First paragraphs of some short stories that will probably never get written, inspired by sightings of big old sedans and wagons from the House of the Blue Oval.
1. “Ford Country Squire, hah”, she thought. “If there were any truth in advertising they’d call it the “Bored Suburban Housewife”. This bit of drollery momentarily took her mind off the painful subject of her husband’s numerous infidelities, at least one of which, judging from the hoop earring she’d found under the seat this morning, had taken place in this very car. She pulled off the alley behind the office supply store, drove up onto the tracks, got out and left the big wagon there, door open, engine running. An approaching Union Pacific freight blew its horn for the crossing a half-mile north. She lit a cigarette and took a long drag. “This should be quite a sight”, she said to no one in particular.
2. Detective Scanlon heaved his bulk out of the squad car into the crisp December air, and stared at the beat-up white LTD Landau that had disrupted his breakfast. A jittery Pep Boys employee, who had found the LTD abandoned on the back lot when he arrived to open up, looked on. Scanlon peered in through the gangster-tinted glass and took stock of the contents. Two empty pill bottles and a badly-folded city map on the dash. The dull metallic glint of a .38 revolver on the passenger-side floor. And in the middle of the back seat, a slumped human form in an expensive suit, blood staining the dirty white upholstery. Despite the damage done to the face by a couple of bullets, Scanlon recognized the deceased as a troublemaking member of the City Council, who had been in the news lately for his vigorous opposition to the new stadium project. Scanlon rubbed his temples and wished retirement was a little closer than the end of next March; in fact today would be nice.
3. As he did almost every morning, Dave Winters briefly stared at the official sedan of his uncle, the former chief, sitting forlornly alongside the fire house. The car hadn’t moved in six months, ever since Dave’s uncle had disappeared, along with the keys, a couple days ahead of the arrival of two investigators from the state Fire Marshal’s office. The bureau guys were anxious to talk to the chief, saying that they had reason to believe that three of the five fires the department had responded to in the previous month had been set by the man himself. His uncle’s sudden exit had certainly lent credence to that notion. Dave sighed and went into the fire house. His cell phone began ringing insistently. Dave looked at the little screen. Blocked number. He put the phone to his ear anyway, only to nearly drop it when he heard his uncle’s gruff voice. “Hey, Dave, how’s the old Crown Vic? Listen, I want to tell you what’s been going on, but first I really need you to do something for me…”
4. Carlos’ hand twitched nervously at the motel-room curtain and he eyed the parking lot for the hundredth time. His older brother’s borrowed station wagon still sat where he’d carefully parked it, a few doors down. He wished the Colombians would come and get that box already. He didn’t know what was in it and didn’t want to; just that whatever it contained apparently was important enough that some dude in a van had tried to run him into the ditch as he drove up from Williams in the pre-dawn darkness. He’d somehow managed to escape by flooring it down an unpaved county road with the lights off. That went pretty well, at least until he hit the damn deer at something like 60 per, taking out the left headlight. The old Crown Victoria had held up fairly well, all things considered, but his brother was going to kill him when he saw the damage. If, that is, the Colombians or whoever else was currently looking for him didn’t do it first.
5. Mosley sat in half-darkness in the Accountant’s comfy office chair, feet up on the desk, .45 automatic held loosely in his right hand. His anonymous beige LTD sedan sat outside, engine ticking as it cooled. He’d driven down from Dallas overnight, doing 80 when he could, ear cocked to listen to the police scanner. His instructions were clear: bring back the money the Accountant owed or take it out of his hide. Mosley didn’t much care which outcome prevailed, but option number two was always one he enjoyed. At that moment he heard the sound of a key turning at the front door. His grip tightened on the .45. The door opened and the morning sunshine flooded in. Mosley couldn’t see clearly who it was, but two things were certain: whoever it was, was armed, and it wasn’t the Accountant.
Feel free to contribute your own!