My parents named me Larry after character Larry Dallas played by Richard Kline on the television show Threes a Company from a long before I was born. With the last name Tanner, I quickly became LT. Here are some of my stories warts and all.
Duct Tape Plymouth
No signal. This is the 21st century how can we be in America and not have a cell signal? Me and my friends Greg and Luke went on a trip buy some pot. Yes, I know that’s illegal. None of us have smoked it before and you should try things before you grow old and die inside. I think that’s around 30? Luke said he knew a guy that grows his own and sells it on the down low. I want to tell him he is using “down low” wrong but it’s too funny to see people’s reactions when he says it. We must find our fun where we can. The trouble is that this guy lives about fifty miles out of town. That is where Greg come into the picture.
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Greg has a car. Well, a sort off car. He and his father rebuilt an old Plymouth minivan for Greg. Neither of them are mechanics. The body is a mix of body filler and duct tape. A mechanic looked under the hood and offered then $50 to tow it away. He said he couldn’t see how this thing runs. It was the ideal display of what not to do. Yet somehow it not only runs but it has never had an issue. At that point I should have said, “yes because you never drive it more than 5 miles at a time.” But we were up to no good and when you’re up to no good you don’t think of stupid things like consequences.
We would go after school. It should have been a simple hour trip, but nothing can ever be simple. Greg’s car gets about ten miles to the gallon with a five-gallon gas tank. We had to plan the trip by searching for ever gas station along the way. Somehow, we worked it out, although we may be coasting on fumes for part of that trip. Soon the school day was over and we were off. At the first station, the guy behind the bullet resistant glass asked, “what the hell kind of car is that?” Greg said, “it’s a little bit of everything.” We had to open the back hatch to pump the fuel. It explains why the car always smells like gas.
We hit the hills and the car started to make a new sound. A bad sound. Then the smell of burning rubber. Greg said, “you get used to it.” The next stop was full service but the attendant wouldn’t touch the car. He said, “I don’t want to break it. Wait is that duct tape?” Greg said, “yes, it is that’s a structural piece of duct tape.” We were relying on a car held together duct tape. At least we aren’t going very fast. 50mph is its highest speed and that’s only going downhill. The next shop was closed. It looked like it closed about a thousand years ago. Thanks internet. We somehow made it the next shop. The tank topped off exactly at 5 gallons. We have only gone about thirty miles. Greg got an idea. He went inside the station and came back with a ten-gallon gas can. This is where I should have said, “are you out of your mind?” but I didn’t say a word.
About five minutes from the last station we stopped an opened all the windows. With this car, you must stop and open the windows from the outside. It’s not like anyone is going to steal this piece of shit. Soon the hills grew steeper. The car grew hotter. Greg said, “we have to run the heater or the car will over heat.” It was about 80 degrees outside and about 150 degrees inside the car. The heat coming off the hood of the car was almost blinding. Then we saw smoke. A little smoke became a torrent of smoke. Greg stopped the car and we all got out. He went to the back and retrieved a fire extinguisher. Then he tried to pop the hood but he hit the emergency break instead. The car started to roll down a steep hill.
The hit the curb going a good speed. One it could never achieve on its own. Somehow it achieved some lift and made it over the guard rail and off the cliff into a ravine. Before anyone could get to it side of the road there was a massive explosion. Like someone left a ten-gallon gas can in a burning car. Greg looked down at the smoldering ruin of a car he rebuilt his own hands and said, “my phone was in there.” Luke checked his pockets and said, “oh shit, so was mine.” They both looked at me. I showed them my shame phone. My parents took my iPhone away after a little problem I was in. I was in a car with my girlfriend when the car went into gear and we ended up in a gorge in a national forest. The shame phone is a basic model with no touch screen and no apps. It makes calls and that’s it.
After a few tries we had to come to terms with the idea we would have to walk until we found a signal and maybe even further. Luke thought we should wait to see if the fire goes out. I said, “do you really want to be out here when it gets dark?” We started to walk. We made it about three miles when a truck pulled up. Behind the wheel was a woman in her thirties. In the truck bed was another girl maybe our age. She asked if he had some car trouble. Greg said, “a little car went off a cliff kind of trouble.”.
We got in the back and Luke got in the front with the woman. The girl looked older as the truck started to move. We sat with our backs to the back of the cab so the wind would be manageable. The driver was speeding. The girl in the back spit out her gum and moved closer to Greg. She asked, “are you a virgin?” He nodded his head. She took her left hand and grabbed him by the crotch. She then looked at me and said, “don’t worry you’re next.” From behind us we saw lights. Red and blue lights. It was the police. We were either saved or going to jail. The woman pulled over and a cop got out of the car. He looked in the bed of the truck then went to the driver side window. In the cab, the woman was pulling her shirt down. He said, “going a little fast aren’t you.” It sounded like a question but it wasn’t. The cop didn’t know the half of it.
He let them go with a ticket and he arrested us for abandoning the car in the ravine. He whispered to us, “I am really doing this to get you away from them.” We finally could call home. My little cheap phone was a lifesaver. No one knew their home or parents cell phone numbers. I had them all saved in my shame phone. The guy at the front desk said, “we won’t be pressing any charges as long as you can prove it was an accident.” Using a link to the cloud we showed him pictures of the car. He said, “maybe it was for the best. Somethings shouldn’t be on the road.” He then asked what we were doing out there. Greg said he wanted to take a drive and see how far the car could go. The officer said, “it’s a good thing you didn’t make it very far. The County Marshals are running a sting on a fake pot farm luring people in then arresting them.”
These are short stories I wrote. Some are connected to the larger books I am working on others are just for the fun of story telling.
Chapters 1 - 12 PDF
PDFs are on new Story PDF page
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