Junk Car is a ghost story about a 16 year old boy named Arthur who had just completed his driving test and got his driving licence in the mail. The only problem was that he didn’t own a car.
His older brother Vince had a beat up old junk car that he bought for a few dollars from a dealer who was about to sell it for scrap metal. The car was in bad condition, but at least it was road-worthy. Vince took great care of the car. It was his prized posession, but no matter how much Arthur begged and pleaded, his older brother would never let him drive it.
A few months later, Vince joined the army and just before he went to boot camp, Arthur asked him if he could drive the car while he was away. His older brother thought it over and agreed to let the younger boy use the car, but only under two conditions.
As he handed over the keys, Vince made Arthur promise never to drink and drive, never to go over 60 miles per hour, and never ever to smoke cigarettes in the car. The younger brother was eager to get to use the car so he agreed to all three conditions even though he wondered why his brother was so obsessed with taking care of a junk car.
Six months later, Arthur’s family received a terrible letter in the mail. It informed them that their son Vince had been killed in action in Iraq. Arthur’s parents were devastated by the news, but it hit Arthur even harder. He started to go a little crazy.
Every morning, he took off from the house in the junk car, full of anger and rage. He ditched school, bought alcohol and just drove and drove, not caring where he was headed. And as he drove aimlessly around the countryside, he started drinking and chain smoking. He became reckless, driving as fast as the car could go.
One night, as he was driving drunk down a lonely country road, he dropped his cigarette in his lap. He jumped, trying to find the smouldering cigarette butt and took his eyes off the road. Big mistake. The car hit a slick spot in the road and spun full around twice before the front tire caught and flipped the car over into the ditch.
When Arthur woke up, he couldn’t remember where he was. He didn’t know how long he’d been unconscious but he could feel someone tapping him on the shoulder. Groggily, he looked around and saw his brother Vince staring at him and yelling over and over “Get out of my car. Get out of my car”.
Confused, Arthur reached in his shirt pocket and took out a cigarette and his lighter. He put the cigarette in his mouth, but his older brother leaned over and blew out the flame. Every time he tried to light the cigarette, his big brother blew it out, until eventually, Arthur gave up.
Then he heard sirens and voices shouting and someone was dragging him out of the car. They lifted him up, put him on a stretcher and loaded him into the back of an ambulance. A policeman beside him reached over and yanked the cigarette from his lips.
“Son, I wouldn’t do that”, said the policeman. “When you crashed, the gas tank in your car split open. You’re completely drenched in gasoline. If you lit that cigarette, you would have been burned alive.”