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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Writing · #2193326
A man has to choose between his career as a trucker and going back to programming.
The dispatch office of the Desktop Brands warehouse was bustling this day. Truckers from all over the country came there to get their assignments. The room was filled with trendy magazines and vending machines. And just enough seating to accommodate a squad of truckers.

"How many parcels?" said one trucker.

"Three hundred," came the reply.

"How much weight?"

"Two tons."

Everyone seemed ready and waiting to be assigned. Everyone, that is, except for Captain Greenhorn. Greenhorn was formerly a computer programmer for Sotheby's, the high-end place, and he had recently decided to "reinvent" himself by becoming a trucker. Things weren't as cavalier as they seemed, however.

"Hello, Captain Greenhorn," said the dispatcher. "Which load would you like today? We've got Texas, New York and Washington State."

"Wait," said Greenhorn, gesticulating. "I don't think I want to be a trucker anymore."

"What?"

"I said that I - I don't think I want, wish to be a trucker anymore."

"Why is that, son?" said the dispatcher.

"The loads are so...hard." said Greenhorn.

"Hard?" said the dispatcher.

"Yeah, it's like I don't get no time for me no more," said Greenhorn.

"Well son, I've got to tell you this - and this will be true no matter what kind of trucking you do from here on out. There ain't no easy loads."

"Is that an inside joke?" said Greenhorn.

"Make of it what you will," said the dispatcher. "Ain't no easy loads. That is all."

With that, Greenhorn walked out of the building, headed for the local train station. He made it to the alley when something caught his eye.

"Is that...a Bugatti?" said Greenhorn as he approached the supercar parked next to the drains.

The Bugatti had about three shades of blue, swirled around. And it paint scheme looked like a knife of some sort, or a sword. Everything about it looked real. He didn't have any idea who it could've belonged to. One of the truckers? "Na." He slowly rubbed his fingers across the back, noticing the precision engineering, the speed even at a full stop.

"A brand new Bugatti."

And then a voice came from the car.

"Hello. Captain Greenhorn. You may enter."

The door then unlocked and swung open by itself. Captain Greenhorn wasn't sure what he should do. What would happen if he just...sat inside for a few moments? The car already knew his name, so it had to be his, right? Maybe it was a parting gift from the dispatcher.

"A brand new Bugatti," said Greenhorn as he leaned in and took a seat.

The dashboard was both stylish and functional. With a high-end navigation system, weather controls, and driving aids. It had three settings: Sport, Control, and Release. The steering wheel was racing carbon. Everything on the inside was carbon fiber. No cheap plastic here.

The seats were so comfortable, yet sporting. They had duncin leather. Greenhorn knew about it from reading CAR and DRIVER. The most comfortable leather in existence. Also the most expensive.

"Thank you, dispatcher," said Greenhorn as he yawned a few times. "I...I don't think I'll be taking the train anymore."

Then, Captain Greenhorn fell asleep. He could not resist the plush leather, the soft interior. The fragrant masses of machinery all around him. He was surrounded with so much luxury. It was almost as if he had gone back to nursery.

"Honk, Honk!"

"What?" said Captain Greenhorn. "I didn't set the alarm."

"Hooooonk!"

Captain Greenhorn work up to see a 30-ton train barreling down on him. Apparently, the car had been parked directly on the train tracks. He was so distracted by its beauty, that he could not think to check. The train barreled towards him while blast its big horn. Captain Greenhorn pressed the start button the ignition. Then he checked the gauge. No gas. He then tried to jump out. But apparently, the car's safety belt had it engaged by itself while he was sleeping.

"Oh, no!" he said, as he struggled with the extra safety loop on the belt. "Noo!"

He managed to release the belt as soon as the train gets there, and gets out of the car just in time to save his life. As soon as he gets out, he sees that there was no train. It was an optical illusion on the windshield.

"You okay?" said a voice behind him.

"Samuel L. Jackson?" said Greenhorn as he looked around. "What are you doing at a warehouse?"

"The name is Nick Fury," said the man. "But you can just call me Fury."

"Did you put that illusion in the car to scare me?" said Greenhorn. "I almost had a heart attack, you know!"

"Augmented reality," said Fury. "We all need a dose of...some kind of reality every once-and-a-while, augmented or otherwise."

"If you're Nick Fury, where's Thor? Where's the Hulk?"

"That part's coming? Do you like your new Bugatti?"

"What's this about?" said Greenhorn. "You don't think I'm a car thief, do you?"

"Well, that's the interesting thing," said Fury. "If you take a Bugatti without permission, you might be called a sneak thief. But if a Bugatti says your name, it's only right that you put a ring on it. Don't you think?"

"Yeah," said Greenhorn. "I guess so. What's the catch?"

"Catch?" said Fury. "You're the catch! You just woke up in a new Bugatti."

"What do I have to do to keep it?"

"Tell me, miser Greenhorn," said Fury. "Have you ever heard of a man named Mephisto."

"I have the comics."

"Well, Mephisto is real," said Fury. "He's real and he's attacking the globe."

"What do you need me for?" said Greenhorn. "I can't sling webs."

"No, but you can drive a truck," said Fury.

"What?"

"Mephisto has released a virus into the world that reduces the vitamin B in the bloodstream," said Fury. "Children are the most vulnerable."

"So you want me to-"

"We want you to drive that truck, full of brussle sprouts to a preschool in Iowa City."

"In Iowa?"
© Copyright 2019 John Andrew Jenkins (johnjenkins at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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