An Old Truck

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A strange tour around an antique truck in a far off desert landscape.

Submitted: September 06, 2018

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Submitted: September 06, 2018





The white sun burned a hole through the acrylic blue dome sky and warmed a diorama desert. It cast short but hard lined shadows around the old truck and those who stood near it.

“Yep, she’s a classic.” the grizzled face man said to the admirers standing near the truck.

They had caught him unawares. He had laid over the black Bakelite steering wheel back when the old truck had still been in the shade of the fillin’ station’s facade. The man then cleared his throat and smiled at his apparent audience. The man was use to the question that would soon follow and had his answers about the old truck down pat. But these days he stopped rushing the experience and tried to enjoy these minnie tours in and around the antique automobile. He stepped out onto the oxidized green running board and stretched his arms out. The man made a big friendly open-mouthed yawn before stepping off on to the sandy tarmac and answering the inevitable questions.

“Boy?' he said, addressing the young one.

"Are these summers getting hotter or is it all in my head?” he asked as he mopped nonexistent moisture from a shiny forehead under a long billed aviator’s hat.

He thought he caught some knowing smiles from the dad. The young one just stared at him.

“Well…” he said, not wanting to drag it out too long.

“The truck is old. It was sixty when I got it back in ‘42. And that was what, twenty four years ago?” he said while absently caressing the curve of the long front fender.

“No. It’s the original upholstery. Amazing, isn’t it?” he laughed

“But I think it has a lot to do with the dry climate. Things just last longer. Look at me!” he said, and laughed again.

“Yep. This baby gets great mileage too.” he chuckled

The three of them made their way around to the front of the truck. He popped the hood and young one jumped back and made a surprise sound. He had seen this reaction so many times that he quit reacting to it. Bent over the radiator and fender, the group stared at the antique power plant. His young visitors had to touch everything. His natural urge to tell them not to had long ago past. It gets longer between tours these days and no one has ever harmed the old truck. Besides, he knew it was necessary if they were going to learn. And what was he these days but a sort of teacher.

“Yes. That’s correct. This generation was called the Advance Design. That’s a 90 horsepower 216 inline 6 cylinder with a single barrel carburetor.”

“Yep. It had the old Babbitt bearings cast into the connecting rods.”

“Okay, I bet you can’t guess what transmission is sitting behind it.”

“Wow, close but no. It was actually upgraded to a hydramatic at some point. It won't win any races but she'd get you down the road at a decent clip.”

“Yeah? No kidding?” he asked the older one after discussing rear end differential ratios common to that generation of trucks. He was about to add to the subject but then noticed the young one looking off across the parking lot at the pumps and realized he’s done it again. He had a habit of losing the younger ones attention and swore he’d work on it.

“Hey!” he said to the daydreamer.

“Ya wanna see something cool?

The young one just made a noncommittal sound and shrugged.

“Pull my finger, kid.” he said.

The father, hearing this, just shook his heads and turned away. The young one stepped up and took the proffered finger in his grip and pulled.

“Ahhh!” the grizzled face man shrieked as the young one stood there in utter shock holding the man’s detached finger.

The father turned his back on the scene and tried to stifle the funny sounds coming out of his mouths. The man took his finger back from the paralyzed kid and reattached it to his hand.

“See? It’s alright, kid.” he said, and then showed him there was no damage.

“Well. I’d say that woke you up.” he chuckled

When the kid fully recovered, he ran around the other side of the truck and spoke happily to his father about the trick the odd man played on him, not knowing his father had seen it many times over many years with many sons.

The two of them walked back to their vehicle making happy sounds all the way. They waved goodbye to the grizzled face man, now holding his own detached head up in the air with one hand and waving back with the other.

When school started again, the kid knew he would share with his class his trip to the Galactic Expo and one particular Earth diorama that featured a grizzled face man and an old truck.

© Copyright 2019 R.Guy Behringer. All rights reserved.

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