Author’s Note: I humbly submit July’s edition of Cait Gordon’s 2020 Flash Fiction Challenge, featuring a car dealership as this month’s setting, the object is a brick, and the genre is an epistolary fiction – all in 1000 words. Thanks for reading and enjoy!
Executive Sales Specialist
May 17, 1977
Dear Ms. Westbrook,
Thank you for your visit yesterday at our dealership. I am sure you would agree that the slick and sexy Mamba-2000 sport-convertible you took for a test drive yesterday is the most unique experience one can drive this side of the ocean.
I enjoyed making your acquaintance and look forward to following up with you in person about your decision to acquire one. If I do say so myself, the car is perfect for someone of your stature. Please remember, if you pay cash, we will throw in a wood-panelled dash, spoilers, and an elite stereo system at no extra charge.
By the way, you left behind the promotional brick we give free to everyone who takes one of our cars out for a test drive. I am glad you wrote your address on it so I can reach you. Please feel free to come by anytime to claim it. It would be a delight to see you again.
May 23, 1977
Thank you for the kind letter the other day. You are right. The Mamba-2000 was like no other ride I have ever experienced. My excitement heightened when I first touched the velvety steering wheel, and my hands trembled when I inserted the key into the ignition. The soft purr of the motor made me gasp in delight.
Unlike my current Suburban-AF, it responded to my every command. It felt like it knew where I wanted to go without my having to tell it.
I almost lost control when the car hurtled itself on the open road after I kicked down into a higher gear, but the steering hugged the corners so tight, I knew I was driving something special. The vibrations of the chassis reeked of high-quality engineering , and the smooth acceleration surprised me for such a small car.
Pity I could not make a commitment to purchase on the spot. I grieved handing the keys over to you. I despised returning to my Suburban-AF. It is such a depressing vehicle. In fact, the old dilapidated clunker conked out after I filled it with gas last night.
Would I be able to get a good price if I traded in that horrible excuse of a car?
And thanks. I was wondering where I left that brick. I looked forward to putting a bow on it and making it my new dashboard mascot. Will you hold on to it for me until I return?
May 30, 1977
Dear Ms. Westbrook,
As I have not seen you in a while, I am sending a follow-up letter from the one I sent a couple of weeks ago. I regret to say, that we had an incident at the Vroom-Vroom dealership.
If you have not heard on the news, a man showed up at the dealership looking to buy a Suburban-FTW. (It is an upgrade of your current station-wagon.) After he took it for a test drive, he made an offer and demanded a promotional brick.
We had long since run out, but he saw the one I held for you. Despite my protests, he snatched it. He said some rather uncomely things and threw it through the windshield of a Mamba-2000 in the display room. He then smashed the hood and the doors, denting the car severely.
The man drove off without saying a word, leaving some pretty significant damage to the car.
I regret to say, your brick is in pieces, and we do not have another Mamba-2000 available. If you are still interested in buying this car, we will have to put in an order for one. It might take several weeks until a new one is shipped from Europe.
Please let me know if you are still interested, and I will make all the necessary arrangements.
June 4, 1977
My poor brick! I had intended to visit the dealership last week to reclaim him and put an offer on the Mamba-2000. Before I could, however, my husband drove up in a secondhand Suburban-WTF.
He presented it for an anniversary gift. I hated it! It’s bad enough I live in the suburbs and drive around in a box on wheels like everyone else. Let him drive it! I want my coupe! I should have gotten my brick. I’d have put it through the windshield of that pathetic station-wagon.
In fact, I despise it so much, why don’t you order me the Mamba now? I would give anything to dump this Suburban boat and ride that wonderfully euphoric car.
July 8, 1977
Dear Ms. Westbrook,
I am delighted to announce that your car has arrived this morning, awaiting for you to pick it up. It came in a week earlier than anticipated.
Due to your inconvenience, we will paste racing stripes on the door, free of charge. Unfortunately, we no longer have the free brick promotion, but I still have your original brick (in pieces) which you have yet to claim. Given that our current promotion involves small rocks, your brick can qualify instead.
July 15, 1977
Thank you for all your help over the past several weeks. I squealed in delight when I jumped in my Mamba-2000. You were so right about selecting a manual transition. Driving with a gear shift brings me feel “one-with-the-machine.” It truly is my car.
I am going to tell all my girlfriends about the wonderful service at Vroom-Vroom, and to go and see you about buying a Mamba-2000 for themselves. They will never go back to those pathetic Suburbans again.
P.S. You can imagine my surprise when I found the bonus two bricks in the trunk! I know the promotion is long over, but they were put to good use. The Suburban-WTF is no more, and I look forward to many adventures in my Mamba-2000 for many a year.
A Brick in the Hand is Worth Two in the Trunk © 2020 Bruce Gordon. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission except in the case of brief quotations in critical articles and reviews. For more information, contact Bruce Gordon.