Drive: The Harry McCullough Saga

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Summary

Spin-off story of Who Has the Last Laugh Now. Harry encounters an old flame who's dating his former friend. Who dumped Who?

Genre:
Adventure / Other
Author:
Ronan Falconer
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
16+

Take Me in Your Army

A/N: The title of this chapter is named after a song by the Voidz off of their debut album “Tyranny.”

October 30, 2020

Harry and Oscar meet up at a Dunkin’ Donuts to have a cup of coffee in which he invited Oscar to join him. The two men discuss their favorite episodes of each show they both watch. A couple whom Harry recognizes as his former roommate and ex-girlfriend come inside the store. Things were clearly awkward between the three adults as Oscar had gone to use the restroom.

“Harry.” said a sarcastic Chandler “How are you doing?”

“I’m doing perfectly fine.” said Harry “I’m just hanging out with a good buddy of mine.”

“I see.” said Alisha “Is that your third-gen Camaro parked in the lot?”

“Yes, it is.” said Harry “Chandler may have told you the specs I have in that baby.”

“That’s quite impressive.” said Alisha “We’re gonna get going now.”

“Alright.” said Harry “Have yourself a nice day, I guess.”

The couple drives away fast in an ’06 Subaru Impreza WRX STi as Alisha doesn’t seem to have an issue with Chandler’s driving. Oscar asks Harry about the two people who were talking to him. Harry reveals his ex-girlfriend ended their relationship over his fast driving in a sequential manual transmission. It didn’t make sense to Harry how Alisha suddenly had no issue with fast driving.

He recalled the day when he drove his modified Suzuki Cappuccino on the freeway fast. The car had a Hayabusa K7 motor paired with a six-speed sequential transmission in it. A man in a Honda Beat honks at Harry as a signal to challenge him for an outrun race. Both vehicles take off with the Honda having the headstart at first. Harry quickly runs the Beat going at over 120 miles per hour.

“Bruh, that’s a stupid reason to end a relationship.” said Oscar “No offense, your ex-girlfriend is being a two-face.”

“None taken, mate.” said Harry “What do you have in mind?”

“I want to check out a junkyard.” said Oscar “I’m curious to see what gems we can find there.”

“You read my mind.” said Harry “Let’s cross our fingers.”

On their way to an auto salvage yard, Oscar sees a neglected ’91 Isuzu Impulse parked in a driveway. The two men check out to see if the owner has plans on selling the Impulse or not. Its owner is a middle-aged woman who thinks Harry is Ronan Keating visiting her house. He tells her he is not the Irish singer by having her pay attention to the color of his eyes. The woman has him sing a song as her way of believing he’s not Ronan Keating.

Harry sings off-key to a song he knows the full lyrics of through memory and would listen to a lot five years ago. The middle-aged woman now believes Harry isn’t the Irish singer she thought he is. Oscar asks whether the woman has any intention of selling on the Impulse or not. To her, it was the car she drove in her years of going to college. She chooses to sell her Impulse based on giving another person a chance to enjoy it.

“Oz, you had a perfect eye there.” said Harry “How do you know of the Isuzu Impulse?”

“An Isuzu fanboy account on Instagram.” said Oscar “I fell in love with that sucker based on its rarity.”

“I could give you the Impulse if you like.” said Harry “You’d be one of the lucky people to have it.”

“I’ll sleep on it.” said Oscar “The Chevy LUV is the one I want.”

“I actually have a Luv truck in storage.” said Harry “It was previously sold to a person who abandoned it in Lynwood.”

“Wow, all the way in Lynwood.” said Oscar “How did you make your way down to SoCal?”

“I took a nonstop flight to LAX.” said Harry “The person never reported it stolen or registered it.”

“Damn, you need to tell me this story.” said Oscar “Who was this person who bought this truck?”

Flashback: Four years ago (June 1, 2016)

Harry had just finished restoring a ’74 Chevrolet Luv truck and decides to put up a listing for it on Craigslist. The compact pickup got a 5.7 LS1 V8 engine paired with a 700R4 transmission, upgraded suspension, and exhaust. Its original paint was also changed from Marigold Yellow to Midnight Black. A person responds to Harry’s ad offering seven thousand on selling the truck to him.

