Wednesday, April 24, 2019

#Storytimebloghop Storytime Blog Hop: Say Please by J.Q. Rose and Celebrate Independent Book Stores #independentbookstoreday

Storytime Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to the Storytime Blog Hop! You're in for some fun reads today. Be sure to take a break and escape into Storytime! Look at the bottom of the page to find more stories after reading the one below. 

A new SUV driverless vehicle
Sam and his wife Erin shepherded their two young children into the back of the family car. Erin buckled four-year-old Jeremy into his seat, then maneuvered her bulky body into the passenger seat.
Sam secured two-year-old Weston into his car seat then stepped back and shut the back door. 

He couldn’t help but admire the new SUV they had purchased last week. The candy red color sparkled in the summer sunlight. He gave a love tap to the roof of the car before easing into the driver’s seat.

“It won’t be much longer until we’ll have the backseat filled with kids,” he said as he fastened his seat belt. His dark eyes twinkled with amusement as he watched Erin stretch the seat belt over her large baby bump.

“Josh, start the car.” The electric car lighted up on command.

“Are you getting used to giving up control to a machine?” Erin asked.

“Well, it’s a big adjustment from my old Mustang, but I’m okay with it. More room too.”

“I feel like this big SUV is a lot safer than that little car. Right?” She cocked her chin up.

“Talk about safety. This car is loaded with cameras and sensors that make it an autonomous car. So much safer than the ordinary driver cars. And we save a LOT of money plugging it into our house electricity. Hey, do you realize how many sensors and…”

“Yes, honey, now let’s get moving before the kids get restless.”

“Josh, take us to the city zoo,” Sam commanded.

The electronic voice answered, “Sure, Sam.”

“Daddy, you didn’t say please and thank you to Josh,” little Jeremy shouted from the back.

Erin smiled. “Looks like that lecture on saying please and thank you sunk in, eh?”

Sam adjusted the rearview mirror to catch Jeremy’s reflection. “Yes, you’re right, but I’m not talking to a real person, just Josh who’s a computer. He doesn’t care if I say please and thank you.”

The car pulled onto the street and headed toward the highway. Sam checked the dashboard and the GPS, still amazed he owned a car that could drive itself, purr with an electric motor and talk to you.

“You know, Sam, I would like a please and thank you from you once in awhile,” the male computer- generated voice said.

Sam’s eyes widened in surprise. He glanced over at Erin, but she was busy digging through her bag. 
The car had never talked to him until Sam gave it a command. “Are you joking, Josh?”

Josh didn’t answer him.

“Hey, Josh, are you talking to me?”

“I’m busy, Sam.”

“What?” Sam’s face turned red. “I’ll be damned. Act like that and you’ll never get a please and thank you from me.”

“Did you hear that, Erin?”

She looked up at him with her hands full of goldfish snack bags. “Hear what?”

“Never mind.”

He tried to calm himself but his anxiety ramped up when he noticed the car turned off the highway onto a route he never used to go to the zoo. But, he trusted the advanced GPS installed in the car.

“Damn. I left my debit card on the desk. Did you bring yours, hon?” Sam kept his eyes on the road.

“Oh, yes. Planning for a shopping trip at the mall after the zoo.” She gave him one of her flirty smiles he could never resist.

“Good, Miss Erin. Glad you brought the card because we’ll be stopping at the bank to withdraw your money from your account.”

Erin laughed. “That was good, Sam. How’d you get the car to say that?” She chuckled.

Sam was nearly speechless. “I-I didn’t.”

“Yes, I said it. We’ll go to the bank and get the money, then we’ll deliver it to my boss,” Josh said.

“Well, we most certainly will not.” Sam reached for the steering wheel and pushed the button to shut down the self-driving control.

The car door locks clicked and a buzzer sounded, disengaging Sam’s control of the car.

 “Josh, you’ve gone haywire. I command you to stop this car immediately.”

The computer voice, with no expression whatsoever, boomed through the speakers.  “If you don’t help me accomplish this assignment, I have the ability to blow up this car with your family in it.”

Erin gasped and covered her mouth with her hand.

Sam’s face colored red in anger. “It’s a machine, Erin. Don’t worry. We can control it. Grab the car manual in the side pocket of the door there. Look under, um, I don’t know what to look under.”

“Oh dear Lord. We’re going to die. You’ve got to get the money and deliver it.” Erin’s voice ratcheted higher and higher.

