Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jerk Exterminator

A response to Nathaniel Lee's "Backseat Driver" in Mirror Shards.

Dan struggled to control the car as the dark van barreled past in the other lane. A teenaged boy in the drivers seat peered at Dan before cutting back into Dan's lane and forcing Dan to veer onto the dirt shoulder to avoid the van. The shoulder's stones sprayed and the dings of pebbles echoed as they bounced off the Volvo and scratched its paint. Dan glared at the vehicle and mumbled, "Asshole."

"Daddy swore," said Becky from the back seat. "Mommy says swearing's unladylike."

"Mommy's right," said Dan taking a deep breath.

"Why can daddies swear?"

"We can swear only under extenuating circumstances. I hope you don't grow up to be a teenager like those jerks in the van ahead of us."

A huge Roc, its wings thirty feet across, dived out of the sky. The Roc's claws were bigger than the van and the talons swung back as the Roc lifted the van off the ground.

"Becky, what are you doing?" asked Dan.

"Nothing."

Dan looked over his shoulders and saw his daughter's smug smile. "Becky!"

"But, I'm a jerk exterminator," said Becky.

"Put them down now."

"Okay."

"Gently."

"But, dad."

"You may have great power, but no daughter of mine is going to be a tyrant."

The roc lowered the van, which squealed black smoke from the tires when it landed on the road.

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