Grandpa’s Little Humber
By Scott Wilson
Duncan pulled the base of the back seat of his car out from his locked position. This feature was a bonus in the old car and gave Duncan a great hiding place for his cigarettes, condoms and deck of playing cards that had pictures of nude women on the player’s side.
Duncan grabbed his Marlboros and stuffed them into his shirt pocket. It was his last packet so he made a mental note to pick up another packet before he finished work that afternoon. Still living at home and having no real privacy or place where he could keep these things, he was ecstatic when he discovered this feature of his car.
He loved his 1964 Model Humber Vogue sports car. Two years back his grandfather finished restoring the old car and said Duncan could pay him off a little each month when he started work. Before Duncan had a chance to even pay back half the two thousand dollars to his grandpa, his grandfather died of a heart attack.
He loved his grandfather and missed him dearly, and it just didn’t feel right still owing him any money. Not that his grandfather really cared if Duncan paid him back or not. But it was the principal of owing the old man the money that ate at Duncan’s conscious.
“See you later baby,” Duncan said to the Humber as he walked towards the back door of the Foodstore where he worked.
The light above the door was flickering, making Duncan feel uneasy about opening the store by himself. Only seventeen and already given the responsibility of setting up the fruit and veggie section of the store was a proud achievement for Duncan. He worked twelve hour days and didn’t have much time for anything but his car when he wasn’t at work.
Duncan flicked his keys around to find the one for the store while he walked up the stairs. The sound of a can rolling down the car park startled him and he dropped the keys.
“Who’s there?” he said.
When there was no reply, Duncan quickly bent down and picked up his keys. As he stood up, two dark figures appeared from behind the dumpster.
“Hand those over, buddy,” the bigger of the two said.
“Yeh, hand them over. We don’t want no trouble or nuthin’,” the other one added.
Duncan looked around the car park for help, but at five thirty in the morning, not even the milkman was around.
“Look, take them, just leave me alone,” Duncan said nervously.
“We ain’t interested in you,” the taller man said. “We know you ain’t got access to the safe or nothin’.”
“But you have got that lovely old car that we knows someone wants.”
Duncan’s eyes flared wide. There was no way he was going to let the two bastards steal his car. It had too much sentimental value to it. He turned and ran back towards the Humber.
“Quick, get him,” the tall man yelled to his companion.
Duncan reached the Humber just as the smaller man caught up and tackled him to the ground. Duncan dropped his keys and grazed his face when he hit the bitumen. The keys slide under the car, out of his reach.
Duncan wrestled free and began to get to his knees. The taller man kicked him in the stomach, sending him into the driver’s door of the Humber. Duncan felt a rib crack when he hit the ground the second time.
“Get those keys!” The tall man yelled to his companion.
The smaller man scurried under the car, trying to grab the keys that were just out of reach.
“I can’t get them, need a pole or somethin’”
He crawled back out from under the car, turned and got to his knees just in time to see a glowing white apparition lift his partner in crime off the ground by the throat.
“What the...” he said.
Duncan quickly kneed the stunned car thief in the face, breaking his nose and sending a few teeth flying from his mouth in a bloody explosion.
The ghost hurled the tall man into the dumpster, knocking him out.
“I can’t reach the keys, grandpa,” Duncan said to the ghost.
The ethereal figure quickly floated over to the Humber and disappeared into the driver’s door, then under the car.
“What’s going on?” Mumbled the smaller man through his swollen and cut lips.
“My grandfather still owns half of this car you fool,” Duncan said as the ghost reappeared next to the Humber. “Nobody is going to take his car from me while I still owe him for his share.”
The ghost hovered over to the kneeling man and shoved the car keys into his eyes until both the apparition’s hand were buried deep in the man’s skull. The thief dropped to the ground, dead before he hit the bitumen. Duncan’s grandpa turned slowly and stretched his hand out and dropped the car keys into Duncan’s hand.
“Thanks, grandpa,” Duncan said.
His grandpa smiled then floated through the driver’s door of the Humber and sat contently behind the wheel before slowly disappearing.
Grandpa’s Little Humber
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