The story starts below
Nobody in the neighbourhood understood why old man John kept refusing to move his old car off the lawn. What was he hiding?
Tensions are rising so much that some neighbours decide to take matters into their own hands. They are planning on getting rid of the car at night, but are completely caught off guard when they start hearing strange noises and light coming from underneath the car.
Turns out that old man John had his reasons for not wanting to move the car...
The 3 men could not believe what they were hearing. What was happening under the car? They looked at each other, all seemingly fearful to check under the old vehicle. Old man John was no joke, that much they knew. But they had gotten too far to back down now...
Is anybody there?
They kneeled down to look, but at midnight and with minimal streetlights nearby, all they saw was darkness. But then they heard the noise again. Louder this time. While 2 of the men were still pondering what to do next, the third one suddenly shouted; “Is anybody there?”
A sudden light
Almost immediately after that a bright light flashes out from under the old car and the 3 men jumped back. They could barely believe their eyes...
But what did the man see when the light came out from under the car? What was the noise they were hearing and why did old man John never want to move his car?
A Proud Neighborhood
The neighborhood was full of proud people who took great care in their houses, lawns, and especially cars. They upheld an appearance and unfortunately, old John’s car that had been out for years was just an eyesore. It didn’t fit in with their standards and their ideal image so something just had to be done.
The gardens around the community were always in order, and the houses were always clean. They called themselves an upstanding community. The people who lived here considered themselves hard workers and were protective of the haven they created so John’s car definitely stood out.
John was the neighborhood’s oldest resident. He’d been there long before anyone else had moved in and started creating their community. Everyone knew him as the old man, but didn’t know much more than that. It was said that he had a wife once, maybe a family, but no one knew for sure.
In fact, John did have a wife. She unfortunately passed away fifteen years before. John couldn’t bring himself to move out of the house they had shared together. He’d even left their old car out in front of the house. It had once been their chariot, but now it held a different purpose.
Old John didn’t get out very much and he mostly kept to himself. He never showed up to the community meetings or the fun activities they planned around the holidays. In truth, he never really went outside. This didn’t bother anyone really. It was the least of the neighborhood’s problem with him.
John’s house and garden were kept in decent shape. This wasn’t thanks to John, but rather the other neighbors pitched in to keep it looking well enough to make their neighborhood look good. They didn’t want it to stand out anymore than it already did with that old car in front.
No One Can Touch
John didn’t mind them messing around with his garden. It looked nice when they were done. And he didn’t mind them touching up the house either. If it made them happy he was okay with it, but there was one thing no one could do anything with, not even touch and the neighborhood was getting tired of it.
The Old Car
It was of course John’s old blue car parked on the lawn in front of his house. The car had been there almost as long as John had been and everyone living there couldn’t remember a time when it wasn’t parked out on the lawn. No one had ever seen it move and most doubted it would be able to at this point.
Old and Ugly
Everyone in the neighborhood hated John’s car with a passion. It was old and ugly. It had been consistently word down by the weather over the years. It even had a broken window from when some kids had thrown a rock through it. It looked more like something that belonged in a shady, abandoned city.
A Perfect Community
However, it wasn’t in a shady, abandoned city. It was sitting here, parked in their otherwise perfect neighborhood. The community had done everything they could to get John to get rid of the car. Some had even thought up some ways to make John leave thinking he’d take the car with him.
Many tried to convince John that his house was way too big for him. They figured that a nice family could move in and use the space and that it would be easy for John to scale down. But John wouldn’t hear it. He loved this house and all the memories that it held. He wasn’t going to move and the car wasn’t either.
John always used his many memories as the argument for his never leaving. It was true to a certain extent that he was staying because the place was so dear to him. However, it wasn’t the only reason. But the neighbors were nosy and didn’t need to know. All they needed to understand was that that car wasn’t moving.
This wasn’t enough for the neighborhood unfortunately. While John was stubborn in his ways the neighbors were too. They were going to have that car removed with or without John’s permission so it was time that they went to get some help. This would mean getting the police involved.
The police were called out to inspect the car once the neighbors had called about it being a potential danger or hazard to the neighborhood. The police came and did their inspection, but it was no use. John was nice to the police and simply explained that he kept the car for the memories.
The police found no reason to make him move the car. There was nothing in the law that was against him. The neighbors couldn’t come up with a valid reason either. They just hated to look at it, but that wasn’t against the law. So the car stayed, for now.
John was more wary of his neighbors after the police had gotten involved. The community decided to be straight forward and ask John nicely to get rid of the car. He politely declined and told them firmly no. But the neighbors weren’t done yet. It was time for some drastic action.
