A Sarcastic beginning


This had to be one of the lowest points in her life.  Miss one little sign and just look at the mess you get yourself into, well missing the sign and driving over several road cones.  Ok so miss a road sign and crush sixteen orange road pylons.  Still, it was hardly a massive offence.  She was not looking forward to the time she would have to spend in this hot cramped little room.  However, several hours here over the next two weeks saved her from several months of taking the bus, or from asking Helen for help.  This was definitely the lesser evil.


She sat down in one of the hard metal folding chairs and waited restlessly for the instructor to get there.  She looked around briefly at the people consigned to hell at her side.  There was a little old woman who had to be in her upper nineties, three older men who looked to hail from the chewing tobacco / buckshot crowd, a pair of young men bragging to each other about how fast they’d gone to get here who were being watched and giggled at by a pair of teenage girls who barely looked old enough to drive.  There was also a girl who looked to be about twenty-two or so, with black hair cut in what could be best described as either a ragged bowl cut or a ruffled mushroom.  The girl turned towards her and their eyes met for brief seconds before Amy quickly dropped her eyes and looked towards the front of the room.


Finally the door opened and in sauntered the instructor.  He was ten minutes late and acted like it didn’t matter to him.  His very attitude caused her head to ache; it simply screamed, “I’m a petty tyrant who lives off his good looks.”  This was going to suck.  He started speaking in a dull monotone about his credentials to teach the class, all the while flirting terribly with the giggling teen duo, who had, at his entrance, found seats in the very front, and seemed to hang on every word.  She rolled her eyes at the idiocy of it all, and proceeded to open up a tablet to take notes on the off chance he said something of importance.


She realized suddenly that she didn’t know how one ‘passed’ this class and raised her hand to ask just what was required.  The instructor ignored her raised hand and continued flirting with the gigglers upfront.  Just then she heard a voice directly behind her, “Don’t bother.  If you’re not slim with huge hooters he won’t answer questions.”  Before Amy could reply the voice continued.  “I’m a veteran here; what do you want to know?” 


She thought a moment, “How does one get the hell out of here?”  The owner of the voice moved up to sit next to her, it was the dark haired girl.  She smiled crookedly at Amy, then handed her a piece of paper that had letters scribbled on it.


At Amy’s look of confusion she explained, “The answers to the final test.  It was written out for him by an admirer, and he never varies.  Mainly cause he doesn’t know a damn thing about driving aside from, ‘Chicks dig a hot car.’ His daddy got him the job.  Just tell him you’ve been studying, you want to take the test, and you don’t want to take up any more of his time.  He’ll let you go as long he has someone left to flirt with.”


Amy wasn’t convinced, “You know all this how exactly?”


“Well I’ve taken the class four times, and I used to go to school with him.  So I know quite a bit about the dunce in front of the room.”


Amy smirked and accepted the sheet of paper.  It was amazingly simple to memorize the first ten questions were all A’s, the next ten C’s and the final ten B’s.  “So who do I owe my first born child to?” she asked grinning.


The raven haired girl smiled back, “Penny Lane at your service.”



Penny’s plan had worked perfectly.  The two of them took the test at the end of class, and Mr. Rico Suave, muttered under his breath about “Brains” while he filled their completion certificates out.  Amy thanked Penny as they left the classroom and then headed to her car. 


She was pulling out of the parking garage into the pouring rain when she saw Penny running for the bus stop.  She pulled up along side the stop, leaned over, opened the passenger door, and yelled over the crashing thunder, “Get in.”


Penny slid into the seat of the lime green gremlin Amy was driving, and immediately soaked the seats.  She peered at Amy in what seemed to be an assessing manner.  “How do I know its safe to drive with you?  After all you had to take that class… “


Amy smirked at her, “As long as you’re not an orange plastic road cone, your perfectly safe with me.”  The moment the words were out of her mouth she swerved the car to the left to avoid a dog running across the wet road in front of her.  “Ok road cones or dogs.”  She said a little breathlessly.  “So where are we heading?”


“Well how about a cup of coffee.  My little brother started a band and if I go home now I’ll be forced to listen to them practice for an hour or more before they doze off.” 


“Doze off?  This early?”  Amy asked her curiosity peaked.


“You don’t know my brother and his friends.  They’re really great, not annoying like most of the kids their age, but I swear if sleeping became an Olympic sport my brother, Trent, would take home the gold.  He can sleep anywhere, anytime, doing anything.  Jesse is really sweet but you can’t get him to shut up; I think he has some kinda crush on me, and little Nicky is the shy one.  They’re great guys really, but listening to them practice is cruel and unusual punishment.”


Amy smirked, “Any other Lanes I should watch out for?”


“Well you’re female so I would avoid my brother Wind.  He’s in love with LOVE.  Unfortunately he can’t find a woman who can stand him for more than a few weeks.  Oh, and avoid my little sister Janey too; she found mom’s old paint sets and she’s been painting on every surface she can find for weeks.” 


“You know your brother sounds just like my sister.  She wants a man, any man, who’ll take care of her.  Mom filled our collective heads up so much crap like that, and I guess it had to go somewhere.  Thank the maker it stuck to Rita, and missed Helen and me.  Helen became the ultimate control freak instead.  The thing that scares me the most about it; Sometimes I wonder what effects mom’s influence had on me.”


“Sarcastic wit and lack of respect for all authority figures?”


“Oh yeah, that’s it.”  They shared a smile then drove in companionable silence for a moment or two before   “Come on, you’ll like this place.  The food’s inedible and one of the waitresses is a schizophrenic.”


“Cool, do you think we can get in?”


Amy’s only reply was a familiar Mona Lisa smile as together the two women walk toward a decrepit looking diner with the name JOE”S in red glowing over it. 



This is the first of a new series set several years before Daria.  More to follow. J