The Revival

It was toward the back, at the end of the fence row, partially tucked underneath an overgrown cedar. The tires were flat and the wheels were painted white, though you could not see them. Blackberry bushes had overtaken the automobile over the years, but today they had been knocked aside, revealing the turquoise doors and fenders. The roof was white, but dulled by sixty-something years of sunlight and sap.

The rear bumper retained the majority of its chrome and the sunlight reflected off of it, avoiding the taller grass that entwined its curves. The license plate was dull, rusting at the lower left corner where it had been bent in a long-forgotten accident.

The hood fought and squealed with the stress of the metal as it was raised. The cables were still attached to the six old spark plugs, all set in a row. The carburetor was open and imagination brought forth the smell of gasoline. A mouse’s nest was hidden to the rear of the fender, with an escape always available through the vent to the dashboard. The battery was missing.

A hard pull freed the driver’s side door, and the interior offered a musty smell. The upholstery was blue and worn and slick. The rearview mirror was tilted, then adjusted to view the imagined traffic that was following. The clutch engaged and the gas pedal held firm, though the brake fell to the floor. The light switch to the left of the floorboard sounded as it always had. Click, click, click - bright, dim, bright.

A push of a button popped open the trunk, cavernous and empty, except for an old jack and a box of yellowed newspapers.

The windows were all intact, and the wind blew down the hill and pushed back the grasses to expose the vehicle even further.

It had been decades since the 235 cubic inches of the motor had powered the old Chevy, but it had once climbed hills and raced teenagers home before curfew. It had sat in the back row of a double feature drive-in movie featuring an alien with two heads. It had rushed an expecting mother to the hospital, making it just in time for her early arrival. It had taken a sleepy father to his third-shift job at the aluminum plant, so that his children would have toys for Christmas. It had lived through the lives that it carried, and it was forever a memory to its passengers.

The log chain wrapped securely around the front bumper and the pickup truck strained as it pulled the old car free from its years of neglect and entrapment. The young man smiled as a mouse scurried up the hill.


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