I dabble in crochet, quilting, dress making, coffee, fencing, pump repair, chocolate, cleaning and writing. Last night I was going through this old notebook of mine when I came across this story that I had written two years ago. I had been bored, and asked my sister to give me a topic to write about. She said rain – it had been raining at the time – and somehow this is what my brain came up with.
(It’s also very, very loosely based off this verse. ‘Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.’ Luke 6:30. Very, very loosely)
If you could come up with the absolute worst place to breakdown, this would be it.
Petunia stared out the car window at the rain that was pouring down. She had been on her way to Bible study and had taken a shortcut down Leach Street, the roughest area in her small town. It hadn’t been the wisest decision to come this way; after all, she had been warned about the muggings and general creepiness that lurked around here many a time.
Now her much beloved car, Limpy (a name bestowed upon her poor much maligned car by her not-so-lovable brothers), had a flat tyre. On Leach Street. In the rain. And her phone was out of credit. She had been meaning to get more but it just… hadn’t happened. Petunia made a face at the rain drops sliding down the glass. Her normally favourite song ‘500 Miles’ came onto the radio and she switched it off with a flick of her wrist. She really didn’t want to walk any distance at all in this weather, but it didn’t seem like she had much choice. Sitting here wasn’t really an option, so walking it will have to be.
She thumped her head on the steering wheel a couple of times, then grabbed her Bible off the seat and slipped it into her handbag. Arranging her scarf over her head to at least attempt to keep her hair dry, Petunia hesitated a moment to brace herself then threw open the door. She nearly got blown back into the car from the force of the rain that seized the opportunity to drench the inside of her car. Poor Limpy. Hopefully he will survive the indignity of being left on the side of the road.
She managed to wrestle her way out the car and slam the door shut. Hugging herself tightly she began walking. It would only take her around ten minutes, she thought. She had to admit, the way the street lights were either flickering or were out entirely didn’t inspire her and fill her with much confidence. How come they were flickering, she wondered, either they work or they don’t. Petunia distracted herself from her trudging by wondering if she could convince Tom and Nancy to give her a lift home.
‘Hand it over.’
Petunia shrieked and jumped about a foot in the air. She was under one of those street lights that were off, and just hadn’t seen the man coming. Now he was standing right in front of her, with his hand out.
‘Are you crazy?’ She yelled to get herself heard over sudden thunder clap. ‘It’s raining! You should be inside!’
‘Give me your bag and I’ll go inside. Now hand it over!’
She drew the bag closer to herself. ‘What do you want my bag for?’
‘You serious?’ Giving her a look, he spoke slowly and clearly, like she was a child. Petunia bristled. ‘I am going to steal it.’
‘Now that wasn’t very smart,’ she stated. ‘Telling me that you’re going to steal it. Now I’m not going to give it to you.’
‘What did you think I was going to do with it? See if it matched my shoes?’
‘No need to be snarky. If you had just asked, I would’ve given it to you.’
‘Fine.’ With a longsuffering sigh, he stuck his hand out again and wiggled his fingers. ‘Give me your bag.’
She levelled a look at him. ‘Politely.’
This time he huffed and rolled his eyes. ‘Fine. May I please have your bag, if you would be so kind.’
‘Well done,’ Petunia approved. ‘Yes, you may have my bag.’ Sliding it off her shoulder, she was just about to hand to the man when she exclaimed, ‘Oh wait! Just let me get…’
The man’s shoulders slumped as he watched helplessly as she rummaged around in the bag.
‘Ah!’ She pulled out her lip gloss and held it aloft. ‘Can I keep this?’
He nodded but before he could reach out and take the bag she was looking through it again. ‘I’ll just get my drivers license, and my bank cards. May as well take my whole purse, there’s not much you could do with that.’
Petunia glanced up at his small sound of distress. ‘Don’t worry, I’ve nearly got everything.’ Head back down, she found more things. ‘My phone! That cost a bit, so I’ll like to keep it. Oh! Grandma’s necklace! We just got that valued and you wouldn’t believe how much that’s worth!’ She explained absently. ‘And my iPod! Can’t leave th- Hey, where are you going?’
Throwing his hands up in disgust, the man had started walking away. He sounded defeated as he muttered. ‘Just keep it.’
‘Oh.’ Confused, Petunia looked down at the bag. ‘Well, thank you.’ She called after him.
Putting everything back in the handbag, she shrugged and kept walking. Maybe Kali would drive her home.
Hope you enjoyed it 🙂