The votes are in and for a while it looked like we would have a three-way tie for the next scene of the month, but at the last moment The Wolf pulled out ahead. So here, by popular demand, is the next scene from The Wolf!
“Are you kidding me?” Greg said.
The mechanic, identified by his name tag as Carl, shook his head.
“A broken axle?”
“Yep. You must’ve hit them rocks pretty hard.” Carl took another bite of his sandwich and, around a mouthful of what looked like chicken salad, said: “Want to take a look at it?”
“Yeah, sure.” Greg wouldn’t know a broken axle from a double-axel, but there was no reason the mechanic had to know that.
“Okay. C’mon.” Carl led him into the service bay, where their SUV was up on a lift. The garage reeked of urine, the stench overpowering the usual grease and oil odor he associated with car repair shops. When that bottle had smashed into his windshield, the stuff must have flowed into every orifice and soaked into every porous surface it could find. He was probably going to have to get the whole thing steam cleaned to get rid of the stink.
“Check it out.” Carl pointed at the the front wheel on the passenger side, which was cocked at a nearly forty-five degree angle. “Busted axle. I can order the part but it’ll take a few days to get here. How long you staying?”
“A week.” Carl considered this over another mouthful of his sandwich. “If the part comes in on time I can have it ready by the time you leave.”
“And if it doesn’t?”
Carl shrugged. “I guess you’ll have a longer vacation then.” The mechanic eyed Greg critically. “Looks like you could use the rest anyhow.”
“Shit,” Greg said.
The mechanic’s little smile vanished and he pointed to a smudged sign on the wall that said Keep Your Profanity Off The Premises. Greg almost asked Carl if he was serious, but then noticed a number of other signs with variants on the same theme related to immodest attire, strong drink, and tobacco use. “Um, sorry,” Greg said. “Just upset, you know.”
“No harm done. So are we gonna do this thing or what?”
“Yeah, I guess so.”
“Okay then. The office manager will write up an estimate and call your insurance company.” Carl headed back toward the waiting room; Greg followed. He wasn’t quite comfortable having something major like an axle replaced at a garage he knew nothing about, but the cops had said it was a reputable place. It was also the only garage in town, which made the choice a little more obvious, unless he wanted to pay to have his car hauled thirty miles down the interstate.
Greg didn’t see an office manager until Carl took off his mechanic’s hat, pulled a clip-on necktie out from under the counter, and snapped it onto the collar of his jumpsuit. He followed this up with a pair of thick glasses, though the lenses appeared to be just ordinary glass.
“I’m Carl, the office manager,” he said. “Can I help you?”
One or two posts ago, I rhetorically asked, “What’s worse, dealing with a werewolf or having to get your car fixed by an unknown mechanic?” Not to give too much away, but we’re getting pretty close to the point where this question will be answered most definitively. Here’s a hint: It’s the werewolf.
The poll has been reset, so voting can now commence for the next scene of the month!