So help me, I'm Yours

Submitted into Contest #209 in response to: Set your entire story in a car.... view prompt


Coming of Age Friendship Romance


Merryl Schenosi has a paper bag because she cares for the Earth. She’s on my porch in heels, a blue skirt that matches the blouse coat, a realtor’s badge near the place reserved for handkerchiefs. 

“It’s time to evacuate, Mr. Goround.” 

My realtor has come at 10:02 pm on a Sunday before the Dance of Cyclones, opening storm, 2023 because she cares. Someone gave her a copy of my car keys, or she must have broken into the dealership? Or we were lovers and I forgot.

“Everything you ever needed is in the bag.” 

Alright. She can guide me. I am secretly a mamma’s boy or strongly attracted to statuesque people who need to only smile when they command. I have a dog. He is also a mamma’s boy. I slump into the rain and turn and see if my realtor will get my dog. She whistles hard. He comes. 

Seventeen birds that were flying to Argentina stop when Merryl Schenosi whistles. They hover over the driveway and wait for Merryl to say they are excused. She’s also my portfolio manager. 

Merryl pushes my head down so I can enter the car without spinal injury. She comes around and commands the St. Bernard's cousin dog to enter the plush cloth seats of the red Buick Regal. He’s a Bernese Mountain Dog but they haven’t made a movie about his breed so people call him Beethoven. He doesn’t like floods. He doesn’t like riding in the back of a car. 

Merryl gets into her oversized dominance vehicle, a 1998 Hummer , army surplus, with an electric engine that fires on a dedicated charger. It is the preferred vehicle of government invaders. It is the model that can take gunshots to the tires, reinflate itself, drive up a sixty degree wall and then roll over. It rolls over better than my pup.

The Hummer is fire proof if you leave the five gallons of spare gasoline outside so that the open flame burns itself out. It has seen conflict in Iran, Iraq – I think Merryl sold a house to an Army General and got a solid. We live on the old Fort Ord and there are always some officer types that know things and can find things. 

The rain is pelting my midsize Buick and Caspian hides his jowls with paws over his eyes. Trees are flying into the air towards Kansas. The stop light has broken its neck and blinks on and off in a red light warning. The streets are bare. 

Where are the other survivors? The evacuees need to stay together. Except Merryl does a very irregular thing, she turns her Humvee to the ocean. Then she stops right in front of me and says through the wind: Pull over. Pull over. 

I do.

The dog and I are veshed into the large military vehicle as Merryl’s skirt makes a flappy Come Hither sign in the wind. Her hair breaks its bun and she starts to resemble The Beast Master without all the muscles. We glide right down Lightfighter Drive. There’s an onramp to the freeway that forces a left at a ninety degree angle. Merryl doesn’t take the left. She drives right over the guard rails and follows the dunes to the sea. 

There are spotted plovers that are pecking their children. The Storm. The storm. 

The rehabilitation area, roped off by red rope and long stake poles that resemble mountain climbing equipment; doesn’t matter. I had not considered that a person could just push through. There’s the smaller hills of sand, a World War II bunker on the left. Someone left a twenty foot guard tower but no one is guarding. Merryl assaults the beach. 

Sure. I could have asked where we were going but I trust Merryl for some undefined reason. 

She drives right into the Pacific Ocean, and there’s no way we can just float with all the weight, the double inner tube tires, the fact that most of the cabin is empty. It looks pressurized. I see the mounting bolts where the military had a large machine gun on the roof but had to remove the guns for civilian use. The spots where the gun was hinged have been welded over. I laugh that it doesn’t leak as the water goes over our head. The waves go over our heads. The storm will pass over. 

Merryl turns on the radio but we are possibly just too low for the FM signal? I can’t say. She hits an antena button and there is a *pop* as an electronics buoy floats away. She tunes the radio till she hears the slow jazz. 

“That antena was a neat trick.” 

She knows. 

I am wondering if Merryl will tell me our plan. Is it top secret? Will we ride out the storm in the Humvee? Will we just sit there as nature washes over? Merryl unbuttons two buttons to her blouse and pushes the driver’s chair all the way back. 

Ok. That’s neat. 

She’s pushes her hair out so that it resembles a semi golden peacock in a mating spread. She kicks off her heels. She pets my dog and moans in a deep, cavernous , sound. 

If I stay completely still she might not bite. I can look outside the window to see if we are deep enough for fish to swim by. We are a bay known for sardines, octopai and tilapia. It is dark underwater now that Merryl has turned off the fog lights. We have only the dim mood pulse of the upgraded radio playing jazz. 

I turn to my Realtor/Wealth Manager/Rescuer and sigh. “I told you I was gay, right?” 


I’m not really gay. I mean, I probably have the gay gene if that’s still a thing. But I tell people I am gay , A-sexual, whatever it takes to keep it professional. 

Merryl is not about to keep it professional. She has a throaty sigh as she springs up, grabs the back of my head and tries to put a long tongue down my throat. It is longer than Gene Simmons' tongue ever unrolled. Meryl inserts her tongue into my mouth like a New Year's party favor. 

