Mailing It In


I’ve been burning the proverbial candle at both ends with a house full of sick people and a whole bunch of year-end shit at work, but I resolved to post more often (lucky you), so here’s another of my short stories.  ‘Short’ being the operative word.

Scene From A Car


“Dude, what is that smell?” Chet asked, rolling down the passenger window of Phil’s shabby Datsun B210.  His feet rustled discarded Burger King bags and countless folded and marked newspapers as he tried to get comfortable.


“What smell?” Phil asked, depressing the car’s cigarette lighter that hadn’t worked in over three years.


“Are you serious?  What smell?  You’re telling me you don’t smell anything?”


“I truly do not smell a thing.” Phil fished an orange Bic lighter out of his corduroys and lit the cigarette that had been dangling expectantly on his bottom lip.  “I need you to pay attention to the signs.  I can’t afford to get lost again.”


“Dude, I can’t concentrate at all in here.  It fucking stinks.”


Phil drove eastbound on Beverly Boulevard past Fairfax and La Brea Avenues and the Wilshire Country Club.  “I am going to be so fricking late for my interview.”  Then, “Holy shit!”


“What?  Did we miss a turn?”


“No…  I don’t think so anyway.”  Phil’s eyes widened as he glanced over his right shoulder into the back seat.  “But I think I know what the smell is.”




“You’re not going to believe this one,” Phil laughed.  “I hit a dog like three days ago and I put him in the trunk.  I totally forgot about it.”


“Did you kill it?”.


“No, I put a live dog in my trunk.” Phil’s sarcasm billowed like the smoke from his mouth and nostrils as he exhaled.


Chet could only stare out the window, both eyebrows raised, wondering what would possess his best friend to put a dead dog in his trunk either, but he didn’t say anything.


“How the fuck do you forget you put a dead dog in your trunk,” Chet finally broke the four block silence.


“I don’t know, man.  I guess I had a lot of shit on my mind.”


“Dude, I gotta know, why the hell would you put a dog in your trunk after you hit it?”


“What would you do?”

“Shit, I don’t know… maybe leave it where it was.”


“What if that was the middle of Cheryl’s living room?” Phil mumbled


“Excuse me?”


“What if where it was, was in Cheryl’s living room?” he repeated.


“Wait, what?  I thought you said you hit a dog.”


“I did.  I hit it with a baseball bat,” Phil uttered matter of factly.


“That’s Mister Snapple in your trunk?”  Chet motioned toward the car’s hatchback.

“Yea,” Phil blew three perfect smoke rings and flicked the Marlboro out his window.  “I rolled it up in that horrible Oriental rug her mother gave her and put it in my car.  I don’t know, I guess I just forgot about it.”


“I liked that rug.” 


More silence.


“So I take it you two aren’t getting back together then,” Chet spoke again.


“Yea, I don’t think so.” 



copyright 2006




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One Response to “Mailing It In”

  1. That was great!