Sunday, July 3, 2022

Fletch Goes For a Ride, by Eric Beetner

"Fletch Goes For a Ride," by Eric Beetner, in Back Road Bobby and His Friends, edited by Colin Conway, Original Ink Press, 2022. 

This is the second appearance in this column by Eric Beetner.  

This book is a shared universe anthology.  In this case all the stories are tied together by the same event: legendary getaway driver Handbrake Hardy is dying of kidney failure in Spokane.  Each story includes one of Hardy's friends/enemies/fans reacting to his coming death.

This stories focuses on Fletcher, a man near Hardy's age, and a man in deep trouble.  He owes ten grand to a guy named Ryland and he doesn't have it.  The loan shark sends a punk named Bobby to collect or break some legs. 

But our hero has an idea.  See, this famous driver is dying on the other side of the state and he owes Fletcher money.  If Bobby will just drive him over surely Fletcher can convince the old guy to make a death bed donation.

The yarn is a lie, but it gives Fletcher several hours in the car to think of a way out.  Now it's a matter of youth and strength versus age and guile.  Good luck, Bobby!

A clever story with a very satisfactory ending.

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