Tucker Twain and the Gran Fury

First part of a story. Sorry, you can't have the ending yet. Mwahahahahahahahaha.

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.”


  1. I can imagine the scene Amy. I can see it set in the 1970's - is it? Love the tension build up at the end and makes me want to go on to the next chapter to find out if little Jim was taken hostage. Keep writing! I need to know what happens!! Well done. xx

  2. Thanks so much Molly! Yes, it is in 1979 ( my favorite year to obsess over, though I don't know why). Glad you liked it, and xx back at you : )

  3. Firstly, Amy, I love the title! And like Molly, I'm looking forward to further news of Jim. Oh those 'bell wires'. I wonder if there are any still around?

  4. Glad you like the title : ) I had a different one, but after doing some errands around town thought of the current one and about hit myself over the head for not thinking of it sooner.

    I haven't heard a bell wire for a long time, but I do know that in Oregon you aren't allowed to pump your own gas for environmental reasons, and so I wonder if they have them in their stations to alert the clerks.

    Wouldn't it be funny to roll into a station and hear them again? Writing this story has brought back all the sounds and simple things of the small town I grew up in.

  5. I loved it, Amy. We had bell-wires in the UK when I was a kid, but not so many guns, aside from smooth-bores. You live a wild life inside your own head, after your daughter has gone to school or bed - it's just a case of getting someone else to join you - like those miners down in Chile. They will get signed up to a publisher by Christmas, but not before.


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