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Alva: Four Wheels of Terror

Alva: Four Wheels of Terror

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Alva: Four Wheels of Terror

233 pagine
3 ore
Sep 6, 2011


In the winter of 1967, Jake Grant, an ambitious and popular high school senior, is looking ahead to college and a bright future. As co-captain of the basketball team in Martens Ferry, Florida, its his goal to lead his school to victory at the state championships. After that, his plans include a glorious career, starting with college ball at Ohio State University. Everything is falling into place; his future looks bright. All that is missing is his dream car.

Jake cant believe his luck when he finds a 1959 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe for sale at a price hed be a fool to refuse. After a quick test drive, he snaps the car up without a second thought. Jake quickly learns that sometimes you get what you pay forand then some.

Along with a V-8, black leather interior, brilliant chrome, and whitewalls, his new baby, Alva, comes with an undisclosed accessory: a resident demon out to destroy the lives of everyone Jake knows and loves. But Jake also quickly learns that Alva is as determined as he isand she has more than a few wicked tricks at her disposal.

Can Jake save himself and everyone he loves from the fury of an ancient spirit ensnared in American iron?

Sep 6, 2011

Informazioni sull'autore

Jw Grodt is a forty-year veteran of the real estate industry who currently works as CEO and managing broker of RE/MAX Executives. He is a former marine, lover of classic American cars, and author of two other books—Alva: Four Wheels of Terror and Dark Tales: Tales of the Tellers. Jw lives in Springfield, Virginia, with his wife, Mai, and their teenage son, Jake.

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Anteprima del libro

Alva - Jw Grodt



Jake Meets Alva

Saturday, March 18, 1967

The morning addition of the Times Register hit the porch at the Grant household. It was the first edition for Saturday, March 18, 1967. Within the house were Bill and Mary Grant and their seventeen-year-old son, Jake.

Now, Jake was a fairly typical teen for his day; he played sports, respected his parents, was a devout Christian and a good student, and liked spending time with his friends and Rachel Bridges, his steady girlfriend since freshman year. The Grants lived in the small town of Martens Ferry, Florida, where sports were very much a part of the life of the community. Jake was six feet two inches tall and had a medium but muscular build. He was always clean shaven and wore his hair in a crew cut,which was unusual for the time, as guys had started wearing their hair longer and longer. Jake didn’t like anyone but his dad to cut his hair.

Jake was all about basketball when it came to sports, but he had also played baseball for the high school team. He was a better-than-average shortstop with a .580 batting average in his last season. However, his future was basketball. In fact, he had decided not to play baseball this—his senior—year, because he wanted to spend all available time practicing basketball.

Jake was nearing the end of his senior year, and thoughts of the future were on his mind. His dream was to play college basketball for Ohio State. He was good enough for sure. Number 11 for the Martens Ferry Purple Riders, he was co-captain and well respected by coaches and fellow players alike. The season was over; the playoffs were almost finished. Only two teams had one final game, the state championship, which was now exactly three weeks away. Tallahassee, Florida, would be the battleground. The Purple Riders had fought hard all season and were good enough to bring home the prize. Jake typically led the team with points and assists. In this small town, where sports were very much a high priority, Jake was known as a cool customer under pressure. He knew that the town would show up and support the team, but how many scouts and from which schools would be there? That was an unknown. Coach had told Jake that scouts from Ohio State would be there looking at other guys. Even though they had already given him a full athletic scholarship, he wanted to give them a good showing.

But his life was more than just basketball; he had career decisions to consider. He had always thought that he would be involved in sports as a career, but he also knew he had to have an alternative plan for himself, and that would require some of his dad’s wisdom. He knew from previous conversations with his father that his father favored a degree in business as a backup plan that would give Jake many options.

Jake’s parents were very supportive but did not pressure him to go one way or another. They felt Jake had the good sense to make the right decisions in his own time; however, they would always be there to add their advice if asked. Jake was their only child, and Dad was his confidant as well.

Jake had so many things to consider, but today was all about the possibility of his very first car, and that was top priority. Not only did he want a car, but he would be going to college next term and would need a car to get to school and back home for holidays and breaks. He had been scouring the newspapers, car magazines, and local car shows for a car that he liked but—more importantly—could also afford. When he got up and came down to the kitchen, his dad was already having coffee and reading the paper.

Morning, Dad. How are you? Jake inquired.

Great, Jake. Yourself?

Good. Dad, could I have the classified section, please?

Bill rustled the paper searching for the classified section. Here you go, Son. Still searching, huh?

Yes, indeed. I know I’ll find it someday. Just hope I can afford it.

He searched the ads and spotted a car that seemed to fit the bill. The price was right. He knew it would need some work, but it was local, so there was no expense to have it hauled in from somewhere else. He could not wait to find out more about it. He had been working part-time and saving for his first car. He had managed to save a little over $1,200.00.

Dad … Dad! Check this one out! Jake said excitedly.

Sure, let’s see, he replied. Okay … 1959 Chevrolet Impala sport coupe, V-8, four-speed, black in and out, nine hundred fifty dollars. Call Bob Mason, he read aloud. Sounds promising, Son. Why don’t you call and inquire about it?

