PodCastle 176: Middle Aged Weirdo in a Cadillac


by George R. Galuschak

Read by Norm Sherman (of the Drabblecast)

Originally published in Strange Horizons. Read it here!

He’s driven this way five times already, watching the same banks and donut shops and car washes fly past in a never-ending reel. Got the front windows open, taking in the night air. And then he sees her—sitting on the curb, cradling her head in her arms, going boo hoo. Hodgepodge of girl and woman: miniskirt; halter top, no bra; friendship bracelet on wrist; hair pulled back with cherry scrunchy; Hello Kitty stick-on tattoo on her left shoulder, mushy from the heat.

“Hello.” He cruises to a stop. “I’m lost and I need to get to the Interstate.”

She raises her head and looks at him: middle-aged weirdo in a Cadillac. Tom Cruise shades; charcoal suit; porkpie hat; looks about 40, like her dad. Probably smokes; a hint of ash about him.

“I’ll give you directions.” When he shakes his head, she says: “It’s simple. Even a moron could do it.”

“I’m afraid I’m not a moron,” he tells her. “The last three people I asked gave me directions and I ended up getting more lost. So it would be easier if you just got into the car and showed me.”

She snorts: “Are you for real?” She’d be stupid to get in, she surely would.

Rated R: Thematic Material