HOMER NODS

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young woman spots a young man in the Student Library and fate cooks the books.

Submitted: March 23, 2016

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Submitted: March 23, 2016

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HOMER NODS

Flash Fiction

Nicholas Cochran

 

Joanna Masters continued to twirl, sip, whisper and scan.

The nearest body in the library (a handsome young man of twenty) was a few chairs away, with his chair tilted back as he read.

Joanna was a slim nineteen-year-old with a mop of black hair. She had decided that both her brain and her eyes deserved a rest.

Craig Jennings, the guy in the tilted chair, decided to move. He rose to his five feet ten inches in a single smoothly coordinated action while he looked for another chair at the end of the long table where he could be satisfied that he would not be disturbing Joanna.

He spied one; and after an unintended glance in Joanna’s direction, he moved to the far end of the very long table. As noiselessly as he could manage, he pulled out an armless oak chair and sat down. He immediately tilted his chair back and once again took up his book.

 

Joanna had been in the Student Library since her lunch break two hours earlier. Her learning efforts had been directed at the methods of proving Boyle’s Law, reading that Joanna considered to be chloroform on a page.

 

The more Craig read about the greatest driver, Juan Manuel Fangio, the more comfortable—and excited—he became with his upcoming lesson and his chance to drive all out on the race course at Sonoma Raceway.

 

Joanna was now whispering on her iPhone to her best friend, Jane Summers and giving her some details about the handsome young man now seated down the table from her.

 

For over five years, Craig’s favorite uncle, Barney Reston, had been racing Corvettes at the Sonoma track at least twice a month during the season.

 

Joanna had smuggled a cold Diet Pepsi into the Library in the file bag containing her books and notes. As she scanned her good-looking blond table-neighbor, she whispered a description, sipped her Diet Pepsi and twirled her reading specs.

 

When Uncle Barney heard the results of his nephew’s eye test, he was both astonished and delighted. He was so childishly curious about how Craig’s superior vision would translate to driving flat out, that he paid for Craig’s first drive on the former Infineon track. The racing season was only three weeks away.

Barney knew he was taking a flyer on Craig because Craig had never been in a racing car. Nevertheless, Barney had watched Craig drive his Vette on the edge, without fear, while maintaining a safe restriction.

Barney had been a passenger in the Corvette and was impressed with his nephew’s skills while they drove the length of Taylor Street and then back Hyde from the Buena Vista Café to California , left to Jones and diving down Jones to Turk and a left to Taylor and straight up Taylor to home.

Craig was very flattered by his uncle’s praise; and this, plus a free ride and lesson at the Raceway, barely managed to persuade Craig’s fiancé, Angelina Torrance, that this was a good idea; not all that dangerous; and very ‘exciting.’

 

Joanna had mastered the temple spin maneuver of her glasses by the time she was four years old, and her confidence had increased incrementally over the following fifteen years.

 

His eyes were perfect for speed driving. In fact, he was told that he had twenty/five vision: he could read a page from twenty feet that the average person with 20/20 vision could only read by being five feet away.

Some people—even some Optometrists—had scoffed at this claim, which was not a claim at all, but the result of a test administered by the eye doctor for all the Los Angeles sports teams.

However, Craig was a good guy who never managed to find the right moment to brag about his vision; after all, he had nothing to do with it; it was just there.

 

Today, Joanna continued to use her long vision to scan Craig, sip her soda and get into some serious whispering to her friend Jane, while she twirled.

 

However: “Sometimes even the noble Homer nods.”

Joanna Masters lost her grip on the left temple of the rimless spectacles.

Her cry of alarm compelled Craig to look up in the direction of Joanna’s scream, so that he had perfectly positioned himself for the whirling end of the right temple to strike him squarely in his left eye.

By the time Craig got to the hospital it was clear that he would never race cars; any kind of car. Even his personal driver’s license would have restrictions.

 

Joanna Masters’ insurance company paid a shocking sum of money to Craig to avoid a jury trial.

However, she never stopped twirling, and never lost control again.


© Copyright 2017 Nicholas Cochran. All rights reserved.

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