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Vicky's Secret

Christopher Davis

  Vicky’s Secret

  Copyright 2017 by Christopher Davis

  Smashwords Edition

  Smashwords License Notes

  This book is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any reproduction or other unauthorized use of the material or artwork herein is prohibited.

  This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

  Disclaimer: The persons, places, things, and otherwise animate or inanimate objects mentioned in this story are figments of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to anything or anyone living (or dead) is unintentional. The author humbly begs your pardon. This is fiction, people.

  Vicky’s Secret

  It was a long hot summer, the way I remember it. I had moved across the country to go to school and was settling in pretty well. I worked the five-till-two at the Shop & Rob out on Tulpehocken, mostly Puerto Ricans and Cubans—I’m from California, so they were all Mexican to me—and a few blacks. They’d stop in on the way home from the plant and pick up beer and smokes mostly. The job didn’t pay much, but I was in town on a scholarship and didn’t need much, just a little to piss off on the weekend the way I figured it.

  I’d met a girl in school—Vicky Brocato—prettiest girl I’d ever seen really. Red hair and a golden summer tan. You just didn’t see that combination often. Wasn’t like the other girls, you know, always in the mirror. We didn’t really hit it off right away though. I’d started school right after the winter holiday and took a little time adjusting to the new way of life and all.

  It wasn’t until later in the year that we got to running together and causing a little trouble maybe. It was one hell of a summer I tell you. We had a lot of fun and did some crazy stuff that kids will do. It’s kind of funny really, looking back. What, I guess it’s been thirty years now?

  Time has a way of getting behind you somehow. One day the futures bright and the next thing you know you’re going off to another funeral, another friend has died. Too bad for them I guess, but it really plays hell on those left behind. Those of us left to carry the secrets of our youth maybe? It gets to be a heavy load at times. So heavy that it causes some to falter and step off in front of the bus, if you will.

  That girl, Vicky, was one of those. She held up well for quite a few years, through a crappy marriage and an even crappier divorce, a couple of kids. It was the night that we buried a woman up in the hills above the city that got the best of her though. I knew it then as I know it now.

  After what we had done that summer, we both knew we’d go to jail for a long time if the truth ever came out, or worse. We made a pact sitting in my old car looking out over the valley that we’d never say a thing to anyone. It was our secret. It was Vicky’s secret.


  I’d sold my car before I left home, so I had fifteen hundred or so in my bank account when I got there. Found the job right away, so I didn’t have to get into it any to live. The old man knew that I needed or at least wanted to replace the wheels that I had sold to move cross country and he chipped in with a grand to help me out some.

  I started watching the paper and checking out what the city had for sale between school and work. It was tough really, getting around by bus, but you know those folks back east had worked that stuff out real well.

  That’s about the time I met Tony Barcelona, great guy, sounded like he was from New Jersey. A metal head, Tony was. My second week of school, he borrows a car and we rolled down to D.C. to watch Motorhead at the Ontario. That was a badass show man, I can’t say enough about those guys.

  Anyway, Tony knows this guy who has a neighbor or something. This old couple is selling a ’74 Dodge Dart that’s supposed to be real clean, a one owner kind of thing. I had had a buddy back in California with a Duster so I knew the car well.

  This thing is cherry. The old guy has lost his license due to poor vision and the old guys asking $700.00 for it.

  Now Tony is an automotive tech major and he’s looking for a project at school. I’m going to have about eight hundred bucks left over, plus what my dad sent. I’m thinking this is a no brainer?

  “What do you think man,” Tony asked. He’s got this big grin. “You know I could help you out with this thing in my shop class. Make it a fire breather?”

  I’m still shaking my head. Most kids would have seen a ten year old piece of crap, an old man’s car. Me…no way. To me this thing was a diamond in the rough, front disc brakes and a Torque Flite automatic transmission. It was the first year Dodge put a 360 cubic inch motor in the Dart line and I was stoked.

  Trying not to sound too anxious, I asked. “Mind if my pal and I take her for a spin around the block?”

  I think that he was in his pocket fishing for the key before I got the question out?

  “You look like good boys,” he said handing it over. “Just be careful with it and don’t you stay gone long, okay?”

  Tony and I got it cranked over. The damned thing ran like a sewing machine. Now this car was said to do a 15.3 quarter mile back in ‘74. It was a dog around town with the two barrel carburetor, but that could be fixed.

  “What do you think, man?” Tony asks from the passenger seat, watching the three and four story row-houses pass in the early evening.

  I didn’t work Friday or Saturday nights as it was likely that the place would be robbed. They had an old black guy that stood guard during the night shift—I think the old dude carried a piece—but no one ever admitted it to me and I wasn’t going to ask.

  All I could see was potential in this old ride and I’d made up my mind to buy it. From the look on Tony Barcelona’s face, I could tell that he had also.

  “Man,” I told Tony. “The old girl’s got potential, huh?”

  From the passenger seat, Tony just smiled. That sealed the deal. We drove back around the block and I handed the old fellow the $700.00 bucks that he wanted for it. He signed over the title and of course I promised to take good care of her.


