Curves & Straightaways Ch. 01


Waking early the next morning, Kaitlyn packed her clothes, calling the front desk to arrange her checkout. Packing everything in her Corvette, it filled the sports car to capacity.

"I need to get something more practical." She thought. "This is getting to be a hassle."

After getting settled in at the small studio apartment at the race shop, Kaitlyn spent the rest of the day working on straightening up the office. Finding more folders with sketches and plans, she put them aside to review later. By late afternoon, the office was cleaned and organized. Everything was neat and orderly to where Kaitlyn could work productively.

Looking out the windows at the shop floor below, Kaitlyn knew her biggest chore was about to begin. Casually strolling through the shop, Kaitlyn glanced around trying to figure out where to begin. The workbenches were covered with hand tools, drawings and trash. Tackling them first sounded like the best choice.

"Excuse me." An elderly female voice shouted. "Is there a mechanic here who could look at my car?"

The voice startled Kaitlyn. Turning around quickly, she saw a frail woman, somewhere in her seventies, standing in one of the open overhead doorways.

"I'm sorry." Kaitlyn responded. "I'm not open for business. I'm just trying to straighten things up and get organized."

"Oh!" The woman exclaimed. "Looks like you've got quite a chore ahead of you."

"Yeah. Kinda looks that way, doesn't it?" Kaitlyn replied.

"What's wrong with your car?" She added. "Maybe I can help."

"I'm not really sure." The elderly lady responded. "The red, check engine light just came on all of a sudden. I'm afraid to drive it."

"Hmmm." Kaitlyn remarked. "Did you just put some gas in it?"

"Why, yes, I did." The frail woman answered. "Not more than ten minutes ago."

Kaitlyn followed the elderly lady out to her car, and older Chevrolet Lumina. The woman opened the car door and got in behind the wheel.

"I'll show you what it's doing." She stated, starting the car.

The red, check engine light came on immediately. Not showing any signs of going out, the two women stared at the warning light.

"Well, it could be a gas sensor that's sticking or you may have gotten some bad gasoline." Kaitlyn stated. "Let me try something first."

Walking to the left rear fender of the Lumina, Kaitlyn opened the gas fill door and removed the gas cap.

"Is the light still on?" Kaitlyn inquired, looking at the woman.

"No, no it's not!" The elderly woman exclaimed. "It went out! It's not on anymore."

Kaitlyn put the gas cap on, barely tightening it. Closing the gas fill door, she walked back up to the open driver's door.

"I think the gas cap might have caused too much pressure on the fuel system." Kaitlyn remarked. "When you put gas in your car, I'd suggest you barely tighten it. The trick works most of the time but not always."

"Well, thank you my dear." The elderly woman spoke. "How much do I owe you for your time."

"You don't owe me anything." Kaitlyn answered. "Just make sure you put good gas in your car and drive safely."

The woman closed her car door and drove off, pulling out easily into the heavy traffic. Kaitlyn hoped her little trick kept working and the frail woman wouldn't worry about her car.

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