Flash Fiction Friday – Runaway, Swept Away

My parents recently got an electric car, and I’m fascinated by how it doesn’t vroom as it approaches, it just sort of… sings. Like a space ship. So I wrote this.

Runaway, Swept Away

The street is quiet, the apartment blocks tall and dark and brooding. Haley shifts her weight from foot to foot, peering down toward the bend around which Vera has promised to come, to take her away from all of this into the future they’ve spent so many months dreaming up together.

A sound tugs at her ears. Her heart leaps into her throat, and then crashes back down her belly when the noise resolves itself into the familiar, monotonous drone of a patrol car.  The sound is simultaneously dull and dreadful, tweaked to inspire a sort of dulled deference the way other people tweak the engines of their hover cars to whistle, to sing, to chime as they float along. The way that Vera’s slowly tweaking hers to sound like the sea.

Haley ducks behind the concrete bus shelter, out of sight, and waits for it to pass. She could lie, most likely. Say that she’s waiting for the late bus or for her parents, but she’d rather let them go on their way. 

Once the sound is good and gone, she slides onto the ground with her back against the bus shelter and settles into something that resembles a comfortable position. She’ll wait a bit longer, even though it’s been almost an hour since the time they were supposed to meet, even though her eyelids are getting heavier and heavier. Just a little bit longer…

Haley wakes with a start, and at first she thinks she’s imagined hearing something. Hugging the backpack to her chest, she holds hear breath and listens. There! There it is, in the silence between her heartbeats… the gentle sound of waves, growing steadily closer.

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