Freddy needed that mount for his daughter’s engine-and he needed it now. Never mind that it was eleven PM and normal people were turning in for the night. No, he’d spent three hard days and nights getting that car right for her to drive back to college this weekend. No way was a lousy seventeen dollar part gonna stop him now.
Pick N’ Pull, that “go out and get it yourself if you can find it” salvage yard out North of town would likely have a few wrecked Dodge Neons out back. Too bad it wasn’t open twenty-four hours. Didn’t they realize that there are some who have to burn the midnight oil when there’s a car that needs fixed?
By midnight, he found himself walking by flashlight through the woods behind Pick N’ Pull, and by half past the hour, he was climbing the eight-foot wooden perimeter fence. Such a dark and rainy night it was, and windy too-deafening windy. No chance anyone would hear or see him. No chance anyone else would venture out here on a night like this. There’d be a better chance of running into someone in a graveyard than in a junkyard on such a night; an ungodly dark, rainy, windy, end of October night.
Stumbling through muddy ruts, sidestepping puddles, and maneuvering through a maze of mangled vehicles, he made his way toward the center of the yard, where he knew from his many past visits, the Dodge’s were concentrated. He came out on a path and stopped along a row of Dodge passenger cars, and proceeded along the row looking for any Neons.
“There’s one,” he muttered to himself, “Looks like a 2005 too.”
The hood was propped open and the engine gone, just as he’d hoped, because whenever engines are stripped the mounts are usually left somewhere in the car. He looked in the trunk first, digging through a pile of old junk. It wasn’t there. He checked the backseat next, and not finding it there, began to become doubtful. Then, rummaging through a pile of old parts on the floor in front of the front passenger seat, he uncovered the part he needed. What a break!
Having found what he came for, he grabbed it and was about to rise when he noticed a reddish-brown stain in the carpeting. What’s this, transmission fluid perhaps? It wasn’t blood… was it?
He shined his light around and saw large quantities of spatter of the same color on the console, and even on the ceiling upholstery. It was blood, and as many times as he’d picked and pulled parts off these junk cars in the past, he’d never once stopped to consider what events had occurred that lead to the cars being here in the first place. Not until now.
“Hey! You there! Come on out’a there!” a male voice boomed from the darkness, startling him so bad he jumped and banged his head hard on the ceiling, jarring his neck. Injured and disoriented, he spun to look in the direction of the voice.
A few feet away stood a fifty-something, weathered looking man in a ratty flannel vest, his skin dry and cracked, reminiscent of a crocodile. His face wore a snarl, initially, but turned to a grin, revealing a set of large stained teeth.
“Ya’ll wouldn’t be try-n-a make off with parts off ma’ car now, would ya?”
“Uh, well…” Freddy stammered, “Are you the owner of this place?”
“Nope.” The man said. “I dun’ own dis-here place. I’m just Tom-Tom Leader-and dat-der’s ma’car.”
A rush of relief fell upon Freddy as he realized he wasn’t really busted. This was obviously just some homeless nut-bag who’d taken residence in the junkyard.
“I gotta tell ya though, we’s all gettin a bit tired-a-ya’ll thinkin ya kin jus come on in here any ole time ya feel like, n’take what dun’ belong to ya… Aint thad-a-right friends?” Tom said, and turned around to address a crowd of people who Freddy suddenly noticed were standing all around.
“Matter-a-fact, we reckon it’s ’bout time we taught one-a-ya’s a lesson”
Two big men from the crowd had moved in on Freddy and had him by each arm.
“What are you talking about? I don’t understand!” Freddy said, struggling to pull free.
“What’s there ta understand?” said Tom, “Ya’ll been steal’n stuff off our personal vehicles fer years… takin whatever ya please. Filthy scavengers! Takin advantage-a other’s misfortune… now it’s our turn.”
“Let go! What do you want?!” Freddy said.
“Well, fer starters, take Ellie here,” Tom began, gesturing toward a middle aged woman in the crowd, “she done had all’r insides ripped out when she crashed dat-der Chrysler o’er der.” He pointed to a wrecked LeBaron a few yards away. “Reckon she could use summa yers. An’ poor ole Frank o’er der, he done lost his head. Yup, completely decapitated when-e los’ control-a-his F-150 o’er yonder… slid under a tractor trailer. Should-a ducked, I reckon.”
Just then, Ellie and Frank approached, and as they neared Freddy realized that Frank was headless, and Ellie’s bloodstained blouse was ripped open, revealing a fatal gash in her torso. Long strands of entrails hung down from the opening.
“No, this can’t be happening! It’s not real!” Freddy shouted.
“Yup,” Tom said, “reckon it is. But ‘nough-a-da chit-chat. It’s time we get dis-here party started!” He gestured toward the others to close in. Freddy was quickly overtaken, forced to the ground by the throng of ghouls, their death stench mingling with the foul junkyard air.
“No! Get off me! Get away!
The mob chanted, “Pick-n-pull… pick-n-pull…” as they tugged at his appendages, using their teeth to aide in dismantling him alive.
“That’s it!” Tom laughed, “Pick’im! Pull’im!”
The horde grew feverish at Tom’s cheering. Freddy wailed for help as he was torn apart, but no help would come. For nobody would be out in a junkyard on such a night; an ungodly dark, rainy, windy Halloween night.