Scraping By: Part 2, Take 2 (Serial Flash Fiction)

This is the revised Part 2. It’s been a couple of weeks; if you’ve forgotten what the original Part 2 said, that’s probably for the best. If you’d like to re-read Part 1, please do so.

showimageWill parked the Jaguar so that the scrape was facing the carpark’s fence. If he could get Tish to look at the car on her way to lunch, she’d only see its good side. He rounded the corner from the carpark and a steady breeze off the canal chilled his freckled oval face. The huge brick buildings of the Warehouse District stood sentinel along the edges of the canal’s harbor and a few narrow houseboats floated patiently along its sides. He headed for the squat brick rectangle that was the museum. He was ten feet from the door when someone tapped him on the shoulder from behind.

The tapper was a tourist, judging by the brand new London cap he wore and the camera hanging around his neck. He looked Indian, maybe Middle Eastern, with a dark complexion and a little grey streaking his short black hair.

“Excuse me, Sir, I’m looking for the Gloucester Waterways Museum.”

Tourist pronunciation made Will smile; they made “Glou” rhyme with “how” and said “Glow-chester”. Locals prounounced it “Glosster”. Will snapped his fingers. Lip Gloucester! That would sell well in the gift shop. He’d have to call one of those invention hotlines.

“It’s this building right here. They just opened a few minutes ago.”

“Are you an empl-”

Ferrari-laFerrari-Black-20The man stopped talking and ducked down to tie his shoe without warning. Will glanced around to see if something had startled the tourist. Other than a few birds, the only moving creature was a dark haired man in a grey suit leaving the museum and walking toward an illegally parked car. Will squinted. Only the back end of the car was showing, but it was smooth and tapered like a Ferrari. It couldn’t be…but what were the chances that two LaFerraris would be in little Gloucester on the same day?

The Ferrari pulled away and when Will turned back, the Indian man was gone. Will was barely through the museum door before Stephen the Program Director had slapped him on the back.

“Late this morning, Will.” Stephen was a decade older than Will’s twenty years and was never without a smile and a cup of tea.

“Sorry, mate, I had a chat with a copper this morning.” Will removed his hat and ran his fingers through his medium length latte colored hair. He’d need a haircut before his dinner with his father next week. He wanted to look sharp.

Stephen raised his eyebrows and blew across the top of his tea. “Hard lines?”

“Yeah, some manky SUV swiped my car this morning.” He briefly filled Stephen in on the morning’s car chase. “I was at the station for nearly an hour and the copper never wrote a word on the report. He took my paper with the license plate number, asked me where I live and where I work, and said he’d be in touch.”

“That’s odd. I thought coppers lived for paperwork.”

Will nodded and sloughed off his jacket. “He said he had to go to the scene and confirm the bullet holes before he could file.”

“Are you sure it was a good idea to inform the coppers? If this goes to court, those men with guns will know that you’re the bloke who ratted them out.” Stephen blew on his tea again and sipped loudly.

Will shrugged. In his desperation, danger had been an afterthought. “If the police find the guys, then the courts can make them pay to fix my car.”

He knew it would be months before the courts would award him damages to fix his car, but if his father held on until Christmas, he could show him the car then. In the mean time, if the cops made an arrest on Will’s tip, Will could be in the papers before the week was out. Fame was as good as fortune in the eyes of his father.

800px-Replica_Warehouse_National_Waterways_Museum,_GloucesterOut of the corner of his eye, Will saw the dark man from the street come through the museum’s front door and pick up a brochure. Will glanced at the man’s shoe, then looked again. The man was wearing loafers; there was nothing to tie. Why had he ducked down? Will lifted his gaze to the man’s face and the man looked away quickly, almost as though he’d been caught staring. Odd. The tourist recovered quickly and approached Will.

“Can you show me the cartography exhibit?” he asked.

Will smiled politely. “Let me hang my jacket and I’ll be right with you.” He didn’t relish giving a tour to a man who pretends to tie loafers. He needed to ask Tish out before he lost his nerve. Maybe he could bring her to dinner next week. The first floor of the museum was a huge open room with exhibits along every wall and grouped loosely near the center. The maps were in a back corner. The tourist moved toward them and was soon out of sight behind the replica house boat and displays of trade goods.

Will turned back to Stephen. “Is Tish here?”

Stephen began to move toward a side office. “Yeah, but you won’t like it.”


Images courtesy of:,,