Busted Axle Road
Chapter 41

Copyright© 1993, 2001, 2010

Even before Jennifer Evachevski turned sixteen, years before, she'd started bugging her father about getting a car. It would be unfair to say that Gil was immune to Jenny's charms, well-developed even at that age, but as befits a green beret master sergeant, he could be hard-nosed when he wanted to be. After Jennifer turned sixteen, he'd called all the kids from Jennifer down to Danny together, and told them, "I want you kids to all get it out of your heads that your mother and I are going to buy you each a car when you turn sixteen. I'm going to buy you one car. Period. It's going to have to last all of you till you go to college."

The car, a '72 AMC Hornet, was no hot rod, but it was in pretty good shape when Jennifer got it. She'd been careful with it, and things went pretty good for the first year, until Garth, the next Evachevski kid in line, got his driver's license. There were some squabbles at first, but Gil ruled that the senior kid got dibs on the use of the car, but the senior kid lost rights to it when they left for college. Since the gap between Garth and the next kid, Brandy, was the largest among the five Evachevski kids, Garth, who was no fool, could see that his day would come.

Unfortunately, Garth was kind of hard on cars, and the car was rather a clunker by the time Brandy got her hands on it, and she only used it to drive around town or out to the club, carefully. However, Gil had ruled early on that the kids were going to have to be responsible for the maintenance, and Garth had worked on it some, but neither Brandy nor Tara were the kind of girls that get a thrill out of having a wrench in their hands. Through four kids, though Tara didn't drive it much, it had acquired a broad array of dents and bruises, and was getting pretty rusty by the time Danny had acquired sole rights to it. As a result, Danny had the clunkiest car on the football team.

However, Gil wasn't insensitive to the fact that Danny, the last kid, was getting the short end of the stick, and so didn't say too much about the fact that Danny mostly drove the Appliance Center pickup around town, so long as the pickup was available for deliveries.

It was the pickup that Danny was driving over to Josh's Saturday morning; he found him throwing a basketball around in his driveway. Josh!" he called from the pickup.

"What's the problem?"

"I think I've sorta got it worked out with Amy for tonight, but we're going to have to come up with something real safe to do."

"You did? That's wonderful."

"It's not real wonderful," Danny said. "I've got to run whatever we're going to do by her folks, before they'll say yes or no. And, we'll have to go double, and I'll have to take her sister, Marsha."

"What's this Marsha look like?"

"Sorta like Brandy, but with black hair in a butch cut," Danny explained. Danny's older sister had been one of the best female athletes that Spearfish Lake had ever produced, shorter than average and stocky, plain appearing, with a real gift for suckering opponents that reasoned that because she was short and stocky and not very pretty, she was a soft touch. Brandy was not a soft touch; she'd been all-conference in basketball and softball at Michigan Tech. "She's kind of a jockette, like Brandy, too."

"Could be worse," Josh reasoned.

"Could be a hell of a lot better, too," Danny said. "But what you gotta figures is that anything that happens is going to get back to their folks, so we're going to have to be real straight."

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