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Cars

His Sister’s Car

‘Wait a second, wait a second,’ I held up a hand to slow my brother down. He took a deep breath, regaining his composure.

         ‘You good?’ I asked him. 

         ‘I’m good,’ he breathed out, finding his centre. ‘I’m good.’

         ‘Alright,’ I nodded slowly. ‘Now what is it you wanted to tell me. It’s not about my car, is it?’ I joked, laughing.

         He didn’t laugh with me.

         ‘Why aren’t you laughing with me?’

         ‘I, uh…’

         ‘Josh, I swear to god, if you crashed my car–’

         ‘The air conditioning broke,’ he said, wincing and holding his hands in front of his face.

         ‘What?’

         ‘The air conditioner,’ he repeated, cracking an eye open. ‘I think it’s broken.’

         ‘Broken how?’ I asked, my anger reduced to a simmer.

         ‘It’s not, like… cold?’

         He raised his hands in confusion and I rolled my eyes.

         ‘I probably just need to visit a mechanic that can perform a car air conditioning regas,’ I said.

         ‘What?’ he frowned. ‘That’s a thing?’

         ‘That’s a thing,’ I nodded.

         ‘How often are you supposed to do that?’

         ‘I don’t know, like every year?’

         ‘Seriously?!’

         ‘I know right, there should be some sort of manual or something.’

         ‘Phew,’ he chuckled. ‘For a second there, I thought you were going to kill me.’

         ‘Did you scratch my car?’

         ‘No.’

         ‘Then you get to live,’ I nodded. ‘My rules are pretty simple.’

         He threw his head back in mock laughter. I kept my face perfectly still, so he knew I was serious.

         ‘Now I just have to find a qualified mechanic local to Moorabbin to look at my car, I sighed.

         ‘Surely that won’t be too hard?’ Josh asked, frowning.

         ‘You wouldn’t think so,’ I sighed. ‘But it can be a slog. Want to come for a drive?’

         ‘Uh, maybe,’ he frowned, pulling out his phone.

         ‘Maybe?’ I asked, confused. ‘What are you looking at?’

         ‘The weather,’ he said like it was obvious. ‘You think I’m getting in a car with no air conditioning if it’s hot out there?’

 

Categories
Cars

Stranded Without Electricity

​​I took a deep, long breath of the still night air… and let it out in a primal scream.

         ‘Okay, it’s not that bad,’ Vanessa rolled her eyes. She was hanging out the window of my luxury car – the one that had just spluttered to a stop on the side of the highway.

         ‘Not that bad?’ I asked, knuckles turning white. ‘Do you have reception?’

         ‘My phone isn’t even charged,’ she shrugged. ‘I was enjoying the evening with you.’

         I narrowed my eyes at her and she laughed.

         ‘Just get back in the car.’

         ‘No,’ I said stubbornly. ‘I need to figure out where we are first.’

         ‘We’re near Bentleigh,’ she said.

         ‘What?’

         ‘Bentleigh,’ she nodded. ‘Now will you hop back in?’

         ‘How do you know that? I thought your phone was dead.’

         ‘I’m psychic,’ she said, in a creepy monotone voice, widening her eyes. Her face cracked into a laugh, and she pointed over my shoulder at a sign that said “Welcome to Bentleigh”.

         ‘Oh,’ I frowned again. ‘Right. Do you know any expert mechanics in the Bentleigh area?’

         ‘Expert?’ she asked. ‘What’s wrong with a normal mechanic?’

         ‘For my baby?’ I asked, laying a shocked hand on her bonnet. ‘What’s wrong with you?’

         ‘Then no,’ she sighed. ‘No experts. Did you consider it might be electrical?’

         ‘Electrical?’

         ‘Yes.’

         ‘Why?’

         ‘Because all the lights went haywire,’ she said, miming the lights going haywire.

         ‘Great,’ I sighed, leaning against the front of the car and suppressing the urge to kick a tyre. ‘Where are we gonna find an auto electrical mechanic operating in Bentleigh at this time of night?’

         ‘It’s only just past seven,’ she checked her watch. ‘Why don’t you make some calls?’

         ‘No reception,’ I reminded her, annoyed. ‘We’re back at square one!’

         ‘You know,’ she said icily, ‘I’m not the one who wanted to take the scenic route.’

         ‘So this is my fault?!’

         ‘Oh good, you picked up on that!’ she shot back.

Categories
Cars

Mechanics in Pursuit

‘Do you even know how to drive this thing?’ I hollered at Savii, as she skidded us around a corner and through an alleyway. Her only reply was to grin.

