Adding On

Here’s where I went with the rest stop prompt:

Two people meet at a rest stop…

She’s driving a dark blue Kawasaki Ninja, and he’s intrigued by the way she guides the thing, like a missile, into the narrow space he left between his rusting Toyota pickup and the Coke machine.  He watches, holding the end of Steinway’s leash, as she feeds five quarters into the machine and jabs with a closed fist the button for Diet, listens as the can makes its way through the chute and falls to the door.  She lifts the can, pops the top, and takes a sip before she notices him standing there.  She nods at him, a faint smile, and says “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a dog that big.”

“Steinway’s a handful,” he said.  “I’m not exactly sure how he happened, but I suspect that he’s a mix between a St. Bernard and Sasquatch.”

She snorted a little giggle, took another sip of her Coke, and put her helmet, sparkling the same dark blue as her bike, on the ground to ruffle Steinway’s ears.  Whether in sympathy for his owner or his own laziness, the enormous dog immediately flopped to the ground and rolled over, begging to have his belly rubbed.  “Not exactly a dangerous pooch, I see,” she said as she set the can next to the helmet to dig in with both hands.  Steinway’s left rear leg twitched as his enormous tail swept a wide arc in the grass beneath him.

“Nice bike,” he said.  “How fast have you managed to get it going?”

“Well, that depends,” she said, “if you’re a cop, my answer is ‘65, officer.’  If you’re an accountant or something, that number changes to 140.”

“I’m a teacher,” he said, “so you’re safe.  Where are you heading in such a hurry” he joked, though he could tell, as soon as the words were out, that it was the wrong thing to say.  She clouded over, stood up, and tried to shake Steinway fur from between her fingers.  “I’m not really going anywhere in particular,” she said.  “It’s a good afternoon for a ride on the highway, that’s all.”

“I’m coming back from visiting my parents,” he offered, a hint of awkward apology in his voice, though he had no idea what he was sorry for.  “They don’t  have grandkids, so I like to bring Steinway by every couple of months.  I’m pretty sure he has more fun than they do; Mom doesn’t complain much about the drool, but I see her wiping up when she thinks I’m not looking.  He loves it, though; he can’t get enough of riding in the car.”

“I’m surprised he fits,” she said, eyeing the little truck next to her bike.  “Though I suppose you have an easier time moving him around than I would.”

”I don’t know,” he said, glancing down at the still lounging mass of fur and slobber at his feet, “I’m not sure he wouldn’t try to go home with you if you asked him.”

She tipped back the last of the Coke, then crouched to give Steinway one last scritch before scooping up her helmet and turning back to the parking lot.  “It was great talking to you,” she said.  “Maybe I’ll see you again; it’s not like you’d be hard to miss with that traveling companion of yours.”  She tossed the can in the trash, donned the helmet, and swung her leg over the bike.  A quick kick and a rev of engine, and she was gone.  He waited until he couldn’t hear the whine of her bike anymore before he nudged Steinway back to his giant feet and led him to his seat in the truck.

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4 Comments

Filed under about writing, composition, Mrs. Chili as Student, writing

4 responses to “Adding On

  1. A dollar twenty-five for a CAN?! Eek!

    Interesting characters :)

  2. Rowan

    Well, I want to know what happens next! Will she dump the bike and he’ll find her laying on the roadside? Or will they run into each other at a diner? Hmmm…is she running away from something or someone? She doesn’t seem fragile (not with that bike!) or is it just a protective front?
    More please!
    And thanks for the ideas. I used a couple of the writing prompts from 10 things Tuesday today in my Summer School classes (yep, THAT Summer School, the one I WASN’T going to teach.).

  3. Rowan

    Aha! Maybe HE will be in a situation where SHE will rescue him!

  4. As I read this, I started hearing David Wilcox’s song “Eye of the Hurricane.”

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