived such a varied and interesting life my friend, and there is so much more to go 😉

    • AR Neal November 9, 2016 12:37 pm

      From your lips to God’s ears!

      • Lyn November 9, 2016 4:30 pm

        Oh, I always keep you in my prayers 🙂

        • AR Neal November 9, 2016 5:41 pm


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