The next day, the man who showed interest in the Light Utility Vehicle truck meets with Harry to take it on a test drive. He is a 27-year-old Caucasian male who’s currently on active duty in the Marines. Its speakers were upgraded to a pair of Kenwoods and having an Alpine stereo installed. Harry also replaced its original worn-out factory seats with Bride bucket seats. The guy officially purchases the compact pickup truck from Harry and gives his seven thousand to him.

Two weeks later, Harry leaves the high school campus and gets a call from a number located in Lynwood, California. The person tells Harry that an unregistered ’74 Chevy Luv has gotten numerous parking tickets. He asks if the truck is the same color as the one he sold and has a sticker of his auto shop logo on its rear windshield. The person does confirm that the pickup matches the description like Harry described it.

Seconds later after the call is over…

“Rogelio, it’s Harry McCullough.” said Harry “Do you have the spare key to the Luv pickup?”

“Yes, I still have it.” said Rogelio “Didn’t you sell that truck two weeks ago?”

“I did.” said Harry “The guy abandoned it on Osgood Avenue in Lynwood next to a stop sign.”

“No way, I’m in Lynwood.” said Rogelio “Do you want me to get the truck?”

“No, I’m going to meet you there.” said Harry “I’ve just booked a nonstop flight to LAX.”

“Okay, I was just asking.” said Rogelio “I’ll see you then.”

Timeskip: Two hours later…

Rogelio picks Harry up at LAX with the two men making their way down to Osgood Avenue. There is a total of fifteen parking tickets that run up to nearly a thousand dollars. Harry walks around asking neighbors if they saw the man parking the Luv in their area. Most people tell him the truck just suddenly appeared overnight. Only one woman says she noticed a suspicious person and looked frightening to her.

Harry says the guy came off as a laid back person who positively viewed life in general. It did puzzle him how the man never told him his name but did leave a cell number. He also found the number got disconnected when he tried contacting the man. All three likely believe the man may have committed a serious offense to have just suddenly abandoned a pickup truck.

“Let me get this straight.” said Rogelio “Who seriously buys a compact pickup, abandons it, and suddenly disappears?”

“I have no clue.” said Harry “As we concluded, the guy could’ve done something wrong.”

“Yeah, maybe.” said Rogelio “You should go check out the towers in Watts if you like.”

“I might just do that.” said Harry “Menace II Society made me want to explore Watts in the first place.”

“Nice, bruh.” said Rogelio “I’ll see you around.”

“You too, Ralph.” said Harry “Have yourself a great weekend.”

Harry explores Nickerson Gardens, Imperial Courts, and the Jordan Downs housing projects of Watts. The young man makes his way to the Watts Tower and gets a snapshot of them in the process. He also lets a few people take pictures of the Luv truck before driving back to Sacramento. Halfway there, Harry gets pulled over as the pickup did not have a license plate on it.

At first, the female highway patrol officer came off as a person who’ll give a ticket to any person. She spontaneously believes Harry is Ronan Keating driving a compact pickup. However, the officer saw the color of his eyes is hazel. It was the second time another woman actually paid attention to Harry’s eyes. Harry respected the idea of how the officer knew he wasn’t the Irish singer. In the end, he did not get a ticket or even go to jail as he explained everything.

In the present…

“That’s a very interesting story.” said Oscar “If it’s alright with you, could I buy the truck from you?”

“I was actually thinking of selling it again.” said Harry “If you wish to purchase it, I’ll take a thousand bucks off for you.”

“So I’m paying a total of four grand here.” said Oscar “I can work with that.”

“Precisely.” said Harry “How are your friends doing?”

“David has his own third-gen Camaro now.” said Oscar “He plans to put an LS1 with a 4-speed automatic.”

“Great choice.” said an enthusiastic Harry “What year is David’s Camaro?”

“It’s a ’91 Z28 with the high-rise spoiler” said Oscar “By the way, do you admit being Ronan Keating’s doppelganger comes in handy for you.”

“Yes, it actually does come in handy.” said Harry “It has opened a few doors in the past.”

