Jynx Kane ran through the junk yard, her tanned skin glowing in the Arizona sun, a blonde ponytail bouncing wildly against her back. Her twin sister Piper followed close behind, both teens pausing to look at a variety of rusting hulks sitting in the sweltering desert summer. They paused first at a 1969 Ford Mustang that was mostly intact with only a hint of front end damage, then moved on to a ’72 Beetle they both quickly dismissed before they were both drawn to a sheet-covered shape at the back of the yard. Jynx peeled back the blue cover to reveal a rusty but completely intact 1970 Dodge Charger. She and her sister pulled the cover completely off and tossed it aside, both entranced and in love with the car. Piper ran her fingers over the R/T emblem on the side and tapped the fender while Jynx leaned inside to inspect the interior.
“Hey, the interior is in great shape and the key is still in it!” Jynx said, her legs kicking in the air.
“Oh there is no way this old thing will start,” Piper replied.
Jynx’s voice was muffled as she said “betcha it will!”
The lithe teen twisted the key and the car’s starter whirred and clicked like something out of a Frankenstein movie before engaging and turning the engine which rumbled to life in a cloud of blue smoke.
Piper shrieked in surprise and fell on her butt, coming to rest against a pair of hard and unfamiliar legs. She looked up into the face of a haggard man dressed in mechanic’s coveralls, his eyes shaded by a moth-eaten ball cap.
“What are you girls doin’?” He rasped.
“Nuh….nothing,” Piper replied, squirming away.
“Mr. Anderson said we could pick any car on the lot for our birthday,” Jynx replied, sliding out of the coughing Charger and helping her sister to her feet.
The man chewed the wad of tobacco in his cheek and spat a line of juice against the car, where it steamed in the heat.
“You don’t want that car,” he said. “That Mustang you were looking at or the old GTO behind you is both better cars.”
“Have you been following us?” Piper asked. “What are you, a pervert or something?”
“Just makin’ sure you kids didn’t get hurt,” the mechanic spat. ‘This is no place for you girls.”
“Whatever,” Jynx said. “This is a 1970 Charger R/T 440 six pack. Take the garbage off the engine it has close to five hundred horsepower and enough torque to crush pavement.”
“Zero to sixty in five seconds, quarter mile in just over twelve,” Piper continued. “We’ve been around cars since we were five. Our dad is Solomon Kane.”
The mechanic’s stance never changed, but he stopped chewing his tobacco for a split second… he’d recognized the name.
“Is’at so?” He growled. “Then I guess Mr. Anderson is right. If that’s the one you want I will bring it around front while you settle up with the old man.”
“Sweet!” Jynx said, jumping up and down. “I can’t wait to get her into racing shape again.”
“I just want it to run so we can get to school,” Piper said, leading the way towards the old trailer that served as the junkyard’s office.
Jynx grinned and wrapped her arms around her twin’s shoulders. “Oh she will run alright. Especially on those nights you and that hottie Trace want to sneak out.”
Piper blushed. “I thought you were asleep!”
“Pfft, with the noise you two make? It’s like trying to sleep while somebody tries to unclog the toilet. Y’all suck face like a couple old Hoovers.”
“Least I don’t suck c…” Piper started, only to be muffled by her sister’s hand over her mouth.
“Hey, we don’t talk about that!” Jynx said. “If dad found out he’d have kittens. If he were ever home, anyway.”
Piper pulled Jynx’s hand away from her mouth. “Yeah, fine. Just don’t pick on me an’ Trace. You and I are graduating next year and I’ll never see him again. He has two more years of High School.”
Jynx nodded and kissed her sister’s cheek. “Don’t say never, sis. You never know, it isn’t like dad is going to let a sixteen year old run free.”
Piper smiled and pushed the door open to the office. Inside it was dark with only a small amount of light filtering through cigarette smogged windows. A heavy-set man sat behind the single desk chewing on a smoldering Lucky Strike and squinting at a piece of paper in his hand. He looked up when the girls entered and his wormlike lips wriggled into a smile.
“Howdy, ladies. Kane paid me already so… what did you find?”
Jynx let go of Piper and hopped up onto the counter. She stole one of Anderson’s Luckies and lit it with her own lighter. “Charger 440 you had under a tarp out in the back. She’s a beauty.”
Anderson’s brow knit and he tossed away his cigarette. “Those things will kill ya, kid. And so will that car. What about the old Goat? Or the Milk Wagon?”
“We want the Charger,” Piper said. “You been paid and dad said we could have whatever we wanted. Stop screwing around, your perv is already bringing the Charger around.”
Anderson’s frown deepened but he pulled a slip out of his desk and filled it in, seeming to know the car’s information by heart. When he was done Jynx took the paper from his fingers and scanned it. “Who was Ace Blackheart?”
“Previous owner,” Anderson replied. “Before your time, kid.”
“What a stupid name,” Piper said.
Jynx shrugged and slid off the desk. “Thank you Mr. Anderson. I will be back to scavenge parts.”
“You girls just be careful with that damn car!” Anderson said, heaving his bulk out from behind the desk.
Jynx smiled and Piper waved the large man away. The girls stepped out into the sunlight and pulled their mirrored shades down over their eyes to ward off the bright Arizona spring. The Charger was sitting ten feet away running smoothly. Piper took the smoke from her sister’s lips and took a drag. She coughed violently and handed it back causing Jynx to break into another giggle-fit.
“It isn’t funny!” Piper wheezed. “Are you sure about this?”
“What? The car or the smoke?” Jynx asked, walking around the car.
“The car, you’ve been smoking since we were twelve.”
Jynx knelt at the rear of the car. “Yeah, I’m sure. Come check this out.”
Piper joined her sister and ran a hand over the bent Texas license plate. “MIDNITE. Cool name for a car.”
Jynx grinned and hugged her sister with one arm again. “That’s why I’m sure. Come on, let’s see what she’s got on the way home!”
“Jynx, we’re only fifteen, we can’t drive yet!” Piper protested. “Dad said to have Anderson tow it home.”
Jynx slid into the driver’s seat and ran her hand over the steering wheel. “Oh yeah… Pipe will you shut up and get in?”
“I have a bad feeling about this,” Piper muttered, walking around and flopping onto the passenger’s seat.”
The Charger roared like a hungry lion and took off in a cloud of smoke, the big car fishtailing on the two-lane, the girls inside squealing happily.
Behind them, Anderson watched the car vanish into the horizon, concern etched in his face.
To Be Continued.