More of a vignette than an actual short story. I love the idea of someday doing this though. Just upping and leaving.
The car drew up to the tollbooth. It had been half an hour since the last had passed and Brenner had begun to doze off. He was just thinking of getting a cup of coffee to keep the eyelids raised when she drew up.
The car was a glowing red Smartcar, matching its ponytailed, bright-eyed owner like a horse sometimes fits its rider. The circles under her eyes did little to harm her fresh, youthful beauty, and her lips were set in a small but specific smile as she leaned over to get out the fare from her purse.
Brenner was struck suddenly by her. What was it about her? He couldn’t tell. It made him think of some small flower, growing in the cracks at the end of a concrete lot. Tiny and yet brave. He noticed the bags and boxes in the back. “Hullo,” he said, “pretty late at night to be going about shifting isn’t it?”
For a second, the woman stared at him, confused. Then she glanced back over her shoulder at the boxes. “Oh right. Yes. But then there’s no knowing when a notion will strike a body, is there?”
Brenner nodded. “Aye. Though I wouldn’t think you’re the kind to follow up on any random notion.”
She laughed again, a fresh laugh, a beautiful one. “I didn’t think so either. At least not until now. But…well, its never too late to make a change for the better, is it?”
Her voice was light, trusting, lilting with genuine enthusiasm. Again old Brenner felt that piercing of something like compassion and respect. Again he thought of the little flower, yearning against all odds to do its little bit, to make the world a more beautiful place. With an honest smile he handed her back her coins and looked her in the eye. “Aye. And may the change do you good, my dear. Good luck to you.”
She took the change and wishes gratefully. “Thank you,” she said, “I shall need it.” Then she smiled a radiant smile. The car, the faithful steed, moving away from the tollbooth drove off into the distance, into the world of concrete that opened up to swallow the little brave flower.