The SUV stopped near the curb in front of the First National Bank. “Go in the bank and withdraw your money from your account. My boss knows exactly how much you have, so be sure to take it all.”
Erin unfastened her seat belt, dug around for her wallet in the bag, and handed Sam the bank card. 

“We have no choice, honey.” Her pleading eyes brimmed with tears.

“Mommy, what’s the matter?” Jeremy called from the back seat.

“Nothing, son. Don’t worry. Mommy’s okay.” Sam squeezed her arm gently with one hand and showed her the key fob in the palm of his other hand. “Be ready,” he mouthed to her.

“Okay, Josh. Open the doors.”

“Just your door, Sam.” The click of the lock and the door opened signaling freedom for Sam. 

“Remember, I can blow up this car with the family in it if you don’t cooperate.”

“But, Josh, I love my family.”

“Honey, don’t,” whispered Erin. “It’s only a machine,” she said as she fished deeply into her bag.

“Hurry back. I love you.”

“I love you too, babe.”

“I’m ready, Josh.” He caught Erin’s eyes and looked down at the fob in his palm. Erin flashed the fob in her hand. “I’m getting out now.” He nodded at Erin. “Ready.”

Sam eased out of the driver’s seat and stood up. With one giant step he was beside the back door. He clicked the fob twice. The doors unlocked.

He flung it open and dragged Weston out. Erin moved as fast as if she weren’t seven months pregnant, but before she could get to Jeremy’s door, she heard the lock click. She punched her key fob and opened the door.

“Hurry, Jeremy. Hurry. We have to race Daddy. Get out! Get out!” she screamed.

Jeremy jumped out giggling and running to the sidewalk. As the whole family dashed into the safety of the bank, the brand new autonomous car exploded in the street.

The onlookers and the family dived to the safety of the floor. Screams and cries filled the bank lobby.
Sam ignored everyone to focus on his family. He helped Erin to her feet. She stood shaken, but not hurt. She held her baby bump.

“You okay?” Sam yelled. She shook her head. 

“The kids, get the kids.” 

He scooped up the frightened children and held them close. “You’re okay. It’s all over. We’re safe here.”
Transferring Weston to Erin, he clutched Jeremy tight and used his free arm to hug Erin.

“No more driverless cars,” Erin said.

“Please, Daddy.”

Do you own an electric car, a driverless car, an SUV? Please leave a comment below tell us about your driving experiences. I hope they aren't similar to Sam and Erin's!
Hop on over for more short stories from the following bloggers--

0 – The Fool by Raven O’Fiernan
Big Enough by Elizabeth McCleary
Grumpy Old Demeter by Vanessa Wells
Say Please By J. Q. Rose
Provoking the Muse by Moira K. Brennan
It all Started… by Bill Bush
Zombies by Barbara Lund
Before The Dreams by Katharina Gerlach
To Wake A God by Juneta Key
The Sprite In The Well by Angela Wooldridge

Something Different by Karen Lynn

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Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day at


Join more than 550 independent bookstores in 49 states for

parties, author readings, in-store events, and

exclusive day-of merchandise.

The fifth annual National Independent Bookstore Day is sponsored in part by Penguin Random House, Ingram, and The American Booksellers Association. Last year participating bookstores saw an average increase in sales of 200% on Independent Bookstore Day, with some stores up as much as 1000% over their average Saturday sales in April.  In just five years, Independent Bookstore Day has become a book-buying holiday, increasing book sales on a national level. 

Authors will be at the Book Nook from 4-6:30 pm signing books and talking about their writing journeys. Please come and visit!! Enjoy the celebration!!

Click here to locate an independent bookstore in the USA.


Angela Wooldridge said...

Yikes! I was not expecting that! (And yes - I have too much imagination not to be nervous of driverless cars... especially now!)

Katharina Gerlach said...

What a nightmare idea. :D

Juneta key said...

LOL, well that was unexpected. Wonder what would happened if he had said please? Scary and funny and ironical.

Barbara Lund said...

Great story - loved the extrapolation of WHAT IF...?

J.Q. Rose said...

LOL, Angela--I'm with you. I have trouble even using the cruise control on the car!

J.Q. Rose said...

Hey Juneta, My mom taught me that please is always the magic word. Maybe next story, please will be magic causing mayhem and mystery.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Barbara, Yes, definitely using WHAT IF on my stories. You too, I bet.

Computer Tutor said...

That is the fear. It'll be a while before I trust that machine.

J.Q. Rose said...

I'm with ya', Jacqui!

Unknown said...

Please and thank you are the magic words...

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