Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Flash Fiction: Lingonberries

Every Friday Kurt posts a new piece of flash fiction. This week...

Lingonberries
Word Count: 600

“Do you know why I pulled you over?” asks the officer.

“I don’t think I was speeding.”

“It’s a rhetorical question, citizen.”

“Beg pardon?” I ask.

“I ask if you know why I pulled you over, and you say ‘no, why did you pull me over?’ Understand?”

“I think so,” I say, trying to be helpful. “Why did you pull me over?”

“Your headlights are off,” says the officer.

“But it’s daytime,” I say. “I can see just fine without them.”

“They’re also there to make you visible to other drivers. By law you’re supposed to have your headlights on fifteen minutes after sunup.”

“It’s 9:30,” I say. “Sunrise was hours ago.”

The officer lowers his aviator glasses and stares at me with piercing green eyes. “Then where is the sun?” he asks.

The sky is a mass of solid gray. I gesture towards the East. “Over there,” I say noncommittally.

“Where are you coming from, citizen?” he asks.

“Badminton practice,” I say. I nod to the equipment bag in the backseat.

“Badminton?” says the officer, looking into my backseat. “I was not aware that badminton was something that required practice. Show me your birdie.”

“Birdie?” I ask.

“A badminton ball,” says the officer, enunciating every syllable with cool deliberation, “is called a birdie.”

“Actually, it’s called a shuttlecock,” I offer. I am no longer in the mood to be helpful.

“Well, look who’s soooooo fancy,” says the officer. “I bet you’ve never done a hard day’s work in your life. I bet you’re the kind of person who knows what lingonberries are!”

“What is the meaning of this?” I ask.

“Shuttlecock,” says the officer, rolling the word around in his mouth. “Shuttlecock. Alright, Lingonberries, show me your shuttlecock.”

“No,” I say. “And don’t call me Lingonberries.”

“Citizen, I’m going to need to ask you to step out of the car.”

“No,” I say. “And stop calling me Citizen.”

“Are you not a citizen?” asks the officer. “You got something against America?”

“I am a citizen.”

“Aha! I thought so, Lingonberries!”

“Stop. Calling me. Lingonberries!”

“Then what should I call you?” asks the officer.

“You’d know my name if you ever bothered asking for my license.”

“Give me your license!”

“Give me your badge number,” I counter.

“Never!”

“You’re not even a real police officer, are you?”

With that, the officer rips off his shirt and begins jumping on the hood of the car.

“Really?” I ask. “This is what we’re doing?”

“Give me your license!” yells the officer just before pounding his chest like a gorilla.

I turn to the director. “This is why I hate improv,” I say.

“Don’t break the scene,” she responds.

“Don’t break the scene?” I ask, pointing at the ape-man on the hood. “We left the script three minutes ago. The scene has been broken. Why are we still rolling?”

“These are DVD extras,” says the director.

“Should we finish the movie first?” I ask.

“Pipe down and act, Lingonberries,” says the director.

“Yeah, Lingonberries,” yells Devon, who has abandoned all pretense of being a police officer. That nickname is going to stick.

He’ll pay for this. Oh yes. He’ll pay.

“Okay, I’m done here,” I say. “I’m heading to my trailer.”

“Your trailer is twelve miles away,” says the director.

“I know,” I say, starting the engine.

Devon’s eyes widen. The director shouts. But I’m in gear and moving before either of them can stop me. And now I’m heading down the road, speeding, with a half-naked actor clinging to the hood of my car, shouting obscenities into the wind.

Edited by Carolyn "Well, That's Inappropriate" Abram

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