(prompt: ‘escape’ 7/2/2020)
“Good morning. ABC Construction Co.”
“Mr. Larsen, please.”
“Ohh, sorry, but he’s in a meeting. Probably for another hour. May I take a message?”
“Hmm… OK. Just tell him Sam’s Salvage rang and his car has floated back in.”
“His car has… WH-A-A-T?? From where? What ARE you talking about?”
The voice was smiling broadly. I could hear it trying not to laugh.
“Think I’ll leave it to Mr. Larsen to tell you the details of how he came to bog his Veedub on Semaphore beach—” He interrupted himself with an explosion of laughter.
“But… ‘floated’, you said? Like, it went out to sea, and—”
“AND came back, amazingly close to where it made sail on yesterday’s high tide.” As I gasped and my jaw dropped, he continued. “Yep. Out to sea for the whole night. Floated, you know. Volksies can do that… if they’re locked up tight like a fish’s bum – uhrr, pardon my French, lass?”
Some reassurances and farewells later, I hung up and drifted into a daze, imagining that valiant little vehicle bobbing along through the dark, cold night, with ‘who knew how many’ fathoms of ocean beneath her.
At last, the questionable hero was at my desk to collect messages – and I was on a burning ‘need to know’ mission for the answers to one message in particular. His suddenly flushed cheeks and slightly ‘hang-dog’ expression made it clear what was coming. A girl was involved… of course! (Did I mention Old McLarsen was a handsome devil in those days? A real heart-breaker.)
The story unfolded that he’d taken his latest conquest for a spin along the near-Adelaide beaches (back in the days last century when you could motor along our golden sands for vast distances). He was showing off quite shamelessly, impressing her with no ulterior motives whatsoever… of course!
Unbeknown to our hero, the old exits at the far northern end of all the beaches, Outer Harbour, had been closed. There remained no choice but to return along the shore to the entry point. Ha! Easy peasy, scoffed our hero with a toss of his head, little suspecting the approaching peril.
“Bloody tide started coming in, didn’t it?” His tone was aggrieved as if Mother Nature had some sort of personal grudge against him; as if she disapproved of him for some unknown reason. Even so, he had no idea why she would want to harm his beloved Volkswagen.
“Poor old girl got more and more sluggish until she refused even one more turn of her wheels and threatened to ‘dig in’ for the duration. No escape. We were well and truly bogged!”
He managed to summon a rescue/towing service, but their best efforts were in vain; the tide was rising too quickly. With the heaviest of hearts, his gallant inner ‘hero’ took over, summoning a taxi and depositing the fair maiden at her place before allowing his suave facade to slip so he could comfortably, if shamefully, slink on home.
It seemed all was truly lost.
Author’s Note: Of course, there was more to this story. Swing by next week, and IF the prompt can be woven in (even in a most obscure way as some other erstwhile authors tend to do), you’ll hear the rest. (Well, the bits I choose to tell, anyway)