Competitons, Grief, Short Story


Photograph: Steve Strike/Great Southern Rail

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“What the… come on… not again!”

Dave slid his right index finger through a hole he could see pinhole light through, and carefully pulled back the zip. Once he was out, he saw he’d been packed into a familiar looking suitcase.

“Huh,” he said. “This is new.”

As can tell, climbing out of some kind of contraption was not foreign for Dave. His “friends” and yes, Dave uses air quotes when he talks about “them”, had taken a comment he made in his twenties seriously.

“Anything! Put me in any situation,” he proclaimed, “and I’ll survive it. I’m that lucky.”

Granted, when he made the daring declaration, he’d been on a weekend pub crawl. Unbeknown to “them,” Dave had survived a car crash on the way to the pub. His Uber driver had had one too many before work. He got the bums rush when it was his shout; while jostling at the bar, his bum brushed some Shelah’s bum. One fight led to another and an hour later, his “friends”, ignorant to the earlier crash, locked him in the boot of a car. They drove him out to the pines, did burnouts for an hour, then left the car, and Dave, in the middle of nowhere broiling in a noon time sun.

If not for a small lumberjack village close to the activity, the cops might not have found Dave. The locals weren’t that interested.

Dave was laid up in hospital for a week after that, but he couldn’t lose face with his “friends”, so doubled downed on his proclamation. He thought, Give it a week, and they’ll forget.

How wrong he was. 

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