by Shannon Ryan

The first time my car was stolen, I nearly vibrated with joy. I didn’t report it to the police, failing to give a statement to friendly Sergeant so-and-so, not waiting by the phone for news of its safe return, not talking to my insurance agent lest she do the unthinkable and take it upon herself to report the loss of the little silver abomination. Still, just like the monster in any horror story, it returned, surprising me when I least expected it, looming in my driveway which just the day before had seemed so empty, unsoiled by my hell-mobile. The second, third, and forth times the car disappeared, I held out a sliver of hope that it might not return, but each time it returned in better condition than it had left, coming home with a filled gas tank, removed dents, new tires, and even fresh windshield wipers. I realized what was happening — it was taunting me, tempting me, daring me to drive it, to put miles of evil on the tachometer of my soul. Bastard.


Shannon Ryan lives in Iowa, playing with computers for money and writing for fun.