Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are disarm, engage and mayhem. I’m in a mood.

Ghosts of the Machines

She’s a beauty in matte black, the ghost of a machine with no overt bling – and a 429 cubic inch V8 purring under the hood.
It’s my third time out in her, a monstrous 1971 Ford Galaxie 500, one of the finest combination of metal and powertrain ever assembled in Dearborn, Michigan. And one of the strongest and most durable bodies Ford’s ever turned out on the road.
Of course, we’ve done modifications. Lots and lots of modifications.
Gone is all the chrome, anything that shines. Added are blackened steel plates that encase the underside, steel pipe built up around the front and rear bumpers like brush guards, a steel cage for the driver and front passenger. A row of foot-long steel spikes punched through the lower body panel – both sides - that are welded directly to the frame.
Gone too, thanks to Pasco down at the chop shop, are those pesky vehicle identification numbers. All of them, filed away as to avoid any unpleasantness with the authorities.
License plates? Not on your fucking life.
Spring-welded seats and five-point harnesses, yeah it’s got those, too.
This Galaxie’s built for mayhem.
And I’m fucking hard to engage.
Did you know that in any moderate-sized city the police run their squad cars on a grid pattern? One cop car to certain grid?
The idea is to disarm them before our little game begins. And for that, a newbie must be sacrificed.
Tonight, it’s a kid who insists we call him Slick. Well, Slick, we say, it’s newbie night and you’re it. His heart sinks as we add to the trunk of his decent (if a little light) ’90 Pontiac Bonneville a small fertilizer bomb that won’t do much damage – well the Bonneville will be history – but we’re not talking Oklahoma City or anything.
“My mother’s gonna kill me,” Slick says. “She thought I was repainting it for her birthday.”
The boys snort off a laugh as I slide up to Slick and toss a good-ol’-boy arm sling around his shoulder.
“Slick, everything happens for a reason. And tonight, that reason is your Bonneville going super-critical meltdown – allowing me and the boys here a little uncomplicated fun. Tell you what though, you can ride shotgun with me tonight.”
Slick nearly wets himself in anticipation.
The package in the trunk’s wired, so JoJo takes the keys – rubs the rabbit’s foot the kid’s added – and straps on a dull black, full-face helmet. He lifts the smoky gray shield and asks for a target vector.
“Abandoned convenience store off Victor, maximum debris, lots of flame.”
JoJo will drive the Bonneville through plate glass doing at least 60, egress himself and at a minimum safe distance, will drop the hammer on the detonator, sending the Bonneville – and the C-store - into obliteration.
Attracting every single uniform off their grid.
So we can have the jollies. Mercenary Road Kings. Apocalyptic Warriors in Chaos Chariots.
And in the morning, when you’re watching the tube with some bubble-headed blond with the giant rack giving the latest on a suspicious explosion and a rash of vandalism you think, “What’s exactly gone wrong with the world?”
Then you go out to your car to go to your little job, but first you’ll stop off to get your usual venti mocha latte hot and there in the parking spot you actually have your girlfriend stand in so you can grab it is your shiny, high-priced import crumpled completely down one whole side, dark, dull streaks of matte-black paint left in a wickedly awesome wake of destruction.
Now what are you thinking, asshole?
Not of us, I can assure you.
We’re the cold shadows you’re too timid to cross.
Tossing a little anarchy into life, evenings only.


anthonynorth said...

That was gritty and excellent - the dark side we have all flirted with, if only fleetingly.

gautami tripathy said...

A man, his car..that metallic body...all reasons flying to the outer space.

Interesting, isn't that?

Melissa Russell said...

Sounds like you might know a little bit about the illegal street racing scene lol.

It's a thrill ride for the shock junkie for sure.

Great piece of prose here.

Jeeves said...


Hal Johnson said...

So you were in a mood, ey? Golly, I couldn't tell. Loved it.

quin browne said...


this was rockin'

Linda Jacobs said...

I love a story that I can't stop reading and this was one!

Anya Padyam said...

The thrill in the anarchy is well captured here...

b said...

Cool!!! Very, very cool!


Tumblewords: said...

It's as real as headlines. Gritty, gutsy as the Galaxy was.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Dark and nihilistic. I like the end, about the way most people turn away from what doesn't fit their ordinary corporate worldview. Make it safe by putting it on the news and getting a cup of coffee.

Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of old Shadowrun games I used to play with my high-school buddies. The voice you write with, in these little tales of mayhem and anarchy, is perfect for a post-apocalyptic sort of steam-punk kinda story. Great stuff!


CJT said...

I love how it really pulls you in... made me feel like I was right there.

Jane Doe said...

A great piece. I love how they used Slick as a sacrificial lamb. Poor guy. lol Loved this one! The ending is especially memorable.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a friend, but it seems that in his chaotic youth, he favored the beauty of explosions over the thrill of destruction.

Megha said...

Smart one ...

Anonymous said...

amazing what comes! Great. Thanks for sharing.

Mark said...

Well done. I enjoy your prose.