On a recent trip to England, Harry and a few of his friends went to see a Liverpool football match against Manchester United. Their team annihilated Manchester with a score of four to zero. Harry and his friends went to a fine-dining restaurant right after the game. A waiter tells Harry he can have the meal for free over his resemblance towards the Irish singer. The young man still pays for the dinner no matter what.

At Harry’s storage unit, Oscar sees many interesting cars he’s never seen in person before. The storage unit consisted of American muscle, classic European, and JDM vehicles. Harry hands the keys to the Luv to Oscar and has him start the compact pickup. It has the sound of a modified ’02 Chevy Camaro SS eager to kill its rivals. Oscar records a ten-second video of the engine idling then revving to put on his Snapchat.

“Oscar, are you interested in joining me and my wife tonight?” asked Harry “We’re going to a car meet near McKinley Park if you like.”

“Sure, I’m down.” said Oscar “Are you and your wife going to take the Supra and Camaro there?”

“Yes, we are.” said Yuko “I also see you’re the one who took a picture of my husband’s Supra last year.”

“Indeed, I did.” said Oscar “It was just a coincidence how my friends and I unexpectedly met him.”

“Yuko, what are you doing here?” asked Harry “Did a customer purchase a car from us?”

“Absolutely, Harry.” said Yuko “The customer is here to get their ’71 Plymouth Satellite Sebring.”

“It was difficult getting that car to sell.” said Harry “Every single guy who wanted it back out of the sale.”

“Why express interest in purchasing it then?” asked Oscar “Few people kept trying to lowball Raheem when selling a custom PC he built.”

“Damn, that’s crazy.” said Harry “We’ll see you at the car meet tonight, Yuko.”

Time skip: The car meet

“Peek-a-boo -- Peek-a-boo

Golly jeepers

Where’d you get those weepers?

Peepshow, creepshow

Where did you get those eyes?”

An attendee asks Harry why he and his wife couldn’t make it to the car meet last Friday. His reason was he had a bartending gig out in Roseville. The occasion was a bachelor party for a good friend of his who recently got married. Every single attendee loved seeing the sight of Harry’s IROC-Z and Mark 4 Supra. Oscar rolls up to the meet in his V8-powered Chevy Luv and parks it blocking both of Harry’s vehicles.

Chandler and his girlfriend make an appearance and lay their eyes on Harry’s Mark 4 Supra. A jealous Alisha gives dirty looks at Yuko over the fact she’s married to Harry. It was as if she still had a crush on her ex-boyfriend despite him being married. Harry previously stated he was a hopeless romantic when his previous relationships did not work out. The occupations he holds played a major factor in his two relationships not working out.

“Are you Mrs. McCullough?” asked a jealous Alisha “I’ll have you know I’m his ex-girlfriend.”

“Oh, Harry’s told me about you.” said Yuko “You’re the one who dumped my husband over his fast-driving six years ago.”

“Bingo, bitch.” said Alisha “So you better watch your back.”

“You don’t scare me.” said Yuko “It’s best if you watch your back too.”

“Alisha, she’s not worth it.” said Chandler “Let’s go check out the cars.”

Chandler unsuccessfully tries to fix his friendship with Harry to no avail as Harry knows the person he is. The bitter young man then starts talking trash towards his Supra and Camaro. Harry exposes the embarrassing last name his former friend never wanted a single soul to know. Everyone started to make dirty jokes about Chandler’s last name. It leads to him challenging Harry in a drag race against his prized Mark 4 Supra.

The event organizer steps in to tell both men no illegal street racing as an incident previously occurred seven years back. A guy with a Saleen S-281 challenged another guy who drove a Dodge Charger SRT-8. It was a drag race gone wrong when a family of four got killed in a collision. The driver of the SRT-8 got a life sentence for manslaughter and a hit-and-run. Under a new law, the Sacramento Police Department ordered both cars to be crushed.

Harry accepts Chandler’s drag race challenge to take place at Sacramento Raceway Park the coming Wednesday. His former friend has his Impreza on stage 1 tuning with engine upgrades, cold air intake, improved suspension, aftermarket turbocharger, and performance brake pads and rotors. The Impreza already came with a transmission upgrade when Chandler bought it used at a police auction. He no longer had the ZL1 Camaro in which he sold to get the Impreza.

