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Hot Wheels

As they shout at each other in the street, I realise that all men are the same. Suited or booted. Bearded or geared up. Homies or Old Boys. All the same. The tall man is right. The car was parked on the pavement. Wheels up, a tense angle scorning the kerb, greedily gobbling the slabs. No room to saunter by. Doors threaten the shins of ladies who lunch and three-wheeled strollers. Who was he to ignore the rules? One for you and one for all the rest, eh? Fingers are pointed. The family gestured at. Neophyte sons cry although whether for bashed knees or Daddy’s snarling voice it’s unclear. An iron seed is sown amidst snot and perplexity. The honeyed wife looks through her T&G blow dry and discerns the charade down her Max Factored nose. Baby blues slant away. Nothing new here. The disheveled man is right. His car is one of a flock inhabiting a kindred position. There’s nowhere else to go and he has to pick up his daughter. Why not hound all the other drivers amassing here? Who made him judge and jury? Keep your postulations to yourself. Or come over here and say that again right here in front of me.

They quickstep backwards and forwards. A storm in a travel mug. The caterwauling waning as spectators hotfoot it away across the asphalt.

The tall man is wrong. No generosity or grace. He likes the argument. The disheveled man is wrong. No self-respect or sympathy. He likes the argument. This is what men do. They are just the same.

Small boys fighting over cars.

Flash Fiction by C S Bowerman

Published in Spring 2017


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