Martha Takes Her First Drive in Frank’s Car

Alison Wassell

Five miles from home, Frank’s car loses the will to live. Unused to driving, Martha blames herself, then concludes that the car is grieving.

‘I miss him too,’ she tells it, stroking the steering wheel.

There is a ninety minute wait for recovery. To pass the time Martha tidies the glove compartment. It is the small things that break her; the half-eaten Mars bar, the screwed up receipts for the burgers and fries he swore he had given up.

Martha rests her head on the steering wheel and prepares to wait. Recovery, she thinks, may take longer than ninety minutes.

This story won the People’s Prize vote in the April 2021 Monthly Micro Fiction competition.

About the author: Alison Wassell is a writer of short stories and flash fiction, published in The People’s Friend and various other places, including NFFD, FlashFlood Journal, Retreat West and Bath Flash Fiction.