My Junkyard Angel

Angels on Earth|May/June 2020

My Junkyard Angel
My friend and I were young and looking for adventure…until we found ourselves in a tight spot
KEITH ROYLANCE

TODAY IS NO DAY to be cooped up,” I said to my friend Mel. The grin he gave me said he’d been thinking the same thing.

It was Sunday—a gorgeous Sunday in April. When I left the house that morning, I told Dad I was going to church for Sunday school—and I honestly planned on doing just that. Until I ran into Mel.

He was headed to the town’s junkyard to look for salvageable cars.

“Come on,” he said. “There’s hidden treasure in that old junkyard, and we’ll see it sparkle in this sunlight.”

I had never deliberately missed a Sunday in church, but I couldn’t recall a more beautiful spring day. A day full of promise. I happily tagged along.

Neither of us had a driver’s license yet, but that didn’t keep us from daydreaming of the day we would. I imagined us racing down back country roads, whooping and hollering, maybe a couple of girls in the car with us.

Just the idea of it was more exciting than Sunday school.

When we arrived, Zim’s Auto Salvage was deserted. Just me and Mel and heaps of rusty parts. I peeked inside the twisted metal frame of what used to be a car as we walked further through the maze of junk. It was so quiet, I couldn’t help but feel as if we shouldn’t be there, almost as if we were trespassing in a cemetery. If Mel felt the same way, he certainly didn’t act like it.

“Check out that one!” he shouted, pointing to a dented Ford Model A across the way. He ran over to inspect it, and I trailed behind him. The Ford wasn’t as beat up as most of the other cars in the yard, but it was still missing two wheels. We popped open the hood and discovered an empty space where the battery should have been.

“Let’s keep looking,” I suggested. Mel nodded and took off again, but my attention was caught by a large and boxy truck with something painted on its side. When I got closer, I could make out a faded cone. An ice cream truck!

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May/June 2020