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LOCHED AND LOCHED

March 23, 2022

Terrible title pun. Another story based on criteria. I thought it was ok.
1. Your story must include this setting pictured (above) at some point.
2. Just because it’s March, your story must include the following “MAR-” words: MARKET, MARBLE, MARVELLOUS, MARSHMALLOW.
3. Your story’s final sentence must contain dialogue – i.e. someone speaking.
Feel free to interpret the criteria in any creative way you like. Your story must be 500 words or fewer.

Loched & Loaded: Work

Dave almost turned off the black cab’s light when he realised his fare was the kid puking in the bushes. He lent on the horn, the kid spun around, wiped his mouth with his sleeve and shuffled towards the cab’s illuminated sign like a drunken zombie moth.
The kid was so drunk he’d taken on a liquid form. He poured into the back of the cab, the perfume of a scotch distillery’s curry house enveloping him, strong enough to sting Dave’s nostrils.
‘I don’t mind you’ve pulled an all-nighter, but you’d better behave on the trip.’
The kid’s grin filled the rear-view.
‘I’m nod drunk! Lishun. Marbah, marver, gumallo.’
20 years of driving black cabs through the capillaries of London’s nightlife districts made Dave a veritable expert on interpreting drunken blather.
Marble, marvellous, marshmallow.
The kid was trollied.
‘What’s your name? Where do you wanna go, son?’
‘Loch Linnhe, Scotland.’
Dave entered the trip amount, held the device out.
‘Large fare. You sure?’
The kid scoffed, swayed, one eye shut tight as his finger searched for the button.
Dave whistled.
‘Loch Linnhe Scotland, here we go.’
The kid passed out before he pulled away from the curb.
Dave had never travelled outside of London, and a child-like excitement bloomed as the gloomy, built-up cityscape morphed into charming countryside. He only tore his eyes from the scenery to check and make sure the kid was alive, and figured he’d wake with a King Kong-sized hangover. At least he’d have 9 hours sleep.
An hour from the destination, Dave grabbed a large, terrible coffee to keep him awake. £760 wasn’t much use to a dead man.
His phone died by the time they’d reached the town, so asked a group of farmer’s market stallholders for directions.
A potato farmer stared at the crumpled heap in the backseat, and gave a series of directions in a thick Scottish accent.
Dave tipped his cap.
‘Thanks.’
‘No worries. And it’s pronounced ‘Lok li-nee’ love,’ she smiled.
As the cab snaked towards the Loch, the lack of sleep and strangeness of the morning collapsed on Dave. The sense of unreality increased when he noticed the red phone booth, a common London sight, but distinctly out of place on the Loch’s rocky shore.
The kid fell out of the cab and rolled around on the pebbles, confused and red-eyed.
‘Where am I?’
‘Home. Loch Linnhe.’
‘What?’
‘Scotland.’
The kid’s bloodshot eyes widened. ‘I’ve never been outside of London.’
He pressed his palms against his temples like he was trying to prevent his skull from exploding.
‘I’m never drinking again.’
Dave slapped him on the back.
‘Lucky I’m going back to London, then.’
The kid winced. 
‘Let’s go, son. You can sit up front,’ Dave indicated. ‘What’s your name, by the way? We’ve got a long drive ahead, may as well get to know each other. I’m Dave.’
The kid opened the passenger door.
‘Already told ya. It’s Lachlan. Lachlan Scotland.’

Loched & Loaded: Text
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