Let the Buyer Beware

📅 Published on June 4, 2020

“Let the Buyer Beware”

Written by Kyle Harrison
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 8 minutes

Rating: 9.50/10. From 2 votes.
Please wait...

Everyone probably knows a Hank Easley.

You know those people you say you can look up a word in the dictionary and their name would be alongside the definition?

For Hank, that word would be ‘slime-ball’.

Greasy, sleazy and greedy, it was little surprise to anyone growing up nearby that Hank was the number one car salesman in the area.

That’s probably because he was also the only salesman. Others had tried to set up shop, but none had lasted as long as Hank.

There were rumors like any small town had about why this was. Some said it was because Hank was a hypnotist and could sell you the shirt off your back just with a few magic words. Others claimed it was the Devil’s work. But it didn’t really matter, Hank just kept on making money and nobody got in his way.

My dad told me that I could learn a few things from a scum bag like him.

“Learning a little wickedness can go a long way to setting you straight,” he said. Dad always seemed to believe that there was a proper reason that bad people like Hank existed in our world. I wasn’t so sure, but I did know one thing: I didn’t want to wind up like Dad.

By that I mean, stuck in a small town for the rest of my life spinning my wheels cleaning floors. I had big plans and bigger ambitions. So one day last summer I stopped by Easley’s Auto and asked for a job.

“I like your guts, kid,” Hank told me. He had a big belly that flopped around every time he laughed. Reminded me of something you might see when you shook Jell-O for too long.

“You know what? I don’t see why not. This season has been especially brutal on me, and I could use the help,” he said.

So every afternoon from 3:30 to 5, I agreed to stop by and help tidy up the shop, clean litter off the parking lot… really anything that I could to earn a few bucks.

While sweeping up a long streak of dirt near the back lot one day, there was a stray dog trying to chew on one of the rusty tires that Hank kept around.

I like to think it’s because of the dog that I noticed the old T-Bird sitting there near the very back of the chain-link fence. But I don’t know for sure because when I turned the corner to shop the dog away, it was gone. Maybe it had never been there at all.

But the T-Bird had. For quite some years, in fact. It had broken headlights and a smashed-in windshield, and its whole hood and driver’s side door was covered in dents and scrapes. But perhaps what caught my eye the most was the sign plastered on the passenger side where the glass was still intact.

On a piece of white Styrofoam in bold black ink, it said:

#LetTheBuyerBeware

Despite the battered exterior though, I wondered if the car could still run.

I’ve always had a love of older vehicles. Probably got that from my dad buying me model cars back when I was a boy. I could tell that with a little TLC, the T-Bird could be up and running again. It seemed a shame that Easley was just letting it here and rust rather than being a true King of the Road.

I heard him call my name and it broke my reverie, so I ran back up to the shop to tend to my other chores.

Once the day was over, the T-Bird was still on my mind. “Hey, Mr. Easley, how long have you had this shop?”

“Oh, I’d say about 19 years or so. Back when your dad was just a teen,” Hank said as he smoked a long cigar.

“Has that Ford always been here?” I asked.

He gave a long belly laugh. “That’s Charlotte. First car I ever bought. She’s my good luck charm. Been with me since the beginning. Probably be here long after I’m gone,” he said.

“Looked like a mighty fine vehicle, Mr. Easley. With a little TLC, I bet you could get it running again,” I said, repeating my earlier thoughts. I wanted to show him that I had more skills than just an errand boy.

But instead, he paused and looked toward me suspiciously. Then he dropped his cigar and put it out with his boot before getting right in my face.

“Did you touch it?” he asked me in a fierce voice.

“What? No, sir,” I said, surprised by his sudden change in attitude.

Hank stood up and adjusted his jacket before making a gruff noise. “Don’t you ever touch that car, you hear me, boy? She can’t be fixed, she can’t be driven, and she can’t leave this lot. She’s special.”

I promised I wouldn’t and hurried home, confused and flustered by the bizarre behavior.

But that promise didn’t last long. I kept thinking about that old car and wondering why Hank would even have it out there, collecting dust instead of using it for parts at least. And why would that sign be there? What did it mean? I needed to know.

So the next time I came in, which was a Thursday, I asked Hank if I could push some of the tires he’d swapped out to the shed near where the T-Bird was kept. He was busy trying to swindle a few out-of-towners into buying a 1985 Buick and didn’t pay me any mind.

I casually rolled the tires out there and after depositing the first pair decided to get a better view of the car.

Once I made sure the coast was clear, I popped the hood and got a good look at the engine. As I expected, it looked fairly new. Maybe a few loose cables and some fluids were needed, but I doubted it would take more than just a few hours for the car to be mobile again.

I reached for the hood to close it back when a large hand grabbed me by the shirt collar and yanked me back.

“I thought I told you never to mess with this car, boy,” Hank snarled as he slammed the hood close.

“Sorry, sir,” I mumbled.

“Sorry ain’t gonna cut it, son. You don’t know what you’re messing with here. So pay it no mind and go about your business,” Hank insisted. He had a fire in his eyes that I could only identify as rage.

I realized right then that Hank actually cared for the car. It was the first time I had seen that he actually had feelings for anything really. I wondered what he would think if someone did him the favor of actually fixing the car up.

A few weeks passed and I kept thinking about how I could work on the Ford. I knew I would have to do it behind Hank’s back, so I started working overtime just so I could get him comfortable with me locking up the shop at night.

One night, Hank left early and I decided it was time to make a move.

First I rummaged through the file cabinets, searching for any sort of clue to the vehicle. Surely, this would be the place where Hank hid its secrets.

