Road Rage in a Cul-de-Sac

Submitted into Contest #191 in response to: Make Japan (or Japanese culture) an element of your story.... view prompt


Black Urban Fantasy Happy

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

Trigger Warnings: the story includes some characters that have coarse language, domestic hardships and the changing of a season.


Each spring, the wives of Hildeath Lane take away the cell phones of their children and husbands and say, "It is time to reinvigorate the Earth."

Well, some say that. Others say, "Get your hairy asses out to the cul-de-sac and start raking."

It's like a chain gang. The same ritual is practiced in Yokosuka, Treblinka, from the Aisle of Wright to the hiding people in St. Helena. There is no hiding from the season of change in the northern hemisphere.

Neighbor Rudy is beaming broadly, not looking disheveled at all, as his wife returns to the garage. She's going to try to put all of his winter stuff in boxes. The man should be sorely afraid. He is not.

"Pstt….come her guys."

We all look around to see if the Policia or anyone's Nest camera doorbells could be watching. Even the teenagers are so afraid of spring that they come out with old mp3 players and insert the earphones into ears beneath some hoodies.

"You ever been to a dog race?"

None of us had been to Canada and did not know how the filthy savages could race their dogs.

"No, that's dog-TEAM racing. I'm talking about interspecies action on a speedway."

Rudy pointed to how our cul-de-sac made a circle.

Tim, the firefighter, wanted to go back to the firehouse but the county wouldn't let him get over-time to avoid his domestic situation. He seemed very keen to hear anything Rudy had to say.

Rudy said we should all get our dogs out and let them chase a kid around. We could make bets and drink beer.

I looked at my old Bernice Mountain Dog, already three years old, past the prime of his life, never a swimmer or ball shagger. Hell, he actually let the burglers pet him once.

"Um, I don't think my dog is much of a competitor."

Could I use kids? I have this kid that runs from the backdoor to the gate all night in a trance. She only had two legs but…maybe.

Old George was dogless and childless and scratched his head before asking, "Can we enter anything else? You know…like a Champion?"

We were all sort of curious what George would bring to the race since no one really went in his house because he always met us outside.

"I've been storing something in my garage and that's why I have to ask you guys to keep it down some. The noise vibrations…"

Spores? What did George have in his garage? Rudy said we could have my kid, his pitbull and George's beast fight it out instead. He would post odds to make it all fair.

My daughter was on the thin side and might not be able to take the pitbull, even though she was good with weapons. I asked if the "Champion" had to be organic? I mean, we had been working on a battlebot a few years ago before my son got into girls.

Tim spoke at last, "I can offer the _Jaws of Life_ as a trophy (just for the day). It's good at taking down midsize trees or car doors…. Just about anything."

Now Tim was sterile on account of a twisted testicle while playing soccer as a youth. He learned that he could not score using Pele's bicycle kick. His wife still loved firemen though.

"Ok…ok…. Organic or not…. Everyone go and get your best fighter and put a sheet on it. Bring it out here and we'll get this thing started in 6 minutes."

I knew that Rudy was going to bring out his pitbull. He loved bringing a little bit of the old city into our small suburban setting. The man only drove tough cars like the hellcat model of the Dodge Charger. He showed us the YouTube video where the hellcat outraced and overlapped five police cars that were chasing. By the time they got a police helicopter the hellcat was gone.


In my garage there was little more than a remote control car with a large machete welded to its steel cage. The machete didn't even chop. Most people with fast cars and terrible weapons would have built their battlebot in the shape of a wedge. It is the aikido version of fighting — to use the other bots Force against itself. But…A pitbull?

Six minutes was not enough time to look for a forty year old glow-in-the-dark clock which used to feature radium. I didn't have enough radioactive material in my garage to kill a fly. It was discouraging.

I didn't have that much time to think because George started hysterically laughing as he wheeled out a double door chef's refrigerator under a tarp. The refrigerator was around 10 ft tall and strapped three times with orange belts and ratchets. The old man moved the large appliance using piano movers from the bottom. He brought this to the concrete circle that is in the center of our cul-de-sac.

It made no sense. Who wants to fight a refrigerator?

Rudy kept running around and you could hear him screaming in his house that he needed the special keys. I look at all of the keep-its in my storage, not daring to go inside and confiscate my wife's vacuum. She had a 12 horsepower motor and didn't even know this.

"Dad? I think you're going to lose to the refrigerator. What is your plan?"

With 3 minutes to go, I realized the refrigerator would crush my remote control car & machete… never having spent the time to make a small nuclear device… I felt rather powerless.

