How to Pay for Parking

This piece was created by Yeah Write! students in a round-robin writing exercise. Enjoy!

Bobby Joe was the best historian anyone ever saw. He knew everything. Bobby Joe just moved to the city. He was new in town. One day, Bobby went to go speak at a historian convention. he had to pay for his parking, of course. So he goes to the machine and his card is rejected!

“Aw crap,” Bobby Joe said, reaching into his leather wallet. The calfskin was worn and had molded itself to his body.

He looked inside. No cash. No cards. Well, his ex-wife’s credit card. He kept meaning to cut it up—and all ties with her—but for some reason, he still had it.

He eased the card into the slot and waited, expecting to see a prompt asking him to accept the $25 charge. Parking was steep in Manhattan. But he would send the receipt into the university for reimbursement.

Instead of a prompt, Bobby Joe heard a voice. “The wizard will see you now.”

In the back of his head, Bobby heard, “We’re off to see the wizard! The wonderful wizard of Oz!” Was it in his head? Oh God, what was happening to him? He was going insane.

The voice spoke again. “Come—NOW!!!”

“Well,” Bobby Joe thought in his head, “maybe he’ll give me a heart, like that Tin guy, or whatever.” Wishful thinking and he knew it.

Suddenly the parking meter folded in on itself, collapsing in a cloud of smoke, leaving Bobby doubled over as he tried to breath in clean air.

Someone cleared their throat, and Bobby Joe looked up, surprise written all over his smoke-covered face. A man in a wizard’s cape and hat stood before him, sporting a long white beard and bushy eyebrows.

“I believe you were looking to pay for parking…” He looked down at the credit card in his hand. “Ms. Carlton?” He looked up at Bobby, a chuckle escaping his mouth.

“You know my ex-wife?” Bobby Joe said, his southern accent ringing clear.

“Of course,” started the wizard. “She’s the best spoons player in all of Oz.”

“That’s one of the reasons I fell for her. She could play the spoons like nobody’s watching. Also, she was super hot,” Bobby stated, looking up at the wizard.

“Do you know why she left me?” Bobby asked.

“Oh yeay,” the wizard said. “She had been taking money from you and you finally ran out,” he finishsed.

“Oh, that makes sense.”

(Photo by Ali Morshedlou on Unsplash)