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|Posted on April 22, 2012 at 10:35 PM|
Today's word is "car." Hope you enjoy my take on the prompt.
by E. A. Irwin
Sally exited the mini mart sucking a cherry-flavored Slurpee that matched her painted lips, and headed toward the gas pumps to fill her car.
She grabbed a nozzle, jammed it in the gas tank and began humming aimlessly while she pumped gas. The final click of the nozzle brought Sally out of her daydreams. Anger consumed her as she stared at bright red streaks messily adorning the passenger side door of the vehicle. Great, the last detailing she’d had done on the car had cost her over a hundred bucks and that had only been two days ago. She scanned the parking lot and highway for the culprit. She’d only been in the mart for a few minutes, who could have done this and left unnoticed so quickly?
She touched the streaks and pulled away sticky and greasy fingertips, then cocked her head to read the scrawled message help me, along with an odd combination of letters and numbers. Before she could consider the cryptic meaning behind the alpha-numeric combo, a highway patrol car, its sirens wailing, swerved in behind her vehicle and screeched to a stop.
Both officers exited their vehicle with hands on their guns and carefully approached Sally. “Ma’am?”
Sally turned and faced a tall, lanky officer. “Yes?”
He nodded his head toward her vehicle. “Is this your car?”
Sally left her Slurpee on the hood and gestured wildly. “Yes. Boy, am I glad you guys arrived. Someone just graffitied my car while I was in the store. I’m not exactly sure what it means, but perhaps one of you can make it out and catch the person.”
The smaller officer addressed her. “Someone spotted your vehicle and reported it to the Highway Patrol. Those numbers on the door represent a license plate number. Are you sure you’re all right, ma’am?”
Confusion etched itself across Sally’s face. “Of course I’m fine. But apparently someone else isn’t. If that’s a license don’t you think you should track that plate number instead of hanging around here? Now that you know I’m fine and I know what the mess is, I think it’s more important you look for the car involved.”
The officers exchanged uneasy glances. “We’ve run the license plate, ma’am. Are you sure you don’t recognize the number?”
Sally swallowed hard. She needed the coolness of the Slurpee to calm her irritation with the cops. Slurpee’s always relaxed her anxiety, especially the red ones. “I already said I didn’t even know what it was or what it meant.”
The taller officer spoke. “Ma’am, the license plate number is to this vehicle. Would you please step to the rear of the car and pop the trunk open?”
The keys jangled as Sally nervously handed them over. “I don’t understand. But I’m pretty sure you need a warrant or something to search my car.”
The tall officer opened the trunk to discover Slurpee residue, blood-spatter and lipstick markings covering its interior. The smaller officer wrestled Sally to the ground as she tried to run. Slapping handcuffs on her, he shouted a Miranda warning while she writhed against him on the asphalt.
He looked up at his partner. “It’s a good thing her latest victim survived and left that message when Sally dumped her on the side of the road thinking she was dead. After five kills it looks like we’ve finally closed the Slurpee Killer case.”
© E. A. Irwin
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