The OPPS Factor

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A very short story about a traveling salesman entering a ghost of a town.

Submitted: April 07, 2016

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Submitted: April 07, 2016






The salesman pulled his mini-van off the two lane paved road, onto the dirt and gravel road that lead into this tiny desert town.

A light and sometimes gusty breeze kicked up dust devils along the side of the road; they danced along, and between, rand-shackled houses and 1950's trailers. The ones that didn't die out, or fade from view, ran across Scrub Brush laden desert flat-lands and disappeared into water mirages.

Not a soul could be seen in this dirty little one horse town. But the temperature was touching 120 degrees, so the salesman figured everyone was inside and staying out of the hot sun.

The salesman, Steven Rutherford, Steve for short, sold a wide array of hand held electric goods, small kitchen tools, and some cosmetics; mostly to non-connected towns across the USA. A few of the towns were like this one, where the roads were so bad that UPS didn't find the trips profitable.

As Steve pulled his van alongside the wooden walkway, that lead to the entrance of a row of ragged wooden stores, he saw a boy, about twelve years old, standing next to the building.

The boy was wearing gray coveralls, a red Tee-Shirt, Nike Sneakers and baseball cap.

Steve shut off the engine of the van and got out. As he walked around the van and opened the sliding door, he said to the boy, "Howdy! What's your name?

"Jeremiah," replied the boy.

"This town's kind of quiet isn’t it," Steve said with a smile.

The boy didn't smile back, he just stood there staring at Steve and chewing something. Steve figured that it was Double-Bubble chewing gum, there was an empty wrapper on the ground.

"You don't talk much. Has a cat got your tongue or something?" Steve said while taking his product show-case out of the van.

"No sir," replied the boy, still chewing.

About that time Steve notice a young girl, about sixteen, and what looked like some other kids standing just inside the doorway of the general store.

"Kids," Steve thought, "hanging out as usual."

Steve picked up his show-case and said to the boy, "Well, where's the grown-ups?"

The boy replied, "We Ate Um." Then he smiled revealing a mouth full of Blood coated teeth.


JEF  ---  04-05-2016



© Copyright 2018 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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