Legal Theft Project: Burning Rubber

On the hottest day of the year, the skirt of my red dress flutters against my thighs in the breeze manufactured by the fan. The line creeps and I shift uncomfortably in my heels. I’m probably going to have blisters. I glance up from my phone to check the distance of the line – still too far to care. Magazine finished, I consider starting a run of online five card draw but the wireless connection here is crap. Sheep in a chute the line snakes forward. I avoid eye contact. One of these day’s I’ll wear flip flops and sweats to dull locations. It probably wouldn’t help. The things I do to keep a legal license. Flipping through a magazine I wait as the hours evaporate into the heat of the day.

“Number 93.”

Finally. I slip my phone away and approach the window. The young man behind the counter doesn’t turn from his computer as I walk up and he pushes his hair out of his eyes in a gesture a lot like my brother’s but more sincere. He blinks at me through his glasses and I give him a smile. He sits up a little straighter. I know my smile is more refreshing to him than a glass of iced lemonade. Beauty does smooth out so many problems. I take off my sun glasses and meet his eyes. “Hi there.”

He fumbles with the packet of papers he’s handed out so many times he hadn’t noticed he had them in hand. “Hello ma’am.”

“Miss. Miss Lauralee King.” I take the papers from him. “I’m here to renew my RV license and my motorcycle license. I know I could renew online, but I’m going out of country for three months and wanted to get it done before I left.”

“Alright Miss King. You’ll need to fill out a few forms and pay a renewal fee, but there shouldn’t be a problem.”

“Thanks sugar.” I take the pen and fill out the forms. He charges my card and can’t quite get up the nerve to ask me for my number. I’ve been friendly, but not that kind of friendly. Forms filled out, I chat very briefly finish this transaction and get out of that grey haze of public space. At least traffic court has cops to watch. The DMV is just where boredom goes to die. My baby is right where I left her. Sleek, red and splashy among the vans, trucks and sedans crowded sardine like into the parking lot.

Slipping in, I marvel that I managed to avoid an unpleasant conversation. Must be too hot for assholes to creep out of their holes. Or maybe my luck is running strong today. I smile at myself in the rearview and start back out onto the streets, hands caressing the wheel of my coup as I swoop out into traffic. It never failed. Deal with enough dull and the bright shines even better for the rest of the day. After the hours in that office, tonight was going to burn right up.


I’m a thief! I stole this wonderfully challenging first line from Kathryn’s “Little Red Dress“. See what other thieves wrote here.


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