I poured a quart of power steering fluid into the Bronco’s reservoir, but it was still low. Satisfying my duty, I put another bottle in immediately after. I was gripped with cold fear. The power steering pump of my Ford wasn’t screaming any more. Something was wrong.

Just then, Stephen King emerged from the nearby bushes, stepping into the clearing which served as my impromptu garage.

“Yes indeed,” he chuckled, looking at me through his thin-framed glasses, “welcome to New England and another story of madness.”

I gripped him then, clawing at his face in terror, drawing blood and digging down to the bone.

“GIVE ME BACK MY SCREAMING POWER STEERING PUMP,” I yell into his dissolving body, grasping nothing but ethereal goo that vaporizes into thin air. “YOU SON OF A BITCH, THIS ISN’T WHAT I WANTED!”


It’s too late. Stephen King is gone, and I’m alone in the woods of Maine with a 1988 Bronco with a quiet power steering pump. For the longest time, we stand there, opponents, the idle of the 302 happily chattering away inside the cavernous engine bay, the power steering belt gently spinning from pulley to pulley.

I sit on a nearby rock, and hold my head in my hands. My vision throbs and swims. This isn’t real. None of this is real. It can’t be real.

Just before my despair can break into drastic action, the power steering reservoir hiccups, a bubble launching into the atmosphere. The soft pop of the bubble bursting is followed immediately with a cacophonous warbling squeal, audible for blocks around. I smile broadly, as if welcoming my old friend home.