Flash: Parboil

Heat rises in waves from parched ground, as far as the eye can see the land cracks in spider web patterns, nearly shattered. The only thing interrupting the desolation of the featureless landscape is the asphalt of the two-lane highway splitting the desert in half and continuing into the far horizon before him. The sun has only been up an hour, he has to make it through to the next town before the worst of the day heat hits.

‘Why did he think this metal deathtrap would make it across hell in high summer?’

The sun higher in the sky the car rattles in protest, steam rising from under the hood. His skin prickles with heat; sweat trickles down his back and pools on the seat. With a last rattle, the car comes to a standstill.

‘That’s it; I will parboil in my own sweat what an end.’


Flash in the Pan is brought to you by the amazing Red of M3 fame

This week’s word is Parboil. The word limit is 150 words. This one comes in at 148.

Hashtags: #flashfiction #getpublished


  1. Why am I picturing a Gremlin? This is delightfully cruel.

  2. It’s obvious how hot he is. He’d have to be, to throw in the towel so easily, or he’s half done already. Ha ha. This is delicious.

    • I was in the back seat of station wagons without air conditioning far too many times growing up across Texas deserts. I remember these trips. Terrible.

  3. Gray Dawster says:

    You have written this one to perfection Val,
    and I can feel the intense heat just reading it 😦
    I hope that your Monday is a lovely one 🙂 🙂

    I am behind on my replying at my place
    but I will catch up soon my great friend 🙂 🙂

    Andro xxxx

    • Thanks Gray! I have nearly lived this one so it wasn’t all that hard. 🙂

      • Gray Dawster says:

        I can almost picture the scene, I say almost because we in the UK do not have that intense heat very often 🙂 Keep flashing Val I like your style 🙂 😉

        Andro xxxx

  4. Reminds me of crossing Arizona in high summer without an airconditioner! We breathed through tubs of ice cubes all the way.

  5. Because I’m not a big fan of heat, YIKES!

  6. Must be hot, must be summer. You describe it perfectly. Feel like I need to go open a window and get some air. Thanks!

    • Deserts, heat, cars without air conditioning! Terrible combinations. On the other hand, Duluth, MN on the first of June was 47 degrees. Wait for the next one.

  7. I do love your flash fiction stories… but, as you know, from following me, I’m not good at writing short posts. 🙂

  8. Oh dear. This is why i head north in the summer!

  9. That is scary – stranded under a high summer sun in the middle of a desert –

    Survival mode – crawl under the car for shade – just make sure no poisonous things decide to crawl for shade with you – wait for the night – drain the radiator water, take it with you and start trudging –

    Until the banshees get you !

    • There is the only option! Or hope against all hope someone else made the same choice you did only with a better car.

      • You’re probably right – someone will come along – there are enough dummies in the world! Some guy who refuses to ask for directions and “Well, hell, it sure didn’t look that far in the map!”

        Sorry – could not resist that 🙂

  10. Wow VAL
    I had to look up parboil. I did not know what you would do with it. haha Impressive

  11. I am reminded of car road trips on hot summer days!

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