Ch.1 The Hunt
"Hey, Josh! Aren't you gonna stay awhile?!" I heard over the chatter of other students around me. Today was the end of the 12 year tyranny; I had finally graduated high school.
I spotted one of my best friends, Austin standing with my group just outside the main doors. "Can't, Auzzie! My guitar lessons are today. I need to practice for a while or I'm gonna be useless!" This was only partially true. I am useless at the guitar during my lessons if I don't get at least one run-through of my assigned songs, but the reason I couldn't stay with them was that I had to drive my little brother home
and he's been waiting at my car for probably the last 15 minutes.
"Alright. See ya' later then!" At that I waved goodbye and proceeded to work my way through the dense crowd and the mini traffic jam in the laneway to the parking lot. I saw him sitting on the hood of my P.O.S. 1982 Olds Cutlass Calais.
He was facing the other way and didn't notice me walk up. I tried to seize the opportunity and scare him. I managed to unlock the door without him noticing
but as I opened the door it gave out a loud low groan from the rusting hinges. Needless to say he noticed.
"What were you trying to do, Josh?"
just get in."
"Try not to keep me waiting like that
" He said in a very un-amused and whiney tone.
"Hey, you're lucky I even agreed to give you rides, Jas." I said as I got in and closed the door while tossing my backpack in the back seat.
When he got in after putting his backpack in the back seat he reached for the door handle and it came off in his hand. "Oh
I just sighed and said "Whatever
Just toss it back there." I rolled my eyes and gestured to the back.
"Okay." He tossed it the back with the other various things that fell off the car's interior. I started the engine with a deafening screech which caused someone walking by to jump. I could feel the entire school look in my direction. I tried to ignore the feeling by plugging my iPod into one of the few things that work in this rust bucket, and the only thing I installed myself; the stereo. I hit the shuffle button and Forgotten Past by Death came on; a fitting song as I was trying to forget this place as quickly as possible. I looked over at my brother with a smirk because I knew he hated my music. He also knew better than to bug me about it because I'd just turn it up. I forced the car into gear as there was little left of the clutch from it being over 10 years old, but I didn't care enough to replace it. I pulled out with the engine squealing so loudly that it was nearly drowning out my music.
After I managed to get out of the parking lot and onto the main streets the high pitched squeal went down to a quiet whine as I picked up speed. When I got to cruising speed the dying v6 started rattling; it never does anything catastrophic but it sounds like it would. Admittedly, I was going faster than I usually do.
When I arrived at my house I pulled into the driveway and dropped that car into neutral and applied the handbrake. Before I could turn the engine off I heard what could only be described as two chainsaws running at full R.P.M.s grinding the teeth off each other, causing the car to vibrate. Then the front end of the car shifted and it stopped. I got out and popped the hood and when I lifted it, I realized I needed a new car
What I had heard and felt was the total breakdown of every moving component of the engine. It literally tore itself apart. The piston covers were dented outwards from the valves and pistons hitting them after breaking off. The block itself was cracked. The radiator had exploded and fan broke off and proceeded to saw it's way through the coolant tube. The only reason it stopped was because the vibrations from it doing this broke the brackets holding the engine in the car and it hitting the ground, severing the fuel line. Even being among the top students in my mechanics classes I knew I couldn't salvage anything from this
Not that I'd want to anyway.
I let the hood close with a loud bang and when I looked up I saw that my brother was still in the car, white as a ghost. I walked over to his side and opened the door.
"Jas, are you alright?" I asked trying not to laugh.
happened?" He asked shaking.
"Oh, not much. The C4 I implanted in the car just went off a little pre-mature. That's all." I replied with a smirk
He got his backpack out of the back and slowly walked in the house without saying anything, he still had the same expression on his face. I shut the door and walked over to my side to get my backpack and iPod. After I got them out I kicked the door shut leaving a good size dent in the door panel. I realized my iPod was still playing and I was going to stop it until I saw it was playing "Die, Die My Darling" by The Misfits. I then put one of my headphones in. I was having amazingly weird luck with my music fitting what's happening at the moment today.
"Car's dead." I said casually as I walked in my house.
"What?!" My dad almost yelled. I guess he got off early from work. He probably expected it not to ever die while I owned it with my natural talent for mechanics.
"The engine destroyed itself. Don't ask me how. Now I have to go practice for my lessons today." I replied going on the defensive.
"Can't you fix it?" My dad sounded almost heartbroken; which I couldn't help but find funny.
"Heh, not with what's happened to it
and not unless I paid more than the car's worth for a new engine. Go have a look for yourself."
I dropped my backpack with my brother's and went upstairs to my room to practice my guitar for a while. When I got up there I plugged my iPod into my stereo, and got out my Jackson KVX10 that I had customized with a triangle headstock similar to the one on the original Gibson Flying V, but sharper, and all black equipment: tuning heads, bridge, frets, whammy bar, knobs, and even the screws. I got out my guitar book to practice my assigned song from last week and opened it to the page. My assignments for the past two months have been basically chromatic scales. So I've been taking on my own songs to learn. For the past 3 weeks I've been trying to learn "Nemesis" by Arch Enemy.
