Cars zoomed past Jason, the wind from their passing tugging at his hair and clothes. Nobody stopped. Nobody even slowed down.

It had to happen the one time I forgot my phone, he thought bitterly to himself for the umpteenth time. A call to Triple-A, and this would just be a mild inconvenience. Without his phone, though, he was stuck relying on the kindness of his fellow man, which seemed in short supply that day.

He was growing more and more tempted to just get back in his car and limp off the freeway. The next exit wasn’t for another three and a quarter miles, according to the freeway sign. Driving that far on his rim would cause far more problems than it solved.

A car slammed on it’s brakes, filling the air with screeching tires and the smell of burning rubber. The car behind it swerved into the next lane, unleashing a short series of angry honks as it did so.

Jason didn’t know much about cars. As long as it could get him from point A to point B and not empty his wallet at the gas station, he was happy. But even he knew this was a nice car. Something about the curves and the shiny red paint spoke to him.

A tinted window rolled down, revealing the most stunning woman he had ever seen. She pinned him in place with blue eyes so pale they were almost white. Her hair was short and curly, brown where it wasn’t dyed in bright reds and yellows. She was bending over from the driver’s seat, and Jason would have found it very difficult not to stare down the front of her dress, if his eyes weren’t locked on hers.

“Did you need our help?” she asked. More cars honked as they changed lanes to pass her, but she didn’t seem to notice.

“I… um…” He had no idea what to say. This was the type of thing that happened in the movies, not real life. Finally, he managed to stammer out, “Yeah, I guess.”

“May we ask your name?”

“Jason. Jason Tremain.”

She cocked her head to one side. “Tremain. Homes made out of stone. It is an old name, from the islands far from here. It speaks of strength and stability.”

“I guess.” He had never really given his last name much thought. “Do… do you have a cell phone I could borrow? I just need to call Triple-A and I’ll be out of your hair.” He heard a touch of regret in his voice, and realized he didn’t want her to leave. He didn’t know anything about her, but a simple look was enough to know that she was probably more interesting than anyone else he would ever meet.

She frowned. “A cell phone? Is that what you need, Jason Tremain?”

“Well, I need to fix my tire. I think I’ve got a spare in the back, but I don’t have a jack, and I’m not really a car person, and it’s probably better that I let someone professional handle this.” He knew he was babbling, but he couldn’t seem to stop.

She laughed, causing a pair of tiny acorn-shaped earrings she wore to jingle. Jason blinked suddenly. For a brief moment, when he had been looking at the earrings, something had seemed strange about the woman’s ears; they were too long or too… something, but when he looked again, they were perfectly normal ears (if anything about this woman could be described as “normal”).

“That is good. A tire is simple enough, but things like cell phones are beyond our ken.”

“You keep saying… Is there someone else in there with you?”

She laughed again. “Do not concern yourself with such things. The favor has been granted, Jason Tremain. We hope that it pleases you.”

Jason was starting to feel like he was missing part of the conversation. “What favor?” he asked. He glanced down at his tire only to see that it was whole again. “How did you… You never even left the car!”

“It is unimportant. Is the gift satisfactory, Jason Tremain?”

He was still trying to figure out what had happened, but he gave the tire a kick. He wasn’t really sure what this was supposed to accomplish, but it felt like he thought kicking a tire should feel like.

“Yeah,” he said, glancing back and forth between her pale eyes and the tire. “It seems good.”

“We are pleased then.” She sat back up and the window began to roll up again.

“Wait!” Jason said, and the window stopped, halfway up. He didn’t want her to go just yet. He knew he’d never see anyone like her again. She looked at him expectantly. “I don’t know how you did that, but thanks.”

She smiled, revealing white, perfectly shaped teeth. “It is gratifying to speak with one who remembers his courtesies. So many seem to forget these days.”

“Is there any way I can pay you back? I could buy you dinner or something?” He winced inwardly at how self-serving that sounded. She was probably offered dinner a dozen times per day.

“We always collect on favors given, but we appreciate that you offer it so willingly. We will return to you in time, so that you might repay us. Until then, Jason Tremain, do not forget us.” The window finished closing, and the car pulled away, it’s engine roaring energetically as it accelerated quickly down the freeway.

Jason got back in his car and put the keys in the ignition. Then he just sat there, staring at where the shiny red car had disappeared into the mass of traffic.

“Forget you?” he said out loud. “I couldn’t if I wanted to.” He started the car and merged back on to the freeway. He could never tell anyone about this. No one would believe him. He hardly believed it himself. But she had said he’d see her again.

He smiled all the way to work.

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