This week’s writing prompt from Death to Stock is about seeing an image and writing about whatever it is that the image makes you feel. I saw a story about two kids discovering the car and having an adventure.
We found it there just as it must have been thirty years ago under the big Oak tree and about 45 minutes walk south from our back door. Even though we knew the owner hasn’t been around in decades, we still searched for tracks as though some mystery was about to unfold in front of us. I think Katie first decided to classify it as evidence.
“Don’t touch anything!” she yelled. “We have to dust it for prints.”
Katie ran around to the back of the car to where my backpack was sitting in the grass. She pulled out a napkin from our lunchbox and put the lunchbox back in the pack. She began rubbing the napkin in the dirt.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
She stood up and began patting the door handle with the napkin like it was fingerprint powder.
“I’m seeing if we can find any fingerprints,” she said. “Go around to the other door and open it using your sweatshirt. Make sure you don’t touch it. See if there are any clues inside.”
“Clues for what?” I asked.
She didn’t answer. She was moving toward the back of the car and dusting the whole thing; door handles, windows, the rims, everything was evidence on the car. I opened the passenger door, careful not to touch it with my fingers. I got in and noticed an old glass bottle on the floorboard, and some dried leaves on the seats and dash. I noticed the flowers hanging from the mirror and there was a broken picture frame in the back seat. I reported my findings to Katie.
Katie open the door on the driver’s side and sat in the driver’s seat. She had dropped the evidence napkin and seemed content disrupting whatever evidence might be on the steering wheel. I got in, picked up the bottle from the floorboard and shut the door behind me.
I looked at Katie through the glass bottle and she was holding on to the steering wheel. She was staring through the front windshield and seemed frozen in the moment.
“I wonder why they left it here,” she said. “I wonder how long it will be before someone else finds it again.”
I put the glass back on the floorboard where I found it and looked through the windshield at the sun peaking above the treeline.
“I don’t know,” I said. “But I’m glad we did.”