A man in a battered trench coat saw us coming and panicked, dropping his can as he jumped out of our way, hurling obscenities as we disappeared at breakneck speed.

‘Did you even see him?’ I asked, clinging to the door with a white-knuckled ferocity.

‘He moved,’ Savii rolled her eyes. ‘They always move.’

She checked her mirrors again and saw the distant dancing of red and blue lights.

‘Damn,’ she hissed. ‘Thought we would have lost them in that alley.’

‘They’re probably just following the screaming sounds,’ I protested, thrown back into my seat by another burst of acceleration.

‘Do you know of any affordable mechanics near Toowoomba?’ Savii asked, casually.

‘What does that mean?’ I glared at her.

‘Nothing, nothing,’ she said, swerving to avoid a bike messenger and clipping off the wing mirror on my side. I glared at her.

‘That was an honest mistake,’ she protested. ‘Could have happened to anyone.’

‘That’s it!’ I yelled. ‘Pull over! This ends now!’

‘Uh, about that,’ Savii checked for the police again. ‘I’m gonna need this car for a little while.’

‘How long?’

‘Until we’re clear of the City.’

‘That could take days!’

‘A week, tops,’ she batted away my complaint.

‘Wait a second,’ I frowned. ‘Until we’re clear of the city?’

‘You didn’t think I was gonna leave you behind, did you?’

‘I hoped!’

Another swerve temporarily derailed the conversation.

‘What’s the matter?’ Savii asked, genuinely confused. ‘Is your car due for a tyre fitting soon or something?’

‘No, you maniac, I don’t want to be kidnapped by you!’

‘Pffft, it’s hardly a kidnapping,’ she rolled her eyes. ‘You got in the car willingly.’

‘Because I thought you were going to drive to my place and drop me off, not get caught up in a high-speed pursuit!’

Savii shook her head with a sigh.

‘Honestly, some people just will not be reasoned with.’

Categories
Cars

Things Will Be Okay

So six months on from my last update and things are starting to look better. I hoped and I prayed that this would be the case and I’m very happy to say that it is. It hasn’t been all sunshines and roses these last few months, in fact it’s been completely the opposite a lot of the time. But life can’t always be perfect and there are always going to be bumps in the road that we need to get through. I’m slowly but surely getting through them and hopefully I’m finally coming out the other side.

I’m really glad that I took my car into the mechanic when I did. When I last spoke with you all I was in a really bad place physically, financially and mentally. Because of my medical condition it was a struggle to get out of bed in the morning. It was even more of a struggle to go to work every day and even more of a struggle when I realised that my car was in need of a car safety certificate to be able to drive each day. To make matters worse, I would have to pay a lot of money to get it repaired so that it was in a roadworthy condition. They don’t just give out car safety certificates to anyone who wants one, which makes sense because they have a duty of care to ensure that a car is as safe as possible. As much as I understand that, I just wish it wasn’t the case in my situation because it did cost a lot of money that I didn’t and don’t really have. But alas, I had to do it. 

You know what’s funny? I can actually pinpoint the moment that everything changed for the better. It’s when I drove away from the mechanic after my urgent car maintenance. Raceview looked stunning, the sun was shining and my favourite song played on the radio. Even though I was struggling very hard, I knew at that moment that things would eventually be okay.

Categories
Cars

The Service Plan

We zoomed past the border sign for the edge of District 11, and the resulting ding from my toll card woke me up. I yawned and stretched, and saw that Savii was watching me in her rear view mirror.

         ‘Morning, sunshine,’ she said, grinning widely. ‘How’d you sleep?’

         ‘Like a fugitive,’ I grumbled. ‘How are you so chipper? Haven’t you been driving all night?’

         ‘I don’t need as much sleep as– as you,’ she finished quickly.

         ‘Right,’ I frowned at her, pulling my jumper on and rolling down the back window for some fresh air. ‘Where are we anyway?’

         ‘Heading into the UV District,’ she told me. ‘So I’d close that window if you don’t want a nasty sunburn.’

         ‘The UV district…’ I murmured, doing as she said. ‘That means we’re close to the edge of the City!’

         ‘Don’t get too excited,’ Savii said, locking eyes with me in the mirror. ‘We need a game plan for when we get there.’

         ‘Why?’

         ‘Because they’ll be running vehicle inspections, for safety.’

         ‘Whose safety?’

         ‘Not ours,’ she said with a tight grin.

         ‘Do you think they’ll be suspicious?’

         ‘Of this car? With all its damage and/or missing wing mirrors? Can’t imagine why.’

         ‘Alright then,’ I grumbled, sliding into the front seat. ‘What’s your plan, abductor-mine?’

