The Tariff

Photo courtesy of Morguefile

It had been a long drive and Estella and Filip were exhausted when they arrived in the city.  To add to their discomfort they found that the gates to their intended caravan site had been locked at 2 AM and would not open until 6.

“There’s no place to park and I can’t wait here for three and a half hours,” Estella said.  “I need to get some sleep.”

“I’m not in much better shape, but I tell you what; why don’t I drive for a bit and look for a place to park, and you get some sleep?”

They traded places and Estella settled in. Filip drove through streets packed with parked vehicles.  Nowhere seemed to provided a space large enough for the car and caravan.  Then he saw a sign for a car park, so he thought himself in luck.  To his surprise he found that it was a subterranean facility, but in his bleary-eyed condition, decided to give it a go anyway.  The caravan barely cleared the entry gate, but made it all the same, and Filip continued down the long downward ramp into the facility’s interior.

No spaces, he mused to himself as he began to weave his way upwards again through several levels.  Finally on the very top level, he spied a big enough space and pulled into it and promptly fell asleep.

It was after 10 when the couple awoke.

“Where are we?” Estella asked.

“In an underground car park,” he said through a yawn.

“Did you see the prices!” she said looking up at the sign.

“No, I didn’t look. I was desperate.” he admitted.

“Not half as desperate as you are going to be.  It says, ‘Monthly permits only,’ and according to the sign, that’s 200 Euros.”

“Two – two hundred,” he stammered.

“Look over there,” she said.

Filip glanced over at the narrow passage marked “Fire Exit.”

“It’s worth a try,” she said.

Filip nodded, and steered towards the hope of tariff-free escape.



Sunday Photo Fiction




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