I wish our family spent more outings in the gun range in Cambodia. America allows you to own a bazooka or a tank but it costs over 1000$ for each government stamp required on each shell. A person could not afford to practice.

Holly? The self urinating doll, what was it's name? I could not remember where I had left the 6 amp hour (AH) batteries, full Bladders of battery acids that just needed to be eeked out. They might dissolve George's refrigerator, that 800lbs of old man brawn. It seemed to me that I could run out a 220 volt wire but no one had said that the adults were allowed to spar.

I looked at 12 year old Scarlett. "Now, honey…"

Rudy revved up his Charger and brought the nose to the concrete circle on the opposite side of George's tremendous refrigerator. I know the refrigerator was tall and deep but I didn't think it could fight back once Rudy started pumping the gas.

I ran to the center of our road and asked, "Are we allowing these to be human operated?"

George said his beast was entirely self governed.

Rudy said he could simply yell from afar …like thirty feet… and he was good.

"So you guys are both saying that all of the owners or operators will be 30 ft away?

George and Rudy, nodded "Yes," and the fireman opened a Japanese beer, which is actually a good pairing for combat.

Rudy put a blue sheet on the hood of his car.

Now everyone's a collector and that is what makes them interesting. My collection of decades of family junk was sitting on all the cool bachelor weapons I had acquired before the marriage purge. It is a man's job to have some form of weapon.

Biological agents? No, they took too long in the centrifuge. Hackers on the smart refrigerator and the Hellcat? It was a great idea but I had no hacker skills.

Then I realized that my laptop would stretch around 30 ft from the center of the road. I quickly went to and uploaded photos of the enemies. The other competitors looked at me and my laptop and seemed to shrug and said, "Aren't you playing?"

I told them that I had an invisible power. Once it was unleashed all of their champions would be dead…

Rudy cackled, went into the driver seat and pulled the hood latch. He pushed his head out of the door and yelled at George, "You ready? You're going down, punta!"

George took an old man's pocket knife which only old men still use, old men that haven't traveled since September 2001. He cut off the orange straps and smirked at Rudy. "My refrigerator is going to kick your ass."

Tim, the fireman, looked at his watch and screamed: Gooooooo

George threw open his refrigerator and Rudy popped his hood. They both ran to safety.

My hacker was pinging me for a credit card number as I saw a mighty blaze of smoke and furry come from the Dodge Charger. It wasn't even in accessory mode.

Out came a fourteen foot long Hellcat (if measured from tooth to tail)... It paced around the concrete circle and everyone was very frightened except George.

"Pfft. That ain't going to cut it."

A gray and smokey Specter slowly unraveled itself from the refrigerator prison, spreading its claws and tentacles and wings. George laughed, "I was just cleaning my refrigerator one day and took out all the shelves. My wife had left a casserole that was growing slime and I didn't know if I should toss it or make it a trophy in remembrance. Then…" George tucks his thumb back at the apparition. "He jumped in. I simply closed the doors. Like a genie in a bottle."

Once the Hellcat and the ? And the George Poltergeist/7th dimensional alien with claws and tentacles saw each other – they both recognized at once that there had to be a dominant entity on our street. They size each other up around the concrete circle, never stepping on the daffodils that had become very perky once we removed the winter leaves.

They did not smash the refrigerator home or the Dodge Charger but simply floated above or pounced over while circling…

"Hey dad…after one of these things wins what's going to happen next?"

My daughter Scarlett had come over to sit next to her old man as I viciously typed into Google: How do I kill spirits?

Tim tried to pass out Sapporo beer but everyone was too fixated to take a drink. The teenage boys in their hoodies had dropped the hoodies and dropped the earpieces from their ears. One of them even urinated in his jeans. None of these children had ever lived in the city and so they did not know how rough it could be. They were soft. Probably squishy.

Silly Google, told me to light a Fart bomb, pull a fire alarm, or call the cops. No. I wanted to kill inhuman spirits. How do I do that?

Caib, the hacker from was already trying to get into my bank account because I didn't order anything. Citibank texted ' Is this your $9,000 charge?' I pressed No.No.No.

The cat and the flying octopus with claws embraced. Not in the kitty-meets-dog and we-have-to-live-together sort of way…they embraced like water and oil, like tempura batter, like …

We all cocked our heads.

The squid thing was riding the back of the flaming cat thing as it seemed like they were maybe more into love than war.

How would that even …work? Which was the male, again?

