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As The Crow Flies

By lucyjbPublished 3 months ago Updated 2 months ago 4 min read
Photo by Thomas Lardeau on Unsplash

just a lil mini series about some frens (pt 2/5)


Evan, Zuli and Alma concede navigation/shotgun/dj duties to Cam and I can't help but smile to myself as I shuffle through the keys and they plug their phone into the aux.

I feel the engine as the car starts and look at each of them in the mirror. “Seatbelts.”

Zuli smiles, “Okay, Dad.”

I roll my eyes but Cam smiles.

As the beat of their playlist pounds low in the speakers I pull out of the parking lot and toward the main street.

“According to this, our little friend is heading South.” They look over their shoulder and show everyone the screen, a map, with Alma’s contact photo moving away from us.

“Should we name it or something?” Cam continues, “Is that weird?”

“No,” Alma says, “It definitely needs a name.”

Evan laughs at the small icon. “What’s that picture?”

Cam smiles and pulls up a bigger version—Alma, half her face covered in green goop.

“Aww,” Zuli crows, “The face mask phase.”

Alma sighs mournfully, “My skin was so clear before the hives.”

Zuli and Evan laugh and Cam is smiling as they turn back to me and zoom in on the map, fastening it to the dashboard precariously.

I pull up to the light and Alma rolls down the window behind me; a burst of spring air blows the stuffy heat out as Zuli, Cam and I follow suit.

The light glows red in front of us and I watch Cam out of the corner of my eye as they throw an arm out the window and close their eyes; smiling, they let the breeze blow their hair back and mouth the words to the song buzzing from the speakers.

Zuli clears her throat and my gaze flashes back to the light turned green. I feel her eyes on me in the rearview mirror, but I avoid them.

“Name suggestions.” Alma says, getting right down to business, as per usual.

“I don't know,” Evan says, “What do you call a bird that steals phones?”

I shrug. “Greedy?”

Zuli laughs, “I don’t think its looking for an upgrade at the Apple store.”

“I don't have any upgrades,” Alma say, slightly distressed, but I roll my eyes.

“She’s messing with you, Al.”

Alma sticks her tongue out at Zuli then reaches over Evan and gently pushes her face toward the open window.

“You're gonna make me break out, Alma, with your sweaty little hands.”

Alma reaches over Evan and pats Zuli softly on the cheek.

“Alma!” She says, and leans over Evan to get to her.

“Oh Hell, no!” He says, “I will not be in the middle of this.”

Cam tilts their head up from the music and looks back at us,“Will you all just keep your grubby little hands to yourselves please.”

“What do you mean, grubby?” Evan says, then to Zuli, “Trade with me? Please.”

“Are you serious?”

“Please?? My feet are going numb anyway.”

“Fine.” She says, but before I hear the click of unbuckling seatbelts I look at them in the rearview.

“Uh? Excuse me? You are not switching seats while we’re moving.” I say, and glance in the mirror to find Zuli rolling her eyes, “”Come on Ty, it’ll just take a second.”

“No way, my car my rules!”

“Your rules are stupid.” Zuli snaps back.

“It’s called basic safety!” I say and she breaths in to reply before Cam stops her.

“Chill guys, if I'm not mistaken, someone said a little something about snacks? You can switch there.”

Alma grumbles under her breath. “I was hoping you’d all forget about that.”

“When someone promises you snacks, Alma May, you don't just forget about it.”

Alma glares at Zuli and shakes her head mournfully. “You said you’d only use my middle name for good.”

“This is good!” she says and shrugs, “For the rest of us.”

“Fine, but it has to be quick, a gas station or something.” Alma looks defeated. “And none of those gigantic cups, and no Icees.”

We pass restaurants and grocery stores, neighborhoods criss crossed with stop signs and parks bright with greenery and laughter until Cam says, “South, Ty.”

“Which one is South?” I ask, and they laugh again, pointing to the right hand lane.

“Why not just say right?”

“Uh because that doesn't make any sense?” They say, but I see the ghost of a smile on Cam’s face and it makes me smile too.

Alma gasps so violently that I almost jump.“We still don't have a name!”

“Where do we start?” I say, brows furrowed, “Its not like we know anything about it.”

“How much can we really know about a bird?” Evan asks.

Alma thinks about it. “He looked a little crazy to me.”

“How could you possibly know that?” Zuli says.

“The look in his eyes was pure chaos Zuli, you didn't see it up close.”

Zuli rolls her eyes but Alma continues, “Ty you saw it right? The madness?”

I frown, “I'm not sure i'd put it like that…”

Alma sighs. “Any suggestions then, genius?”

“He looked like a proper gentleman to me.” Cam says, “Besides, you know, the steeling part—but you could say that's part of the crazy thing right?”

Alma presses her lips together in thought. “Exactly—it has be something appropriate to a proper gentleman.”

“Like what?” Evan said, “What name exudes gentleman?”

Alma’s eyes go bright. “I've got it!”

She clears her throat dramatically. “Sir Magnus Ellington, the Fourth of His Name”

I frown, “Why fourth?”

Her voice is casual enough that I almost laugh. “I assume its because there were three before him.”

Cam looks thoughtful, then says, “Yeah, I like it, we’ll call him just Ellington for short though.”

Alma nods emphatically. “Agreed?”

We all do.

“Sir Magnus Ellington, the Fourth of His Name” Alma says musingly. “We’re on our way.”





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  • TONE TALKS3 months ago Have a look plss!!

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