The Revival

Week 4 – Two teens steal a relative’s classic car and head to the beach.

Braden knew Bethany would be impressed with the car. It wasn’t just any old car. It was a red 1958 Plymouth Fury. It was the car from the movie Christine.

Braden’s uncle Bill worked on the movie way back in 1982. It was filmed in the small Maine town Bill was born and raised in. The movie people hired many of the locals. The work was nothing special. Mostly just grunt work, but still he was on the set of a major motion picture.

Braden remembers Bill telling endless stories at every family gathering. IT was the most fascinating thing that ever happened to him and he never missed the opportunity to talk about it. He would tell stories of the actors and how many takes it took for them to get their lines right; he marveled over the many cameras were needed to capture the action; and pièce de résistance for Bill was the time that Stephen King came to the set on a warm July afternoon.

After Bill tucked into the scotch, his stories became more frightening. One story Braden remembers Bill telling is how the car was truly possessed and that he’d been penetrated by the evil spirit of the car.

He can still hear Bill’s voice, slurred and growly. “I’d been told to clean the car; to get it Shinning clean, as it were. I’d just crawled in the backseat to wipe down the seats when all the doors slammed shut and locked. I tried the doors and they wouldn’t budge. It was then I felt a presence in the car with me. It whispered words to me—kill the shitters it said. Smoke filled the car and my lungs, and I felt the change. It was immediate and permanent.”

According to Braden’s father, Bill changed. He became withdrawn and spent most of his time in the car.

A few years back, around 2005, Bill was found dead in the car. He’d parked it in the garage, looped a hose from the exhaust into the car, windows up. He’d left a note, a confession, really, about a missing girl, and how he’d been driven to kill her by the car. Police were never able to locate the child’s body. Braden’s father inherited Bill’s house, and the car, which has since remained in garage

“Are you sure we should take this car, his car?” Asked Bethany.

“Why not. It’s all ancient history,” said Braden.

The car revved to life, better than Braden expected. Bad to the Bone by George Thorogood sprung to life on the ancient radio. Braden steered the car from the garage onto the rough highway, heading to the beach.

He found a pack of smokes in the glove box. He lite one.

“You don’t smoke, Brendan. What are you doing?”

The noxious fumes filled the car. The music pounded loudly as the car tore up the road towards the beach. Braden had never felt better.

***

Red and blue emergency lights, and the bark of police dogs, penetrated the night. The water lapped on the beach and the tires of the old car. Flashlights shone in sporadic beams on the body, eviscerated, on the hood of the car.

Braden’s father identified the body of his son.

Bethany has yet to be found.

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