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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
An echo of an echo.

Submitted: January 09, 2014

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Submitted: January 09, 2014



Leaving Robert to fill up, James used the brim of his hat to shield his eyes as he surveyed the garage forecourt. A people carrier and a minibus were already parked at the pumps, both vacant, the minibus occupants crowded around the rest rooms and the driver of the people carrier was presumably already inside the shop. A newspaper rack stood outside near to the double sliding doors. A haze of heat shimmered in the near distance, the forecast storm having not yet appeared.

His leather shoes crunched into the gravel like sun weathered bones as James walked towards the newspaper rack. He crouched down and leafed through the day's papers. Many displayed variations of the same headline; 'Syria accuses Israel of declaring War' but notable exceptions were The Daily Mail's 'Hidden agenda in Middle East?' and The Sun's 'Parasitic Killer Snail Infestation Plagues Miami!!' Choosing The Daily Herald James turned it over to scan the business headlines: 'Suspected bird flu case in India, Wilmar International downplays threat to Soy Market' and 'McDonald's April sales slip, hamburger chain citing fears over new strain of avian flu' filled the cover. James tucked a copy under his arm, rose and stepped over to the automatic door.

"Mate, you're taking your life too seriously, have a laugh why don't you, have a fucking laugh!" The stag group spontaneously broke into animal noises as the hapless groom, fell out of the rest room still tenderly holding himself around the waist and making incoherent protests whilst dressed as a space cowboy.

Turning away from them, James made way as he allowed a young mother accompanied by chocolate bar wielding children to exit the sliding doors before he entered. He was given neither thanks nor acknowledgement, even the swaddled baby in the pushchair offering only cries of Waaa!

James looked up at the CCTV camera behind the reinforced glass; he gave a frown and lowered his hat further down his chiselled face. Picking up some water bottles and an Ordinance Survey map James took them to the counter. The attendant scanned them and The Herald."Any petrol with that?" and "That's £19:68 please" he mono-toned with half an eye still on the stag party, watching their disposal of recently bought packaging across the garage forecourt. James took a wad from his shirt pocket, laid a twenty on the counter and told him to keep the change.

Holding his sheepskin waistcoat tight around him, James exited, he approached the waiting Jaguar F-Type 2 seater sports car which Robert was rhythmically revving. Opening the passenger side door, James climbed inside and took his tobacco tin from the dashboard "Two riders are approaching." he informed placing The Herald on his lap. He glanced over at Robert, and then after taking the time to roll and light another cigarette whilst considering their options, he decided what he always decided "Keep heading North."

Firing the 5 litre supercharged V8 engine Robert drove them back onto the motorway, he put the headlights on full beam, floored the accelerator, and then looked at the receding service station behind them in the mirror and he replied "Babylon is fallen my friend, it is fallen, and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground."

And from there they fell back into silence, hoping that they weren't yet too late.

© Copyright 2019 Phil Jackson. All rights reserved.

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