Short Story Of the Day – Security System (flash fiction) by Bill Chance

“Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”
Erica Jong, Fear of Flying

(click to enlarge)
Invasion car show
Deep Ellum
Dallas, 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 (#51) More than half way there! What do you think? Any comments, criticism, insults, ideas, prompts, abuse … anything is welcome. Feel free to comment or contact me.

Thanks for reading.

Security System

Dr. Worthy paid fifteen hundred dollars extra for the security package on the silver Lexus SUV. The salesman had assured him that,”Nobody, but nobody, will ever be able to get into this thing without the keys, no matter how hard they try.”

Now Dr. Worthy was standing in the sweltering parking lot with his wife, Samantha, his son James – looking as bored and angry as ever, Samantha’s sister Amy and her new boyfriend, What’s-his-name, and the giant double baby stroller with Amy’s two year old daughter and her infant son… and all Worthy could do was check all his pockets, the usual four plus the big deep cargo caves on his thighs with their nylon snaps, and the secret hidden money pouch built into the waistband of his tailored two hundred dollar shorts – and there, like the other dozen times he checked, there were no keys.

His wife never carried keys to his Lexus and his son would sure like to, but Dr. Worthy would no more allow that… how could he trust… and there they were, in the parking lot.

“Call the dealership,”His wife said.

“They’re not open on Sunday.”

“Shit! Dad.”

“Don’t use that language with me.”

“I’ll go find a brick,” said What’s-his-name.

“God no, and that won’t help start it.”

“Oh yeah,” Dr. Worthy swore that What’s-his-name looked disappointed – like smashing a window on that Lexus – worth what that loser must make in a year – would be the high point of his day.

“Y’all locked out?” Dr. Worthy looked up from going through his pockets again to see two skateboarders standing beside the group. They both wore torn denim cutoffs, t-shirts, and had long scraggly hair. One was darker than the other, but otherwise they might be twins.

“I can pick the lock for you,” said one of the skateboarders.

“Oh no you can’t, I paid for an extra security package,” said Dr. Worthy. “Beside, I’d have to start it.”

“I can hot wire it for you,” said the skateboarder.

“I doubt it… but if you could, how much do I have to pay you?”

The two kids laughed. One said, “Naw, we don’t want any money. We’re not poor. We look like this because we want to.”

The other one spoke up, “Tell you what… there is something.”


“Let me kiss your wife.”

Dr. Worthy felt his blood starting to boil, “You asshole! Where do you….”

Samantha spoke up, “It’s OK. It’s getting really hot. The baby is getting flushed.”

“Well,” Dr Worthy said, “You’re not going to be able to do it anyway.”

Without a word the skateboarder started looking around on the ground.

“Ah,” he said, lifting up a stray piece of rusty wire, “This will work fine.”

He went to the keyhole in the door and started fishing around.

Dr. Worthy said, “Be careful! If you damage…”

And there was a soft “pop” and the door swung open.

With a wry smile the skateboarder leaned over and started yanking at wires under the steering column.

“Hey, mister come here, I’ll show you,” he said over his shoulder after a few minutes of fiddling.

“These two wires, yellow and green, put them together,” the engine roared into life. “To start the car. Then these two, white and black, pull them apart to kill it.” He tugged them away from each other and the engine died. “Yellow and green together to start, black and white apart to kill. Easy peasy! Got it?”

“Yes, I do,” said Dr. Worthy. He didn’t sound grateful. “Upgraded security my ass! That damn dealer sold me a grand and a half of crap. OK, everyone pile in except Samantha. I don’t want anyone else to see this.”

“HaHa, don’t worry,” said the skateboarder. “I’m not going to smooch your wife. I was just yanking your chain.” The two were still laughing as they dropped their boards and scooted off down the sidewalk.

“Well, at least we can go home now,” said What’s-his-name once they were all settled in the SUV. Dr. Worthy bent over, and pressed the wires together and the car started right up.

“Yeah, we can go home now,” he said. He looked over at his wife in the seat next to him. “What’s your problem,” he said to her.

She looked disappointed.

It Is About Endurance

“Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.”
― Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

Mckinney Avenue Streetcar Dallas, Texas

Mckinney Avenue Streetcar
Dallas, Texas

The Sense Of the Beautiful

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Continental Bridge Park, Dallas, Texas

Continental Bridge Park,
Dallas, Texas
(click image for a larger version in Flickr)

The Kiss

While I was sitting alongside the reflecting pool listening to the music I looked up and there was this blonde woman wearing a white skin-tight stretchy shiny Spandex dress running barefoot as fast as she could down the middle of Flora street with a pair of heels clutched in her hands. She was trying to smile but was obviously upset at being late for something. Her legs were moving as quickly as they could, but she was slowed by that dress. Nothing much could move above her knees.

A few steps behind her, walking leisurely, but more or less at the same speed, was another woman, casually dressed, carrying a bundle of flowers and walking a beagle on a leash. She had a big grin watching her friend try and hoof it.

I wondered what was up, and then looking down the street in the distance by the Meyerson Symphony Hall I could see the last of the sunlight glinting off a tripod and a woman with a big camera pacing around. The woman in the dress was late for a photo shoot. Looking closer – I spotted a man in a suit.

Maybe wedding photos; maybe engagement. I don’t know about the beagle – maybe the dog would be in a few shots. I saw them start to set up and shoot some down by the Symphony Hall and then they were lost in the distance.

I didn’t think about them for a while. I was enjoying the music – but for some reason I turned my head and there they were, right in front of me. They had moved down and were taking pictures in the middle of the reflecting pool. I guess the photographer was at an angle where the crowd listening to the music didn’t appear in the background.

They were almost finished. I raised my camera and only had time to squeeze off a couple shots.

It would have been cool if they had dragged that dog out there too.

Then and Now, Lee gets a hit

Nick and Lee are playing on a softball team on Sunday evenings. One of the other kid’s parents said, “It wasn’t that long ago I was their little league coach – and now they’re playing in an old-man softball league.”

Nick at third base

Nick at third base

Lee gets a hit

Lee gets a hit

I know it’s different kids in the two pictures – but it’s late, I’m busy… and this is what I’ve got.

Speaking of baseball, everybody was watching “The Sandlot” the other day. The kids loved this movie – this is one of the ones that they watched over and over. It was unusual in that I liked it as much as they did. A classic.

People can talk about the “Best Onscreen Kiss.” I don’t think there is any doubt – it is when Squints puts the move on Wendy Peffercorn.

Michael Squints Palledorous walked a little taller that day. And we had to tip our hats to him. He was lucky she hadn’t beat the CRAP out of him. We wouldn’t have blamed her. What he’d done was sneaky, rotten, and low… and cool. Not another one among us would have ever in a million years even for a million dollars have the guts to put the moves on the lifeguard. He did. He had kissed a woman. And he had kissed her long and good. We got banned from the pool forever that day. But every time we walked by after that, the lifeguard looked down from her tower, right over at Squints, and smiled.
—-The Sandlot