Cruise Control

Flash Fiction Month 2015, Day 19

“Do I cut the blue wire or the green wire?” Joe Cruise hovered the pliers over both in turn, the vehicle’s axle whirling just inches away. “Blue or green? Blue or green!?”

“I don’t know, man!” Eccentric tech geek Neil Driveman could be heard flipping frantically through a manual on the other end of the radio. “That device doesn’t appear in any of our records. I don’t think we’ve seen anything like it since…since…”

“The Walker Warehouse disaster.” Suddenly, Joe recognised the handiwork of criminal mastermind Dirk Cleaver: the man who had killed Joe’s mentor, framed him for the murder, and left a flaming bag of poop on his doorstep. Joe narrowed his eyes. “Now it’s personal.” Those shoes had been just two days from retirement.

Suddenly, the vehicle lurched wildly. The wheels kicked up splintered fragments of wood—the remains of an orange cart that had inexplicably appeared in the road—forcing Joe to haul himself quickly out of the way. The pliers clattered away on the concrete behind him.

“Dammit, Angelica,” he yelled, “can’t you be more careful!?”

“No can do!” shouted Angelica Ripspeed, eyes fixed firmly on the road. “If this forklift goes below five miles an hour, it’ll explode!”

“Well then…hang on, forklift?”

“Yeah.” Angelica was confused. “You know? This thing we’re both on right now?”

Joe looked at the vehicle he was clinging to. “Oh. Yeah.”

“Seriously, how did you not notice that?”

“Yeah, sorry. I must have really zoned out there.”

There was an awkward pause. The forklift went up on two wheels around a corner, zipped down a few of those really steep San Francisco streets, and jumped an unfinished bridge. Admittedly the bridge was very close to completion and so the gap was less than two feet wide.

“So…” Joe broke the silence. “Is there any way you could wedge the gas pedal down?”


“So we can just hop off this thing?”


“Alright, then, let’s do that.”

The two action heroes leapt from the forklift and landed with a not-entirely-necessary roll. The vehicle sped on into a small duck pond, where it exploded with a loud pop, startling a nearby dog.

Joe and Angelica stared at the patch of bubbles left in its wake.

“I think Dirk Cleaver’s losing his edge.”

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook Cover

Click any cover to download that book in your choice of format.


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