The Fabulous Flocks


“You brung her the ice tea like she ask?”


“Then go on out there and sit. You know she likes to talk about the cars goin’ by.”

“Do I have to?”

We went through this every Sunday. Gemmie would make Aunt Ethel an ice tea and tell me to go sit with the old lady on the porch. I banged out the screen door to let Gemmie know I wasn’t happy, sat down in a cane rocker next to my aunt.

Her eyes glittered at me. She raised her finger to point down at the road. A tow truck was piled with a pair of bright stock cars that looked like they’d been stepped on by a giant kid.

“You see them, Joe? Them cars?”

I nodded.

“You know what they are? Those are stock cars. You come from a stock car family.”

“Sure I know.” My dad and uncles were all nuts about watching racing. Pictures on the walls, trophies. There was even a covered car in the garage, though it had never been driven as far as I knew.

“My brothers Bob, Fonty and Tim were the greatest racers of their day. Course, I was better.” She grinned. I could see her gums. “That’s why they seldom let me race.”

“Was it fun, Auntie?”

“Fun? Yes, I suppose. But it was more than that. It was a way of living, right there on the edge. We’d pile into a truck and haul our cars all over the south. See the same people every race. We were like a family. But real competitive, too. My brother Tim more than anybody. That’s why he still holds the record.”

The tow truck pulled away in a cloud of diesel exhaust. As its roar died away, the birds began chirping again. My aunt rocked, the tiny smile still tracing her mouth.

“That true, Auntie? That you were the best?”

Her eyes were bright in that wrinkled face.”How about steal your daddy’s car keys  and I’ll show you.”


Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a short story based on a photo prompt, usually 100-200 words. This one is longer. I did a graphic novel about the Fabulous Flocks, a family of stock car drivers in the early days of the sport.


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