The Car [Short Story]

“Hun, where’s the houmous?” Kaitlyn threw up her hands at her husband “I definitely bought it, but it wasn’t in the bags, and I KNOW I put it in the bag. Is it still in the car?” her husband put on his leather jacket and without a word, went to the fiat Doblo parked outside. Shortly returning, he replied “there’s nothing else in the car” Kaitlyn furrowed her brow, rolled her eyes, took a deep breath and said “you’d probably find it if you cleaned that car, it’s a health hazard” he smiled “I know, I know” and then went back to looking at his phone.

It wasn’t the first time that food went missing in that car. Kaitlyn joked that there must be an interdimensional portal where food gets sucked up and disappears. With the piles of rubbish on every surface, floor and a full boot, finding anything was impossible. But the car wasn’t hers, heck, she couldn’t even drive. So it was her husband’s responsibility to keep it maintained and space enough to ferry their three children around.

In the end, they both just chalked it down to maybe it fell out of the bag as they loaded it into the car. Maybe it is buried beneath all the waste and is invisible to them. Either way, it was gone. Just like the large bottle of strawberry water from the last shop and several items of the kids clothing. Still, the car did not get cleaned and they carried on with their hectic life.

“Babe, please clean the car this week? I need it clear for our suitcases” Kaitlyn pleaded. “It really needs to get done, I’m not joking. It’s doing my nut in the way it is. Do you think your parents will be impressed? It’s disgusting! You said you’d do it ages ago and I’m tired of badgering you. Last time we saw your parents, even your mum grabbed a black bag. It is embarrassing!” her husband rolled his eyes at her “you know I’ve been busy, I have to train, I take the kids out, get the shopping done, army stuff and that. I’ll do it when I can. I promise I will do it before we leave, okay? Trust me, it will get done. And I bet I find the missing food” he started laughing “though it will be a bit out of date by then”

Kaitlyn put a bunch of cleaning bits by the door in a carrier bag, she was frustrated “…for when you’re ready, like now. Seen as you have time to stare at your phone” her husband huffed and hastily stuffed his phone into his back pocket “I was only looking for a minute, geez, talk about not getting any time to do anything” he snatched the cleaning supplies up and she retorted “cor, talk about being a moody sod, how long have I been at you to do it hmmm? just get it done when I ask and you can stare at your phone as long as you like” quickly Kaitlyn turned and stomped upstairs.

Her husband slammed the door and walked down the stone steps to the dirty red Doblo and opened the doors. He started cleaning at the front, muttering to himself as he filled the recycle and black bags with the rubbish. Until all of the floors, the front seats and the back seats were clear. He sprayed and wiped them down, then decided to get to the boot.

When he opened the boot, he was met by an odd sound. It sounded like a low growl. He jumped back. He suddenly had the notion that there might be an animal in there, so using the edge of the spray bottle, he lifted and pulled out the piles of bags, until he saw a green figure covered with tufts of fur. “What the“ it jumped out of the car, followed by an empty pot of houmous as well as several items of missing shopping, it stood up on its hind legs wearing one of the kids’ t-shirts and shorts, it scratched itself and stretched.

“What are you?” he asked in pure wonderment, the creature stared at him, straight in the eyes, opened it’s mouth as if was to answer, it’s teeth were like little needles, resembling the teeth of puppies. It growled again.

Then it ran into the bushes opposite the property.

Astounded, he stood for a minute, mouth agape. He wanted to chase it. But Kaitlyn had already told him off about the car, besides, she would never believe him and it would probably turn into an argument about him shirking his responsibilities. So he finished cleaning and went in. Happily, Kaitlyn hugged him “Thank you for finally getting it done! Did you find the missing bits?” he smiled “Nah, I think it must have just fallen out like we thought” he never saw the creature again.

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