A Story by Kenneth Burch

"Well boys, what do you think of that one over there? Not bad, huh?" The five of them had gathered at that special place and time in which all of the best cars would be. Vehicles from all over the world would sooner or later make their way past them. Chrome shining and wheels gleaming. Engines humming and tailpipes long and polished. The hoods and sides, painted sometimes to perfection. This was the place, this was where everything happening would be. The lawn stretched for miles, green and glowing. Bright sun beaming down coated everything in natural light. The sounds of V8 engines and slant sixes, bored out four cylinders and a few knocking V12s. Big hoods and slim tires, fat windshields and tinted side windows. Some of the more fancier cars would come rolling in with advance headlights for projecting light further down the road. And then there were the paint jobs. Some cars were airbrushed in light colors giving a mist like affect while others looked as if they were dunked into a vat of paint and allowed to drip dry. Colors ranged as well. Some strolled in with colors commonly seen, while some introduced colors rarely seen in these parts. Some of the cars seem to be a combination of colors, blended together creating some different and new.

"Yo, how about that one, you've got to admit it's smooth as shit, sure would love to drive that puppy."
"Yea right, that's a real piece of shit man, bet you a million it ain't worth the price of a full tank of gas."
"How would you know?"
"A good friend of mine had one just like that, drove like shit, too many problems man, forget about it."

Brushed nickel rims and chrome spokes were in this year. Many of the cars came equipped standard. Others tried to make you pay through the nose for that shiny look. Then there were the tires, oh my God. Some cars had the fattest tires you'd ever want to see. Some of the low riders had tires so fat, you wondered how the hell they managed to get the tires on. Some of the larger cars and many of the trucks, had tires that looked tailor made for military use. Big tires with deep groves for lots of traction. Some came strolling by with tires so skinny, they seemed more befitting on a motorcycle. A few crept by with tires bleached white, not a black mark on them. It was the air, had to be. One could sit back and with eyes closed and a halfway vivid imagination, pretend to be inside the world's largest auto mall, with a million dollar purse just waiting to find something to buy.

The right combination of both gasoline and oil, filled the outdoors with the scent of pleasure. So as the boys sat back and drank beer all they could do on a picture perfect day in Summer of 2000 was dream and dream again. "Fuck me Freddy, damn, you've got to love that baby over there!" It was Joey Grant running off with words he had picked up from a book somewhere. He, along with Wayne Epps, Donald Rollins, Harold Winston and William Kellis had spent $35.00 for tickets to see the newest and oldest muscle cars from around the area, an afternoon spent doing something other then getting into trouble. "That's bullshit Joey, fake ass trunk and that top wasn't even made the year that bitch came out." It was Donald Rollins, "Mister I know everything about cars". Donald thought because he was the oldest that he knew more then the others. He had driven a lot of cars before and most of the guys were still riding bikes when Donald had started driving. But unlike most skills, driving was something you had to keep doing to be good at, if you stopped for too long, it was like you never drove before, and with Donald's last car sitting in the junkyard and little or no money, yet alone a job, it looked like Donald was going to have to learn all over again.

"Say what you want Donald, I think that fucker is nice, look at the way the lines break to both the left and right, sweet I'm telling you, sweet."
"How the fuck would you know sweet, you haven't driven any car yet you asshole. You should be just happy and for that matter lucky to even touch a steering wheel, Jesus, you'll die before you do I bet."
The five of them burst out laughing and why not? Wayne had once again brought to the party, his usual bag of jokes. Big time one liners that never failed to make them all laugh. "Don't worry, I'll drive my first you just watch." They all had stopped laughing and were now all looking at Joey. For a minute it looked as if he might have said something of importance, something real and heavy with substance. He was just about to stick out his chest with pride when they started laughing out loud again and at him.

