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“Piece of crap car,” Aaron replied. “Quit on me and refuses to start. I was just about to start hiking.”
“Mind if I take a look?”
Aaron shrugged, “suit yourself. “I’ve done exhausted my bag of tricks.” Aaron’s tricks consisted of cranking the battery until it died.
The stranger approached the car, a battered, dun colored Ford Fiesta, and motioned for Aaron to pop the hood. Aaron got behind the wheel and searched around for the latch. He’d never even seen the motor, wouldn’t know what to do with it if he had and, besides, it wasn’t even his car, he’d stolen it only a few hours before. Note to self, Aaron thought, next time you steal a car, steal a better one.
When Aaron finally looked up again he was surprised to see the stranger standing squarely in front of the car with his hands palms down on the hood, his eyes closed as if in prayer. Aaron was just about to say something snarky about faith healing mechanics when the man shook himself, opend his eyes and said, “It’s the timing. I did what I could but you might want to get it looked at when you get to town. Try it now.”
Aaron couldn’t imagine anything being different with the car but what did he have to lose by humoring the guy? He turned the key and to his joy and surprise the battery cranked like it had been charged and the motor caught and ran strong. “Holy mackerel,” Aaron shouted. “How did you do that?”
“I always had a way with mechanical things,” said the stranger. “It’s people I can’t figure out.”
“Well, that was amazing,” Aaron said. “You a preacher or something?”
“Then what the hell are you?”
“I guess you might say I’m a celestial mechanic.”
“Celestial mechanic, huh? Well, whatever you are, that was amazing. What else can you fix?”
Instead of answering, the stranger said, “Timing is everything. The world looks like a billion random, chaotic events but it’s really extraordinarily precise. Every event exquisitely timed. It takes a lot of mechanics like me to keep it running smoothly.”
“What the f—k does all that have to do with me? Crazy old coot,” Aaron muttered getting back in the car.
“Your breakdown was unplanned. I’m here to get you back on schedule. Have a nice trip.”
Aaron puzzled over the encounter for the next few miles until his thoughts were inturrupted by a tractor trailer plunging off an overpass killing him instantly.
Very cool. It's like the old tale about death seeing a victim in one city, wondering how an appointment will be kept, and the victim rides all night to get to where the appointment was to be in the first place. There could be a whole league of Celestial Mechanics.
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