Previous Next

Garage Inc.

Posted on Mon Oct 23rd, 2023 @ 14:53 by Mhairi McIntyre & Cameron Johnston & Alastair Temple

Chapter: All Hallow's Eve
Location: Graeme's Garage
Timeline: November 3rd
1645 words - 3.3 OF Standard Post Measure

The ride to town wasn't long, but memorable, if only for the machine they did the trip in, and the geeking out the two enthusiasts did, underway. Soon though, they arrived at their destination. Alastair needed a new wiper blade for his car, and though his car was very rare and twenty years old, it was also 'just' a Nissan and thus used a standard Nissan part. Maybe Graeme's had one lying around, but if not they could order one, for sure.

And so, with a snarl from the revvy inline six, the gleaming pearl white machine pulled up to the garage.

Regrettably, the distance between the castle and the town centre was much shorter than Cameron would have liked by a few hundred miles under current conditions. The chatter had been effortlessly enthusiastic on his part but, at the same time, he barely remembered any of it, such was his preoccupation with trying to memorise the feel of the road through the steering column; an infinitely different sensation to the ride Lulu gave him, and certainly far more pleasant than the school's only bus. Pulling into the garage didn't come with the usual tirade of overthinking, and for once the mutant's exuberance overrode any mildly awkward notions of trying to make an endless repetition of worthwhile first impressions. Rolling down the window, Cameron grinned as the garage's workforce got its first glance at the car's occupants, though he didn't for a minute behave with anything near the amount of suave composure the car warranted.

"That's a terrible gawp you've got there, Graeme, ain't no way to greet a lady."

Graeme quickly closed his mouth and stepped closer. "It's no DB5." Was his first grumble, referring to the Ashton Martin classic from the sixties.

"This cannae be a Skyline, cannit?" Mhairi couldn't help herself, stepping past her father and giving him a shove for his dig at it not being a Bond car. "How do you afford this on a teacher's salary?" She ran her hand over the top and towards the hood. Fingers tentatively tracing the smoothly designed angles, not wanting to disturb the paint job, not even with grease. "How did you even find it, full stop?"

"She's a 1973 second generation Skyline. Two-liter straight six, putting out about 190 Japanese horses. Can't afford one on a teacher's salary, but can on that of a rock star," Alastair grinned as he stepped out of the near mint condition classic sportscar. "I saw one on a trip to Japan, like seven years ago. Decided I'd move heaven and earth to get one, and I did. Took two years and a lot of finagling and paying of agents, importers, tax men - as well as some restoration efforts, but - well, it was worth it. Al Temple, new teacher at Avalon, nice to meet you," he smiled, offering Mhairi a hand in greet.

"Mhairi McIntyre," She shook his hand before pointing a thumb over her shoulder, "The old man there's Graeme. Me dad." Her father waved a hand as he was slowly walking around the car. Seemingly taking in every single detail of the classic. "He taught me everything he knows, but don't worry, I took some extra classes."

"Don't mind her haverin'." He countered when he made his way the long way around the car before offering up his own hand in greeting. "Graeme McIntyre, owner and head mechanic of this garage." He gave a nod in the direction of Cameron, "Any friend of Cameron is a friend of ours."

"Sheesh." Mhairi looked a little impressed in the direction of Cameron, she knew her father had really appreciated his help and patronage during her time in Africa but it was always a bit surprising to hear him be positive about anything at all.

Cameron, still far too wound up to react to the jab at his expense, finally extracted himself from the car and moved to stand between the pair of mechanics, hands on hips as if proudly introducing his own child to friends. "Drives like..." With no words seeming adequate, he kissed the air with fingers delicately splayed to accentuate. With any luck, Graeme would be too flabbergasted himself to comment on 'French muck' and its lack of relevance to anything. There had been a discussion about pastries once that hadn't gone very well.

"A knife," Al completed Cameron's thoughts. And he wasn't far off. This car being a streetgoing version of a car designed for racing, helped. Same chassis, same suspension, same steering, same gearbox - just the engine downtuned for reliability rather than straight out performance and put on roadgoing tires rather than racing rubber, it had the same sharp handling and stability that the racing Skyline GT-R had. After all, GT-R stood for Grand Touring, Racing.