Finally, after what seemed to be forever, I found an old wooden box pushed behind the rest of the mess in his junk drawer.

It was covered in dust and looked older than Hank himself, and for reasons I still can’t understand I felt compelled to pull it out. On the lock was a name.

Laverna.

I placed it on his desk and then searched around for a tool to shimmy the lock open. Somehow I knew that the keys to the T-Bird were inside.

Finally the lock snapped open and the simple curved metal key fell to the tile floor. I snatched it up and ran out to the car to do some more investigation. It took me a minute to get the driver door open, I could tell that Hank had probably not bothered with it in several years. But once inside and sitting on the cushions, I actually paused and asked myself why was I here.

I didn’t stop for long though. The feel of the leather and the excitement of getting this car moving were too great. I started the engine. She purred like a kitten.

Once I was sure that she would keep running, I shut it off again and fixed the loose hoses. Then I used the tires I had rolled out there from weeks before and began to jack up the front end. By early dawn’s light, the T-Bird was ready for a test drive. Sure there were still a few cosmetic issues that I would have to patch up later, but it didn’t matter. I shifted into first gear and tentatively pressed down on the accelerator. The T-Bird lurched forward, coughing like a sick animal. But it was moving.

I let out an excited holler and looked toward the open road. I still had a good half an hour before Mr. Easley would show up. So I decided to take it for a spin.

I drove around the lot one time to be sure there were no problems with steering, and then, with nothing else to hold me back, floored it onto the main road.

I felt the wind in my hair, the rush of adrenaline hit me. This machine was like nothing else. I felt free driving it.

But it didn’t take long for that rush of exhilaration to come to a screeching halt. As I made it up to 55 miles an hour, I paused to check my only rearview mirror and nearly slammed on the brakes. There in the back seat, staring at me, was a tall, bloodied blonde woman.

“Keep driving,” she whispered. I didn’t know what to do but to obey. She hadn’t been there before, I was sure of it.

“Who… who are you?” I asked.

She didn’t say a word. Her eyes were glassy and distant like she was seeing the world for the first time.

“Please… don’t hurt me,” I said as we continued down the desolate stretch of highway.

“Turn here,” she ordered. It looked like part of her skin was peeling off near her scalp like she had been struck by something and never fully recovered.  It looked like her head might separate from her neck at any given moment.

“Left,” she said at the next intersection. It continued like that for another fifteen minutes or so as I followed her directions to the letter. Suddenly we were at a dead end and there was a lone trailer in front of us.

“Where are we?” I asked.

A light came on from the trailer and I saw a familiar face step out from the front door. Easley. His face was a mixture of surprise, shock and frustration. But beneath all of that, there was fear.

The woman stepped out of the car and stared straight at him, a look of triumph on her ghastly features as she started walking toward him.

“God damn it, boy! I told you never to mess with that car!” he screamed. He ran inside as I watched in stunned silence. A moment later Hank returned with a shotgun. He aimed it straight for the woman’s head and frantically tried to blow her brains out. Instead, she just kept advancing until she was eye to eye with him.

“This is for what you owe me, Hank Easley,” she said in a dark and beautiful voice. She lifted him up by his neck – his whole fat, bulbous body – like it was nothing. Hank shrieked and struggled to get away, but it was no use.

I heard the cracking of bones and then Hank’s body went limp. The woman tossed him down near the steps like a discarded beer bottle.

Then she walked back toward the T-Bird and got inside the passenger door.

I think I was shaking like a leaf. I didn’t even dare to look at her.

“Return,” she instructed in s calm voice. She didn’t have to tell me twice. I drove straight back to the dealership like my life depended on it.

As we were about to pull into the lot, the woman told me to stop.

“I am in your debt, young man. I owe you,” she said. Then she stepped out of the car and walked away, disappearing into a thin veil of mist.

I must have sat there for a good five minutes, trying to wrap my head around what just happened.

Finally I pulled the T-Bird back onto the lot, and ran home as quickly as I could.

Hank’s death was the talk of the town the next day. “I guess this means you won’t get a paycheck,” Dad said in frustration when the police came to do a sweep of the dealership. My heart was beating out of my chest as I imagined what they would find.

Instead, however, about an hour later, they told me I could come and gather my personal things. They were discussing something about a missing vehicle from the lot, and it was then that I realized the T-Bird was gone. Had the woman took it? There weren’t any cameras on the lot, so they didn’t know for sure.

I went to my locker, still a bit confused about the whole thing, when I saw the familiar wooden box sitting there inside.

I knew I hadn’t placed it there. Inside there was a set of keys that I immediately recognized and a sticky note with scrawled handwriting that reminded of Hank.

Let the buyer beware.

Rating: 9.50/10. From 2 votes.
Please wait...


🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Kyle Harrison
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Kyle Harrison


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

More Stories from Author Kyle Harrison:

Related Stories:

Road Regret
Average Rating:
10

Road Regret

White Out
Average Rating:
9.63

White Out

It Wasn't a Reindeer
Average Rating:
10

It Wasn’t a Reindeer

You Might Also Enjoy:

A Gift From Below
Average Rating:
10

A Gift From Below

Elevator Code
Average Rating:
10

Elevator Code

The Starry Crown
Average Rating:
10

The Starry Crown

The Backrooms
Average Rating:
9.75

The Backrooms

Recommended Reading:

Daughters of Darkness: An All-Women Horror Anthology
Psychosis
The First Cryogenically Frozen Person Has Been Revived: And Other Chilling Tales
Family Reunion (The Snow Family Book 2)

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Skip to content