“Bruh, your former friend’s last name is Goodhead.” said Oscar “That’s a humiliating last name there.”

“I wouldn’t doubt it.” said Harry “There are people who think I’m related to Bernie Mac.”

“Because your last name is McCullough.” said Oscar “It’s just a coincidence you have Bernie Mac’s real last name.”

“Exactly.” said Harry “You’re welcome to sleep in Edward’s room.”

“Oh cool.” said Oscar “Where is Edward at?”

“He’s attending Cal State Fullerton.” said Harry “The university I went to.”

“Angela’s studying there, bruh.” said Oscar “Your Luv truck got a bunch of compliments as well.”

“Sweet!” said Harry “My wife and I will see you at the house.”

On the way to Harry’s house, a man in a modified Mazda B2200 suddenly starts speeding his truck. It evidently has a Mustang engine underneath its hood with a Borla exhaust. Oscar puts his foot on the brake and floors it at just the right RPM. The man driving the B2200 desperately tries to pass Oscar but could not do so. He drives into a 7-Eleven parking lot right after as Oscar drives away.

Timeskip: Thirty minutes later

Harry and his wife could not believe Oscar waited thirty minutes outside in the cold weather wearing only a Radiohead t-shirt and a pair of Pro5 mesh shorts. The young man has never worn a pair of pants throughout most of his life so far. His older brother would try to force him to wear pants but refused. It’d always lead to Oscar getting insulted and slapped by his older brother.

“Oscar, you’re not cold.” said Yuko “It’s freezing out here.”

“I’m used to it.” said Oscar “It gets cold in Bellamy Park during October.”

“We just don’t want you to catch a cold, mate.” said Harry “You’re also terribly sunburned, too.”

“I’m always biking everywhere.” said Oscar “Although, I haven’t ridden my bike in a little while.”

“Tomorrow, my wife will take you to the DMV.” said Harry “You need to get your Luv truck registered.”

“You’re right.” said Oscar “I almost got pulled over earlier.”

“I thought I heard you driving fast.” said Harry “Who did you race against?”

“A guy in a B2200 truck.” said Oscar “I took him out by a whole car.”

Yuko gives Oscar a copy of their house key so he can never wait outside in the cold weather again. She and Oscar go inside as Harry leaves to do modifications on his Supra. Harry also praises Oscar for getting his first win in an outrun race. Afterward, he drives to his automotive shop to have the necessary modifications done for the Supra. The Supra was somewhere in between putting out 500 to 550 horsepower based on previous mods Harry did.

Harry installs new parts put into his tuner such as new performance brakes, rotors, radiator, and an air intake system.

Timeskip: The next day (October 31, 2020)

At a gas station, Oscar sees a black Acura Integra having the body kit of its Type-R counterpart. He snaps a picture of it to show Harry whether it’s an actual Integra Type-R or not. The owner happens to be Edward who came to visit his father for the weekend. Both of them drive to a parking lot so Edward can show the mods his father did on the Integra. All of its original parts were entirely replaced with parts found in the JDM Integra Type-R.

“Do you like how my father built this car?” asked Edward “It was the first build he ever did.”

“I sure do.” said Oscar “Your dad built my Chevy Luv here.”

“The man’s a natural gearhead.” said Edward “Have you raced against another pickup?”

“I beat a Mustang-swapped B2200 last night.” said Oscar “I’m thinking of having your dad put a camshaft into my Luv.”

“Awesome!” said Edward “Where’s my dad at?”

“He told me he was going to work on his Supra.” said Oscar “If anything, he’s probably sleeping at the moment.”

“Why is that?” asked Edward “Did someone challenge him to a drag race again?”

“Yes, his former friend.” said Oscar “It’s going to take place on Wednesday.”

Both Oscar and Edward see a girl checking out both of their vehicles as the driver of the modified B2200 observes them. Chandler gets inside the passenger seat to have a conversation with the person. A gram of methamphetamine is given to the driver and agrees to join Chandler’s racing crew.

Timeskip: Four in the afternoon

Harry drives his Supra out on the freeway and gets pulled over by a Highway Patrol officer. The officer gives him a speeding ticket with no fine to pay for. His reason was he only wanted to hear the turbo of Harry’s Supra whistle. It now put out a total of 630 horsepower thanks to Harry doing another tune on it. He was now ready to race against his former friend.