“No, no…we can’t. I’m your customer!” 

There’s about forty-thousand pounds of seawater on top of us by now. People are dying in San Francisco and Sacramento. Not just the homeless but like people with wallets and stuff. They have trees that fall over and no one even checks them for gold in the roots.

There’s no rubber boat in the back that I can see but there’s not time to look as she takes my ear and pinches it till I go limp, pushing me down, down to the area that moves the vehicle. One leg pushes and the other keeps it balanced. 

She turns up the Jazz and some goofball has a blanket over his 10" raktom drum and is probably using a paintbrush on the cymbals. I hate jazz. 

Merryl smells like the bad parts of the ocean, and she’s got one of those Mai Kwan Thai elbow presses over my neck. It is called a submission hold if you wrap the neck. She’s not wrapping, just forcing. Naaaa naaaaaaa NO!

It’s all I can scream when the air is out of my lungs. The sound of dog agitation. He’s trying to come around the chairs to get my back. An unfixed dog never gets your back. He’s a little too playful. 

Merryl is going to raise her toes to the ocean pagan gods because she thinks I have surrendered. (NOO).

I flap the free hand around looking for a gear shift, any gear, reverse, I don’t care. Something clicks. 

I use my nose to give it a little fake out. I hate fish. And you need a fake out before shoving all your puny muscle and curb weight onto a leg. 

Evil giggle. 

She’s not even paying attention as the Humvee starts moving forward. I know there’s a mile deep tunnel down there somewhere where the Navy used to hide nuclear submarines and I don’t care. 

The magnificence of the Humvee means you don’t have to worry about a thirty foot high kelp forest. We used to be a quarter mile from the Costco when we hit the water. I’m betting we are somewhere near the place that Clint Eastwood used to be a lifeguard. 

I hear her shallow breath. Can feel the chest waiting to clear its love phlegm, the air that was brought into her body before she decided that it wasn’t free to ride. 


The aquatic Humvee, the steel creature below the breakers moves and gains speed, it disregards water pressure. How the hell are we even breathing without an oxygen cleansing machine? 

We get going some five or seven knots below the surface, some leagues beneath the sea. I don’t care how many times she pushes me down for seconds because I’m mad cackling…

Badu-bing. Inflation!

That’s right, all the fifteen airbags got taken at once. Driver, passenger, dog in the wrong place window sash. There was so much white dust that I could taste it without licking anything. 

“We better evacuate,” I mumbled. The clothing was in my mouth though she had released the neck. The balloon thing is like a heavy breast when the airbag deflates. I was captured by a punching parachute breast that could land a piece of metal on the moon. 


Hmm, that's weird. Guess the airbag knocked her out for a sec. The jazz jockey was saying something about Thelonious Monk. I could not escape the grip when I wiggled and tried to rotate out. This was going to need a chiropractor. A very good chiropractor. Maybe some of those chinese needles so long as you find an honest practitioner that doesn’t make you wet the table. 

“Merryl? We done yet?” 

Man, that airbag punched her a good one. Some people can’t take a hit. Glass chin and all that. I tried to reverse hump my way out of that terrible position. I knew that homemade dirigables had a depth rating and there was no way a surplus, retrofitted, Humvee was going to make it thirty or forty feet below the sea. Besides, airbags dust kinda stinks. 



Now I had to do something untoward to arouse my driver/realtor/wealth manager/facial rapist. I had to … um… I had to give her a titty twister. I’m not proud of this. I’m still probably gay. But I tell you, there’s nothing like giving a mature adult a titty twister. Totally different from when we were young. 

Yeah. She sprang up. 

Came right to her recognizance and looked around for a restroom. She coughed because it was hard to breathe. 

“Wanna let me up??”

Stockholm Syndrome. I didn’t know how we were going to repay the trust that she had broken but I needed to get out of the ocean, out of her crotch, back to some place that had fresh air. 

Apparently, the oxygen scrubber had been working before the little bump into the underwater pier. 

She puts the Humvee into reverse. We slip. I’m still asking for her to get my head out from beneath the bubble, words like “Please?” 

She doesn't have time. She can barely see out the ocean water as she slightly turns to reverse. 

Spin spin. Nada nada. 

Merryl takes out a knife and says we are going to have to jump for it. She pops the airbag. I come up with a frozen jaw, the tongue is chapped, the neck is raw. It was actually one of the better dates that year. 

“Aiyyy", Shake the jaw like a dog which is wet. Like a jowly dog with spittle going everywhere. 

“Whatcha mean?” 

Merryl points to the pier in the front. She says we can’t back up. She points at the sea that has no stars on the top. It’s kind of a sexy casket, minus the lady. “What do you want me to do?”

She tells me to take off my clothes real quick, because she’s going to hand crank a window down as fast as possible. The clothing will take on water, drag me down. Hypothermia is real. 

Nah nah nah. I shake my head like people try to get me underwater in the Monterey storm of the century all the time. I use that long finger, the pointer finger, to excoriate the bad ideas. I've seen her soul now so I know how it works. 

