“Done,” I muttered.
I’d spent most of Saturday testing the car. Grandpa had a long and detailed list of what needed doing and I didn’t want to miss anything.
Night Wolf drove a black, 1964 Stingray—sort of. By “sort of” I mean that I doubted that any of the parts were original. Even forgetting that the car was forty years old, I seriously doubted that an armored body, windows made of transparent metal, or hidden wings that could extend out below the doors were standard on any model of Corvette.
I had worked on Night Wolf’s car and Captain Commando’s motorcycle as a way of passing the time while waiting for the parts I needed for my redesign of my grandfather’s eavesdropping system.
My back felt sore after standing for six hours—standing under the car while it was on the lift and standing under the open hood while reaching into engine.
I opened the door and sat inside. The seat felt good. I touched a button and the window disappeared into the door. My eyes swept across the dashboard, its complexity rivaling the control panel of the still mothballed jet. I knew what all the car’s controls did now. Travis would have a good time with it.
I put my hands on the steering wheel and thought about whether I should take it out for a drive. Then I closed my eyes. My grip loosened and I fell asleep.
I woke to find Cassie’s hand on my shoulder. She gave it a small push. “Nick? Are you awake?”
“I was just thinking about taking this car for a test drive.”
“Did you say thinking or dreaming?”
She wore street clothes—blue jeans and a dark blue hoodie. A motorcycle leaned against the wall behind her. I guessed it might be from the 1970’s.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Dad’s other motorcycle. Mom had it in the back of the garage. Would you mind looking it over?”
“I guess,” I said. “I already finished the other one.”
“I know,” she said. “I’d just prefer to take lessons as myself instead of showing up in costume.”
Covered with dust and spider webs, the bike looked like it had sat in the back of the garage for ten years. I got out of the car and started wiping the bike off with a rag. It was a Honda CB400F.
“Did you ride it over here?”
“What? No, I pushed. I should have had Daniel float it over.”
So now I had another vehicle to fix. On the other hand, it didn’t have to break the sound barrier or hide a machinegun—which meant it would be simpler. I considered ways I might improve it. I might just toss the engine and replace it—maybe with a turbocharged diesel. But why stop there? Why not put in something interesting like a rocket assisted speed boost?
Cassie said, “Earth to Nick. What the hell are you doing?”
I realized that I was holding a screwdriver and had already begun to take the bike apart.
“Nothing that can’t wait,” I said. “You want to come along while I test drive Night Wolf’s car?”
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Bio: Jim Zoetewey grew up in Holland, Michigan, near where L Frank Baum wrote The Wizard of Oz and other books in that series. Admittedly, Baum moved away more than sixty years before Jim was even born, but it's still kind of cool. Jim didn't attain his goal of never leaving school, but did prolong his stay as long as possible. He majored in religion and sociology at Hope College, gaining enough credits to obtain minors in ancient civilizations and creative writing—had he thought to submit applications to the relevant departments. He attended Western Theological Seminary for two years. He followed that up by getting a masters degree in sociology at Western Michigan University. Once out of school, he took up the most logical occupation for someone with his educational background: web developer and technical support. Simultaneously, he finished all but three credits of a masters in Information Systems, a degree that's actually relevant to his field. He's still not done. In the meantime, he's been writing stories about superheroes and posting them online at http://legionofnothing.com. He's still not sure whether that was a good idea, but continues to do it anyway. He's also not sure why he's writing this in the third person, but he's never seen an author bio written in first person and doesn't want to rock the boat.