Brownies, Bribes, and Mechanics: Sneak Peek

Who hasn’t used their feminine wiles to get work out of mechanic? So here’s the intro to a new short story about a sexy, desperate girl who needs a brake line, and the mechanic she accidentally runs over.

This story might be called “The Brownie Bribe.” (Unless I want it to sell… in which case it will be “Mackin’ on the Mechanic (sex showoff stranger flirt bribe grope)” or something equally graceful.)

My favorite line so far: “If she’s deaf, she’s going to have a great sense of smell.”

Click through for the first few pages…

When you got nothin’, bet it all.

The guy behind the counter at the dealership took a long moment before replying to me. I can read a room. He wasn’t thinking about the offer, he was merely stunned into silence. I held my smile and kept nodding while his mind was in that receptive state. Sometimes people begin to nod with you, and slowly come over to your point of view.

He didn’t nod. His brow furrowed. “You’re saying that if we fix your car… you’ll bring us a batch of brownies?”

“Yes!” I said brightly. “But not right away. Probably sometime next week.”

Because I’m totally broke, and a little lazy, I didn’t want to promise immediate brownies. You have to control people’s expectations.

“A new brake line,” he repeated, “for the promise of a batch of brownies? And the brownies might not even appear, because you’ll skip town right after we fix your car?”

I tried reasoning with him. “Now, why would I skip town just to avoid making a batch of brownies? Brownies are not such a huge commitment that I have to flee from the responsibility.”

“That’s the problem, young lady. There’s the problem, right there. You need a brake line in your car, to stay alive. You want to exchange that for brownies.”

“You haven’t tried my brownies.”

He leaned forward, eyes on mine, and I had to stop nodding. He wasn’t falling for it. He’d survived his confusion and now was fully in the conversation. “Are your brownies filled with gold, young woman? Do they contain the cure for male pattern baldness?”

“Mmmm, chocolatey brownies,” I said, and since I couldn’t help myself, I nodded again.

“Are ‘brownies’ a code word for some kind of sexual favor?”

I was a little offended by the disappointment in his tone. “When I say brownies, sir, I mean brownies. I don’t fool around with brownies. Four inches thick, so moist you eat them with a spoon. Call the hospital, have them fluff up the pillows. You have a sugar coma coming.”

“I…” He was confused again. “Are you… Are you trying this because you’re beautiful, and you always get your way?”

“No!” The minute men think you’re trading on your beauty, they get a million times harder to convince. “I’m just broke. I haven’t had a gig for weeks. I’m broke, and desperate—and beautiful, yes. But mostly broke.”

He crossed his arms and leaned on the counter. “Young lady,” he said, “go get yourself ‘gigged’ or whatever you call it, and come back with folding money.”

“Look. I have twenty thousand followers on Twitter. I’m sure we can work something out.”

Without another word, he turned back to his computer and typed something related to car-repair. Interview over. My last, best shot at a safe driving experience had failed.

I turned on my 6-inch heel and wobbled to the door. Yes, I’d ‘dressed’ for this opportunity. Best foot forward and all that. It wasn’t a respectable business outfit because I’m just out of college, and I haven’t had a respectable job yet. I sexy-hostess at a restaurant, and sexy-DJ at the upstairs bar. I know, I know: Sex sells, so where’s my money?

Well, I’m also putting in my dues as a stand-up comedian. Stand-up comedians are so poor, itinerant crop pickers give them investment advice.

So sure, my sexy LBD wouldn’t fly at a law firm… but I needed a brake line, not legal services. Cleavage? Legs? Heels? At a frickin’ car dealership? Desperate young woman in lycra, promising brownies? To mechanics? And it was fail? Was the world crazy?

I paused outside the door, breathing hard, honestly at a loss. This was it, apparently, rock bottom. Nobody tells you that rock bottom has spikes sticking up. When you land, you don’t bounce. You stick.

“Hot stuff,” someone whispered. “Pssst. Sexy lady.”

Usually it’s a voice in my brain that says that, so it took me a moment to locate the voice in reality. It was perhaps a dozen feet away, behind me.

“Hey sexy!”

I closed my eyes. I’m told I’m beautiful but it happens so often I don’t believe it anymore. This time I didn’t dismiss the attention. Instead, I was thinking: “Is this where I turn into a prostitute?”

“I think the bitch is deaf,” the voice whispered. “She’s swayin’ back and forth with her eyes closed.”

“Here, wave this car freshener at her,” another voice whispered.

“The fuck I want a car freshener for?”

“If she’s deaf, she’s going to have a great sense of smell.”

I decided this wouldn’t be where I turned into a prostitute. I turned to the voices and opened my eyes. They were two young Latino mechanics, wearing greasy overalls.

“Hi boys. Something smells great!”

Number two gave a victorious sneer at number one. Number one rolled his eyes but addressed me. “Girl, we heard about your brownies. You want your car fixed?”

I nodded. His tone was so lascivious that I added, “And by brownies, I mean brownies. And by car, I mean car.

“I’m not into broke-down old MILFs, don’t worry.”

“Gee,” I said. “Swell.”

“I just date hotties my own age,” he said.

“Excuse me? I’m not trying to change your mind, but I’m only twenty-three. ”

“I have an older cousin,” the boy went on. “He’s in mechanic school and he studies all the time. All the time. It’s what he does. He fixes cars. He’s a little off. Don’t talk about cats or air conditioners. You interested?”

“I… I don’t know.”

“You’re interested. Here’s his address, back of this card. I wrote it with my phone number. I’m expecting those brownies you talked about, lady. Tell him Hector sent you. Tell him you got no money, but you’ll work something out. You still interested?”

“I am. Wait, did you say interested or terrified?”

He frowned, another guy who doesn’t get my jokes.

“What’s his name?” I asked.

“Hector.”

“No, you’re Hector. What’s his name?”

“It’s fucking Hector, like mine. Now take off, MILF, I’m not allowed to talk to customers.”

“I’m shocked about that.”

He walked away, but swung back. “Remember, don’t talk about air conditioners. Don’t talk about parrots.”

“I thought you said cats?”

“Don’t talk bout cats either.”

“Thanks, Hector.” I jangled my car keys at him. “I’ll go over there right now without stopping. Literally.”

Because when you got nothin’, bet it all.

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