Most of the community considered themselves to be good people and in fact, most were. They had come to terms with the fact that that old car was going to be there whether they liked it or not. But there was a small group of three fathers who weren’t going to let that happen.
These men felt offended by John’s defiance. As if he was only stubborn to make it feel like he had some control or influence over the neighborhood still. These men were going to show John that he didn’t have any control. Not one bit and so they hatched a plan.
One of them rented a tow truck from a good friend. They planned on going to John’s house in the middle of the night and towing it away. It would get the car out of the neighborhood and everyone would be happy again. But that wouldn’t be it for the car. They had other plans.
Once towed, the car would be taken to the scrapyard and destroyed. It would be completely demolished and no one would have to see, much more think about that car ever again. They figured there was nothing an old man like John could do and that would be it.
They had already paid the owner of the scrapyard to keep their plan quiet. He wouldn’t tell anyone that he’d be demolishing the car and he’d keep it a secret that it was the three dads who’d brought it to him. With that settled, the three men figured that nothing could tie back to them.
The Big Day
Finally the day came. All throughout the day, each dad took shifts watching John’s house. They were hoping he might leave for a while as he did for groceries every now and then. But he never left, only peeked out the windows now and then, but that was usual. John stayed put as night fell.
John stayed inside all day, just as usual. When night finally came, they knew John was still home, but figured that at least they knew where he was. It was better to get it done with him sleeping soundly inside, then have him appear out of nowhere. So, they began their plan, but it wasn’t going to go as planned.
Waiting for the Truck
The three dads met up just outside of the neighborhood. They were waiting for the tow truck they’d rented to show up. They’d told their families that they were going out for beers together and that no one should wait up for them. Of course, this was a lie that would soon be out.
The last resort
The men were well aware that their plan was risky and very likely to backfire on them if they were caught. For one, their wives would be furious with them. It wasn't that the women liked the car, they probably hated it even more than them, but it was a plan that none of their wives would get behind. Even the men could agree this was the last resort.
They had to be quiet.
The evening started out perfect, much of the neighborhood called it in earlier than usual and by nine everyone was fast asleep. The tow truck arrived right on time, and the men could feel their confidence building. They would need to be quick to avoid someone spotting them, but everything depended on their ability to stay quiet.
The men hopped into the tow truck, each of their minds trained on the same thing. They started the truck as quietly as possible, allowing the slope of the street to move the car for them in silence. Finally, they parked by the curb. Careful not to drive on the grass, they could not afford to be caught by a trail left by the getaway vehicle.
Hooking the car up
Once the truck was put in park, the next step of the plan was getting the car hooked to the tow truck for an easy transfer. Luckily, even a car as old as old man Johns had a towing bar attached to the bottom. The hook up was easy, and all seemed to be going even better than planned. Up until things got a little more complicated.
The 3 men were baffled?
The men gleefully hopped back into their positions, in and around the tow truck. They began by increasing the speed slowly. They would need to be careful to avoid alerting someone. But after the speed had reached a steady level, the men were shocked to note something. The car wouldn't budge an inch.
Holding it in place
This was a disconcerting feeling for the men, the vehicle was old, and with little life left in its body. It should have been a breeze to lift the car at this level. Unless, there was something anchoring the car to the ground. After a few more minutes of struggling with the lever, the men decided they would need a change in technique to accomplish their goals..
Checking the wheels of the car.
It was clear old man John didn't was far more persistent than they had realized. The men stepped out of the truck and made their way towards the old vehicle. This time they would inspect it and get a closer look. However, just as they were about to check the wheel, one of the men signaled for the others to pause…
Under the car!
He had heard a strange noise, and wasn certain where it had come from or what had caused it. The men stood in silence for a moment waiting, until the sound echoes in the air once more. But this time, the men had an answer to one of their questions. The sound was coming from under the car!
What the hell was happening?
The three men were frightened and unsure of how to proceed. Somehow, their half backed plan to rid themselves of their neighbors ancient car had turned into an ill advised nightmare. They could feel the tension rising as they each wondered what to do next. Was there something down there?
They kneeled down!
After another silent pause, the three men nodded in unison as they all kneeled down to take a closer look at the source of the sound. At the bottom of a rusted and mysterious vehicle. However, their eyes met with pitch darkness. The streetlight barely casting over the lawn, and their bodies blocking the little air that did make it in. They would need a better look.
Louder this time
The three men stood back up, on a defeated sigh. Although they had brought a flashlight with them, they knew that turning one on would invite attention they would much rather avoid while trespassing on the old man's lawn. They would need to come up with a better option. But even as they pondered the noise came through the night, this time louder than ever.
