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Friday short story time: "Living In Cars"

Today, a story that started off as a broadly Halloween themed concept. I’m not sure if I quite stayed on topic, it might not be very scary, but nonetheless, I present it for your judgment.

Also, I find it helpful to imagine the cars in this story as being the ones from the Pixar animated movie Cars, which I have never seen. As ever, if you want to read more stories, they are in the archives.

Living In Cars

By Nick Bryan

Wayne let Doug drop, and then started scrambling over the fence himself, whilst his partner hissed at him to hurry up.

‘Hey, m’coming as fast as I can,’ Wayne hissed as he eased his crotch over the barbed wire, ‘you had me holding your bit of rope, this is hard shit on your own.’

That common sense wisdom didn’t seem to stop Doug muttered ‘C’mon c’mon c’mon c’mon…’ as Wayne made small hops down the vertical, before letting himself drop the last few feet. Neither of them could really make out each other’s voices through their masks anyway.

‘Okay, I’m here, let’s get this over with.’

Wordlessly, the two of them fanned out among the cars on the forecourt, each trying to find something worth taking. They were only two guys, after all, and they didn’t have a massive fucking sixteen wheeler to ship a fleet out. Two cars, one each, choose them, ram the gate and drive off.

They knew they wouldn’t have long once they’d broken the entrance open, hence why they had to enter using proper cat burglar methods. So now they had a little more time to scan around. Doug was sure he’d seen a nice Mercedes somewhere and he was determined to find it, Wayne was more practical. There were perfectly decent family cars he could drive out much less conspicuously, make a few quid.

There was a crunch near his feet, and Wayne looked down sharply. Nothing except an orange toy car he’d stepped on. He ignored it in the end; they were after bigger game tonight. It was horribly dark though. If not for streetlights, they’d be blind.

This was the only place without security guards that sold big enough gear to make it worthwhile. A couple of cars, all told, would be enough to get them out of trouble.

Still, he wanted this over and done with as soon as possible. He found a huge family car, proper kid-mobile with seven seats, and nodded at it firmly. This was the sensible car of his dreams. Nice shade of blue, plenty of space, sat nav as standard. He could get enough for this in his favourite dodgy garages to keep him out of debt and into beers for ages.

Impatiently, he looked around for Doug. He’d surely be eyeing up a couple of sports cars by now, torn between Merc and Ferrari. It was down to Wayne to stand firmly over him until he made a decision.

He dashed around the cars to where he’d last seen Doug and looked around. They were not using torches, but there ought to be enough reflected light from polished new cars to make a man moving around visible, surely?

Fortunately, his problem didn’t last long. Car headlights snapped on, and showed Doug caught in their beam, frozen like one of those deer you hear about. Wayne was about to yell at him for being a moron, when he realised two things.

Firstly, two different cars had hit their lights at once, parked facing each other, leaving Doug caught in the crossfire. Secondly, he hadn’t been at the dashboard of either.

Moments later, one of them twitched slightly. It was so slight that he could have imagined it, but that was the troubling part. It wasn’t a judder, a rumble or a cranking of gears, it was a living motion, a tremble. The kind of movement you don’t expect from a machine.

The headlights illuminated the front of both vehicles, and made it perfectly clear: there was no-one in the driving seat of either, unless they were hiding way down by the pedals.  Still, there was a mighty rumble as both engines started at once and, before Doug could move, they slammed together. In a certain light, the number plates and headlights had seemed to curl upwards in a grin just before.

Doug, of course, was crushed between them, his pelvis bleeding its goo out all over the paintwork of the left hand car, and something that looked worryingly like shit coming out to the right. Even worse, Wayne thought he could hear the two of them clanging together through Doug.

And that was all he saw before he turned and ran. Unable to face another clamber over the barbed wire, he headed for the gates, before remembering that he had nothing to smash through with. He was nowhere near strong enough to open them by himself.

And then he turned around to see a huge family car advancing on him. In fact, it was the same one he’d been eyeing up a few minutes ago. Seven seats, satnav, and that weird metal grin dented into its maw.

The engine was barking and growling like a dog, getting closer and closer, when suddenly the bonnet hurled itself open. The whirl of machines inside didn’t look like dead metal and plastic. Instead, they were shimmering and twitching like blood vessels, humming and beating like a heart.

Which was the last thought Wayne had time for, before a radiator hose whipped out and wrapped around his neck. But that was merely a precursor to the main event, when it yanked his head down over the edge of the engine compartment, before the bonnet came smashing back down again.

Copyright me, do not steal, email me to discuss the mechanics of stealing, Happy Halloween, try not to get caught peeing on anyone’s car.


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