The Summer of 89

Photo by Jordan McQueen on Unsplash

The Summer of 89



The myriad hues of red, orange and yellow that decorated the horizon were the perfect backdrop for the four friends resting from their adventure. Tom, Pete, Jack, and Rob had been skateboarding together throughout their quaint and cozy little ton during their last week of summer vacation. They lived in the sort of town where everyone knew each other, secrets flowed like water between the residents but kept behind lock and key to outsiders. This story is the latter.

“Anybody got any extra quarters, I’m short one away from getting a Pepsi,” Tom said aloud to his group of pals as they entered the local gas station.

All of them had gone hours without taking a sip of water and were considerably parched. Jack fiddled around in his pockets, mentally counted his coins, and pulled out an extra, handing it to Tom.

“Awesome, thanks, dude.”

As the four young men scoured the gas station for their drink of choice to quench their thirsts, a blood-red Ford-150 caked in dirt, grass, and mud pulled up to one of the gas pumps. A pair of heavy-duty black steel-toed boots made their way over to the pump, and in a mechanical fashion started to fill their vehicles’ tank. The owner of the boots leaned up against his truck, waiting. Once the gang of boys had finished selecting their drinks, they picked up their skateboards outside the station and started to skate towards their homes together. But, as they sped on by they noticed a man of mythical proportions staring at them from afar, filling up his truck at the pump. It would be a disservice to call him inhuman, rather his features and proportions were something else entirely, he was inhuman, like a behemoth pretending to be human. His height rivaled the trees, his muscles were smelted and forged by Hephaestus himself. Although he was bald, his scalp was covered in scars from unknown foes while his face was covered by a spindly mass of greying black hair. As for his profession, it could be speculated he worked as a logger given his over-alls and plaid shirt, that and an ax sheathed at his hips. In any other situation, the boys would have admired such a burly and strong woodsman, but the wintry gaze he possessed filled them with trepidation. The boys sheepishly nodded awkwardly towards the man, acknowledging his presence out of common courtesy, while Pete worked up the nerve to meekly wave a hand at him as a greeting as he passed. They then skated a bit faster to create some distance away from the man. This man, this force of nature however took offense to the boy’s actions and yanked the gas nozzle out of his gas tank, letting the pungent liquid pour out onto the ground. He flung his truck door open and quickly put his key in the ignition, revved the engine, and put his vehicle into drive. At this point, the four friends were now lazily skating down the middle of the road when they heard the ghastly sound of a truck’s engine sound off as it approached them at a dangerously increasing speed. They started to cross over to the side-walk when the red vehicle of death darted straight towards them, but Pete managed to alert his friends just in time and all were able to dodge the truck. Their boards were not lucky though, as half of them were splintered into oblivion.

“Holy shit!” Rob shouted

While his friends exclaimed similar profanities, they paused to see what would happen next. Instead of getting out of the truck, the man-made an extremely hard u-turn, his tires screeching loud enough for the whole town to hear and raced back towards the boys.

“Run!” Pete screamed as he and his terror-filled pals picked up whatever large remnants of their boards remained and hauled ass down Main Street.

Tom decided carrying half of his board wasn’t worth it and tossed it behind him, the truck’s wheels crushing it into dust. All along the road, folks watched as the boys serpentined across the road and sidewalks’, but none stopped to help them in fear they would face the red truck of death themselves. The boys realized rather quickly that help would not come for them, no one to play the part of a savior, all they had was adrenaline and the will to live. The man in the truck now was toying with the boys, constantly breaking and charging forward at them, threatening to ram them but never doing it. Tom at this point noticed an alleyway blocked off by a steel gate and dashed towards it, and climbed over it to safety. Rob and Jack then spotted the library which has an entrance blocked by two enormous bronze Bull statues and hastily slipped inside. Pete was not as fortunate as his quick thinking friends and looked around in a daze when he noticed they were missing. Feeling like he had no other choice, he sprinted towards the nearby forest, hoping the trees and foliage would hinder the trucks speed. And after a while it did, pretty soon the trees grew too large to trample. In frustration, the aggravated man hopped out of his truck and picked up a rifle out of the trunk and switched the safety off. Pete found a huge patch of bushes and settled into the center of them all, happy he wore a dark green shirt that day. But, moments later he could see a pair of steel-toed boots hurriedly walk around and inspect the area around him, sometimes coming too close for comfort. But thankfully, Pete managed to avoid the wrath of the man and he moved on deeper into the forest. Now and then though, Pete could hear the thudding of heavy boots across the ground whenever he even thought of moving. This went on for hours until night had fallen and finally, after waiting for an hour without hearing another footstep, Pete got up and bolted back towards the town. And as Pete fled his hiding place, the man heard the rustling of leaves and brush from a distance away. Once he determined the approximate location of his assumed prey, he aimed his rifle, muttered something, lost to time, and pulled the trigger. *** During the first day of school, Pete had a crowd gathered around his desk asking to see his hand and his eight remaining fingers. As for the man who hunted him and his friends, he was never seen in that town again, but the boys always felt a twinge of fear pass through them whenever they saw a red truck since that day.

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