It was William who broke away from busting Joey's stones first. He had focused all his attention on a two seater with with a yellow flame streaking along it's sides. "I want it, I want it now," he said. Harold had just finished ruffling up Joey's hair and had turned to look as well. They all stood for a hot minute and then turned away, leaving William still gazing. "I already drove one before," said Harold. "Small and tight, but not much power to it. Gearbox's too fucking loose and you can't take it off road without dragging the chassis, all looks guys, nothing more." William had return to the rest of the cars now lining up and glanced back once more to the little red two seater, just now coming by. "When the fuck are they going to learn, you can't mount 60's on a fucking four door, it makes it look like a tank." Wayne was just about to start in on the do's and don'ts of automobile design. The boys had heard it a million times before and while Wayne always told it with great expression, they weren't in the mood for it now. He could see it in their eyes and decided to cut them a break, this time. "I'll tell you what," he said, "That puppy over there is nice, and I'll bet my best black hat, it hasn't been touched." His attention had been caught by a two door in green. Nice wire rims and a shine that seem to stand out from the group of cars coming by in it's class. "Ah, I'm not so sure about that pal," Harold added. "I happen to be in the know of a few things about that car." Joey who was now looking away and at low ride that had almost snuck by, turn to await Harold's so called expert advice. "Well first off, that sucker while tight and gleaming, comes standard with not one, but two spare tires in the trunk." They all looked back over to where the car had now parked and darkend thanks to the shade of a large oak tree.

"You mean that beauty has two spare tires? Come on Harold, say it ain't so man." Harold had held his breath in for a second, almost seeming to be thinking inside. When he let go, he repeated himself and turned away. "That's really fucked up, I like it too, hell I like it a lot." Wayne was still gazing away when another sedan painted bright blue, pulled up. With chrome hood latches and sunroof, blacked out windows and a V8 engine humming. Although the windows were up and doors locked, you could hear the sounds of Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the machine" punching away at the windows inside. "What would it take to drive that baby?" Someone said, "A lot more then you have," a voice answered.

They took a break from the car gazing and after Wayne complained for the sixth time about being hungry, they decided to grab a quick bite from the food stand that had been set up just this morning. There was a line of people and a collection of paper cups and plates that some idiot had tried to put in the waste basket, and missed. "I'd sure hate to be the one cleaning up this mess, when this day's done," Joey said. He had started to bend down and help out, but after looking over at William who was known as their voice of reason, left the trash were it laid. "They have people for that, and they pay them too," his eyes said.

Five large cokes and twelve hot dogs later and the boys were back on the scene, scouting the area, looking for something really special. A V8 with two doors and a fat ass exhaust sticking out the rear, crept by. Dunked in mother of pearl, it's shiny spoke wheels and jet black tires, caught all of them off guard. "Oh shit, that's the one. That's the fucking one I don't care what you guys say." It was Joey again, rattling off with the mouth about shit he would never know. "I don't know about that one Joey, maybe you should look at something else." Wayne had stuffed one of his hot dogs in his jacket, and had only now removed it. He had some of it in his mouth when the car drove by. Beyond words, he too stood locked in shock.

Harold had fixed his gaze as well. Despite his knowledge of cars, he too had found little to say other then remarks of amazement. The two door strolled over to where they stood and parked. It was here that they could see not one, but two of the most polished chrome tailpipes sticking out from the back, not a blemish to be seen. "Yo, check the fucking headlights baby, oh my god." William, daddy of them all and seeker of order was having trouble handling himself. He had gone silly as a school boy and was almost hopping with excitement. "I'd bet there's about twenty fucking coats, twenty at least." Joey had a foaming look of pleasure surrounding the sides of his mouth and like William, was also having trouble controlling himself.

The car was shifted back into gear and pulled off slowly allowing them a long and drawn out look. Memories for their future. "We can leave now, there's no fucking way to top that shit." Donald had agreed and although he had remained quiet, he too knew there was no topping what they had seen. He was first to turn and start to walk, when Harold ordered him to stop. "Look, let's do this right okay? No fucking this up, I want it to go by the numbers and smooth as a newborn's ass. Since we're already here and I can tell we're all are having a good time, let's just wait it out and check out some things before making any moves. According to my watch, there's about two hours left in the show. Let's just make sure that's what we want."

