When I came to Hooker Hole, Louisiana, a few months ago, I didn’t expect the townspeople to accept me as one of their own. They had eccentricities, sure, they had novel hangout locations and little secret societies and a general store that was open by appointment only. But I grew to love it, and I had hoped that my new neighbors would warm up to me once they saw the love I had in my heart for the Hole.

I had inherited the local lawnmower machine shop when I first came to town. The former machinist owner of the shop was still missing, crude black and white photocopies of his drivers’ license picture blown up and tacked on the walls of the general store, the old mill, the bar.

I knew that the townspeople probably suspected me, but this is one of the few times I hadn’t destroyed a man’s life with a car in order to get what I wanted in the short term. Mostly because I had no car.

As I worked late into the evening one night on my magnum opus, I heard a jingling and footsteps outside the thin corrugated-steel walls. Pulling out my Harbor Freight “Earthquake” impact wrench for protection, I hit the button that engaged the three-hundred-thousand lumen LED lights surrounding my properly. A man screamed from outside, and I stepped out to see a quivering lump, the fetal position, in the grass.

He was the previous owner, he explained, and this was his shop. He had just gone off on a bender, gotten lost in the next town over after mouthing off to some rural toughs. He escaped from their suicide-cult bunker after they all drank the Uplifting Fluid, which he conspiratorially told me with a wink may have just been the entire reserves of their spare lamp oil. I knew now that this man was playing the future version of my life, and had probably come here under similar circumstances.

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I invited him into my - his - house, and we sat and talked long into the night. Hours into our conversation, we determined that the best course of action was to leave the tri-state area and put as many miles between him and the pursuing detectives as possible. It turns out when you massacre a suicide cult, it’s still illegal in Obama’s America.

We went into the back room and pulled a dust cover off the MacGuffin. Underneath the cover was seven point five three liters of angry side oiler. As I engaged the underhood starter, I grinned as the twin turbochargers sucked their first gasp of confused air into their angry vortices. The Futura shook under the load.

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I barely had a chance to look at my newfound partner before everything went dim. When I awoke, the Fairmont and the lawnmower repairman were gone. I grimaced, rubbed my head, and engaged the remote car starter for the backup plan.

In the yard outside, buried beneath ground cover, I could just dimly hear the sound of a supercharger belt squeal.