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He begins trembling violently, turning this way and that, knowing he cannot find the truck, knowing that if he did it would not make any difference, it would not stop the ground from rolling or the terrorists from coming or Tiangong-1 falling or Mt. Kilauea from erupting. It would not stop the transmission from bleeding or the windshield from cracking. It would not stop the projector from burning out, from leaving them all in blackness, to shiver and die alone. It would not stop time, either from marching forward or “flashing back”—nor the T. Rex and triceratops from appearing amongst the parked cars and continuing a fight begun 65-million years ago. It would not stop the strange storm front from rolling across the sky, or the mysterious lights within it—nothing could.
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“The Drive-in That Time Forgot”
Wayne Kyle Spitzer
Tales from the Flashback: "The Drive-in That Time Forgot"
Copyright © 2018 Wayne Kyle Spitzer. All Rights Reserved. Published by Hobb’s End Books, a division of ACME Sprockets & Visions. Cover design Copyright © 2018 Wayne Kyle Spitzer. Please direct all inquiries to: HobbsEndBooks@yahoo.com
Based upon “Flashback,” first published by Books in Motion/Classic Ventures, 1993. Reprinted by Hobb’s End Books, 2017.
Parts of this story originally appeared in “X-Ray Rider: Mileposts on the Road to Childhood’s End,” published by Hobb’s End Books, 2018.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this book is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author. This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
THIS IS IT. The Food of the Gods, which piqued his interest in the TV ad because it contained giant monsters, has come to town: it is playing at the East Mirabeau Drive-in Theater as part of the semi-annual Drive-in Retro Fest—a nostalgic gala spread over two weeks, each night showcasing different movies and old-time ads—the second feature in a triple-bill which includes Empire of the Ants and The Giant Spider Invasion. They head out after the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, which, because it is a slow news day, is full of nothing but generalized doom: sun flares heating the top layers of Earth’s atmosphere and increasing the drag on Tiangong-1—China’s abandoned space station—potentially causing it to fall anywhere, even Mirabeau Park; the U.S. Geological Survey predicting earthquakes and a possible eruption of Mount Kilauea in Hawaii, only a few thousand miles away; illegal aliens coming up from Mexico, from Central America, from California—all of whom are criminals, even terrorists, according to the President.
With so much doom in the air and the theater drawing nearer, the Kid feels giddy, maniacal. He ignores his brother who is in the bed of the truck with him, his arm propped on the opposite fender, and instead watches the streetlamps, which, because he is wearing the retro X-Ray Spex he ordered online especially for the occasion (it being a tradition at the Drive-in Retro Fest to dress up) shout X-RAY, X-RAY, X-RAY, because the word has been imprinted into their lenses as a kind of hologram—a cheap effect.
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