(FYI - I am a fan and writer of Flash Fiction as well as fiction novels and this is one I wrote based on a prompt suggesting writing about a roadtrip. As a huge fan of roadtrips myself, this prompt took me back to my high school and college days driving around Maryland in my old blue Ford Tempo. Hope you enjoy! - M. K. Sholund)
"Road Trip Soundtrack" On day three of their road trip to Florida, Michael was about to strangle his co-pilot and girlfriend of six months, Nina over listening to the same playlist over and over. Not five minutes into their days voyage, after their lack luster continental breakfast at the Comfort Inn, she reached for the mix tape from the glove compartment and proceeded to insert it into the tape deck of the hand-me-down Ford Escort.
"Oh no! Not again. I'm calling out Road rule number 3 - the driver chooses the music," Michael said reaching out to block the tape going into the cassette player. Sure the song choice did bother him, but what sent him over the edge was that Nina couldn't carry a tune if her life depended on it
"Babe! It's my favorite. I thought you liked Wannabe and Torn and the other songs?"
"They're ok, but not more than three times in one day!"
"But this is the first time today."
"We heard it enough yesterday to last the whole road trip."
"I suppose you have something better YOU want to listen to," Nina asked with a snarky twang.
"Well, we have other tapes in the glove compartment. Just pick something else. I need too stay focused on the road.... Hmm Fayetteville? That's a city I have never heard of before. Anyway, if I hear that playlist one more time, I am going to drive off a cliff."
Nina shoots Micheal a puzzled look as there are no cliffs nearby. She shakes her head to move on to the task of leafing through the various papers and things within the compartment and retrieves three cassette tapes. She chooses one marked 'Make-out Mix' and holds it up to Micheal. "What's this?"
"Make out Mix?"
"Oh, that one. I forgot I had it. Let me see," asked Michael inquisitively, feeling a little flush hoping she wouldn't see the few sweat beads that are starting to form on his forehead. He takes a quick glance and exclaimed, "Oh my gosh! I can't believe I still have that! I made this for a girl I had a crush on back in high school. Sadly, she never gave me the time of day. I thought I threw it away, I must have just put it in the glove compartment instead."
Hesitant to believe the story, Nina tests him. "What was her name?"
"Hmmm. Kelly. I don't remember her last name though, but we had a science class together."
"Sure. Could it have been Chemistry class," Nina asked coyly.
"I think it was. I don't remember much about the class except for Kelly and that one day when Greg, a jock, turned on his bunsen burner all the way up before lighting it setting off the sprinkler system," Michael laughed remembering the silly memory. Nina snorted out a laugh to which they both laughed harder at the snort. "Pop it in. I believe there was some good songs on it."
Nina inserted the tape and pressed play. The first song that played was 'Kiss Me' by Sixpence None the Richer "Aww. I love this song. It's from that movie... "She's All That", right?"
"I'm curious. I guess we can listen some more."
Michael smiled relieved to have dodged a bullet. The truth is that playlist was his
signature move in order to get into the pants of his past girlfriends, but Nina didn't need to know that although he can't help but be a little giddy to see if it still works. After all, getting lucky later that day and reach their destination, the University of Florida, with aspirations in getting Masters Degrees would be a great way to start this new chapter in his life. That is as long as he can get through the last stretch of the trip without hearing 'I'm a Barbie Girl' one more time.