Harold, always the thinking one with years of experience to back him up, got through to them. They had broken away from their star struck gaze and had settled back into the orders at hand. As they stood for a moment gathering thoughts of their next move and planning the needed steps ahead, another car caught their attention. This one a four door, forest green with a white top and gold rims, passed by. Engine humming and windows so clean they looked fake. Wide trunk and broad hood fastened down with gold shiny clamps. It pulled by with the smell of electric smoke and nitro. "Don't say a word, none of you. Just keep your fucking mouths shut and try your damnedest to look away." They tried, lord knows they did. Was it Joey or maybe Wayne. One of them had tried too hard and it showed. "If you don't stop it, we're fucked, do you hear me?" William had turned completely around and away from the crowd of those watching. He tried to look and erase his mind of everything. A red sedan painted fire engine red was making its way up the hill towards them. It's round grill and headlights reminding him of his father's car he kept at work. "Look away damn it, you listen to me you fuck, better do as I say." It was William who was having trouble, he was staring too much and this alone could cost them.

"I'm walking back to the food stand," said Joey. "I'm taking a break from this for a minute, I need to rethink this, I'll be right back." He started moving and paused for a second. He turned around just in time to see that Wayne had told him, not to even think about it, to keep his shit wired tight and not to loose control, all this is a glance.

The forest green car had turned away and was moving further up the grassy knoll. The golf course will need some serious repair work once this show was over. All those cars coming by and many of them leaking. Some seemed to stream oil as they passed, dotting their wake. Others only spotted every so few yards. A few hardly dripped at all. So new had they been, that the blocks and pans were sealed tight, in a few years and miles to come, they too will leak, and leak like hell some will. Thick tires some fat and some even sloppy, worked their way into the green grass of Nolan's Golf World. Founded in 1975 by Edward Nolan, the place seemed to be a haven for the hottest of cars built and running from the area. Edward Nolan had started the annual event after his wife Claire died of cancer. I guess old Edward needed something to keep his mind off her and lets face it, cars work the best. About several years ago, shortly after Claire Nolan died. Edward had found himself in a little trouble. Smashed up a few cars and damn nearly killed himself. The cars were wrecked all to hell, but old Edward, always managed to walk away, sometimes without a scratch. It was because of the special gift, that many seem to think he does this, allowing his green green grass to catch all that leaking.

As for the amount of money pulled in, who's to say? There was really no way to tell, so much dirty dealings were going on and how was one to keep things in order, when so much of what was going on, was unknown. Secrets within secrets were the dealings at hand. The mere price of some of these cars, was exposed only to those who bought them. Some of the cars here today will be back next year. Some would show up on the odd years only and some would take this very slow ride only once, never to be seen around these parts again. In the past, there had been one of two cars which seem to have disappeared altogether. The police had been called in and the entire golf course searched including the vast forest l and surrounding. In the end, they never found those cars. Some argued they were sold to buyers from Europe who for whatever reasons, couldn't attend the shows. Some said the cars were stripped down and repainted, only to roll right out of town under it's people's noses. But many knew the real deal. Those cars never left the area, torn apart and sold as parts was more likely the real situation.

In recent years, one had come to just that. A blue four door with baby blue painted streaks, had made it's way up this very grassy trail back in 1989. Powder blue interior and mirror reflected tint on the windows, caused quiet a stir. After it's four mile display ride, showing off it's sleek design. It failed to show up for the finals that evening. Announcements came over the loud speakers that seem to repeat every five minutes for about an hour. Everyone thought this car was an easy win and was hoping to get a picture or two with it later. This however, would never be. Far as anyone knew, that blue car's final ride was on the grassy trail of Nolan's Golf World, it was never seen again.

Despite the obvious mysteries that seem to follow this one of a kind special show, every year there seems to be more and more cars showing up. Last year alone there were close to two thousand cars working their way through the sun and shade. One year it rained like a bitch and yet they still showed up and took their stroll. In 1988, the weather was so bad. A storm front had made it's way into the East and sat down on its ass. It stayed far too long for those living here and yet come the second Saturday of June, out came the cars. Like clockwork they came, salmon upstream some would think, that dangerous ride that seem to some to be one way. One thing always seemed a bit unclear, there were never any police around during the shows. You would think that with events like this and those weird unresolved disappearance, that police would find themselves ordered to make their rounds by the show. This never came about. Strangely enough, they always managed to show up in the aftermath, never there to prevent. One could easily say that maybe they were taking some of the cars or even buying them. But for whatever reason, this show continued year after year and oh how the money must have came rolling in.

