Flash! Friday Honorable Mention:

A summer day, an abandoned car and three boys with vivid imaginations. A special shoutout to three of my favorite boys: Charlie, Thomas and Andy.

Thomas saw the car first. We left him behind, as usual, and he was the one who saw the shimmer of metal on the way to the creek. “Hey, what’s that?” he shouted. Andy and I turned and followed his arm. The three of us tore through the grass, oblivious to snakes, spiders and the other creepy things we ordinarily avoided.

The windshield was full of bullet holes. We’d seen enough Jimmy Cagney to know how it got here.

“Probably gangsters,” Andy said quietly.

“Maybe Dillinger’s,” I added.

“Think your grandpa knows?” Andy asked.

Granddaddy a gangster? Nah, he’d been a lawyer. “Doubt it,” I said. “Maybe the bodies are still in there!”

“Nope,” Thomas called out. He was leaning in the driver’s side window. “The steering wheel’s gone, though.”

“Probably took it out ‘cause it was full of blood,” Andy said, nudging Thomas aside so he could peer in.

“Wonder if there’s still loot in it,” I said. I kicked the trunk, but it didn’t budge.

“Maybe we could go through the back,” Andy suggested. But the only one who could fit was Thomas. Getting my little brother to eat a bug was one thing; my mother would kill me if he got stuck in a gangster’s car.

“We’ll sneak a crowbar from Uncle Jack’s shed,” I suggested.

“I’m hot, guys. Let’s go,” Thomas whined, heading back to the path.

“Okay, okay. Tomorrow,” I said to Andy and we took off leaving Thomas behind again. Tomorrow we’d look for gangster’s loot; today, the creek beckoned.