  After that, I drove the old Dodge back and forth to work and school for a couple of days. The kids gave me a lot of crap about my new ride. “Hey Bobby,” they’d ask. “Is that your grandma’s car?”

  Like I said, those kids wouldn’t have known a good car if it ran them over in the middle of the street. I thought it had promise and was willing to stake every penny I had to find out just what it would do.

  Tony started to fill in one of his instructors at school and they sorted things out some for me. Before long, we had a big Holley 4 barrel and matching intake manifold in the trunk. I had a set of chrome wheels in my dorm room and Tony and I were picking paint colors.

  I drove it to school in late January and handed Tony the key. “Take good care of her man,” I told him, knowing that he would do everything they could for the old girl.

  That was the longest two and a half months of my life. I did stop by from time to time and Tony would go over everything that was happening with my car. The molding was off along with some of the chrome, the motor was out and strewn down a work table. The rear end and transmission were who knew where? I was starting to worry that I had made a mistake in trusting a bunch of college freshmen with my investment. Besides, I was damn tired of riding the bus everywhere that I needed to go.

  “How’s the Dart coming along?” I’d ask Tony when I’d see him. Tony had this El Camino with a 396—A quarter mile rocket if you asked around. He�
�d never lost one in his two years of driving it—we hung out a lot and talked to a lot of the kids on the boulevard Friday and Saturday night.

  “Great man,” he’d say smiling. “Want to trade? I mean…straight across for my El Camino?”

  I’d laugh, “Yeah, right.” There wasn’t any way I was trading that car off and I hadn’t even seen it really.

  By late March, early April, I was just about broke. Tony and his spring semester restoration project had cleaned me out.

  “Hey, Bobby,” he said one night stopping by work. “I’m going to need three, maybe four hundred soon, huh?”

  I helped one of the Puerto Rican Crack Maniac’s out at the register. “Sure dude, but I’m almost broke,” I said. I couldn’t complain really. All I was paying for was parts and some of that was donated—Tony’s instructor knew some people, I guess—Tony’s labor and the use of the schools machines didn’t cost a thing. What they were doing would have cost me a small fortune otherwise.

  Tony smiled. “The motor is going back together this week and we hope to shoot paint by Friday.”

  “Okay,” I said from behind the counter. “I’ll call the old man and see if he’s in for five hundred?”

  “By Tuesday,” he said. “Don’t forget.”

  I still had that much even if my dad wouldn’t give in, but it was running out and quick.

  Tuesday came and went, just like the following Tuesday did. No car. Tony had been telling me that it was close, just a few more tweaks.

  That Thursday at work, I hear Tony’s 396 rumbling into the parking lot off Tulpehocken, fire engine red with chrome wheels. I’d started to wish that maybe I had traded.

  Tony walks in and grabs a cup from behind the counter, walks over to the soda fountain. He fills a 32 ounce cup and walks back smiling.

  “How’s it going dude?” I ask.

  Tony smiles and reaches into his front pocket. He brings out a shiny key in the shape of the Chrysler logo. My heart was pounding like a jack hammer.

  “She’s finished man,” he said, still smiling. The semester was nearly over and he had finished the project, maybe the best car he’d built and an A-grade to go along with it.

  “Yep,” he added. “Stop in tomorrow and I’ll let you out.”

  “How does it look,” I asked, excited at the thought of it, of driving my car for the first time and on a Friday at that. “How does it run dude?” I asked. This was important, maybe the most important part of the whole thing. I mean, the old car ran good, but I wanted something more for all the money I had poured into it over the winter.

  “Stop by tomorrow,” he said, walking out the door. It’s funny, but I knew that Tony Barcelona was five foot-eight, by the colored marking painted to each side of the entrance.

  I couldn’t wait for my shift to end and had a hell of a time getting to sleep. The clock ticked backward like some acid infused dream, melting and swirling as it pleased.

  No problem waking up the next morning after a fitful sleep though. I had some time between classes and I walked over to Auto Tech. I’m telling you that I just about went down both legs when I got my first look at the old girl.

  Tony had shot it in a gray so dark that it was almost black with a pair of wide black stripes over the hood and trunk lid. The vinyl top has been redone in black and a lot of the chrome was blacked out to boot.

  It’s sitting with its rear end up in the air over a set of big tires and black traction bars, my mouth hung open. Tony gave me the time and space that I needed. They’ve removed the back seat and installed a twenty gallon fuel cell. The vinyl door panels have been replaced with brushed aluminum and anodized in a creepy flat black. Black carpet and a big Stewart-Warner tach right in the middle of the dash finished it out.

  I’m at a loss for words right then—which is abnormal for me—I open the door for a better look.

  “Go ahead man.” Tony says with a big smile. “It’s all yours Bobby.”

  Tony’s installed a pair of racing buckets with a four point harness. I’m thinking that if this thing can’t fly, I’ll eat my shorts.

  “Dude,” I say, looking back out the open door. “A roll bar, you installed a roll bar?”

  Tony walks up closer, “So, are you going to sit there all day or take me for a spin around the block, dude?”