One could very easily argue that something here was not quite right, the tell tale signs spoke from every tree and branch, bush and blade or grass. Had the animals that made Forest Hill their home spoke, they would speak of things known that not even the wild boars of the midwest would try. So much here was wrong, but in the end the cars kept coming and the show always opened.

The night before a show was always again a mystery. You could never find more then one person to agree on what happened, the night before. Dealers came and buyers gathered to settle on the best way to show off, their cars. Hot wax was always applied to every car rolling out the following morning. Tires rubbed with only the best oils and despite the dirt pathway that often came up, buyers never mind. They bought and others sold like hotcakes, in a stretched frenzy of gloss and shine.

You could wonder if you will, about why and how. You could settle on a reason and stand strong on it. But life has it's own path to follow and more often then not, we're forced to sit back and take the ride, although we'd sometimes prefer not to. From where did these cars come? How many were real and to form. How many tricked the eyes of wonder and reshaped the way they once were. Many had once been red or blue, now changed into colors that battled the senses. For some, they had changed all together. Hammered into shapes and molded to look like something they were not, all done for a show. Springtime 1988 bought in a car molded from a truck no less. God only knows the price paid for that little stunt, the buyer would later find out and after the reality closed in and settled, he sought out some pay back. One night he loaded up a 12 gauge shotgun and after putting two shots in the former owner, he walked home and opened the garage door to where the car parked. He opened the hood and without blinking, blasted the engine block. But nightmares don't always end when we want, and for some they can't end soon enough. So with murder twice in his hands, he walked into his small home on the corner of Lectar and Pine, and after a good cry of foolishness, placed both barrels in his mouth, and pulled.

All stories from the show hadn't ended so harsh. Some went on to give way to the main reason these shows take place. 1986 for example, saw a simple car which was found in a junkyard, rusted and faded. It was basically of no use to anyone other then itself. Left to rust and dissolve in a field of wasted metal, it sat for 3 years. Someone came along, noticed something special and pure hidden beneath, and after a year and a half of serious work and money, polished it to a gleam, catching fifth place and of course, sold. Every now and then, if you turn away from what's new this year, your apt to see it still showing up around these parts. It's new owner, still taking good care of it and believe it or not, there's still a good shine on it. As for the payment plans, who knew. A special car show of this type, required a payment plan all to itself. No banks, no checks, no credit cards and for God's sake, no IOUs. This was business, pure and simple. Check your hearts at the door and whatever you do here or have done to you, don't ever take it personal. Supply and demand was the main fuel used here.

"We better get moving, dusk is coming and if we're going to do this, we better get moving." William and Harold had formed the partnership of their little click. Being a bit older then the rest had given them this right long before the votes could be cast. Now it was William who seemed to be getting a little nervous. He was first to break the silence and was now asking for everyone to double check, their orders. "William, I got it okay, I know what to do when I have to do it, Jesus man, we've been over this a million times already." Joey was getting nervous as well. He knew William had to ask and in fact was glad he did so, but things were getting loose here, neatly tied knots of order, were slipping, losing their hold. "I'll tell you what, don't have this shit backfire. I swear to god, it better not backfire." Wayne as if touched by Joey's concern, was also showing signs of nervousness. He more then the others, had the most to loose. A father by ninth grade and sent away to a boarding house by the time his girlfriend gave birth, he had managed to remain in some kind of trouble, for the better part of his teenager life. If things went wrong, he was toast. "Relax everyone, nothing's going to go wrong. Just stick to the plan and we're in like flint, or something like that." Good old Harold, under pressure himself but still keeping it cool, always did.

An hour and a half later, the five of them William, Wayne, Harold, Joey and now one on the brink of crazy Donald, had walked up the hill towards the end of the drive path, cars were continuing to move slowly by as buyers and dealers, worked their business. Spoilers and mag wheels, dropped down trunks and even a few wannabees sportsters, paraded by. Engines hummed and some purred, as the combination of beauty and beast crossed into perfection. It was atop the hill where the judges would sit and wait. A flat and opened area of full grown and very well maintained grass laid out for such occasions. Banners flew and some draped to a small wind that seemed to pick up from time to time. This was the end of the road, last chance and the aborting point. It they played their cards right, they should never see this place.

