'What does the term friend actually refer to?'
'I don't understand what you mean friend.'
'See there you go again, friend I've only just met you and it's friend this and friend that.'
He paused and smiled. For a moment I found the pastel blue shirt and cream chinos threatening.
'In our religion we see everyone as friends. There are no strangers in the world only friends we haven't met yet.'
'That's nice,' I said but I was uncertain. I like the idea in principle. But I was scared of stories of cults in the bible belt. He bent over my engine again, he seemed comfortable with machinery, maybe he was a farmer? I wouldn't have thought that cream trousers would have been practical for that profession. He had a wedding ring. Probably kids too, there was nothing else to do out here.
'There you go friend. I think it will get you into the next town but you need your radiator fixing today. I'll follow you, make sure you get there safe.'
'The problem is I need to get to the city tonight.' I chewed my bottom lip.
'Well friend perhaps one of my kin will be able to take you. You could leave the car in the garage and get a ride into the city. For every problem there is a solution. In our religion...'
He stopped and looked down at the crimson rose blossoming against his chest.
'Yeah well, I was taught that the Lord helps those who help themselves.'
This Flash Fiction was written in a workshop led by Calum Kerr, idea man behind National Flash Fiction.