“I Let My Mind Wander…” by Susan Chertkow

Dec 20th, 2021 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

I let my mind wander, and it traveled to a distant parking lot with thousands of parked cars, one of which was mine.  But which one? My car was silver, but there were literally hundreds of silver cars.

Fortunately, a Vehicle Security Angel dressed in a pink satin ballgown appeared. She was stunning—a vision—not just her dress, but her expertly applied cat’s eye eyeliner and the chic layering of strands of gold and silver jewelry.

“Is there a problem?” she asked.

I gestured feebly to the sea of cars and said, “I can’t find my car. I want to go home.”

“You’ve always had the power to find your car—but you didn’t have this …”

And she handed me a bag of roasted, unsalted, unshelled pistachio nuts, my favorite snack food.

“When you finish shelling the last pistachio nut, you’ll be able to find your car and go home.”

Then she disappeared in a cloud of pink smoke.

I followed her instructions and shelled several nuts (which were delicious). Then my thumb nail broke off, slowing down my shelling progress. Next, I had to contend with the dying of the light—not my own—the sun’s. I managed to make it to the last pistachio nut at nightfall only to discover that it hadn’t any crack in it at all. How was I to get it open?

Luckily, I remembered that the wild Capuchin monkeys of Brazil use rocks to smash open large cashew nuts. In lieu of a rock, I took off my boot and aimed its substantial heel at the little nut shattering it into several pieces. I was able to collect all the pistachio remnants and, true to her word, at the last minuscule morsel of pistachio, help arrived. Actually a semi-cataclysmic event of sound, light, and music arrived.

The night sky lit up with a pyrotechnic display with the magnitude of three Fourth of Julys—red, yellow, blue rockets, flares, streaming stars, not just anywhere– but strategically over my mislaid car.

But that wasn’t all.  A forty-member strong high school brass band marched down the parking lanes playing “Eye of the Tiger.” They came to a stop at my car’s location.

Of course, a crowd gathered. As I approached my car, I saw my face on a Jumbotron screen.

When I opened the car door, and started the motor, the crowd erupted in cheers.

As the last firework rocket soared and plummeted, I drove off.


Susan Chertkow is an artist and writer. She has a poetry blog at tuesdaypoems.com. She is also the author and illustrator of the urban fantasy novel, The Gnome and Mrs. Meyers, which is also a podiobook at gnomehomestay.com. Susan resides in Chicago, but claims her imagination dwells in multiple realms.

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