"I'm telling you guys to remain calm, don't even think about backing out on me. I'd swear if you did and I got caught, your all fucked, I promise you." To say that Wayne was edgy was the understatement of the year. He was already a big man for his age and seem to run a lot hotter then most, but today the breeze, what little of it there was, was rather cool for June. And for reasons all to well known, Wayne was sweating like a pig. You could smell that sour unease to him and he kept reaching up, wiping away at his face.

Less then 30 minutes to closing and the announcing of this years winner, the five friends from Dayton Ohio who had been best friends since grade school, took to the woods and carefully worked their way around the golf course, keeping somewhat close to the now driven path of this year's cars. While cutting through the various pines and oaks, they listened as some cars revved their engines and some even spun out in t he grass and dirt. A few clouds of dust had been kicked up and a draft of wind blowing eastward, reminded them that time was now closing in. "Come on, we got to get going, let's move it." Harold was also getting jumpy now, his speech which held mostly order, was now starting to fall sideways, he began questioning his own thoughts.

The pathway led upwards to where players would normally finish up on the 16th-18th hole of golf. This afternoon however, that area was transformed into a detailing lot. Here the cars were again wiped down and quickly washed for the judges and onlookers. New coats of wax or oils would once again coat bodies of metal and steel, plastic and the occasional fiberglass. Scented trees were replaced where ones shown earlier, as the cars made their slow drive up the hill. Back down at the starting point, guest and followers of the show, awaited the results having picked and made their own private decisions. The loud speakers and some outside monitors would transmit the results. Clean up crews were already starting the long task of returning the green fields and hidden pathways, back to normal. Cups and plastic bottles, beer cans and candy wrappers peppered the forest and driveways. The show was coming to a close and the excitement was building.

Nolan's Golf World sat right in the middle of 75 square miles of wooded trees and forest. Only three highways out and one barely used dirt road. Many of the cars would be placed on lifts and taken away. They would almost certainly take route 231 West or 75 East. So as the boy's plan now discussed for the last time, they put in motion, an act of unspeakable crime.

A parking lot sized area, now played as a resting spot for cars being prep for the judges. Dusk had just opened it's eyes and kerosene lanterns lined the pathways leading to the top of the hill.

They now laid quietly on their bellies crawling slowly through the woods. The green leaves of shrubs and small bushes, provided near perfect camouflage. It was here that the action would take place. They had to be quick about it, nothing to chance and nothing left behind. They had taken off and burned their name tags and tickets. Wayne had decided to throw in receipts from the food stand. They tied their sneakers tight and tucked in their shirts. Joey had slipped on his windbreaker, although the weather still hadn't called for it. It was Donald who first spotted it.

The two door with sun roof and chrome pipes. Crystal clear glass and a million dollar paint job. Mother of pearl thick and even coated, the car as it sat parked just under a large evergreen. Amber colored lights peeked from under the headlights and the ticking sounds of a perfectly tuned V8 engine cooling down. Two highly polished and extended chrome tail pipes made their way just past its bumper, polished to perfection. The front grill alone was worth the price of admission and it was surely a shoe in to win.

"Pisst!" Stop here! It was Harold waving to those behind. He and Donald had come to a complete stop and had taking a moment to snap off their gaze. "Fucking beautiful, God damn it's beautiful." Donald was just staring now, eyes still fixed and slowly shaking his head in amazement. "Dear God, let me live long enough to touch it, just touch it is all." He was on the verge to breaking down now and Harold knew that time was now chasing them. The window of chance was beginning to close.

William and Joey had been given the order to keep watch. With eyes peeled and heart rates increasing, they did as they were told and readied themselves for anything. Wayne was the weapons man, should things get out of hand. One last glance around and one last listen and all would be go.

The two seater sat parked motionless and on an angle. Several cars two blue and a host green and yellow blends. Three off white, four flaming red and one purple. They too were parked and waiting for final judgment. A rainbow of colors scattered about that green area, as if heaven had fallen to earth, oh the decisions one could have had. Across the loud speakers came the voice of Harry Limmens. He had been a special guest and sub-host for years. His voice had become well know at this show, much like the "Let's get ready to rumble" man in those fake ass boxing events. He announced that the time had come "Gentlemen, it is TIME!" was what he said and just like in the shows of the past, the crowd went crazy with excitement.