They switched positions in a summersault and I had to block the eyes of my child. The teenage boys started giggling. I told Rudy that he had a turncoat for a car. That kind of public activity was not legal in my state.

Google blinked back (because the Wi-Fi had actually cut out and it decided to do a Google search and only give me the results when I actually came back online).

"Oh…I found it… Dr. Moreau's table on mating supernatural creatures." I was going to find some way to perform an abortion to win the combat.

Tim was drunk and laughing that there were usually less fires on a Sunday.

All of a sudden my wife came out, screeching and commanding that we had to get the yard and road looking presentable.

The supernatural beasts were so afraid that they quickly ran back to their shells.

The strong and bravado men of my street followed children into the safety of homes, not looking back, knowing that I was controlled by a woman of flaming hair. Her hair was actually glowing orange while her pale skin had turned to the hue of blood vessels that explode under the skin. Venus suffering is the medical term.

And I found myself alone, without a magical beast or child to intercede. I began raking furious hoping the yawns of the daffodils would provide a view of silent tranquility.

They were small.

But the weather was dangerously tempting. Not knowing the springs

of a hard couch.

March 30, 2023 02:10

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Chris Campbell
03:22 Apr 04, 2023

Wow, Tommy! What a fertile imagination. Which brings up the question of, is this all in your MC's mind? Is it possibly a form of fantastical escapism from the mundane chore of cleaning up his yard? Whatever the message, this is Twilight Zone meets Lewis Carroll. Funny as sh*t. Well done!


Tommy Goround
17:20 Apr 05, 2023

Well thank you. I think there really are dragons and weird demon ghosts that come out when we have to clean the neighborhood. Last time we found a dead cat but I don't think it was really dead I think it was just watching us


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Delbert Griffith
07:48 Mar 31, 2023

You got a lot of Japanese elements in this one, Tommy, and you did it without beating the prompt over the head with it. The refrigerator scenario reminded me of a Douglas Adams book (NOT Hitchhiker related). I liked the way you had kids with hoodies and mp3s hanging around. The age-old story of kids trying to find an identity - not realizing that an identity will find them - was spot on. You have this ability to capture the essence of life for a particular group of people without telling us that this is what you're doing. That's real skill...


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Delbert Griffith
07:48 Mar 31, 2023

You got a lot of Japanese elements in this one, Tommy, and you did it without beating the prompt over the head with it. The refrigerator scenario reminded me of a Douglas Adams book (NOT Hitchhiker related). I liked the way you had kids with hoodies and mp3s hanging around. The age-old story of kids trying to find an identity - not realizing that an identity will find them - was spot on. You have this ability to capture the essence of life for a particular group of people without telling us that this is what you're doing. That's real skill...


Tommy Goround
22:08 Apr 01, 2023

Thank you Del. Sometimes the tales are going nowhere. That is fair. :)


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Lily Finch
21:22 Mar 30, 2023

TG, the premise of the story fit with the jocularity way in which it is written. I figured that you don't need corrections pointed out to you at this point in the game so I simply felt compelled to relay to you how much this story caused me to laugh so that my ass fell to the floor in such a way that I thought it might fall off. Thematic elements that tie your piece together were blatantly illustrated time and again that I thought my tear ducts would dry out of tears and my stomach muscles would be a full six pack if only I could continue ...


Tommy Goround
23:36 Mar 30, 2023

Haha... I'm glad that the story is entertaining. I have one where a hunchback finds out that the bulge is alive... It's not there yet.


Lily Finch
01:03 Mar 31, 2023

I knew you would have to respond. The hunchback sounds intriguing. Let it rip or share it with me. Hey if you have time can you help me with my title for the last story I wrote please? You know my struggles with titles. LF6.


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Lily Finch
16:42 Mar 31, 2023

Ok. So now to be fair. with respect to your story and the prompt Your story speaks to the Japanese culture very well. In my limited knowledge of what I know. The ever changing seasons in Japan, I guess you could say, that the hearts of the people of Japan hold the idea that all things are forever changing and ephemeral. This ingrained thought is the undercurrent of the Japanese culture. What you have captured so beautifully in your piece of "Road Rage in a Cul-de-Sac." The comparison of a cul-de-sac setting overall to what the kids an...


Tommy Goround
23:58 Mar 31, 2023

Yes. Japanese men do not allow couches in their home. They don't want to sleep on a couch.


Lily Finch
00:06 Apr 01, 2023

Well that's an interesting fact I would never have known otherwise if you had not told me here in your response. LF6.


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