Mini Series

A very short story by T.O. Burnett

Karen’s car was fifteen years old. She had it when she met her husband, Harold. It was her second, and most reliable, car. She loved that car. However it had over 400,000 miles on it and it had been giving her trouble for the last two years, which costed her and Harold a lot of money. 

One day Karen decided she had had enough. It was time to get rid of her old reliable car. So she and Harold woke up early one Saturday morning and went to the dealership to trade it in for this year’s model. They worked with a salesman named Ronald. Ronald was professional and understood Karen’s reluctance to part with her vehicle. 

“Thanks for giving me these maintenance records, that’s very helpful,” said Ronald. “Your vehicle is old and does have a lot of miles on it, but I will give you $1,000 above blue book value on trade-in because you’ve taken such good care of it.”

“Sounds good,” said Harold. 

“Ok,” said Karen. 

With that, they all walked to the showroom. Ronald sat Karen in the latest model, a hybrid. She liked it, but they did not have the color she wanted. However, she and Harold decided that it was best to go through with the deal. So they did. The transaction took all day. Finally, at around 8 pm, they were driving home in her brand new vehicle, which was both a hybrid and an SUV. 

When they reached a stop light, the car got silent. 

“What happened?” Karen asked. “Did it shut off?”

“No,” said Harold. “That’s energy saving mode.”

“Oh ok,” said Karen. 

When the light changed, she stepped on the gas. The vehicle moved after a momentary delay. It had to convert back to normal use. Karen didn’t like that. She gave Harold a mean look. He looked at her as if he wanted to tell her to relax but did not. Then Karen’s smartphone rang and it connected to her Bluetooth. The voice of a telemarketer came through her speakers. She immediately hung up. She was frustrated. She pulled into the nearest parking lot. 

“You know, Harold,” she said. “All of this has got to be a sign. On top of all of that, I don’t even have a selector for off road or four-wheel drive.”

“The vehicle does that for you, babe,” Harold replied. “It reads the terrain and adjusts accordingly.”

“All of that sounds good,” she replied sharply, “but this is too much. I just want my damn car back!”

“Okay, honey,” said Harold. “Ronald said that he’d be there late tonight and we could return it if that’s what we wanted to do.”

“Well that’s what I want to do,” said Karen. 

So they went back to the dealership and they returned the vehicle. Ronald was understanding and nice. It took two hours to undo the sale. Finally, around 11 pm they were driving home in her old car. She was happy to have it back. But..when they got on the back roads, the car broke down. It would not start. Not even the jump box could get it going. Plus her phone had died. They couldn’t call anyone. Finally at about 1 am a tow truck appeared out of nowhere. The first person they’d seen in two hours. The driver pulled over to assist. Karen and Harold walked up to the passenger side window and they looked in...right at the muzzle of a silver .357 Magnum. The driver shot them both in the face killing them instantly. He then backed his tow truck up to her vehicle and he stole it. 

The end

Tracey BurnettComment