Short Story Of the Day, Heat Wave by Bill Chance

She stopped for gas. Shoved her card into the slot and clicked the automatic hook-deal on the handle so the gas would flow on its own. Susanna purposely stepped back, out from under the sheltering gas station roof onto the unprotected part of the apron and strolled to a lonely strip of turf that bordered the station.

—-Bill Chance, Heat Wave

Galatyn Fountain, Richardson, Texas

I have been feeling in a deep hopeless rut lately, and I’m sure a lot of you have too. After writing another Sunday Snippet I decided to set an ambitious goal for myself. I’ll write a short piece of fiction every day and put it up here. Obviously, quality will vary – you get what you get. Length too – I’ll have to write something short on busy days. They will be raw first drafts and full of errors.

I’m not sure how long I can keep it up… I do write quickly, but coming up with an idea every day will be a difficult challenge. So far so good. Maybe a hundred in a row might be a good, achievable, and tough goal.

Here’s another one for today (#21). What do you think? Any comments, criticism, insults, ideas, prompts, abuse … anything is welcome. Feel free to comment or contact me.

Thanks for reading.

 

 


Heat Wave

 

Susanna drove home from work that afternoon, the tape of “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” speaking its pages from the cassette player in the dash. Now, to listen to a tape while driving takes a lot of concentration. Susanna could listen and drive, watch the road, but not anything else. It was plot, voice, character, and oncoming traffic. Some effort, skill maybe, was needed; she had been checking out tapes from the library long enough that she could do it.

With all her attention focused like that, Susanna did not even consciously notice some shapes smearing on the windshield. Instinctively, her hand twisted the knob on the steering column, setting the wipers in motion. Several minutes went by before she actually realized what was happening, what was smattering on the glass.

It was raining.

Ordinarily this would not be a big deal at all. But it had been so long, exactly a month, and the intervening oven days so broiling that Susanna had forgotten about rain. It was no more than a sprinkle, but ohh, it looked so good.

She stopped for gas. Shoved her card into the slot and clicked the automatic hook-deal on the handle so the gas would flow on its own. Susanna purposely stepped back, out from under the sheltering gas station roof onto the unprotected part of the apron and strolled to a lonely strip of turf that bordered the station. She wanted to feel the rain, get wet, and see the spots form on her white shirt. She felt like yelling, singing, dancing.

The smell was wonderful. Suzanna had forgotten the odor of fresh rain on dry grass.

It was not much of a shower, not enough to end the drought. The triple digit days would return by the weekend. But it was something… a respite. More than that, it was the return of hope. Someday, the killer heat will dissipate; the drought will drown. Until that day, those indisputable facts were impossible to imagine.

Hope- a reminder that things will get better, that we will all survive. That’s what we’ve been missing.

2 responses to “Short Story Of the Day, Heat Wave by Bill Chance

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