Somewhere (Flash Fiction)

“Why are we stopping?” she asked.

“I need to check something,” Bob said. He pulled into the parking lot of a run down gas station. The graffiti scrawled in strange lettering on the dumpster in front of them said ‘Fuck you.’ For the first time in two months, Bob was glad his daughter was struggling with reading.

“Why are you looking at your phone? Did mommy send you a message?”

“No, honey,” Bob said, looking around. He didn’t recognize anything. “Daddy just needs to make sure the address is right.” He thumbed at his screen to bring up a map.

“Are we lost?” The question had the dangerous sound of an accusation. Bob couldn’t help but smile. She already sounded exactly like her mother.

“No, honey,” he said. “Daddies can’t get lost. It’s against nature.”

“Mommy says that you get lost all the time but won’t admit it.”

Bob looked at the signs of the nearby businesses. A sign across the street read Kevin’s Tae Kwon Do and Sensual Massage. He jerked his head back. “What the fuck?”

“Oh no! Oh no!” she cried, covering her ears with her hands. “Daddy, you’re supposed so say airplane before you F-bomb!”

“I know, honey,” he said. He zoomed the screen in and out. “I’m sorry. Sometimes bombs just fall from the sky.” He scanned further down the street to try and read the next road sign. Three skinny men with sagging pants and tattooed faces were approaching them from the sidewalk. Bob put the car in reverse.

“Mommy says that if you get lost then you should just ask for directions.”

“Yeah,” Bob said, patting her head, “Mommy says lots of stupid stuff.”

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