“Oscar, what do you have in mind tonight?” asked Harry over his smartphone “Do you wish to watch a few slasher films with us?”

“Sure, there ain’t nothing to do on Halloween.” said Oscar “Edward and I will meet you at your house.”

“Sweet!” said Harry “Don’t forget to get snacks.”

“Dad, we won’t.” said Edward “Which slasher films are we going to watch?”

“You’ll see.” said Harry “I’ll tell you guys an interesting story when I get there.”

Edward’s POV

Oscar and Edward hear the sound of a Mustang nearby as they’re getting the snacks Harry requested. They see it’s the Mazda B2200 that Oscar outran last night. It seemed as if its driver was secretly stalking him all over Sacramento. The man parks his truck across the street to get another chance to race Oscar again. He drove away when Edward tried to get a picture of his license plate.

Edward tries his best to make out the license plate number of the mysterious B2200 truck. The picture he took wasn’t in perfect quality as the camera of his iPhone kept trying to focus. He picks up a small reclosable bag containing traces of white powder inside off the sidewalk. Oscar sees the bag and suspects it’s his old childhood friend who may have fallen back into using drugs again.

Both men check their Instagram profiles and see Luis isn’t on their list of followers. He may have either deleted his account or blocked the people he followed on there. Oscar has Kincaid and Angela check to see if Luis is still on their list of followers. They confirm he is not making Angela believe Luis broke their promise of not using drugs again.

“How weird.” said Edward “Could it be possible that Luis fell back into using ice again?”

“In a way, it does make sense.” said Oscar “His mom also drives a B2200 truck herself.”

“You should go ask Luis’s mother then.” said Edward “It’s the only way to verify if it’s true or not.”

“My mom and his mom aren’t on speaking terms.” said Oscar “And it’s over the dumbest thing ever.”

“What happened between the two?” asked Edward “My mom and dad vowed to never communicate again.”

“Luis’s mom asked my sister to get his brother a job at McDonalds.” said Oscar “His mom did not want him to miss a day of school.”

“Don’t you have to miss school if you’re serious about wanting the job.” said Edward “I currently work at a McDonalds in Fullerton.”

“You’re so right, Eddie.” said Oscar “The comadres was practically calling my sister a lying bitch.”

Harry’s POV

The four watch a few slasher flicks from the ’70s to ’80s out of Edward’s film collection. Harry heads out to do his thirty-minute run from his house to Downtown Sacramento after. There he runs into a former student whose car could not accelerate. It suddenly stopped doing so in the middle of the street a few minutes ago. A friend of Harry’s tows his former student’s car back to her house.

The same modified Mazda pickup tries to follow Harry when he starts running back to his house. Nonetheless, he saw the driver following him and got a glimpse of his face. It did turn out to be Luis himself driving the truck. Harry now wonders who could have put in the 5.0 Mustang engine into Luis’s B2200 pickup. Edward sees his father running and insists on driving him back home.

“Dad, was that same pickup following you?” asked Edward “Oscar and I saw it earlier when you asked us to get snacks.”

“I know the person who’s driving it.” said Harry “It’s Oscar’s childhood buddy.”

“Oscar was right.” said Edward “He’s also using crystal meth again.”

“Wow.” said Harry “The rehab failed.”

“I guess.” said Edward “We’d have to ask Luis himself.”

“Yes, you would.” said Harry “Although, it’s unlikely to ask him.”

“Did Oscar tell you about the comadres story?” asked Edward “Can you believe how Oscar’s mom and Luis’s mom aren’t on speaking terms?”

“It’s quite pathetic.” said Harry “Do you want to join me and Oscar tomorrow to pick up the Isuzu Impulse we bought yesterday?

“Sure, I’ll join you and Oscar.” said Edward “Is that Chandler and Luis talking to each other?”

Harry knows he needs Oscar believing his former friend is likely starting a racing crew. Chandler and Luis focus their attention on the Integra that Harry built into a Type-R.

Chandler and Luis’s POV

“Why are you looking at that rice burner?” asked Chandler “It ain’t worth racing it.”

