Harris Tobais

The Mechanic

by Harris Tobias

The Mechanic Aaron was about to give up and start walking the seven long miles to town when the stranger appeared out of nowhere. “Problems?” the stranger asked in that friendly way some people have.

“Piece of crap car,” Aaron replied. “Quit on me and refuses to start. I was just about to start hiking.”

“Mind if I take a look?”

Aaron shrugged, “suit yourself. “I’ve done exhausted my bag of tricks.” Aaron’s tricks consisted of cranking the battery until it died.

The stranger approached the car, a battered, dun colored Ford Fiesta, and motioned for Aaron to pop the hood. Aaron got behind the wheel and searched around for the latch. He’d never even seen the motor, wouldn’t know what to do with it if he had and, besides, it wasn’t even his car, he’d stolen it only a few hours before. Note to self, Aaron thought, next time you steal a car, steal a better one.

When Aaron finally looked up again he was surprised to see the stranger standing squarely in front of the car with his hands palms down on the hood, his eyes closed as if in prayer. Aaron was just about to say something snarky about faith healing mechanics when the man shook himself, opend his eyes and said, “It’s the timing. I did what I could but you might want to get it looked at when you get to town. Try it now.”

Aaron couldn’t imagine anything being different with the car but what did he have to lose by humoring the guy? He turned the key and to his joy and surprise the battery cranked like it had been charged and the motor caught and ran strong. “Holy mackerel,” Aaron shouted. “How did you do that?”

“I always had a way with mechanical things,” said the stranger. “It’s people I can’t figure out.”

“Well, that was amazing,” Aaron said. “You a preacher or something?”


“Faith healer?”


“Then what the hell are you?”

“I guess you might say I’m a celestial mechanic.”

“Celestial mechanic, huh? Well, whatever you are, that was amazing. What else can you fix?”

Instead of answering, the stranger said, “Timing is everything. The world looks like a billion random, chaotic events but it’s really extraordinarily precise. Every event exquisitely timed. It takes a lot of mechanics like me to keep it running smoothly.”

“What the – – – – does all that have to do with me? Crazy old coot,” Aaron muttered getting back in the car.

“Your breakdown was unplanned. I’m here to get you back on schedule. Have a nice trip.”

Aaron puzzled over the encounter for the next few miles until his thoughts were interrupted by a tractor trailer plunging off an overpass killing him instantly.


Harris Tobias lives and writes in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the author of several novels and dozens of short stories. His fiction has appeared in Ray Gun Revival, Dunesteef Audio Magazine, Literal Translations, FriedFiction, Down In The Dirt, Eclectic Flash, E Fiction and several other publications. His poetry has appeared in Vox Poetica, The poem Factory and The Poetry Super Highway. You can find links to his novels at: http://harristobiasfiction.blogspot.com/

Links to his books: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/harris-tobias




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Pushcart nominee Jeanette Cheezum has been published on several online writing sites and in fifteen Anthology books and four poetry books. Three of these books have made the New York Times Best Sellers list. Awarded The Helium Networks Premium Writer’s Badge, Bronze Creative Writing Award and a Marketplace Writers award. Recently she has published thirteen ebooks at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You may find a list of some of her work at www.hamptonroadswriters.org
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