Tucker Twain and the Gran Fury
Filling Station Flip
Tucker and his son Jim had worked together at their own filling station since Jim could hold a rag and walk without falling down, though Tucker’d had to keep a good eye on the little tyke to make sure he didn’t get squashed into the oil spotted pavement by somebody's old Chevy. Jim turned out to be quite smart about these things, and was also good about hanging onto his father’s overalls at most times of the day, so worries slipped off soon enough.
It was a good attraction to have Jim shining up cars and washing windows standing on an old wooden crate. People decided it was worth it to drive the extra three blocks from the more professional looking, self-serve station that had been built only a year before right next to the IGA supermarket. They said, “What a good boy he is, that son of Tucker,” and “Isn’t it cute to see a young’n like that working so hard?” And it was good. He was a good boy through and through and Tucker loved him more than he could have loved anything on this earth; more than money; more even than his wife.
One day, when Jim was still so young to be a novelty, but old enough to be watching his own footsteps, a gold Plymouth came rolling into the station, ran over the bell wire, and parked right next to the unleaded pump. The windows were dark tinted, and the tires spotlessly clean as if they hadn’t driven through any of the gravel streets of town.
“Must’ve come right off the interstate,” Tucker mused to himself, grabbing his oil rag and wiping down his sweat covered forehead. “I’ll go see what he wants. Stay here son, and stack those Penzoil cans.”
Little Jim made no answer; he was already busy doing just that and didn’t want to ruin the perfect row he’d created.
Tucker advanced toward the car. Cops in town used Plymouths just like this one, but theirs were painted with the standard black and white colors and letters known to be of the law enforcement kind. A 1977 body with tiny chip on the windshield, he thought to himself, stopping right next to the driver’s side window. He waited for it to be rolled down so he could offer his services.
He heard the sound of an automated window, and soon saw, in slow revelation, the image of a face mostly covered with a black cap and wide, gold-rimmed sunglasses. “Mr. Twain?”
“Yep. That be me. How can I help you?”
The round tip of a gun barrel raised up and pointed into his face. “I want the boy.”