Newer Model – 1200 words
By T. A. Fenner
I was quite proud of myself for writing this story while sitting for an oil change in a car dealership. Sadly though, a friend pointed out that this story is basically the same as a Twilight Zone story.
While I’ve never seen the show (before my time), I nevertheless did not like the idea of my original story not being so original after all — and as such, I’ve decided to just put it out for free vs trying to get it published.
So here it is… in all of its “original” glory!
Timothy A. Fenner
“So what do you think?”
The man kneads at the graying stubble on his chin. “I dunno. What do you think, dear?”
“What I think,” the woman says, picking at her fingernails, “is the same thing I thought last night when you brought up this ridiculous idea.”
The man groans and his eyes lower to near slits. “Would you please stop and just tell me which model you like the best?”
It’s clear this sale would require a little finessing to lock in. But the timing I have to wait for the opportune time to slide in the first hook.
The woman rolls her eyes and steps up to the glass encasing the display. Her head shakes increase as she browses between the models.
She doesn’t seem pleased with any of them, so I offer, “We do have more options, if you’d-”
“God no,” she says, flipping out a hand to stop me. “We’ve looked at plenty. Don’t need to look at any more.”
“Judith, please…” the man says, pinching at the bridge of his nose.
“Fine.” She stabs a finger against the glass. “That one.”
I grit my teeth to hold back the grimace threatening to break free. Everyone goes for the 2147 model. Sure it’s got decent style, solid frame, and a great price, but it also carries the worst margins. Won’t be any commission. Damn.
The man traces his gaze along her pointed arm until landing upon her choice. His face bunches. “That one? Really?”
The man looks back. “Why?”
The woman purses her lips and cocks her head to the side as she studies her choice once more. “It’s got great lines. Looks like it would be fun to ride… And I like the color.”
“You like the color? Since when do you like mahogany?”
The woman crosses her arms in a huff. “Since today, you big jerk. You asked my opinion and I gave it to you. You don’t get to complain if you don’t like it afterward. ”
“But honey,” he says, taking her hand into his own, to which she responds with a cold front so fierce it could freeze the sun. “I wanted to get something with a little more… muscle.”
“Oh God,” she says, shoving his hands away. “You’re not trying to relive your glory days, are you?”
The man turns back to the display and sighs.
“Now you listen to me, mister, and you listen good,” she says, stepping between him and the display, hands planting firmly on her hips. “I’ve already lived through enough of your mid-life crises, and I’m not going to go through another round of the extreme, breakneck crap you used to pull.”
A scowl darkens the man’s face. “Didn’t expect you to understand.”
The woman’s face flushes red and I step back fearing an explosion. But then her shoulders slump and she lets out a slow breath. Her face returns to normal, even softens a tad as she cups the sides of his face in her hands. “If it means that much to you, then I guess you better get the one you want.”
The man’s face brightens. “You mean it?”
She nods. “Just nothing too dangerous. You are over a hundred, remember?”
To read the epic conclusion, go to my author’s website:
And if you feel up to it, please leave a comment after you’re done reading. Thank you!