With only seconds in which to work, the boys sprang into action. Harold came first from a sat down position, with William, Donald and Joey taking up the rear. Wayne remained behind although he was now running up past the park car to where the second pathway leading down and out towards the woods had been marked off with yellow caution tape. As Harold approached the car, he had already removed the slender metal object known as a slim jim. Sliding it down and lifting up he popped the door's latch and lock with ease. Seconds ticking he reached around unlocking the passenger's side door to where William and Donald were waiting. Sliding his hand under the polished metal hinge, William pulled on the door and unlocked the rear door behind him so fast, that Donald thought he had forgot. Donald stood jumping up and down and looking quickly around and past Joey who too had been scouting for anyone seeing them. "Get the fuck in!" Harold shouted and he could see their heads bobbing around. William had removed another one of his special tools and after jamming it into the ignition and pulling, exposed the inner workings of the electrical network, switchboard to the starting system. Hands working faster then a surgeon trying to stop a bleeding, he connected red and yellow, one orange and a blue wire and twisted. The car instantly started and before anyone had a change to admire the purr of the well tuned engine, Harold had slammed the gearbox i nto first and popped off the clutch, rear wheels spinning.

Dust kicked up from behind as the obvious this year's winning car, spun around and after slowing down long enough to pick up Wayne who had cleared the tape and metal barrels, made it's way out of the Nolan Golf World's park and onto the dirt road, heading deep into the surrounding woods, miles wide and long. "Fuck me, we did it, motherfuckers we did it!" Donald was almost screaming at the top of his lungs with excitement. Harold had full control of the car and had shifted into the f ifth and final gear, 92 MPH and moving up fast.

"Settle down! We've got a ways to go yet and this is far from over!" Harold too was excited, but knew that anything could happen. They needed to get away, far away and very clear from anyone close to the show. He knew it would take sometime before the car was noticed missing. He figured they had about five to ten minutes there. Then the panic would set in and that would give them another ten to twenty minutes of chaos. Afterwards, the whole show would go freaked as the numbers of cars were quickly accounted for and buyers, dealers and whomever else would have access, would instantly be called to order. "30 minutes top is all we have, we've got no more then that and we had better be gone or we're fucked!" Harold still barking out orders, pushed the gas pedal deeper to the floor. Pistons slammed against golden spark plugs and a fuel injector, screamed as it passed fuel down.

"Oh my god, listen to that bitch yell!" Donald and Joey both, jumped up and down like little boys at a roller coaster ride, waiting for the big dip. Wayne was looking out the side window and trying to make himself comfortable, having difficulty doing so. "I don't care how much time we have, as far as I'm concerned, I'm living a lifetime and a day, right now." William was looking around the inside of the car and feeling quite proud that they had done the right thing. "Best fucking car in the bunch, I tell you. And she's all ours!"

They cheered out loud inside a car considered more beautiful then gold. It's pearl colors changing in the falling light, looked like an angel made of metal. Headlights beaming bright lights of white hue, dropping deep red streaks behind. It made it's way east and north, before going east again. Pine changed to oak and light oak and back to pine as the car driven by master car man Harold Winston. "Let me drive now!" came a voice from behind. It was Wayne, tired of being pushed against the glass, he wanted action. "Give it another 15 minutes and we'll all drive this bitch, drive it good to." Harold had given the boys the response they wanted to hear. And from the peanut gallery behind, came another cheer.

The dirt road changed to a paved surface and returned to dirt once more before, Harold having only just begun to really enjoy himself, brought the car to a screeching halt, white smoke vapors from the tires. "Everyone out, get the fuck out!" he shouted. Five young men pushed open the two doors of the car and leaped out, excitement pumping wildly from their hearts. "My turn, it's my turn now!" William who had been sitting shotgun the whole time and was next in age, raced around the side to Harold, who was hanging out his hand. "Take it, but if your going to drive it, you had better drive it hard, no fucking around got it?" Before he had time to blink, William had nodded yes to him and jumped in the already opened door, and slammed it into first gear, screeching tires left black marks on stone, and partial pavement.

