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How about this. At other sites is was, or maybe still is, that challenges are put up for writers to meet. Sometimes a theme, sometimes an object or story idea is put up, and everyone, not just those who want to write, give it a shot to meet the criteria in a short work.

Nothing fancy, and nothing to be graded or such, just something for everyone to take a whack at. As long or short as you make it, just keep it a short work, lol.

So how about this.

Seems there are lots of car stories. The character in a car, someone being seen in a car, something to do with cars, all recently.

So how about this........everyone do a very short 'story' starting out with........

"The old car had been sitting there on the used car lot for weeks now. Everyday as I (drove, walked, took the bus) to (work, school, the store, a friend's) I saw it sitting there. It was............."

Start it with that, or something else you come up with. Let your imagination go. No reality checks, talking cars are fine, etc. Just have some fun with it and see what you come up with!

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The old car had been sitting there on the used car lot for weeks now. Everyday as I drove to work I saw it sitting there. It was as if it were teasing me, reminding me of the old times, back when I had one so much like it.

Those were the better days. Driving along with the car full of friends, the music playing, all of us laughing. I miss those times, as I expected I would, even then.

But time moves onward, dragging us with it. And now, even thinking of owning such a car was ludicrous. Now, those cars were for the younger crowd. Me and my minivan were doing fine, and I needed the space for the way my life is now. I could never use such a small, fast, sexy car again. Only desperate old men drove them, other than the young men who still felt the way such a sportster gave the driver.

No, now my minivan was all I needed. It gets good gas mileage, and it's easy to care for. It was all I needed now.

But the papers were signed, and the keys were in my hand, and I was out of the lot in the little hotrod with a squeal of tires and a cloud of smoke behind me!

What were the guys at work going to think when I pulled up in it?

What do I care!

I cranked the oldies station up on the excellent sound system and yelled, "Ahead, warp speed!" as I floored it.

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The old car had been sitting on the used car lot for weeks now. Every day as I walked by on the way to work I saw it sitting there. It was a '66 Mustang. I really wanted it, but I had no money. Which, in short, was why I was walking the one and a half miles to work instead of driving.

And, even if I did buy that cream-yellow honey of a car, I couldn't afford the insurance. Or, the gas. Especially the gas. Which is why I'm walking.

You see, I was a driver for Shell Oil. I fell asleep in the cab of my truck when I shouldn't have. When I woke up, the entire tanker was gone. I don't mean drained, either. Gone. So they held me responsible to pay for it. Even at wholesale rates, it means I'll be walking a long time. Nobody will hire me as a driver, so I'm stuck working at Best Buy in the digital camera department. My wages are garnished and now I barely earn enough to pay for my efficiency. My house was repossessed.

Life would suck, you might think, after reading this. But the eye candy isn't so bad, so I don't mind so much. I'm sure that'll wear off, but not yet.

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The old car had been sitting there on the used car lot for weeks now. Every day as I walked to work I saw it. It made me rather sad, nostalgic. I remembered the happy times we had together. It had been my first car and I had loved it, more because it gave me independence and freedom than because it was a great car. Is a beetle a great car? Well, I was fond of it and it was reliable so I didn't have the trouble some friends had getting out to a rendezvous on a Friday night.

The seats were plastic and unyielding, and the front seat backs didn't wind flat which I saw as a potential problem, though the potential was never realised, as far as I remember. It was narrow and cramped inside, rear seat passengers had to clamber in past the front seats, and the luggage space was minimal. But those things didn't bother me at all ? I had wheels and that was what mattered.

Another day, another day's work, another walk past the car lot. I wondered what adventures the old car had had after I sold it for the Ford I bought next. The Ford that never quite matched up to the Beetle in my estimation, never inspired affection, never became loved, certainly was never named. My Beetle was Billy from the word Go and I remember being unashamed about calling the car by name in company. I wonder, now, how many dates I blew when they found I'd named my car?

I could bear it no longer ? I had to sit in Billy once more, just for old times' sake. So I stopped work early and on the way home I called in at the RV that served as an office for the lot. I couldn't just ask to sit in the car, so I pretended I was interested in buying. I wasn't ? I don't need a car, I live close to work in the city centre, it's impossible to park anywhere these days and the roads are usually log-jammed in the rush hour so I get by on foot, bike and public transport. It's quicker and a darn sight cheaper. But I pretended and the guy was all over me. Gave me the keys, walked me over to Billy and talked rubbish about fuel consumption and low mileage. If Billy was a low mileage vehicle I'm living in a parallel universe ? he had over 100,000 on the clock when I owned him ten years ago. But it didn't matter ? I got to sit in the driver's seat again. The upholstery was dilapidated, there was a tear in the seat squab and the inside paintwork was scratched and dull. But it all came back and I felt like a teenager again.

On a whim I reached down under the front edge of the seat, and up into the under seat space. My hand automatically went to the right spot, the little space just big enough to hold... and to my amazement I came away with a small packet between my fingers. I turned it over and over and saw the 'use by' date ? not long after I sold the car. I don't know if the salesman saw what I had in my hand but he looked distinctly put out by my grin, which he must have misunderstood, as he was still going on about what a great buy this classic car would be.

I suspect he was very surprised when I bought the car. Not, perhaps, as surprised as I was, though. Now what am I going to do with it, and how am I going to live down the fact that I have a car called Billy?

- by Bruin Fisher

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