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(A short story of 2024 words)

Wendy's Gift

Literary Fantasy - Speculative

by Paul Ariss

A struggling writer's interest in an abandoned car reflects how small his life has become. That is until the car starts to beckon him in the dead of night.

It was still there. That car. It had been parked up now for five days at least, even over the weekend when I had expected it to disappear. My father thought I was obsessing. Maybe I was, but we live in a cul-de-sac, we know everyone, everyone knows us. More to the point, we all know one another’s cars. And this one certainly didn’t belong to anyone we knew. True, people regularly used our road to park up for the day as they caught a train on the nearby branch line into the city, but they soon moved on, like ships in the night. Or in our case, cars in the street.

“Why does it bother you?” my father asked as I peeled off my wet clothes from yet another rain soaking on the exposed field with my dog Bryn.

“It doesn’t” I replied, as an obvious contradiction, “it just seems a little odd that’s all”. Clearly to him it didn’t. He gave me a slightly concerned look and went back to watching the latest news report about the awful gas explosion at an engineering works a few miles away, which had killed four people. Terrible though it was, it was days ago. He can be a little voyeuristic; I knew it wouldn’t be long before he would be watching yet another documentary about a mid-air collision that had killed several hundred passengers, or something about a bloody battle in World War Two.

His concern about my interest in this parked car ran a little deeper than I was at the time prepared to recognise...

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