         ‘You’re a very dramatic person, do you know that?’

         ‘What’s the plan?’

         ‘Simple,’ Savii said, with a sly grin. ‘We get her fixed.’

         ‘Fixed? Fixed how?’

         ‘We find a place close to the border that does detailing work and can make her all pretty again.’

         ‘You can’t be serious. That’s your plan?’

         ‘I think we’ll also need someone to do a full car service near Morayfield – she ain’t sounding so hot right now.’

         ‘Colour me unsurprised,’ I muttered to myself. ‘You know I loved this car, right?’

         ‘Yessss,’ Savii groaned. ‘You bring it up every time I mildly bump into something.’

         ‘It was a wall!’

         ‘Not a full wall!’

Categories
Cars

The Car Debate

As Annah locked the door behind us, I pulled out my keys and pressed the button to unlock my car. She turned around as she heard the beep and rushed to my side.

         ‘Uh, Josh,’ she said quickly.

         ‘Yeah babe?’

         ‘Are you sure you want to take your car?’

         ‘Why not?’ I frowned. ‘It’s already in the street, we don’t have to worry about reversing it down through your hedge maze of a driveway.’

         ‘My driveway hedges are perfectly maintained,’ she frowned. ‘There’s barely even a blind spot anymore.’

         I raised an eyebrow at her.

         ‘That was one time,’ she huffed. ‘And he would have been fine if he’d been wearing a helmet, like kids are supposed to.’

         ‘Right,’ I nodded. ‘Anyway, yes, I want to take my car.’

         ‘It’s just…’ she looked like she wasn’t quite sure how to say something. I sighed and hung my head.

         ‘Just hit me with it.’    

         ‘I just live in a bit of a dead zone, that’s all.’

         ‘A what?’

         ‘I’m not sure there’ll be a place that sells a car battery replacement near me, is all.’

         ‘Why would I need that?’

         ‘Oh,’ she looked surprised. ‘Because your car is a piece of trash that’s about to fall apart at any moment. Sorry, did I forget to say that part.’   

         ‘It’s not that bad,’ I rolled my eyes.

         ‘Babe, I literally watched one of the headlights fall out the other day. Not because it hit anything, or because someone was trying to take it out,’ she shook her head. ‘The thing just dropped. I think it might’ve just been windy.’

         ‘That could happen to any car,’ I scoffed.

         ‘True,’ Annah nodded. ‘But it’s happening to your car. Right now. Right in front of me.’

         ‘Is this because I didn’t want to drive that Underwood mechanic who does suspension repair?’

         ‘Wait, what’s wrong with your suspension?’

         ‘Nothing. What? No reason.’

         She snatched the keys out of my hand and threw them back into the house, locking the door behind them.

         ‘My car’s unlocked!’ I protested.

         ‘Good,’ she stormed away. ‘Maybe someone will steal it.’

Categories
Cars

Mechanic Archer

Saul stood atop the wall of New Hobart, holding his arrow firm, ready to fire upon the word of his commander. Below them stood two tiny figures, completely covered in their cloaks. The Little Men were here, and they were about to witness the full power of the Ivory Skull.

What hope did they have against hundreds? They were but two, and sure, they had taken out many of the Ivory Skull’s forces before, but those had been in small skirmishes. The Little Men fought dirty, using guerilla warfare. In a true battle like this, they didn’t stand a chance.

One of the Little Men took a step forward and looked up. “This is your last chance,” the creature shouted, surprisingly loud for its size. “Lay down your weapons and leave New Hobart for good, and you shall be spared. Fight us and you will not live to see the sunrise.”

Given that sunrise was only an hour away, the creature’s claim seemed extremely unlikely. Saul laughed, and many of the others on the wall joined him.

“Very well, then,” said the Little Man. “Your blood is on your own hands.”

“Should we fire, commander?” Saul asked. “That’s the closest thing we’ll ever get to an official declaration of war.”

The commander shook her head. “No, wait for them to make the first move. You were once the best diesel mechanic Hobart had to offer, right? You should know that patience is essential, sometimes.”

It was true; that was a lesson he’d learned throughout his years owning a Hobart workshop offering auto repairs and other services for diesel vehicles. To get the service right, sometimes you had to wait for the perfect moment to make your move.

They kept watch of the Little Men, and it wasn’t until they sprinted forward that the commander gave the order to fire. A barrage of arrows rained down on the beasts, but they were too nimble, easily dodging out of the way. 

One of the Little Men went for the gate, while the other began to scale the wall like a spider. The battle was on, and Saul had a feeling it wouldn’t last long at all. All they needed was a couple of good shots.