The Life Cycle of a Mayfly
by Nathan Goldschot
Hoping to alleviate my perpetual restlessness, I began restoring all the 2-cycle dirt bikes rusting in outbuildings on my family’s farm. By the time I turned sixteen I had returned four motorcycles to running condition. Impressed by my efforts, my uncle towed his 1966 Dodge Dart to a patch of dirt behind the farmhouse. He put the car’s title in my hands but warned me the engine hadn’t turned over in at least a decade. Undeterred, I pushed the car into an empty shed and started working on the motor. I had finally found the means to escape the small-town existence I found so stifling.
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This story flooded my mind so easily I thought it only appropriate to share it with the world, warts and all. Please enjoy, and please leave me a comment.
It’s a funny, science fiction romp with plenty of adventure.
By Nathan Goldschot
“About time,” groaned Allison, hearing a familiar roar. Katie’s weather-battered Buick rounded the corner, illuminated by the pale orange street lights. The rust-tinged relic hurtled up the street before screeching to a halt in front of the coffee shop where Allison had suggested they meet up.
An irate man in a black Mustang leaned out of his window, finding himself trapped behind Katie’s double-parked sedan. “Move your ass!” he bellowed while pounding on his horn.
“Screw you!” yelled Anne from Katie’s back seat. She cranked down her window and flipped off the frustrated man as he accelerated around the Buick through the opposing lane.
Allison sighed as she hurried toward the car. She regretted not choosing to meet her old classmates somewhere further away from U Dub. Although most of her “sisters” at the Kappa Zeta house were off partying for spring break, there were still plenty of prying Greek eyes left on campus who would delight in spreading rumors about her association with such unsavory characters. She couldn’t care less about her reputation, but having to field a bunch of questions when her housemates returned would be detrimental to her goal of remaining invisible.
Katie honked the Buick’s horn incessantly as Anne beamed a smile and waved at Allison with both hands. The wayward pair were Allison’s only remaining friends from high school; the rest of her cohorts had left town for greener pastures after graduating.
“Stop honking, I’m here!” Allison rushed to the driver’s side door and pulled the handle to no avail.
My wife says you should Go Fund Me…whatever that is. I’ve opened a coffee shop in a condemned Glenwood warehouse. There’s no sign because why bother. Call it Old Man Coffee’s if you must. I haven’t purchased the property, I’m just going to squat there. If you feel like ratting me out you should know that this business isn’t the only thing I don’t have a permit for–if you catch my drift.
When you walk in, you’ll see rows of mismatched lawn chairs facing a 50 gallon drum filled with scalding hot java that I’ll be stirring with whatever scrap of lumber I’ve found nearby. To pay for your cup of black coffee (the best and only option) just give me a goddamned quarter then use the barbecue tongs to grab a mug out of a second drum simmering with boiling water. Try not to whine about the heat of the coal fires. Your mug will probably say “World’s Best Grandma” or “Monsanto 20th Anniversary Celebration” and have a broken handle but deal with it.
After you grab your cup and approach the drum, I’ll ladle you out a cup of joe…mind the grounds. One quarter buys you as much Jitter Juice as you can handle. Don’t ask me where it was “sourced” or how it was roasted or you’ll be immediately tossed out (the stack of red cans in the corner should give you a clue). Hungry? Too bad…unless my lovely wife feels sorry for the customers that day and brings in some of her famous drop biscuits. Go ahead and take one, I don’t care. After you get your coffee and biscuit go sit down in one of the lawn chairs and shut up.
-No talking, just quiet sipping.
-Avoid eye contact while I stir the drum.
-No, I’m not going to hang your “art” on the wall or let you play your lute. Take in the desolate sight of ruined industrial equipment and listen to the wind blow through the holes in the aluminum walls.
-You’re not allowed to move any chairs (unless they’ve fallen over).
-No books. No ledgers. No lap computers. No internets. No wireless phones. If you want to loiter go to the bus stop on the corner.
-Everyone’s welcome…except for beatnicks, hippies, commies (including pinkos), politicians, solicitors, activists, liberals, conservatives, nuttos of any kind and kids. If you’re one of these things and I don’t happen to notice I suppose you get a pass that day, huh?
When you’re done, go away. Don’t come back.
Actually, forget the Go Fund Me. Why don’t you just go fund yourself?
Old Man Coffee
A romantic, sci-fi romp in the tradition of Douglas Adams.
Created as part of a 30 day challenge on Wattpad.
Read it here:
Although faced with a grim decision, Lumin found it impossible to hold on to a coherent thought. With her world spinning into a vortex of absurdity, all she could do was laugh. When her brief fit of hysteria subsided she wiped the tears from her eyes and caught her breath. “How the hell did we get here, Eldridge?”
“Lumin?” asked Eldridge, raising an eyebrow.
“If you could only fathom how much I regret not joining that nonprofit conservation group. God help me, I was so sick of scrounging and scraping to survive. I had no defense against the $50,000 signing bonus Ryan Lumb was offering. I chose Louboutins over Doug fir seedlings only to end up wrecking every pair of fancy heels I bought.”
“I’m not sure I’m following your train of thought,” said Eldridge.
“Somehow, I never questioned why someone with so little experience would be considered for a management position. You were pulling Lumb’s strings behind the scenes all along.”
Eldridge shrugged a bit. “Only in regards to the tournament. Soon after Mr. Lumb suggested the contest to Kengi Sato I took the reins of the project. Later on I provided full funding to the American team so I could have more direct involvement in the project without raising too many questions.”