OK, so this is probably not at all close to "the real deal," but it's what popped into my head the minute I read Missy's post. Thus, my response to the challenge issued; must include bubblewrap, tape, an SUV, a dive knife and be set in Beverly Hills. Enjoy, it gave us a giggle.

Sara, Claire, Patrick and the SUV are mine. Mark belongs to FedEx.

"FedEx Dash"

by Polly Robinson


"AAAAAUUGH!!!" Sara frantically grabbed for something solid to brace herself against as they careened around another corner. Holy cow! I think that one was on two wheels! Ducking flying packing peanuts-turned-missiles and other small bits and pieces never meant to be airborne, she stretched one jean-clad leg out, hoping her sneaker would find purchase on the opposite window.

Gripping the box in her lap tighter, she continued to shovel in the shirt, poster and various odds and ends headed overseas. Thank God Koreans are small and they make their cars that way, she thought as she braced herself again while the car wiggled it's way through afternoon traffic.

"Sorry! Hang on... oh damn!" Patrick, her assistant and would-be NASCAR driver muttered something about LA traffic jams under his breath. Raking a hand through his already disheveled 'do, he glanced at Sara briefly in the rearview mirror before hunching further over the steering wheel.

"17 minutes!" Claire's tense voice rang out from the floor of the front passenger area as the little, gold SUV jumped forward again.

What the hell's Claire doing on the floor?! "Claire! Dammit, get up here, I need your help!"

Damn, 17 minutes! We'll never make-- "LOOK OUT!!" Sara launched herself forward, fighting gravity and inertia in an effort to stop what looked like certain death to Patrick. Taking advantage of the now suddenly very short traffic jam, she'd pulled out her dive knife to try to tame the unruly tape Claire had provided. The little SUV's sudden acceleration had slammed her back against the seat, popping the knife out of her grasp.

Like a scene in one of those horrible Matrix movies, time suddenly slowed to a crawl for Sara. She'd never make it in time and she watched in horror as Claire, also realizing the danger, tried to twist back toward Patrick and intercept the incredibly sharp object. Tumbling in a slow, graceful arc, it sailed between the driver and passenger seats toward their unsuspecting driver. Red lights flashed in front of them and Sara was thrown sideways against the back of the driver's seat as Patrick once again hit the brakes.

Patrick let out a wild yelp as the knife embedded itself remarkably close to certain precious parts of his anatomy.

God bless LA traffic jams.

"Holy cow Sara, I'm doing the best I can here! You don't have to kill me!" His hands shaking, Patrick gingerly pulled the still quivering knife out of the seat and handed it to Claire.

"God Patrick, I'm so sorry, it slipped."

"12 minutes guys, 12 minutes! They close in 12 minutes!"

Claire's clipped, tense voice brought Patrick's attention back to their mission and he jerked the wheel to the right, giving up on the 405 freeway and tearing onto the Hughes Parkway. He shouted over his shoulder, "Are we packed up yet?"

Sara waved Claire into the back seat with her. "Claire, here, sit on this, will ya. I just need to..."

"Wait, no, that's my shirt you're taping in there! Sara!"

"Dammit Claire, move your hand, or it's going to New Zealand without you!"

Claire yanked her arm free, noting again the time on her watch. "8 minutes Sara... God, why do we do this again?"

"I know, I know, I know... dammit!!" Bubblewrap is a sentient being, I'm sure of it. "Oh shoot... I...."


Flying backward as Patrick took another corner somewhere near Mach 2, Sara found herself clutching something surprisingly soft. Ooh, that's not bubblewrap, that's... oh SHIT!! "Sorry Claire." Sara pulled her hand back from Claire's silk-clad breast as if she'd just been burned.

"Ungh, it's ok. Next time, maybe you should buy me dinner first." Claire wrapped her arms around Sara, bracing them both as the little SUV shuddered to a stop in front of the FedEx building, she added, "If we survive this, that is."

Sara just grunted, all thoughts of boxes, FedEx and shipping deadlines briefly lost in the muddle of silk and vanilla-smelling skin assaulting her senses. Oh boy. What was I doing again? Oh. Right. Boob, no wait... box.Put boob in box... damn! BUBBLEWRAP! Bubblewrap in box!

"We're here! I'll go stand in the doorway, you guys grab the box!" Patrick was off, leaving the driver's door open and the engine running, and pulling Sara back to their task

Sara and Claire untangled themselves quickly. "Look, you tape and I'll address the thing, ok?" Claire nodded in agreement, looking around for the thin roll of shipping tape that had only recently been flying around the interior of Sara's SUV.

Fumbling for the Sharpie marker, Sara felt a slight tug, then a firmer one between her legs. Her tongue planted between her teeth, she was trying to remember the postal code for their box's recipient. Damn, was it 7RH or 7HR... Another tug, this time causing a slight tingle to start. What the hell is Claire doing? "Uh... Claire?"

"Up. UP! Dammit, you're on the tape, and it's stuck to your jeans!"

Her face bright red, Sara lifted herself off the seat, allowing Claire access to the errant roll of tape.

"C'mon you guys!" Patrick waved frantically from the doorway, where he was staunchly waving off a frustrated-looking FedEx man trying to lock the door.

"Got it!" Claire nearly tumbled backward out of the car as Sara pulled the back door open. Still taping frantically, she and Sara juggled the box between them, alternately holding and taping until the box resembled a present wrapped by a 3-year-old. A 3-year-old with stock in a shipping tape company.

Sara whipped out the dive knife and sliced the tape, smacking the loose end down onto the box. Patrick glanced at the knife and stepped back as he grabbed the box from her, his face turning an interesting shade of green.

"Wow, thanks so much for keeping the door open for us..." Sara glanced at the FedEx employee's nameplate, "...Mark. We really appreciate it." She watched as Claire shoved Patrick through the door behind Mark's back.

Mark scowled at the two women and locked the door, turning his back and leaning against it as he waited for the remaining customers inside to finish their business.

Claire and Sara watched through doors as Patrick ran to the counter and hastily bargained with the shipping staff to include their box in the day's packages.

"Woohooo!" Sara let out a yelp and high-fived Claire, pulling her into a little jig as Patrick flashed them a happy thumbs-up from inside the building.

"We did it! From Beverly Hills to LAX in... oh my God Claire! 32 minutes! That's in heavy, after-work traffic!"

Claire echoed her co-worker's grin, thumping her gently on the shoulder. "That was definitely Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, eh?"

Sara grinned at her, grey eyes sparkling in the late-afternoon sunlight. Heading back to the car, she glanced back to make sure Patrick was ok making it past his new FedEx buddy. "So... speaking of 'wild rides'... can I buy you dinner?"


Feed the bard at: polrobin@hotmail.com

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