Speed Delivery

© Jean L. Hays

© Jean L. Hays



Ellen’s dreams of chrome, of highway sunsets, of always going west had faded into dust. She once lived for Eldorado fins and rock’n’roll, for V8 rides and gasoline.

Someway along the road she settled and replaced her highway dreams with speed of needle-tips and cigarettes. Her ride, a shopping cart was filled with odds and ends. With unpublished poetry and songs she’d ceased to sing.

On her final ride through Amarillo, the Cadillac broke the speed limit for the last time, but the Sheriff let her pass. After all the hearse had a last speed delivery to six feet under.

The image brought me back to one of the classic records by Bruce Springsteen: The River. Somehow the dream of big cars and rides across a continent inspired me to this story of failed dreams.

Friday fictioneers is managed by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and every week we write 100 words to the same picture.


July 1, 2015

69 responses to “Speed Delivery

    • I still remember the record cover of Bruce Springsteen’s record, and it had a picture of those Cadillac’s in the sand. :-). I read some interpretations that Bruce’s song is really about hearses, and the whole record is about broken dreams, so it came quite easy.

  1. Amarillo: is this the way?
    I never liked that style of car: all that chrome and wings just seemed superfluous to me but I can see the nostalgic value.
    Clever take on the picture.

  2. Great piece of writing, Bjorn, you just keep getting better.
    And great to see a young Springsteen again.

  3. oh dang – so sad when dreams crash and are replaced with second hand hopes…ugh… makes my heart ache a bit – i wish she had found her way and published that poetry

  4. You never cease to amaze me with your wonderful words, as if they play in your head and you allow us access to that romp.
    It was amazing.

  5. Beautiful metaphorical piece. You weaved a much bigger and sad tale with your metaphors today! There’s nothing tragic as the songs she ceased to sing.

  6. The title goes so well with the theme! And, ha, what a benevolent sheriff to forgive the speeding hearse.

  7. The contrast between the first and second paragraph was a bit sad. But in the final one you made sure we laughed rather than cried.

  8. Love it – sad tale of broken dreams and I like the hearses imagery as well.

    Quick check – is there a typo in this line:
    …replaced her highway dreams with speed of needle-tips and…
    ? It just reads oddly.
    Anyway, nice.

  9. Oh last ride. When you ride the night train, it tends to go faster and faster until we burn out and die.

  10. Ah! Thank you, I was trying to find the source of that photo but did not succeed so changed my track. This little story about songs of broken dreams was really poignant.

  11. Well written, Bjorn. Sad story, but timely. Drug addicts often live long lives. The drugs take over. Good use of the prompt. Thanks for the music. 🙂 — Suzanne

  12. Sadly, she was speeding toward the cemetery long before she died. When I see a homeless person and their shopping cart, I alway wonder about their story. Perhaps someday I’ll ask.

  13. Sometimes when someone is speeding toward their dream, we wonder why they are in a hurry – your writing reminds us speeding towards a dream is better than speeding out after having given up a dream. Thank you for this reminder!

  14. A steely accordian of American car culture. Left in the desert in limbo where it belongs.

  15. I would listen to the music link, but my headphones are in the car and the wife has already complained about playing music from the phone in bed. Best not risk it. Good story with a strong ending!

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