“No, I just feel I’ve seen it somewhere.” said Luis “Don’t forget, we’re both driving ricer cars here.”

“You’re being too paranoid.” said Chandler “You and I have got some work to do.”

“Let’s continue to recruit a few more people into our crew.” said Luis “Harry and Oscar will not expect this in any way.”

Timeskip: November 4, 2020 - Sacramento Raceway Park

Oscar unexpectedly sees an old high school classmate of his named Tabitha who was checking out Harry’s Supra. Their friends would frequently say they would make a perfect couple. She now takes a look at Oscar’s Chevy Luv and takes a picture of both the Supra and Luv side-by-side.

“Oscar, is that you?” asked Tabitha “What are you doing here?”

“I’m here with Harry.” said Oscar “I noticed you were checking out my truck.”

“Holy shit!” said Tabitha “You actually got your dream pickup.”

“I sure did.” said Oscar “I might race it today.”

“Is Harry going to race himself?” asked Tabitha “If so, who’s racing him?”

“A former friend of his.” said Oscar “Luis will probably show up himself too.”

“Let’s hope you do race against that cunt.” said Tabihta “I saw him yesterday and he pretended not to know me.”

“Wow, that ain’t right.” said Oscar “Harry’s race is about to begin.”

Harry and Chandler were now at the starting line and began to rev their engines aggressively. The lights turned green with Chandler getting a headstart. Harry’s Supra immediately catches up to Chandler’s Impreza and wins the race.

“Damn, your friend can drive.” said Tabitha “I also heard you’re working with David and his father at their auto shop.”

“I did work with them.” said Oscar “I’m now working with Harry.”

“How come you’re not working with David anymore?” asked Tabitha “Were you not getting paid enough by them?”

“Nah, his father paid me decently.” said Oscar “I told David that I’m going to be staying here a few months.”

“Ah, I see.” said Tabitha “I’m here attending Sacramento City College.”

“Man, almost all of us went to college.” said Oscar “Only David and I didn’t go.”

“David has expressed interest in going to college recently.” said Tabitha “He’s just not sure which university to go to.”

“He told me that before I left Bellamy Park.” said Oscar “I took the train to get here and stayed at a motel first.”

“I did wonder how you got over here.” said Tabitha “You don’t even have your own car yet either.”

Harry’s POV

Chandler introduces his racing squad he started to Harry and tells him to start his own if he wishes to beat him. There was already one person part of Harry’s yet-to-form racing crew. He contacts a few of his friends to see if they’re interested in joining his team. Most of them expressed interest but were not able to join. Only two people got recruited in which Harry now has four people in his crew.

“Harry, did Chandler get jealous of you beating him?” asked Oscar “If he did get jealous, he’s lame as fuck.”

“Oscar, how would you like to be part of my crew?” asked Harry “I can see there’s potential in you, mate.”

“Sure, I’m down.” said Oscar “What are you going to name your crew?”

“The Kisaragi - McCullough Alliance.” said Harry “Kisaragi was my wife’s last name.”

“Kisaragi?!” said Oscar “The last name reminds of a character named Gentarou Kisaragi from Kamen Rider Fourze.”

“His transformation goes 3...2...1… Blast off.” said Harry “Meteor’s transformation goes Meteor. Ready?”

“How did you know that?” asked Oscar “Are you a Kamen Rider fan yourself?”

“I’m something of a Kamen Rider fan myself.” said Harry “Edward’s the one who introduced me to it.”

“I suspected.” said Oscar “When are you going to race Chandler again?”

“My crew is going to have to beat his crew.” said Harry “There’s a slight possibility you’ll race Luis again in the future.”

“If I do race Luis again.” said Oscar “We should put in more work on my Chevy Luv.”

“You’re right.” said Harry “I’ll show you how to put in a supercharger and camshaft in an engine.”

“Awesome!” said Oscar “Let’s get to work then.”

A/N: Harry’s flashback is similar to an experience where my brother and his friend had to get a third-gen Pontiac Trans-Am GTA that the person they sold it to left it abandoned in Lynwood and never registered it nor even reported the vehicle stolen. The quoted song is Peek-A-Boo by Siouxsie and the Banshees.

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