Theodore Jerome Cohen is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Theodore Jerome Cohen
“No cell coverage, not even one bar,” she said flatly.
“Are you sure?” he asked, glancing to his right as he attempted once again to restart his car’s engine.
“Of course, I’m sure!” she snapped. “Here! Look for yourself.”
She thrust her cell phone in his face. There was no mistaking what it showed: no reception of a signal from any cell tower. The fact was, it would have been impossible for her to place a call, much less reach 911.
He again attempted to start the engine, but it wouldn’t “catch.”
“Do you have enough gas?” she asked.
“Three-quarters full; nothing wrong there.”
“So, why won’t it start?”
“I dunno, maybe it’s the igniter. My friend, Jon—you remember him? Jon Parsons—had a similar problem a few years ago. The mechanic told him it was his car’s igniter.”
“That’s a big help,” she snapped in disgust.
“ ‘Drive out with me for the day and see the spires,’ you said” mocking him. “ ‘You’ll never forget how beautiful they are.’
“Well, here I am, and now, we’re not only stuck, but we have no way of calling for help! You do know I have a deliverable due to my boss tomorrow morning, and now, I won’t have time to prepare it,” she said with bitterness in her voice.
“You’re a dead man, Roger!”
“Don’t even joke about it, Vicki. I have no idea how were going to get out of here.”