I was looking through my “drafts” folder and found this. I have no idea where I was going with it. So I decided to let you choose…
He didn’t notice the smell at first.
In fact, it was many months before he finally noticed the faint aroma of cigarette smoke in his new-to-him car. When he thought about it, he assumed that it took a full winter of using the heater to really shake the smell loose.
He didn’t think about it often.
He accepted it and moved on. Otherwise the car was, according to him, perfect. Well… except for a minor thing with the transmission. But he didn’t see it as a big deal. There was a brief delay when switching between fourth and fifth gears. It was as if the car was asking you if you really wanted to move faster.
He often wasn’t sure.
He liked his car. He felt that it suited him well. It was steady, dependable, and looked presentable enough when cleaned up.
He is Russ Hammond.
He is a lawyer. But he would tell you that he doesn’t want to be categorized as “a lawyer” and that he is much more than that. You wouldn’t be convinced.
He slowed down as he drove under the flashing amber light. A light that clicked loudly. A light whose necessity was debated during three town meetings. “It takes away from the town’s aesthetic qualities” fought valiantly, if unsuccessfully, against “But it will prevent accidents!”
He arrived in main section of town via the same exact route every day.
He waved to Linda the crossing guard who sells Avon on the side.
He honked his horn at Old Jimmy at the newspaper stand. Old Jimmy gave him a short, cranky, dismissive wave. Old Jimmy fought in WWII and, to this day, flips off anyone he sees driving a German car.
Russ drives a Nissan.
Old Jimmy isn’t fond of Japanese cars either, but he had decided to pick his battles.
Russ put on his blinker and pulled in to the drivethru doughnut shop. The drivethru window, when it opened six months prior, was the biggest news in years. It dominated the front page of The Bugler for three straight weeks. It had a shot at the full month, but got knocked off when a “virgin birth” happened in the next town over. It was eventually discovered that the reporter (slash notary public slash plumber) on the story was about the only person in three counties that hadn’t slept with the new mother.
Well, him and Russ.
Russ was in a bit of a dry spell.
He pulled up to the drivethru window. He ordered his “Medium coffee, two creams and Boston cream doughnut” as Shelley said it along with him.
“Russ, you realize you order the same thing every day, right?”
He just laughed.
“And can you guess what your total is?”
He passed her $2.97 exactly.
“See you tomorrow,” she sang, handing him his order.
He left his order in it’s tray and drove the two blocks to his office. He parked his car. He turned on his alarm — despite the fact that most people didn’t even bother locking their car doors. He walked up the back steps to his office.
He walked past Amanda, the blond age-inappropriate receptionist for the entire (three lawyer) firm. She flashed him an all-too-knowing-for-her-age smile, while he nodded in reply and tried not to think about the tattoo on her lower back that they had to ask her to keep covered during work hours.
Russ was in a bit of a dry spell. Did I mention that?
He took a seat as his desk. He turned on his computer. He burnt his lip a little on the coffee.
He looked up and saw Amanda at his door. “Russ…” she said, somehow making the letter S sound exceptionally naughty and threatening, “there is a new client here to see you.”
This is where you decide what happens next in the story.
Who is at Russ’s door?
A) The ex-girlfriend that stole his TV.
B) A man with a monkey.
C) Long-lost twin.