"Came in because I need some new windscreen wipers. I think my tires are about due for replacement too, but you're probably going to have to order those. And I think she's running a bit rough at idle," that last part Alastair (or Cameron) could've easily looked in to himself; after all, it was just a matter of adjusting a set screw on one of the three carburettors while listening to the engine idle, a five minute job, but he figured they'd enjoy the opportunity to do the adjustment himself. Plus, it helped to make friends with the local garage when you had a rare car.

Mhairi frowned slightly, then looked at her father, then to Cameron. They seemed positively giddy in the vicinity of the car. It was an exciting vehicle, that was for sure, but she hoped that she didn't look that childish stepping around the vehicle. "I assume you dinnae want to leave it behind for a bit so we can have a look." She looked over at the lot of second hand cars to see what was on offer as a replacement for the time being. A second generation VW Golf was the most likely candidate. "We can bring it back to the institute once were done." Despite herself there was a twinkle in her eyes and a crooked smirk on her features.

"Yeah I figured we wouldn't be able to wait for it;" Alastair mused, seeming a bit disappointed, though he took it in stride. A glance over at Cameron, "I need some things from town as well, some bathrobes, and if there's a music store some instruments as well. I figure we can go and get those with the Golf before we head back to Avalon?"

Communication passed between Cameron and Mhairi, or it would have if the former was particularly adept at subtle messages that involved only his eyes. At best, there seemed to be several questions that confused him, and an opportunity for surreptitious response that flew entirely over his head as he visibly shrugged in confusion and then immediately corrected posture one he realised everyone else was watching. "Uh, well, yeah. Some of that'll be fine. I think you'd have to head over the way to find anywhere that will sell you actual instruments, unless the antique place has something you're after."

"Well, I will need instruments. An acoustic guitar or two, a keyboard, possibly a drum kit, so that my students can practice. We'll have to figure something out for that, then," Al mused. "Won't be a problem," he added before turning back to Mhairi. "How long d'you estimate this is going to take?" He wasn't happy about leaving his ride behind, but he could deal with that.

"I'm pretty sure the music room is decently stocked." Cameron wasn't certain but the school had been operating for long enough that he was sure a music program without instruments would have come up at a staff meeting by now. The response was murmured, however, an aside to himself more than anything. A far great portion of his attention was focused on the Golf in anticipation of trying to cram himself behind the steering wheel.

"I've seen what's there. Some flutes, an old piano, some percussion instruments. I'm gonna need a drum kit, a keyboard, a few acoustic guitars~" Al mused, looking at the golf as he spoke. "... Probably better get the drum kit delivered, no way that's gonna fit in there."

"I don't see a hitch on your Skyline either." Mhairi commented coming to the defense of the Volkswagen, which was immediately met by a glare from her father. It was clear that the old man was much more traditional in his approach to service than his daughter. "I'd say we can get it back to you tomorrow morning."

"We can do it right now." Graeme interjected, seeing the look on his daughter's face sink at his response. "It's probably a screw or two that vibrated loose due to the roads here in the highlands. Give us two hours."

"We need to take our time with this, dad, not everything is solved by hitting it with a wrench." Mhairi pleaded.

"You're not driving this priceless classic with your led right foot." Graeme turned to face the eccentric owner of the very limited white nissan an gave him what he hoped would be a reassuring nod. "Get your supplies and come back, we'll help you load up. If you need someone to move a drum kit for ya I'm sure Mhairi would be happy to get into the truck. She's been stealing it to visit Avalon anyway."

Mhairi huffed and didn't even wait for a response from the others, simply taking long strides back inside the garage.

"Borrowed, Graeme." The jump to the parting woman's defense was quick enough that even Cameron looked a little startled at first, but he continued nevertheless. "Not stealing if she brings it back in one piece."

"And things have a way of just coming together," Al smiled, returning Graeme's nod.


Previous Next

RSS Feed