Okay, Dad, I will. Would you go with me if I want to see it? Jake asked.

Sure, Son. He chuckled as he went back to his paper.

This was the first day for Bob Mason’s advertisement, and Jake was the first caller to respond.

When Jake called about the car, he spoke with the owner. Jake asked the usual questions about the car: Did it run well? Was there much rust on the car surface or underneath? What was the interior like? After hearing the responses, he asked if he could come and see the car; Bob answered in the affirmative.

Hey, Dad, can we go see it around one o’clock? It sounds real good, Jake asked excitedly.

Sure, Son; that sounds good, said Dad.

What is all the fuss about? You guys make enough noise to wake the dead, said Mary as she appeared in the kitchen doorway.

Mom, I found a car, and Dad and I are going to look at it at one o’clock. It sounds perfect! Oh, I can’t wait till we can go see it! exclaimed Jake. He then had to take a huge breath.

His mom and dad both laughed.

I guess I better fix you adventurous wanderers some breakfast, Mary said, still chuckling about her young son’s excitement.

It was shortly after one o’clock in the afternoon on that beautiful Saturday. Spring would come early, and along with that, summer promised to be warmer and drier than usual. Jake and his dad arrived at the Mason home in Bill’s 1949 Ford custom business coupe. They knocked on the door and introduced themselves to Mr. Mason. After a few polite exchanges, Mr. Mason led the way to the backyard, followed closely by the Masons’ little girl, Julie. The detached garage was located directly behind their home; a concrete driveway led the way. Jake tried to be cool, but he was so excited he thought he would jump out of his skin before they got to the garage.

Bob was about to open the doors when Julie spoke up and asked, Daddy, are you going to sell Alva?

Bob knelt down, held her little face in both of his hands, and said, Yes, sweetie, we have to. It’s time for her to have a new home, where someone else can love her like we did. She needs to be driven, not stay locked up here in the garage. You understand, don’t you?

Yeah, it’s okay. She’s not nice to me anymore, she said. I’m going to tell Mommy. She’ll be happy too! And she ran from the garage.

Bob could see that Jake was confused by the incident. Don’t worry about that. You know how kids are, so fickle, he said, a little red-faced.

Jake blew it off and replied, Oh, I understand.

Bob swung open the garage door, and Jake was stunned.

Here stood this beautiful black 1959 Chevy Impala Sport Coupe, brilliant chrome with wide whitewall tires. As Jake looked closer, he saw the stylish black leather interior, which was unusual for a Chevy. It also had a V-8 motor and a four-speed tranny.

Jake, this car is equipped with every power option available, stated Mr. Mason.

He could not believe that the Masons would sell such a car for the $950.00 listed in the paper. Then Jake’s heart sank. It must have been a misprint. He was sure it was. It had to be. He wanted to ask but hesitated, afraid of the answer. His dream might be short-lived, but gathering his courage, Jake timidly asked, Mr. Mason, is the price of nine-fifty in the paper correct?

Why, yes. Do you think it’s too much? Mr. Mason asked nervously.

No, Mr. Mason. I think what Jake is saying is that it seems low for this car. Now don’t get me wrong, we would like to have it at the best price we can get; however, his mother and I have always tried to instill a sense of right and wrong and not take advantage of folks; that’s all, Bill stated.

Oh, well, no, I don’t think so; after all, it is eight years old and … and we need the space. Plus no sense in just paying for tags, maintenance, and insurance for her just to sit here, said Mr. Mason.

May we hear it run, please? Jake asked, thinking to himself, Maybe she’s an oil burner.

Mr. Mason replied, Why, sure, you may. In fact, why don’t you and your dad take her for a spin around the block, as he pulled the key from his pocket and hit the ignition.

She fired immediately and no oil. Jake nodded to his dad, and he smiled back at him. Jake hopped behind the wheel and adjusted the power seat. It also worked fine.

I’ll be right here cleaning up a bit until you get back. Take your time, said Bob as Jake pulled slowly out of the driveway.

Dad, I think this car is great. Would you drive it and see what you think? Jake asked after about five minutes of driving.

Okay, son. Pull over right there, Bill said as he pointed to the curb. He got behind the wheel and put her in first and then pulled away strongly. He went through the gears and made a few quick stops and a few hard right and left turns.

Jake, I can find no reason not to buy this car, he stated.

Dad, what about the price? Should I be concerned that it is so cheap? Think there’s something we don’t know here?

No, you gave him an opportunity to rethink the price, and she seems sound enough. Personally, I think she’s worth more like twelve to thirteen hundred, so I would pay him his full price.

He continued, You would almost think he had demons chasing him to sell it. He laughed and recited a line from the popular TV show, Laugh In, Da devil made me do it.

If they only knew, they would not be laughing!

They both laughed as Bill drove back to the Masons’ and parked in the driveway.

Jake, I will let you handle the transaction, but I’ll make sure everything is in order, Bill stated, wanting to let Jake start learning to make business decisions.

Mr. Mason walked quickly out of the garage and asked, So, what did you think of her?