She ignores me, puts on lipstick and says it is waterproof. “You know, in case…”


“You know.” 

No. I don’t know Please tell me, “WHAT?” 

She struggles to resist explaining "From Here to Eternity" they came to Monterey and kissed in the sand until the waves rocked over their heads. Burt Lancaster held Deborah Karr with his big muscly arms. They became underwater-lovers together. 

The woman was serious. 


“Look, I know you have my life insurance and you could just want me to go bye bye. But why don’t we think of a more practical result to get out of this coffin together? Yeah?” 

Merryl looked really sad then. She started to hiccup some emotion. It would have been a fine time to escape but I kinda took that promise seriously, “Til death us do part.” 

Sorry. I tried louder, “I’m sorry, alright? You know the age thing has messed me all up."

I looked at my darling Merryl and told her how beautiful she looked. She looked like the same nice girl that followed me out of Lyon’s in Modesto a thousand dates ago. She went right up to a stranger and said that she found him interesting. 

When the doctors removed some manhood after a little bout of cancer, she found me – less agitated. More docile.

We didn't have to argue over the names of children.

So we took to those bizarre fantasies of meeting at bars, pretending that we weren't always known and wanted by the other. 

In the hard times, job losses, that unsettling feeling of saying you failed. There were moments that your spouse becomes your Christ, in judging, infinitely accepting, and breaking you into a stubborn grin.

Intimacy is the gold of nature. 

I just looked around at Meryl and said, "Or we could stay."


I grinned because our bodies would be found side by side. Everything dies by cellular suffocation. 

She just smiled cause the cancer came back. Cause Betty Davis and Jimmy Stewart did it right… in a car, with the garage door down. Together. 

We changed the radio to Bob FM and remembered the nineties. It would have been a gorgeous peaceful pass, below

The Storm.

At least the Coast Guard didn't find us naked.

August 01, 2023 13:11

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Jarrel Jefferson
05:42 Sep 08, 2023

Stockholm syndrome is underrepresented in the romance genre.


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Marty B
03:29 Aug 13, 2023

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been... Love the line ' Not just the homeless but like people with wallets and stuff.' this is great- 'In the hard times, job losses, that unsettling feeling of saying you failed. There were moments that your spouse becomes your Christ, in judging, infinitely accepting, and breaking you into a stubborn grin.' spectacular


Tommy Goround
08:23 Aug 21, 2023

Mmm... My concern is that the opener was so goofy that the ending didn't hit ... I sure appreciate you noticing that part. The jimmy/Betty movie was very moving. They died together.


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08:49 Aug 12, 2023

Weird and funny, I thought they were escaping aliens, but now I see its the road trip prompt.


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08:29 Aug 08, 2023

Still not quite sure what to make of your stories Tommy other than that they bend my mind in a good way. Completely bonkers! But told so well and they just evolve like dreams.


Tommy Goround
12:17 Aug 09, 2023

Thank you for dreaming with me. I wanna be a real cow poker soon.


13:05 Aug 09, 2023

You can mooooo it!!


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20:05 Aug 03, 2023

Hi Tommy, This is great. Weird and fun and great. I have some line notes if you want them - if you don't then stop reading now! Someone gave her a copy to (of) my car keys, or she must have broken into the dealership? I am secretly a mamma’s boy or strongly attracted to statuesque people that (who) need to only smile when they command. Seventeen birds that were flying to Argentina stop when Merryl Schenosi whistles. They hover over the driveway and wait for Merryl to say they are excused. She’s also my portfolio manager. - Brilliant! ...


Tommy Goround
16:29 Aug 06, 2023

Thank you kindly. Think I got them all.


18:52 Aug 07, 2023

Great - don't you go thinking that I overlooked your promise of a Starbucks coffee!!! Ha!


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Philip Ebuluofor
14:57 Aug 03, 2023

Fine work as usual.


Tommy Goround
14:33 Aug 04, 2023

Thank you, Philip. :)


Philip Ebuluofor
08:32 Aug 05, 2023



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Mary Bendickson
15:47 Aug 01, 2023

Maddening. I just worry about your sanity sometimes. Where do these stories evolve from?😏😁😍


Tommy Goround
16:11 Aug 01, 2023

This one? "Hard Headed Woman" by Cat Stevens, A beautiful girl that drove a muscle car in High School and couldn't get a date, Morrissey Testicular Venus flow "The Aphrodite Club" letter to PH Magazine And watching Jimmy Stewart strap a hose to his car because he couldn't let his wife, Betty Davis, die alone. (_Right of Way_). We had a storm hit this year and it turned our home into an island. Then the Readsy people asked for a car story. A hummer is a double entendre :)


Mary Bendickson
16:31 Aug 01, 2023

Genius at work.


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Mike Panasitti
05:47 Sep 21, 2023

I really enjoy glimpses of your writing process.


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Unknown User
15:31 Aug 11, 2023

<removed by user>


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