  I knew that Tony had already driven it some. I doubt that he really got on it or anything, but I knew that he’d run it to see how it would perform.

  I turn the key fearing that it would sound just like that old dog-tired 360 that was under the hood when I drove it in. It fired right up and rumbled, “Hello cowboy.”

  Well, it didn’t say anything really, but it didn’t sound much like an old man’s Dodge anymore. That new engine up front felt like a rocket engine idling in the frame.

  Tony looks over smiling. “Yeah Bobby,” he says fastening his belt, “we bored it over during the overhaul. Ported that new intake and damn, you have to admit the exhaust tone is perfect for this thing, huh?”

  I couldn’t argue and pulled the transmission back into reverse. We both rolled down our windows to let get some fresh air in. The smell of new paint burning off under the hood was sort of overpowering.

  Wasn’t anybody coming down the driveway so I got on it making the turn, big mistake. Like I’ve said this wasn’t some old man’s Dodge anymore. Those big tires in the back chirped and the car got a little sideways.

  “Easy pal,” Tony says with this smile across his face. My face hurt from the smiling that I was doing. “This isn’t the car you drove in buddy. Remember, it’ll do a little more now Okay?”

  I got on it some pulling out into light Friday traffic around the campus and did that engine roar. People were stopping to look. I felt like I’d just won the lottery.


  That’s enough about the car for now. You probably want to know about this girl Vicky. Both the car and the girl are connected somehow, but you’ll see what I mean here in a minute.

  So, it’s Friday night, a warm night. No rain. I knew that a lot of my buddies would be hanging out on the county road behind the airport. All of the motor-head types usually did. It was everything from high school kids in their first ride to old dudes with some serious money invested, just a bunch of car geeks really.

  The old black dude that covered the store on Friday and Saturday knew that I wasn’t old enough to buy, but he’d let me take a six pack here and there. That’s all mind you, nothing more, just one six pack.

  After my last class, I hung out in the dorm until I crashed. It was hard to make things work only getting a few hours’ sleep each morning before I’d have to start over again. I did sort of get used to it, but never really liked being tired all of the time.

  I wake up about eight, take a shower and get dressed. Of course I stop in to show Sam—the old black guy—my car and pick up a six pack.

  “Damn son,” he says as I walk in. The suns been down for maybe a half hour and that Dart is looking badass under the lights. “You done built yourself a car.”

  “Yeah,” I said smiling while I paid for the beer. “Buddies in Auto did her up real good, huh?”

  Sam shook his head, “They sure did, Bobby. Now you be careful driving that thing, hear?”

  I agreed and started for the door. Man, I felt like royalty sitting behind the wheel. I make a pass down the boulevard on the way out to the airport just to drive under the lights. That old car was turning heads.

  Out on the highway it didn’t give me any trouble. I expected those shinny tires up front would make the damned thing squirrelly, but it didn’t.

  Turning off onto the county road behind the airport, I can see cars and trucks parked alongside. There’s a dirt lot where Tony and his pals hang out, right in the thick of it.

  I see Tony’s Super Sport gleaming red in the low light offered from a nearby hangar. I pull up and everyone comes over for a look.

  “Dude,” some kid asks. “You build this?”

  “No,” I
said nodding to my buddy. “Tony did this one in Auto Tech.”

  “Tony the Stick does it again.” Everyone is shaking Tony’s hand congratulating him on the outcome. It’s funny looking back. My pal Tony Barcelona was Tony ‘The Stick’. I always figured it had something to do with the four speed transmission in his El Camino? Our buddy Jason Knowles was ‘No Brakes’. I heard that he’d ran his dad’s pick-up through a fence at the airport at some point.

  Some old guy standing close by hits me in the shoulder shaking his head, “Nice one Blackout.”

  From then on, everybody called me Blackout. I didn’t mind really. I’d hear some kid talking about Bobby ‘Blackout’ Tamer somewhere and I’d smile.

  I see this girl—Vicky—from class standing next to some kids that were parked close by and she smiles. It was more or less dark, but this chick is looking hot. I mean, she looked good around school, but she was really something out there behind the airport with all of those cars.

  Some kid rolls up in his daddy’s Camaro and he starts talking the usual crap, you know. Some of the guys and I are drinking beers out of an ice chest in back of Tony’s El Camino.

  “Who’s driving the antique?” He asks looking over at the Dart sitting there with its rear end in the air.

  “Who’s the moron?” I ask Tony.

  Tony stands there smiling. The kid is poking his head through my open window for a look inside.

  “Danny Nance,” Tony says keeping an eye on the kid standing by my car. “He talks a lot of crap, this guy.”

  “It’s mine,” I say walking over to where the kid is standing. Must be a high schooler from the pimples on his face? “What’s it to you?”

  This kid steps back, sizing me up before he slings the next insult. “Must be something The Stick, slapped together in his back yard, huh?”

  Man I’m in this kids face before he knows to shut his trap. Some of the guys standing by are holding my arms to keep me from taking a swing and ruining my night. Tony steps in between pushing this kid back.