Freightliner Fever, Part 2

I found an old cabin a few miles off the blacktop and bunked up there a couple weeks, mostly just to be alone. It was stocked with a few provisions, I don't know who put 'em there, but I was happy to help myself until they ran out.

Today I left a note thankin' whoever stocked the place for their hospitality, then headed deeper into the hills, not really lookin' to go anyplace except far away from the people out there I had harmed and disappointed.

Heck, I was so poisonous to others that even the Snowman was stayin' outta my dreams.

Anyways, I wandered up into the hills a bit, then back down into a valley I'd never before been to. It was like a pristine place, untouched by any man, except for hundreds of abandoned big rigs just sitting there, some rusted out, some pert near to gettin' there. They was parked under trees mostly, scattered about where there room to fit 'em. Most had weeds growin' up around in 'em, like they'd just been left to lie there for years.

It was like heaven - hundreds of trucks to play in, with nobody around to foul with my dark moods and disposition.

I took a likin' to an old Freightliner parked under a gnarled up oak tree. It had been there a long time - the tree was damn near grown around it, almost like it was tryin' to hold it in place. I had to pry the passenger door open real hard to get a big enough gap to slip in.

Surprisingly, it wasn't too messed up in there, no rats, dead bums, and such. Sure, it was worn a bit, but it had, I don't know, a kind of spirit about it. The windshield was shattered in a spot, but not broken, and not too dirty as to not be able to see out.

I started playin' like I was a real big rig driver behind the wheel. I turned the big wheel around. I put the pedal to the metal. I stuck the clutch and tried to jam it into gear. I pulled the air horn cord down.

"WOOOMP!" it went, kind of weak, as it dumped a bunch of dirt onto the windshield outside. But I'll be damned if'n it didn't work!

"Aw Yeah!" I shouted. I pulled the cord again. "WOOOOOOOMMP!" Nice and loud this time. Sounded like it echoed around the valley a bit.

"YES! Now that's what I call a horn! Shout it out, big fella!"

I pulled the cord a few more times to hear that echo effect around the valley. I had to admit - it felt damn good to be behind the wheel, even if I was just playin' around.

Then somethin' really weird happened. I musta knocked the visor when I was pulling that horn cord, cause it moved just a bit, and what looked like a set of keys fell on the floorboard.

"No way!" I said, knowing how improbable that was. I looked down at the floor to see... Yup, it was a damn set of keys.

I stuck them in the ignition. I pushed my leg down hard on the clutch - I didn't wanna start this thing in gear. I slowly turned the key... there was no way the battery still had any charge... it made a grinding sound, then kind of a moan... then it turned over!

Then, just as quickly, the engine sputtered and stopped.

"WOO HOO!!" I shouted to nobody. I squeezed out the passenger door and scrambled around to the front of the thing. I threw the brush off from around the grill, reached in to find the hood release, pulled it, and popped the hood.

The engine was filthy, and it looked like some rats had taken up residence back near the firewall, but it looked ok. The battery cables was a bit loose - I tightened the negative and climbed back on inside.

I turned the key... and she started up! I gave her a little gas, and she sputtered a bit, then gave a nice roar!

Looks like I had me a big rig, no matter what Big Joe said.