A Bug Story

A Bug Story

A wet fall morning in Southern Oregon, Joan went out to her ’64 Beetle, heading to town. She sat and warmed up her car as she always does, waiting for the condensation to lift from the windows.

Joan is one of those Gentle Souls who lives her beliefs by example. She and The Beetle have been a team for many years and are identified by the locals with each other; Joan and The Bug, The Bug and Joan.

Joan shifted into first and cautiously pulled into traffic. She reached down to upshift but was met with unexpected resistance from the transmission. “C’mon,” she heard a voice say in her mind’s ear. No movement from the gearshift. “C’mon, we have An Arrangement.” Startled, Joan didn’t know what to make of this. “Uh-uh,” she heard another voice say impishly, from the floor of the car.

[“Who’s the first voice?” Joan asked of Narrator. Narrator replied, “Oh, that’s just Other Side Joan.” “And the second?” “That’s Second Gear, or 2G, as the other Gears call him.”]

“You’ll be SORRY,” OSJ said, more ominously.

“Can’t make me,” 2G said in a childish voice.

[“Narrator,” This Side Joan said, “what’s happening here? I thought you said I’m a Gentle Soul.” “You are,” Narrator replied, “but I’m the one telling The Story. Be patient and try to keep up.”]

Just then, TSJ’s fingernails glowed an Electric Blue, scaring her. In an instant ten blue bolts of energy shot from her fingertips to The Shiftknob. The car popped into Second Gear. TSJ’s fingernails were again their natural colour. A smell of ozone hung in the air, like after lightning.

She thought heard 2G quietly sulk, “you really didn’t need to do that; I would have shifted eventually.” But OSJ was silent, having returned to The Other Side.

“They’re never going to believe this at The Library,” Joan thought, as she motored toward Ashland.


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