A Spark of Youth by Marcus Turner (SNEAK PEEK)

SNEAK PEEK at a story from our upcoming anthology

A Spark of Youth by Marcus Turner

Jeez, watch it, Grandma!

Dahlia turned her head, braking the scooter sharply. She glowered at the teenage boys as they swaggered up the ramp three-abreast, laughing. Had her voice not crackled like cellophane when she spoke these days, betraying frailty rather than wrath, she would have given them quite the tongue-thrashing. Her blistering look would have to suffice.

There was a time when men would have made way for a lady, especially one nearing the end of her long march. Now weak, manicured ruffians wrapped in thousand-dollar suits, stiff with self-importance, shoved ahead of her in supermarket queues and looked the other way while she struggled by with her groceries on the short but difficult journey home. Getting her groceries home was much easier, now that she’d swallowed her pride and bought one of these beastly scooters, but the young continually found new ways to insult her. She vowed next time to simply run them down if they were too rude to move. Her Hubert would never have treated her that way, nor any other woman for that matter. Mothers just didn’t make them like they used to.

Dahlia continued down the ramp, past the lower-level carpark towards the street. Somewhere inside she heard a car’s engine revving loudly, and the screech of tyres. Idiots. Idiots and ingrates everywhere. She sped up. She just wanted to get home, away from the unpleasantness of this new and savage world.

The scooter surged across the long pedestrian crossing dividing the ramp in two. Dahlia was halfway across when the loud, screeching vehicle—a towering silver four-wheel drive—tore around the corner, barely missing the pillar closest to Dahlia’s side of the crossing. By then it was too late. Life didn’t flash before her eyes—only the headlights did, accompanied by the angry bleating of the horn. It was coming too fast, there was no way to—

Check out Marcus Turner’s story, and 15 other stories by Australian speculative fiction authors here: http://mybook.to/Beginnings

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