"I can't believe we did it!" shouted Donald who was working himself into a frenzy knowing he would be next. "How could you have doubted us, where's your faith?" answered Harold. He was looking down the road now and checking at his watch. "Enjoy it fellas, I think by now they know the girl is missing." There was a pause, and silence cut through the open air and sliced through trees, landing hard on their ears. Harold realizing what had happened, shouted out. "Drive that fucker!, drive it hard damn it!" They all broke out into cheer and Donald even laughed afterwards.

It had been close to 15 minutes before the howling sounds of a racing engine, made it's way towards them. Headlight's flicked from low to high as a signal. William had jumped out of the car whose engine was now purring like the wild cat it was. Donald wasted no time running around the side and after taking the drivers wheel, spun out into the now night air, tailpipes dripping with fuel. "How's she run?" asked Wayne. "How the fuck do you think she ran, like the wind my man, like the fucking wind!" William answered. He was still shaking his head with excitement. Harold smiled and looked over to where Joey had been sitting on the ground. His legs were crossed and to Harold he seemed to be almost praying.

"What's the matter there Joey, having second thoughts?" Joey answered ,"No," but Harold knew better. He'd know Joey the longest and being the youngest of them all, was the baby in more ways then one. "You are driving it Joey, do you hear me?" Joey never looked up but Harold could hear him reply yes. "I'm going again if he's not man, I'm ready, I'll go again." William had walked out into the road and was trying to listen to that sound he heard just a few minutes ago. "Motherfucker better not be going twice on us, I'll kick his ass if he does." Harold had walked over to Wayne and looked back over his shoulder to William. "Relax Will, he knows the deal give him his time, as he did you."

It was closer to 20 minutes before headlights returned. The car hadn't lost any splendor although dust had now turned to dirt on it's hood, roof and trunk area. Donald came out yelling out loud as Wayne instantly jumped behind the wheel and after shifting to lower gear, took off. They listened as the car screamed and winced when Wayne missed third gear. "God damn, glad I got my ride in before he did." replied Donald. He looked as if he had just ran a mile in a heat wave. "Are you getting ready Joey?" he asked. Darkness had all but made it quite hard to see now and it was Harold who decided to build a small fire. "I want this to stay small, no fucking signals to those looking, keep it small." No one answered, but they all knew he was right. Even Joey knew, who had remained seated the whole time.

"It's getting late, where the fuck is he?" Harold was looking down at his watch and although he didn't seem worried, he was hoping that Wayne would return soon. A loud backfire echoed from a quarter mile away and they knew it was Wayne. "What the fuck is he doing man? I hope he doesn't fuck it up." William was hoping for his second run and was turning to Joey still sitting. " It's getting close now, we're cutting this close," said Harold.

Mother of pearl plastered in dust and dirt, came up to them sideways as Wayne slammed on the breaks. He jumped out and punched his fist in the air in victory. "Fuck yea baby, fuck yea!" he shouted. "Who's the fucking man huh? Who's the fucking man, baby?" His face was sweaty and dirty, hair matted to the sides of his face. Harold looking back at his watch, turned to Joey. "Your up Joey, make us proud." Joey had remained sitting and only looked at them all. Through the flickering of flames from a small fire, they saw tears.

"What? What the fuck is this?" yelled out Donald. He was looking at the car which was sitting and now humming with power and over to Joey, just sitting. "Come on Joey, let's go!" he said. Joey had returned his head down and only moved his foot slightly, indicating no. Harold had looked at the car which he guessed had about a half tank of gas left and looked back at Joey. "Joey?" he said. "Let's go now, it's your turn, let's go." Joey's head remained down and this time no signal. "Fuck him then, I'm going again." yelled William. "Wait!' shouted Harold. "No one goes twice until we all had our turn, get up Joey, get up and drive that car!" Joey now looked up, the crackling sounds of the fire the only sound besides the running engine. He walked slowly to where the car's door was still open, and stood next to it. "Joey, don't just stand there, get the fuck into that car and drive it!" shouted Harold. "Joey? We've come too fucking far now, there's no turing back kido, become a man and drive that fucking car!

