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For Sale: 1969 Nova SS

The need for speed and built to thrill ... we all love our cars.

And in the Gutter, what goes around, comes around. Only faster.

For Sale: 1969 Nova SS by John L. Thompson

The message machine popped a beep that echoed across the vast void of a silent universe. The tone of that beep then drowned in the vaporized fumes from a glassful of Crown Royal. The caller sounded like he had one too many.
“…So … I got this number and your message. Apparently you called earlier about the ’69 Nova I had for sale in the classifieds. So, yeah, I’ll give you some answers on what you wanted to know and you can call me back. I got this Nova SS. It’s a true ’69 SS, not some slapped together junk Nova made up to be like an SS. This one is all original. I know there are guys out there that’ll slap the SS emblems on the fenders and grill and try to pass it off as an original but this one is a true SS model. It’s got the original 396 big block and four speed transmission and, yeah, all its numbers matched and I can provide you the paperwork. Yeah, sure, it’s got some road weariness for a hundred and twenty thousand miles but she’s still running strong. You gotta keep in mind that Chevy only made something like a little over 17,000 SS models that year. Then from that number, you only had about 5,000 of these with a 375 horsepower 396. You gotta ask yourself: how many originals are still around today, and I mean complete originals. Hell, most of ’em got raced to death on the local tracks around the country or blew a motor or kids beat the shit out of ’em then scrapped ’em. You know what I mean though. The interior is all black with bucket seats. You won’t believe what kinda shape the interior is in for being original…”
A long pause. The soft sound of a Zippo lighter being lit, the softer sounds of a cigarette being puffed to life.
“Well, can’t really think too much else to say … wait, there is actually. The only part that’s not original is the bumper. Maybe I shouldn’t say this but I believe in being as honest as possible, y’know? I was on a cruise around the city, on some narrow road. Some stray fucking … dog … ran out in front of me and I hit it. Goddamn, it was one big-assed dog! The bumper got damaged. Bent and twisted and had a few cracks. I did replace it though. It’s all the same bumper from one model to the next so it shouldn’t affect any collector value.”
Another long pause.
“So, anyway, I think that’s about it. If you want, you can come over and take it for a spin. I’m going to be around the house for most of today. You can call me up or swing by 1620 8th Ave. North. It’s over by Lancaster Boulevard. Look forward to seeing you. Oh! Before I forget. The price is firm. I would keep it but I’m looking to relocate back to Colorado. I hate to sell it, truth be told. My old lady is out trying to get some packing boxes and materials so it’d be nice to talk this car over with someone that’ll appreciate and care for it. Anyway, looking forward to hearing from you.”
Clint listened for the beep that said the message was over. He leaned back in his chair and thought for a long moment while sipping on a small glass of Crown Royal. After all these long months of searching he had finally found the owner of the ’69 Nova. He inhaled on his cigarette then blew out a thick plume of acrid smoke.
He was sure now.
A year and a half had passed since the day of the accident. A red 1969 or early 70’s Nova had hit a bicyclist. The bicyclist was a young woman of twenty-six and married. Only an old man witnessed the accident but he had passed away several weeks later. The police had searched for months and come up with nothing. No one had seen any sign of a red 1969 Nova since then.
His wife had died alone on a cold, blood-soaked, dark asphalt road under a moon-filed sky.
There were moments the anguish was more than he could bear. Then the phone calls began. For several weeks afterward, he had received phone calls from a man whose voice was smeared thick with alcoholic fumes. The man’s voice had repeatedly whispered he was sorry or how he had tried to avoid it from happening. When Clint tried to re-dial the number, he found it led to a phone booth on the opposite side of town. He had begun his own hunt once the cops deemed it a cold case. He carefully searched the classifieds and attended any car shows looking for a red 1969 Nova SS. He knew the owner of the car would eventually want to sell it to further distance himself from the crime scene.
Clint picked up a heavy barreled S&W .357 revolver by the nightstand, checked to make sure his six hollow-pointed buddies were all accounted for, then tucked it into the waistband of his trousers before putting on his jacket. He smashed out the burning embers of his cigarette in a nearby ashtray, then marched out the door. He was going to go pick up his 1969 Nova SS.
He had already paid blood for it anyway.

John L. Thompson currently lives in New Mexico. When he is not working the daily grind or hiking the vast terrains looking for remnants of the old west, he is found writing short stories, poetry and novel scripts. His work can be found in publications such as Tales of the Zombie War, Science Fiction Trails, Shotgun Honey and Yellow Mama to name a few.