After practicing my assignment and trying to get a bit more of Nemesis down for about a half an hour it was 3:45 and I had to leave. I packed up my stuff into my gig bag and headed out. The first thing I saw when I did was my dad standing in front of my car with the hood open.
"You alright, dad?"
"How'd you manage to wreck it this bad? He asked somewhat out of breath
"I tried to make it go 45mph
that was probably a mistake. But at least now I can get at least a semi- proper car, right?"
"You're paying for it, you know?" He replied now that he's out of his shocked state.
"Don't worry. That's why I haven't been wasting my money on this thing! Anyways, I 'gotta go." I started walking down the street.
"Alright, when you get back we'll talk." He said waving
My class went by as it usually does: me playing my assignment more or less flawlessly, getting my next assignment and giving it a run- through, then talking with Mike for the last ten minutes.
When I was walking across the street to get to the overpass I had to cross to get home. I almost got hit by a car that decided not to stop at the red light. I didn't hear it because it was a Toyota Prius. I stumbled back and almost fell over. That stirred up some memories that I'd been trying to forget for over five years.
When I got back, my car had already been towed away. Me and my Dad talked for a little while about what I should look for and when he was going to take me to get it. We settled on going on Saturday. The rest of the day and next day went at a snail's pace because I hated not having a car. When Saturday came around I was as excited as a little kid on Christmas day. But it wasn't to last. For 3 hours of work we found nothing I was willing to pay for. We went to about five different car dealers.
"I'm not going to find anything, or else I'd've found it already." I said defeated.
"You just gotta be patient. You'll find the right one." He was looking at probably the six thousandth Honda Civic today. His optimism was starting to get on my nerves.
"I'd quicker build my own car than find one like this
He stopped and looked up at me "You wanna try it? It'd be a good project for you at BCIT if you can get the professor to say yes." He had to be joking.
"Are you serious? Do you have any idea how expensive that'd be?"
"You don't have to buy everything all at once." He said, trying to convince me.
I thought for a few seconds. I had always been good at cars
but was I good enough to do a full restoration on a vehicle? "S-Sure, I guess
It'd take a long time, but I'm up for it." I was starting to get excited at what my project car would be.
"Good, we'll start the new search tomorrow!" His eyes lit up.
"Heh, you look more excited than I do."
"I'm just proud of you, deciding to take on a project like this that quickly."
"Okay, well let's go home. I doubt we'll find what I want here." I said with a smirk.
The entire trip home I didn't say anything, I was lost in fantasizing what I'd be building for probably the next year or so.
I couldn't sleep that night so I just got on my Xbox to kill time until sunrise. Luckily one of my longtime friends; Kris was online. It wasn't long before I got an invitation for an Xbox live party. I got out my headset and accepted.
"Hey, where were you today? You usually go on for at least a little while."
"I was car hunting. Remember, my shit-box Olds blew itself apart."
How's that going for ya?"
"Not too well
but I'm going again tomorrow, and depending on how that goes I might not be on very often, if at all."
"Why." I had his attention now.
"Because I'm going on a hunt for a project car."
"What do you mean 'project car'?"
"I mean an old beat up car that I'm going restore to its former glory, or better."
good luck with that." He said dismissively
"You just watch me."
"I'll believe you when you show me the finished car."
"Are you challenging me?"
"Yeah. Now let's kill some bitches!"
That's how the rest of the night played out.
At about nine A.M. I decided to get off. I went downstairs and turned on the T.V. I surfed the channels for a few minutes before settling on the speed channel as I usually do. They were playing a rerun of "Trucks!" I watched that for a while until the rest of my family was up. It wasn't long after that before my dad and I left for a rental place for a flatbed so the car I find can be brought back. I paid for the rental truck and insurance which was about a hundred and fifty dollars. The aging diesel engine basically ruined any chance of conversation because the cab was not very well insulated from engine sound; so I just cranked up some Darkthrone on my iPod for the drive.
It was almost noon before we got to a scrap-yard. My dad killed the engine and I turned off my iPod and got out. It was very dusty, the chained up gates and sheet-metal fences were all rusted. It was in some little backwater town in the forest. When driving up here I didn't even see any houses; just mailboxes and driveways leading into the trees lining the very thin, winding road. I walked over to a small run-down trailer that had the name of the scrap-yard spray-painted on in red and knocked on the door. An obviously drunk man in a greasy wife-beater answered. I asked him if he could open the gate and if he'd let us take an entire car or if they're only for parting. He just grunted and got a ring of keys out of his pocket and staggered over to the chained gate. He tried a few keys before finding the right one and slid open the gate, aircraft hangar style.
I walked in while my dad went to get the truck. I was greeted by row upon row of rusted, weather-beaten cars. I walked in amongst the wrecks with it completely silent aside from the quiet buzz that always seems to be in the summer air. To my discontent they were all from the eighties and up, nothing from the seventies or sixties. I did notice though that the farther back I went the older the cars got. I saw a few that caught my attention. One that I almost went for was a grown in 1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS. Then I noticed that it only had the front end and cab, the entire back end, including chassis and frame were gone. I continued on looking through the cars. When I passed one specific car, however I could feel it almost scream at me to choose it
To Be Continued...