They all watched as he slowly sat into the leather seat and very carefully closed the door. The headlight were now spotted with bugs and twigs. The windshield had acquired a few cracks and the sunroof had been pulled back and off it's hinge. There were dings in the side door and a footmark in the quarter panel. Along the sides were scratches made by tree branches and stones kicked up from the front tires. The engine had developed a slight knock, and Joey could have sworn, he smelled oil. A tiny cloud of steam made it's way up from the corners of the hood. Inside, he could see the driver's seat had been torn. The back window caught a couple of pine cones and a small bunch of twigs. The passenger's side too, had rips and there was mud all over the mats and inside door. The tach had been busted and the rearview mirror, torn off. Above him, the inner lining, ripped with sharp object. The once sweet two seater which was dipped in the famed mother of pearl color, was now a mess.

"Are you going to just sit there, or drive Joey?" Harold's voice was raised just below the screaming level and Joey knew what he had to do. He shut the driver's side door and strapped his seat beat. He raced the engine twice and put it in gear, turning the car around and facing west. "What the fuck is he doing?" asked William. "Stop fucking around Joey and go the other way!" yelled Donald. The four of the stood watching and waiting for Joey to obey. He looked over to them and forward ahead and having already placed his foot on the clutch, dropped the car into gear. Its wheels spun out and rocketed towards the west, running through all gears and not missing one. "Jesus man, what the fuck is he doing?" Harold looked once more at his watch. He knew it had come, time had run out on their adventure. The police would be here soon. And if they caught them, they would arrest them all for abduction and rape.

Highway 214 broke into Route 542 west. The open roof and night air provided Joey with a calm he'd never known. All his life, he'd wanted nothing more then to fit in. To be part of a growing team. He reached over and clicked on the radio, he changed it from FM to AM and after tuning it, found a station playing a song he always liked, The Things We Do For Love. His ride would last another two hours before state police would spot him and chase him down. He would bring the car fitted with two seats and V8 engine to 110 MPH before an oak tree, 75 years in the making would step out into the road ahead of him. Truth be known, it's what he wanted. The impact would come quickly as metal and glass, would meet bone and flesh. A burst of fright and screams would soon silence, as the young boy named Joey, became a man.

The End

Author's note: They're going to nail me to the cross, for this one. Okay, how many of you caught it? Be honest now, how many figured out what I was trying to do? Okay, I'll take some of the blame if you won't. If you didn't get it, it could very well be because I fucked up in telling it. I wanted to surprise you and was only hoping to lure you in far enough to get you reading. But if you've come this far and still don't get it, oh well then. Take it as you will. Maybe it's for the best then. :)

I came up with the idea about a month ago and for the last two weeks was trying to put it to form. I was quite proud of "Inner/Conflict" and was trying to give you guys something else to chew on. Why cars? Well, why not. I can't think of anything men love more. Like a pair of new shoes displayed in Macy's window, men are in love with cars. We often gaze at them as works of beauty, much like we gaze at you women. We often refer to cars as "she" and would damn nearly do anything, to keep them nice and shinning. We'll baby them if we have to and change the oil every 3000 miles like clockwork. We spend big bucks on sport kits and waxes. Cleaning products and fresh scented trees to hang inside. God forbid, a scratch appear out of nowhere, we freak! Quickly we run to detailing shops and don't think twice about buying new wheels and rims. We coat the interior with special oils to keep the leather soft, and many had even washed their cars, knowing that it's going to rain in a few hours. I think it's safe to say that men really love cars. So with that said, was it nice for me to use one in place of you wonderful creatures who are female? Who says I was writing about a car?

This will more then likely be my last story of awhile. I'd taken a break from writing to play computer games. Then I had got sick of playing computer games online, and turned back to writing. Now here's were it gets a little crazy. I'm not sick of writing, I'm really enjoying it. There's a new computer game coming out very soon in what they call a beta version (don't ask) anyhow, I'll more then likely be screwing around (hmmmm..) with it for awhile until it gets released. My biggest problem has always been trying to do both at once. I've always had trouble writing and playing games at the same time, because during the hours I like to write, I'm fucking off online. I took some much needed time off from gaming, and had a blast writing for the last two months. I'm not saying that I won't do anymore, I'm just saying that I might not.

In closing, I'd like to take a quick minute to let you in on something, I've been thinking about. You could very well see my first Web page appear this year. I thought about it for sometime, and after talking with a few people, I figure what the fuck, why not? I'll keep you posted about the results. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the story, I know I did in writing it.