THE RAVAGES OF TIM • by Sarah Hilary

The first was a flat tyre. Tim rolled up in good time, wrench in hand, smile in place. “Knights of the Road.”

She laughed with relief. In her forties, bottle-blonde highlights. Hint of desperation that predated, he guessed, the roadside recovery. High heels snagged at the tarmac as she watched him work. He got her going again, all right.


The second one was a dead battery. Tim gave his best salute. “Riding to the rescue.”

Who could resist a gent with a sense of humour?

She was Clare, that one. Hard shoulder, soft top.


When Rita asked how his day went, Tim said, “Terrific.”

She tapped her fingers on the table. Painted nails, metallic-finish. Tough customer, his wife. Not a whiff of the damsel in distress about Rita.


Number three? A faulty fan-belt.

“Pop the lid for me, would you, love?”

He wouldn’t have risked the ‘love’ but she was old enough to be his mum and they both knew it. Proper little goer, though. Lola, believe it or not.


Five and six were twins. It didn’t get much better.

“Your rear end’s gone,” Tim told them. “I’m sorry to say.”

He felt like James Bond, no brakes, touching 80mph.


The roads melted; summer heatwave. Tim tackled overheated engines, got under the bonnet so often he lost count, topped up the oil, deployed his dipstick. A rare old time.

Rita said, “You want to recharge your own battery for a change.”

Bitch. He’d never any trouble getting it up at the roadside. Maybe it was the open air, bitter-sweet smell of bitumen and burning fossil fuels, his role in the rescues. He loved to hear “Lone female breakdown”, “Stranded”, “Priority”. A chance to play the old-fashioned hero, get chivalrous.


This one was wearing driving shoes, the kind with the rubber treads underneath. Sensible. Decent set of legs on her. Dash of makeup, not as much as he liked.

“Hope you weren’t waiting too long,” he said.

“You were very quick.” She had a great smile.

Middle of nowhere. Perfect spot for it.

“I’m Tim, by the way.”


“Let’s get the bonnet up and see what’s causing the trouble, shall we?”

She sat in the driver’s seat, sprang the lid.

Tim had a quick rummage. Never saw the wrench coming. Just heard the rev of speeding air, and the words, “From Rita, with love.”

Sarah Hilary‘s  stories have been published by Velvet Mafia, MYTHOLOG, Heavy Glow, Apollo’s Lyre, Twisted Tongue, Four Volts, Neon and the Boston Literary Magazine. Her short story, On the line, was published in the Daunt Books 2006 anthology. She won the Litopia “Winter Kills” Contest in 2007. Sarah lives in the Cotswolds with her husband and young daughter.

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 average 5 stars • 1 reader(s) rated this

Every Day Fiction

  • That made me laugh. And it wasn’t just because of my name. 🙂

  • Thanks, Diana. I’m glad it made you laugh.

  • Wonderful story, Sarah, spot on! The ending was suprising and inevitable, as a great story should be. Loved it!

  • Thanks, Tania, that’s great!


  • Jens Blue

    I love a good, subtle use of metaphor like this. That’s top work.

  • Thanks, Jens. I confess I didn’t think it was all that subtle!



  • Anne-Elisabethn Moutet

    Sweet revenge, a wonderful, acerbic morality play, and so funny!

  • Thank you – that’s high praise, indeed. So glad you liked it.


  • Walt Giersbach

    Do you realize, Sarah, that I’ll never be able now to stop and help a roadside damsel in distress?! I’m shattered by your story–even though it was really nice and tightly written.

    • Thanks, Walt and I don’t know – several of those damsels seemed pretty happy to be found in distress.



  • Loved this! Stylish and humourous with a touch of brutality.

    • Many thanks, Jordan. I’m glad you mentioned the brutality!


  • Sarah

    It’s lines like this one, She sat in the driver’s seat, sprang the lid. (and there are many), that say things on so many levels, that make this story the absolute delight that it is. You are a master of the economy of language.

    Perfect fiction break.

    • Thanks, Sarah, you’re very kind. Feedback like this is invaluable to a writer’s confidence.


  • Mark Dalligan

    Great piece: the dipstick who didn’t see it coming.

    Let have more.


    • Thanks, Mark!


    • Mark,

      You’ll be glad to know that we’ve already accepted a few more pieces from Sarah. Look for her to appear again in EDF in the coming months!

  • Oonah V Joslin

    It truly is a gruesome piece of revenge. Well done Sarah.


    • Thanks, Oonah. I’m glad you mentioned the word gruesome.


  • Love this! The humor, the horror. So tightly written, not a word to spare. Glad to see that we’ll get to read more of Sarah’s work.


    • Wow, Madeline, thanks for this generous feedback. I’m delighted you liked it so much. Always great to get praise from another writer.


  • Becca

    Definitely one of my favourites- made me grin like no end. Playful and sinister at the same time :D. Favourite line- the James Bond reference.

    • Thanks, Becca. I’m very glad it made you grin – and that you liked the James Bond ref.


  • My favorite so far–great story Sarah!!

    • Wow – thanks, DJ! That’s made my morning.


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