Shift

Jon gripped the gear shift, moved it, and the engine revved as they picked up speed.

“Huh?  What do you think?”

Kate was gripping the handle on the door, and her wide eyes weren’t blinking.

“Maybe you should slow down a little?”

He shifted again and slowed down, knowing he was pushing his luck.

“I just wanted you to see how fast it could go on these back roads.”

“I’m impressed, okay?  Speed doesn’t exactly turn me on when I feel like I’m going to die.”

She opened up her laptop again, and returned to working on her film in Final Cut Pro. He looked over as she kept trying different key combinations.

“It’s Shift and Z, hun.  Shift-Z brings the whole timeline into view.  That’s what you’re trying to do, right?”

“Yeah, thanks.  I always forget,” she said, hitting the buttons and seeing the whole image shrink down.

“Good call!”

He smiled and slowed down for a red light.

“Hey, what time is it? I could go for a coffee.”

She looked at the little clock in the top right corner of her laptop. “2 A.M. We still have a few more hours of driving ahead of us. Maybe it’s a good idea.”

He pulled in to the Wawa parking lot and unbuckled his belt. “Coming?”

“No way. Have you ever seen the people who work the graveyard shift in there? Creepy.  I’ll be fine right here.”

“Okay,” he said, slamming the door too hard and startling her. She gave him a look as he smiled at her through the windshield.

Inside there was a solitary worker at the register who awkwardly kept shifting his weight from one foot to the other, obviously tired of standing.  John poured himself a coffee, added sugar, and placed a lid on top.  He paid and went back to the car.

“Hey hun,” he said, climbing into the car, “Did you—” He saw that she had fallen asleep, so he closed her laptop and moved it to the back seat.  He started the car and pulled out into the road a little too fast.

After a few turns, the road stretched out in front of him in a straight line, and after a quick look to make sure she was still asleep, he shifted gears again, speeding up.  He smiled and kept driving that way when all of a sudden a deer ran out into the road, leading him to turn the wheel hard, and at the same time the momentum shifted Kate so violently that she was startled out of her sleep just in time to watch Jon complete the 360 he just did with the car.

“Whoa, did you see that?” he asked her.

“Jon, we need to talk,” she said.

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One response to “Shift

  1. Woah. I loved this!!! What a great piece of flash fiction. I love that ending, seriously.

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