From the writing prompt: “I never stole your bloody car!” I wrote the following story.
It’s All Downhill
By Clare McCarthy
I could feel my face turn crimson as I roared at the old man, “I never stole your bloody car!”
In actual fact, I had recently purchased Newt Lymbuner’s 1929 Model A Ford Roadster from him for what I thought at the time was the extravagant sum of forty-nine dollars. I had been saving all of my earnings from that summer’s jobs to purchase my first set of wheels.
You might think that I had committed a crime to pay an old man such a measly small amount for one of Henry Ford’s creations. But what you may not realize is the fact that the old man had bought the vehicle used and had driven it to work daily for twenty-one years. Thus, when I bought Newt’s Model A, it had been on the road for almost all of the eighty-nine years that Newt had been alive.
The number of miles travelled in all of those years can create a good deal of wear-and-tear on any piece of machinery. For the forty-nine bucks that I paid Newt Lymburner for his chariot, I had to replace a dead battery to get the car running again. All five tires (and that includes the spare) were worn as smooth as a baby’s backside. The brakes were in such bad shape, it took me five miles of dragging my feet just to get the old roadster to stop. The suspension was worn so loose, at times the front end would shimmy and shake, as violently as a Hawaiian Hula Dancer, with a bad case of nerves.
So, as you can see, I didn’t get much for the forty-nine bucks that I’d forked out for Newt’s roadster. Maybe the old man was the real thief in the deal when he charged me as much as he did for his worn-out vehicle.
But all of this avoids the real reason why Newt thinks that, “I stole his car!” At the age of eighty-nine, Newt Lymburner lost his driving licence, because dementia had settled in. He had forgotten completely that he had actually sold the car to me only yesterday.
I understand that back in 1942, Newt in his roadster had even courted and proposed to his late- wife Nellie.
Sad, isn’t it?
Besides parting with his beloved chariot, and all of its related history, the old codger has lost a host of cherished memories along with it as well.
Who, or what, then was the real thief here in this story?
Posted on behalf of Clare McCarthy