A black 2019 Trans-Am sits on an endless desert road. The only sound is the wind, when an engine spools up and fires. It’s idle is rough, but confident. Throttles open, and a sound rips through the air like the fabric of the sky is being torn apart. The engine revs and whistles as the car’s chassis torques. The clutch is dropped, and the car powers into the distance, leaving a trail of pale white smoke like a locomotive. The sound erupts through the desert as the car speeds faster and faster, the gilded eagle on the hood glimmering in the fierce sunlight. 80mph…90…100…120…14-
Pontiac awakes, staring at the ceiling. He looks over through the bars of his cell.
An old man is standing outside, pushing a cart of books.
“You dreaming again?
Pontiac raises himself out of bed.
“No.” he responds.
“Guard is coming, says you got a visitor. Sounds important to me.”
Pontiac rubbed his eyes,”Thanks Olds.”
“Saturn, you want Road & Track this time? Or Car & Driver?”
“Road & Track.” Saturn responded from under the covers.
Oldsmobile slipped a 2003 edition of Road & Track through the bars of the cell.
Pontiac looked at Saturn. “You know it’s really better if you just don’t do that.”
Saturn grabbed the magazine and turned to the review of the Ion Redline.
Saturn turned on a light near his bed. “Shut the fuck up.”
Moments later the cell door opens, and a guard escorts him outside. He handcuffs Pontiac to a picnic table, and tells him to wait.
Soon a well dressed man appears, and sits at the table across from him.
Pontiac looks at him. “What do you want?”
The man removes his sunglasses and looks at Pontiac.
“We found a few new witnesses, we need to clarify that report from you.”
“That report about what?” Pontiac responded.
“That night a while back. Why you’re here.”
Pontiac produced a pack of cigarettes from his jumpsuit pocket and lit one.
“That was ten years ago.”
The man stared intently at Pontiac.
“If you give us some good info we could get you out of here soon.”
Pontiac paused and took in the information, tapping the ash off of his cigarette after a beat.
“Yeah well, what do you want to know?”
“Just start from the beginning.” the man responded.
He placed a tape recorder on the table and clicked record.
Pontiac stared at him for a moment as his cigarette burned down, and then began to speak.
“GM’s parents were out of town, so he decided to have a few buddies over.”
The man asked, “Which ‘buddies’?”
“All the Americans, Mercedes, and Ford brought Aston.”
“Anyways, everybody shows up, things are going well, people are having a good time, then a few hours in things get a little out of hand. Chevy brought a whole lot of uhh… Well, you know what he brought. We all do it of course, and things get rowdy.
“Chrysler starts getting all nostalgic and makes some real strange shit. Then Chevy, who apparently does what he deals started doing the same shit Chrysler was.”
“I didn’t get too caught up in it really. Me and Buick were on the couch just minding our own business.”
“After that, Saturn mixed GM this weird-assed drink that he apparently liked enough to finish and ask for another. Pretty strong apparently, GM was sloshed at that point. Cadillac talked him into putting his own body on a Corvette for no apparent reason. GM was just laughing and nodding his head. Cadillac even got his own engine for it. Wild shit.”
The suited man stopped Pontiac, “Is this when the panel van happened?”
“No that shit happened a few weeks earlier. Funny you say that, though.”
“Ford and his buddies were all doing alright, but Ford was totally neglecting Aston. Can’t tell you why though, she still is a dime and a half. Anyway, then shit really hit the fan. Saab was still there even though her and GM broke up. She was out of it and backed up into Lincoln.”
“GM thought there was something going on and he picked a fight, but it just ended up with GM and her fighting again.”
“In the midst of all this Saturn finds GM’s wallet on the ground and decides he’s going to make his own version of my fucking Solstice with the money. The fucking nerve of that kid. I confronted him about it and we started fighting too. Got pretty bad.”
“Anyways, Jeep, Hummer, and Dodge were arguing about locking diffs in the corner when the cops showed up. At this point Saab had already left saying she was going to Koenigsegg’s house, and GM just polished off another beer.”
“As soon as we saw the lights, me and Saturn stopped fighting and started taking the stuff Chevy brought out of his backpack and stuffing it into our own.”
“Chrysler was so fucked up at this point that Mercedes, who was not drinking, had to drive him and his two buddies back to Fiat’s place to crash. Never liked that bitch.”
Pontiac paused to light another cigarette.
He exhaled and put the cigarette into an ash tray.
“Ford and Lincoln were afraid because they both had outstanding warrants, and so did Mercury. Mercury was one hell of a guy though. When the cops were outside he damn near kicked down the front door and made one last big ruckus in front of the cops before they tackled him.”
“The thing is Mercury was pretty sober, though. He just wanted to buy his buddies some time to get out of there. Great guy, wish he was locked up with me.”
The suited man asked another question, “What did Aston do after that?”
Pontiac responded, “Well she says she dumped Ford but really I think Ford just got fed up with her. Must’ve broken up later that night. She flew back to England the next day I think. Hummer tried to fight a cop and got ‘tased. I think he was on parole for a while but then went back to jail.”
“At this point only me, Buick, Cadillac, Chevy, and GM were left. Cops cuffed all of us and put me and Buick in the back of a squad car.”
Pontiac smiled, “When we were back there, Buick was real quiet for a while, then he looked up at the cop in the mirror and said, ‘Fucking shame! Uber is putting you guys out of business!'”
Pontiac laughed, and drew from his cigarette. “Cop looked at him like he had six fucking heads. That might’ve been another time, actually. Can’t remember for shit.”
“So we got down to the station and we all sat in a holding cell for a while. They, of course, found all the shit me and Saturn had. That was fucking dumb of us.”
“After a few hours, GM’s dad shows up and bails him and a few others out. Doesn’t have the cash for me and Saturn apparently.”
Pontiac flicks away his cigarette and looks back at the man in the suit.
“And here we are.”
Wind blows across the yard as the man reaches over to the tape recorder and stops recording. He gets up and slips it into his coat pocket.
“So what’s the deal?” Pontiac asks.
“There is no deal. Information new people told us is the same shit you did. We just needed to know where Aston went for sure.”
“She want back to the UK. Everybody knows that you stupid fuck.”
The man put his sunglasses back on.
Pontiac stared at the man as he left, speechless. A guard soon came and brought him back to his cell.
Pontiac awoke the next morning, to the sound of a squeaky cart of books.
“Car & Driver or Road & Track?”
“Car & Driver this time, please”
Pontiac looked through the bars to see Oldsmobile looking back at him.
“What’s the news? We getting out soon?”
Saturn and Oldsmobile both looked at him intensely.
He looked back at them.
“No, I don’t think so.”