Flash Fiction #234


PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll


I’m not a very good bargainer, but I really wanted that second-hand Toyota Supra!  Like cars from my youth – only better.  Something I could feel as I piloted it, not computer-ridden, and self-driving.

Not midlife-crisis-red, it had a four-speed stick-shift, and was painted Electric BlueTravis McGee would approve.*

He was asking $18,000.

I offered $12,000 – book-value.

Standard transmission is rarer – $17,000

I’m stealing from my son’s inheritance – $13,000

It’s got four brand-new tires – $16,000

My credit card is melting. – $14,000

My wife is expecting our first. – $15,000!

Radar-detectors are illegal.  I must be careful.


* Author John D. MacDonald invented a Miami-based character named Travis McGee. To support himself, he specialized in finding and returning items that were not precisely ‘legally’ lost, because they may not have been exactly legally owned in the first place – all for a 50% cut.  In novels written between 1964 and 1984, he drove a 1939 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, which someone had Frankensteined into a pickup truck, and painted Electric Blue.


Join the Friday Fictioneers.  Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.


18 thoughts on “Flash Fiction #234

  1. spwilcen says:

    Nice twist on “conversational” style. Good read.


  2. Dora says:

    I like that last line: Signed, sealed, delivered. 🙂 Fantastic pacing and style.


    • Archon's Den says:

      Thanx! Glad you liked it. 🙂
      I once exited the Ohio Turnpike at the toll booths. As I pulled away, the stereotypical midlife crisis accelerated away, two lanes over. Fire-engine red Toyota Supra top-down convertible, fat, bald, middle-aged male driver, with aviator glasses, and scalp sunburned the color of the car.
      It was like the opening sequence to Star Trek TNG. One second he was there. There was a flash – a blur – and then he wasn’t. That memory helped to inspire this post. 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Danny James says:

    Should have stopped while he was ahead.


    • Archon's Den says:

      Instead, he got stopped when he was further behind. If I’d had the extra $3000, I might have been tempted. I did my mid-life crisis with a series of 20-year-old motorcycles. 😳


  4. msjadeli says:

    I like the context of your story and how they were dickering back and forth.


  5. siobhan1967 says:

    Probably one of the most inventive takes on the prompt I’ve read, marvellous. I may also have to go and buy a book about Travis McGee!


    • Archon's Den says:

      Were you born in 1967? We were married in 1967 – Canada’s Centennial year. 🙂
      I saw those two heads coming together, and knew that I had another, slightly askew, FF theme.
      You may well enjoy the Travis McGee book. John D. MacDonald is an intelligent author. The McGee novels are not just men’s adventure tales. There were 21 of them, if you accessed the Wiki site, but he wrote at least another 21 non-McGee books.
      Condominium was about a building constructed out on Miami Beach – where and how it shouldn’t have been. A super hurricane knocked it down! 😳 Very topical – 50 years later.
      I just finished re-reading ‘The Girl! The Gold Watch, and Everything’ that the ’82 movie was based on.


  6. ahtdoucette says:

    I like the story told via haggling approach, even if I’m not sure I entirely believe either side here…. Fun read!


    • Archon's Den says:

      ‘Bargain’ = bar gain. Neither side is supposed to come out ahead, but almost inevitably, one of them does. I hope to have another amusing FF for you to read, later in the week. If not, I’ll post a story about the development of a seldom used/heard word. 🙂


  7. granonine says:

    Haggling is all about who comes up with the most convincing story 🙂 . I really like the flow here, and the personalities. And I appreciated. your explanation of the creation of Travis McGee.


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