I like the car, and I’m willing to pay you today and take her home, provided you have a good title and you will let me use your tags just to drive her home. Is that all right with you, Mr. Mason? Jake said firmly.

Yes! Great. Come on inside, and we’ll get the other keys and the title, Mr. Mason said, almost giddy.

However, there is one thing, Jake said.

Mr. Mason turned with a surprised and somewhat worried look and asked, Yes, what is it?

Jake asked, You’ll tell me how Alva got her name?

A relieved-looking Mr. Mason sighed and laughed nervously. He said, Let’s get something to drink, and I’ll tell you the whole story.

Bob led the way through the front door, and they all walked inside.

Honey, this is Jake Grant and his dad, Bill, and this is my wife, Janet. Honey, Jake is buying Alva.

Oh, so nice to meet you, Bill, Jake. So this car’s for you? Janet smiled.

Yes, ma’am, replied Jake with joy.

Please have a seat here at the kitchen table. May I get you some coffee or something to drink? asked Janet pointing the way to the table.

Thank you. I would love a cup of coffee. Bill smiled.

Jake, would you like a pop? asked Janet.

Yes, ma’am, that would be great, Jake replied as he sat at the table.

Jake reached into his pocket, took out the money, counted it out to Mr. Mason, and handed it to him.

Thank you, Jake. Here are the two sets of keys. I have the title right here, and I have a few photos of the car that you may have as well. Janet, can you come here for a second and autograph this title for Jake? asked Bob.

Sure, honey, Janet replied as she put down a towel and walked to the table.

Just sign right here on this line, said Bob handing her a pen and pointing to the line.

Janet signed and said, I hope you really enjoy the car, Jake.

Thank you, ma’am. I know I will, said Jake with a huge smile.

Okay, now I will sign it, and, Bill, you can help him fill out the rest. Is that all right?

Certainly, Bob; that’s fine, said Bill.

Here you are. Coffee for you, Bill. Cream and sugar are on the table. And here is a cola for you, Jake. Honey, would you like some more coffee? Janet asked.

Sure, about half a cup, please, replied Bob.

Well, Jake, I promised to tell you how Alva got her name. It was September 3, 1958—I don’t know why that date sticks in my mind—anyway, I had just been discharged from the Marine Corps a few weeks earlier, and Janet and I had been going around to various dealerships looking for a new car, when we walked into a local Chevrolet-Pontiac dealership.

Jake interrupted, Wow, that’s my birthday also.

Oh, what a coincidence! remarked Janet.

Bob nodded and continued, We were greeted by a very enthusiastic salesman named George. Don’t know if I ever knew his last name. I explained that we needed a car more practical than my 1955 Corvette, as our family was about to grow.

Bob stopped to take a sip of his coffee.

He continued, The salesman listened carefully and told us we could order any car we liked, but there were some in their inventory that we should look at first. We agreed, and the salesman led us out to the new car lot to show us what was available. I was not impressed with the wagons and sedans that he was showing. We were just about to give up, when as we walked back to the salesman’s office through the back of the shop area, I spotted this black Impala. ‘What about that one?’ I asked as I started walking quickly toward it. It almost felt like I was drawn to it; it was so beautiful. He told me it had belonged to a local man who had moved away and returned after he retired at the age of thirty-two. It had been special ordered by him and then returned after only a few weeks. He didn’t believe it was for sale, as the dealership owner had expressed interest in keeping it. By the time the salesman got all that out, I was standing beside the car. When I touched the door and opened it, I knew this was the only car I would buy. I couldn’t help myself. I had to have that car! So then I told him it was this one or nothing!

Janet interrupted and said, You were so stubborn about it, even when I asked you to forget it; you seemed so determined to have it.

I know, honey, but let me finish the story. I don’t want to take up the Grants’ whole day, said Bob, chuckling a bit.

Anyway, I looked that salesman right in the eyes and said I wanted him to do his best with the owner to get it for us. He scurried off to see what he could do. Janet was quite upset with me at that point. We went back to his office and waited. It wasn’t long before he came back with the owner, Scott Strother; maybe you know him? Bob paused as he took another sip of his coffee.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I do know him; I collect some classics, and he has some nice old cars himself, Bill stated.

"So, he introduced himself and stated that the car was not for sale, that he wanted it for his own collection. He told us of another car, same make and model, but I would have no part of it. The other car would have been far more cost-effective, but I was really hooked at that point and was not about to give up. We went back and forth for a while, and finally, he smiled and told me I drove a hard bargain and he would sell it to me. Of course, I knew he could always order another. Scott inspected my Vette and gave me a good price for it, and we made the deal. Now here is where we learned of the name. We finished all the paperwork, and George, the salesman, stated that he would have someone transfer the license plates to … Alva! I immediately queried him about what he had just said; he thought for a moment and then chuckled when he told me that was the name that Mr. Strother had told him had been given to the car by the driver of the semi that delivered it from the factory, and the name seemed to stick. The driver also said this was a very interesting car but would not elaborate.

"I asked why the first owner only kept it a short time, and George told me that he was not sure why he turned it in, but he took a hell of a beating on the price when he

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