Caught his partners completely off guard
The three men felt even more tense than before. Whatever decision they made they would need to make it soon, or leave before the noise gave them away. While two of the men debated whether or not it would be worth it to turn on the flashlight, the third man stepped closer to the car, and made a shocking decision.
“Is anybody there?”
The man took in a deep breath, steadying himself as he walked towards the car. Doing his best to hide the tremor in his voice, he called out loudly, “Is anybody there?” The other two men darted their heads away from each other and unto him, both eager to shut him up quickly. In the dead of the night, his voice would certainly carry and alarm someone. Then something happened…
It was so very bright
The men were prepared for another inaudible burst of noise from below the car but instead, the unexpected happened. Suddenly there was a surge of piercing bright light cutting through the darkness of the night. Like a beam coming from under the car. The men jumped back, shocked. Where did the light come from?
Men sitting around his car
The men tried to take a closer look at the source of the light but could not make out anything. The light was far too bright for their eyes to stay steady, or trained on it for long. Suddenly, the door to old man johns house cranked open, and their elder neighbor stood at the front. Staring blankly at his intruders.
Before anybody sees them
Old man John says nothing for a moment, before quickly signaling for them to head into his house quickly, “follow me” The three men were hesitant but considered their situation. They were likely to get caught if the light continued to shine so brightly into the night sky. Finally, they decided to trust their gut and followed after the old man.
Then he quickly shuts the blinds
Two of the men trailed after old man john as they disappeared into the house. The third man took the keys and made his way to the tow truck, he would need to get it out of sight before someone spotted them. The other two men watched as old man john peered through his window suspiciously, the bright light now gone as quickly as it had shone.
Why did they even go into the house?
The men were growing a little wary, not only had the old man caught them trespassing, they were now locked in his house with no one in the neighborhood the wiser. They began to question the wisdom of their actions in following the old man so trustingly. Then John turns to the “What were you trying to do with my car”
A different part of the house
Silence greeted the old man’s words as the men exchanged glances across the room. Both of them wished they could pass words without saying anything. Finally, they decided it would be best to come clean. The men explained why they had been on his lawn and detailed their plan and motivation for going through such lengths.
They tell old man John everything
The men watched and spoke as John began to move. Following him as they narrated the reason for being there and how the events of the night had occurred. It was clear from their voices that the men now regretted the foolish plan they had come up with, but there was no denying the determination even as they spoke. John sighed.
The inevitable reveal
The old man looked at the young men who had grown frustrated with him and took matters into their own hands. He wanted to be angry, and he was certainly upset. But he could not deny that he shared part of the blame. By keeping to himself and telling no one the true reason for the car, he had escalated matters without meaning too. He too would need to come clean.
A window passage
John nodded, saying nothing as he listened to the men wrap up their story. They presented the theory they had about the car being bolted to the ground to keep something hidden. He admitted that the men were indeed correct. But not in the way they had imagined. The car was actually a window.
He build the basement
It was a window designed to let air and light into a secret unlisted basement on his property. The basement was built many years before any of the newer residents lived in the neighborhood. It was built at a time of less strict housing laws that allowed him to construct the basement without needing a permit. But why was it a secret, what did the old man have to hide?
Hiding in this secret basement?
The man explained that the basement housed something that was dear to him, and was the reason he turned down all offers to move. The two men were far too engrossed in the story, that it took a moment for them to notice that they had landed in front of a door. The door to the secret basement. John smiled, and opened the door.
Inside the basement
The two men stared mouth agape as they took a step into the basement. It was nothing they had expected. The basement was a makeshift lab with high tech machines and testing materials. So much needed explaining, and John was happy to provide. He explained that he was a long retired chemist.
Discover new medicine
John shared that after retirement he had missed his work, but wanted to devote himself to helping people but not for profit. He decided to build a lab and focus on finding the cures for well known illnesses. To do this without getting corporations involved he would need his lab to remain unlisted.
They would leave his car alone
The men were stunned into silence. Of all the ways they had expected the night to go, this had not been one of them. They found they had a growing respect for the old man who seemed devoted to his work and principle. Promising to not only keep his secret, but to help get the other neighbors to back off.
And so it happened
Luckily for old man John, the men were very successful at getting the oher neighbors to back off from the issue. They didn't even need to give up his secret to accomplish it. In the end, John was able to continue his research undisturbed, and the rest of the neighborhood learned to love the character the old car brought to their scenic town.
This story is a work of fiction created for entertainment. Characters and events are the products of the author’s imagination. The images shown are used for illustration only.