For anyone who read the first chapter I had posted before, I decided to make that part of the story come later and begin - well at the beginning - Let me know if you think this a better way to start the story out... Chapter 1 "Graduation Gift" “Old Sparkplug” – That’s what his friends called him, in fact that’s what nearly everyone in town called Carl Witwicky. Mainly due to the fact that his auto repair shop was called “Sparkplug’s”, the name just stuck and that’s who he came to be known as. Sparkplug was stepping down out of his old wrecker. It’s once brilliant two tone maroon and black paintjob dulled by the years, it was covered with dings and scratches. Battle scars form years of use. And though it ran a little loud, and sometimes hesitated when Sparkplug stepped on the gas, it was a good truck that had given him many years of service, and always started, even on those cold Oregon winter mornings. He walked across the gravel lot in the cool morning air of early spring, squinting from the light of the sun that still hung low in the sky, having just risen a few hours ago. Up to a set of rickety wooden stairs with chipped white paint and through an aluminum door to a small cluttered desk in what was a makeshift office inside a trailer on the front lot of Jake Cook’s auto salvage yard. The entire office smelled like motor oil, it always had. Jake sat behind a computer monitor that was covered with black fingerprints. Cogs, sparkplugs, wires and lug nuts were scattered around his desk, and behind him there was an out of date calendar with a very large picture of a young woman in a red string bikini, her hair teased out, kneeling, and jutting out her ample bosoms, obviously enhanced by silicone implants. Jake was about Sparkplug’s age, mid 50s, with salt and pepper hair, old black rimmed glasses, and wearing the uniform of an auto mechanic, dark blue button up shirt, and slacks of the same color, which obviously didn’t fit him the way they once used to. Sparkplug was more casual, just jeans an old gray t-shirt and a pair of work boots, and his cloths fit his frame in a much more aesthetically pleasing manor. Jake glanced up from his monitor, “What can I do for you today Sparkplug? Looking for some parts this morning?” “No, not today.” He replied, “I’m looking for an old fixer-upper – something I can rebuild and give to my son as a graduation present. “Well, go have a look around, I know I have a few cars out near the back of the lot that are nearly complete, shouldn’t take too much work to get them going – easy for a guy like you for sure.” Sparkplug’s technical prowess was known though out town, if there was something wrong with your car, anything, you took it to Sparkplug’s. Even on a few occasions people came in all the way from Portland seeking repairs for problems that they could not find a solution to in the city. He walked toward the back of the lot, gravel crunching below his boots with each step, past what seemed like endless lines of twisted or gutted remnants of what used to be automobiles. There in the back, near a 10-foot high chain link fence, topped with coils of dangerous looking razor wire he saw three or four cars that looked somewhat complete. An early seventies model super Beetle caught his eye at first, it was primer gray, missing it’s front and rear bumpers, and one of it’s front headlights, the front windshield had a large crack in it running from the bottom of the window on the driver’s side, arching over and stopping mid way up on the end of the passenger side. He then looked a little to his left were he saw just a single car down a 1984 Camaro, it looked to be in remarkable shape, at least on the outside. He strode up to it and said out loud, “What are you doing here.” Not that he expected the car to answer, it was just odd, this car except for it’s dull yellow paint that looked to have lost it’s luster years ago, and a fine coving of grit and dust, seemed like it was in nearly perfect condition. He walked over to the driver’s side door and opened it. It had that smell inside, the one released by nylon seats baking in the sun. He reached down under the dashboard and popped the hood. Looking inside of the engine compartment, he continued to be amazed, again save for a layer of dust and dirt, and a bird’s nest that looked long abandoned between the back of the radiator’s fan casing and the engine it’s self, everything looked to be in order. “The belts look a little dry rotted.” He thought to himself. After all, he had to find something wrong with it. Otherwise this was just too good to be true. He walked back up to the trailer that housed Jake’s office and walked in. “Find what you were looking for?” Jake asked peering up again from his dingy computer monitor. “Yeah, that Camaro, back there near the fence, how much do you want for it?” Jake looked puzzled for a moment, then started typing on his computer, the once beige keyboard, covered with the same black smears and fingerprints as the monitor was now an almost gray color. “Huh… must of lost the records for that thing back when I got rid of my old computer, lets go have a look.” Jake and Sparkplug walked back to the rear of the lot, Sparkplug, being in much better physical shape than Jake had to adjust his stride a bit slower as to not walk ahead of him. He kept in prime form, always being active, working on cars, playing baseball with his son and his friends, and never driving anywhere he could walk. Jake on the other hand didn’t do much more than sit at his desk, scouring e-bay to find junk cars he could put in his lot and sell for parts, returning a profit well beyond what he paid for the wrecks. They finally made their way to the Camaro, sitting between an old blue and well worn full size pickup truck, and black early eighties model Monte Carlo that was missing it’s entire front end, exposing it’s radiator with tubes and hoses running to the ground all around it. “Hmmm, you know I remember this car sitting here, it’s had to have been here ten years or more, but for the life of me I can’t remember where I got it.” Jake just chalked it up to the fact that he had well over 500 cars in his lot in varying degrees of completeness, and he couldn’t remember every single one, but still it struck him odd that he would not remember a car in such good shape, and was surprised it had set there so long without anyone pulling parts out of it, or buying it outright. “Tell you what, for you Sparkplug, nine hundred, consider it part of my gift to your son for his graduation, I don’t give deals like this every day.” Jake had no children of his own, his wife was not able to have children, which Jake had once seen as an advantage back when he met her when he was in his early twenties and she was 18. He had known Sparkplug’s son Buster or “Spike” as everyone called him practically since he was born, Spike had accompanied Sparkplug several times to his auto salvage yard, where he would play with his toy cars in the office, or when he got older, run around in the salvage yard, probably pretending he was battling aliens or something of that nature. And when he became older still, helping his dad look for and remove the parts he needed, showing much of the same mechanical skill as his father. Jake had always thought to himself, if he had ever had a boy of his own, he would want him to be like Spike Witwicky. Sparkplug went back to his wrecker after paying Jake in cash, as he always did with everyone, “I don’t spend money I don’t have.” He would always say. He turned the key and the old wrecker started up with a thunderous roar, bofore it died down to it’s normal chugging sound it made at idle and pulled it between the rows of junked cars. He drove it around to the rear of the old camaro and let down the hook. Jake had no keys for the car, but Sparkplug would just replace the ignition switch on the steering column with a new one and a new key to match, he could replace the locks in the doors as well, all with aftermarket parts. He hooked his wrecker up the back end of the car and secured it with some chains around the rear axel, the went back the area just by the back window of the truck where there were several levers, pushed a couple of them and accompanied by a loud whirring sound the rear of the car was lifted about two feet off the ground. Jake unlocked the back gate of the lot and opened it so Sparkplug could pull straight out. Sparkplug paused, honked the horn on his wrecker and waved at Jake before pulling through the gate onto the dirt road behind the lot. Jake waved back, then closed the gate securing it with heavy chains and a ridiculously large padlock, he then watched Sparkplug’s wrecker with the old 84 camaro in tow disappear in a cloud of kicked up dust as he traveled down the dirt road.