Damaged Goods
Damaged Goods

Chris had a great job, a beautiful wife, and the perfect car. It started out as a typical day, but after getting his pink slip, he found himself stuck in a sequence of Déjà vu. What would it take to break the cycle?

Damaged Goods is a ten-minute Flash Fiction Exercise – 1000 words or less!  I was given 5 key phrases that had to be incorporated into this story.  The goal of this exercise is to write for 10 minutes and get something down.  This is my ten-minute flash, no editing allowed! I went over by 2 words, but that is ok.  I will put the key phrases I had been given at the end of this piece.  — Inara

Damaged Goods

“Before you get angry, let me explain the dent and the feathers…” His car was a mess, and his wife was less than amused. Chris wished at that moment he could find a hole and crawl into it.

It had all started earlier that morning, as he cleaned his desk out at the office. He had been fired without warning. He hated his job, but they really needed the money. He dreaded telling his wife that their only source of income had come to an end.

He loaded his box into the trunk of his Plymouth Roadrunner. He had lovingly restored it back into the mint condition it would have come off the showroom floor back in 1960. He would have to sell it.

Chris sat, gripping the steering wheel for dear life. He stared out across the parking lot; the sky was painted an eerie shade of purple along the horizon. A storm was rolling in.

He wasn’t ready to tell Amanda that he had gotten fired. He sighed and turned the key in the ignition. He wasn’t ready to put his car up on eBay. He would have to stall for time. As the rain began to pour down, he left the parking lot.

He turned into the driveway of an old diner; he could still afford a cup of coffee. He walked into the diner and was greeted by a robust blond waitress named Maude. She smiled at him as she served him his coffee. After ten cups, she kicked him out.

Chris still had 3 hours before he could go home and face his wife. He decided to go to the park and sit it out. At least the park had nice views.

The park was full of pigeons and panhandlers today.

“So much for the nice views,” he muttered to himself, wiping the drop of pigeon poop that had exploded down into a splatter on the hood of the Roadrunner.

He didn’t want it to ruin his paint job, especially since he had to sell it. Chris was grateful that the pigeon hadn’t been aiming for him. With his luck, he was surprised.

He watched as the panhandlers begged for money from the passersby. He could picture that as his fate. Worse, he could picture Amanda throwing him out. Homeless and panhandling… he would rather be dead but didn’t feel he could get that lucky.

The storm had gotten worse; hail quickly began to beat down on the ground, and everything in its path. Chris ran to his car for safety, arriving just as a pigeon fell onto the roof of the Roadrunner.

“Great, a dent I will have to get fixed before I can sell the damn thing.” He moved the pigeon’s body off of the roof, letting it fall to the ground.

He climbed into his car, slamming the door behind him. He sat watching the hail fall, wondering if he should just go home and put the Roadrunner into the garage. He would have to deal with Amanda sooner, but at least the car would have fewer dents than if he had stayed here in the park parking lot. He planned to sell the car for enough money to cover their expenses for a few months. He could find another job.

A huge bolt of light shot across the sky, it seemed to be targeting him. Something heavy hit the roof of the Roadrunner, landing with a heavy thud. The metal of the roof grated as the object hit, and Chris had to scoot down as it caved in towards him.

“What the…” He opened the car door and got out to look.

A large rock had landed on top of the car. It glowed with a brilliant yellow, and he was intrigued by it. He reached his hand out to touch it, but it was hot. He pulled his hand away before making contact.

As a group of pigeons flew out of the sky, chased by orbs of light, they impacted the grill of the Roadrunner. He could hear water cascading to the ground, as he realized they had taken out the radiator. There would be no chance of selling the Plymouth now.

He began to panic as he realized that the hail falling around him were rocks pouring from the sky. There were hundreds of them zooming down from the sky, all with tails of light trailing behind them. They fell around him as if they were in a choreographed dance, and he was their partner.

Chris climbed back into his car and turned the key into the ignition. He would rather face Amanda than sit in the park, facing what seemed to be an alien attack. If it was an alien attack, he was sure not having a job would mean little anyway.

Chris cleaned his desk out, dreading telling Amanda he had gotten fired from his job. He felt that he had been here before. He went back to the diner he had been going to it seemed for a month. This time Maude turned him away. Was she aware of this weird déjà vu he was experiencing? Was she experiencing it too?

He pulled into the park, and the panhandlers were begging for money. As he wiped the pigeon poop off the hood of his car, one of the panhandlers waved at him. Did he recognize him after all this time? Was he also in the same state of déjà vu he was in?

Chris stood there, looking around the park, he knew the meteors would start falling in mass and hit his car soon. He waited, but they never came. He felt relieved.

He got into the car and started it up. He smelled the smoke before the engine blew, stopping the car in
the middle of the intersection. He saw the approaching semi flying towards him… He couldn’t open the
door to escape…

As the semi hit him, the world went dark.

My key phrases for this 10-minute flash were: “Before you get angry, let me explain the dent and the white feathers.”, The park was full of pigeons and panhandlers, A robust blond waitress, Character relives this until…, and a meteor shower.


Inara Reynolds is a freelance writer, poet, author of short stories and creator of a few fantasy worlds. She has written character classes for various role playing games, as well as modules.

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