A series of Rot Rods short stories will be published right here at Curiosity Quills, every Thursday.

They left around dawn and started driving to Gearland. It was down the highway from La Cruz, past a desolate section of Southern California desert and rock. Traffic was light on the highway and they made good time, driving under the rising sun past leagues of open dust. Betty drove first, Doc Schlock giving directions. Sure enough, he had a little portable camera balanced on his shoulder and was filming the road. The half-track followed. Betty took an exit and the half-track rumbled after her. They headed down the road a little, and soon began to see big metal spaceships, rockets looking like spears poked into the sky. They saw the first signs for Gearland after that. Then, after a few minutes on the narrow road, they reached the park itself.

The half-track rumbled past more rocket ships and entered a couple metal attractions surrounding a parking lot. Roscoe was in the passenger seat, the sawed-off resting on his lap. Winona was driving, with Wanda and Winnie in the back. Roscoe stared ahead and eyeballed Gearland. He saw the carousel, a little restaurant selling moonpies shaped like hubcaps and a rundown bowling alley called the Fast Lanes. In the center of the theme park was a rusted cage, big as a chapel, and packed full of chimps and monkeys in old overalls. ‘Come see the Grease Monkeys!’ was scrawled in big letters on a wooden sign above the cage. The apes rubbed their butts, took dumps in the corner and looked miserable. To the side of the monkey house, speaking in a microphone on a podium to a small crowd of assembled families, was Lucas Sinclair. He wore a pair of round sunglasses and a fedora now, along with his blue suit. He was gesturing to a big stage behind him, with a cardboard flying saucer resting in front of it. His voice boomed through the microphone.

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