The Missing Hours
“I’m good, just don’t stay out too late,” Jack said.
Wade frowned at his brother, but opened the door and left, hoping his brother might have a change of heart when he realized he was actually going without him.
A relatively quick bus ride later, and he was at Frankie’s. The bartender poured him a cold glass of ale, and Wade sipped on it as he looked around the bar for someone to entertain him, since he was alone. He noticed a couple of girls by the pool tables looking like they were having a good time.
He stood from the barstool just as a man with wild hair ran into the bar and yelled, “Which one of you is Wade Skeeler?”
Wade wasn’t sure if this might be some sort of trick, so he looked around as if he wasn’t aware.
“You!” the man in a white lab coat said, pointing at Wade. “Wade! You have to come with me!”
Wade looked behind him, hoping there might be another man the odd man was pointing to. The only thing behind him was a jukebox, which Wade was fairly certain wouldn’t work as an appropriate alternative to himself.
“What are you doing, boy? We haven’t got time to waste!”
“Look, pal,” Wade said, sitting back down on his stool. “I just got here, so whatever beef you might have, I’m sure it’s not with me.”
“Cows have nothing to do with this. This is for the future of all mankind. If you don’t come with me right now, you can be certain all hope is lost!”
“Come on, boys,” the bartender said to the both of them. “I run a quiet bar in here, okay? If you’ve got any funny business, take it outside.”
“Yes!” the excited man shouted. “Outside!”
Wade looked at the bartender, hopeful he could convince him that the two of them were not together and that he would much rather go talk to the girls playing beer. But his frantic eyebrow waggling did nothing but convince the bartender more of their connection.
“Go on,” he said to Wade. “Get out of here.”
Wade took one final glance back to the girls, saw they were staring at him, with smirks on their faces. He could tell it was now a lost cause. He picked up his glass, downed his half a beer in one gulp, and walked to the odd man.
“I don’t know what you want, but I promise you I don’t have any money.”
“Your money is no good to me. Come along!”
And with an unsteady spin, he turned to the door and flung it open, stepping out into the night air with a wide stride which made him look like a flamingo. Wade decided this man was probably not as dangerous as he was kooky. He shrugged his shoulders and decided to see where the night might take him.
As he stepped out, he found the man standing next to a sight Wade had long wished to behold. A perfect specimen of a DMC-12 DeLorean. Both of the gull wing doors were open and a whole series of wild flashing lights could be seen on the inside.
“Whoa,” Wade gasped. “I have to admit, I was a little worried you might be wanting to serve me papers or something. Did Jack set you up to this?”
“Right, Jack!” the man said, as though suddenly remembering. “Where is your brother?”
“I don’t know, probably at home. Are you saying he didn’t set you up to this?”
“Then home is where we have to go. Then we have somewhere else to go.”
“Okay,” Wade said slowly. “I’m willing to see where this whole thing goes. Can I drive?”
“Of course you can drive. It’s your car after all.”
“Now I know this is all some kind of joke, but if I get to drive a DeLorean, I’m willing to play along.”
Wade excitedly ran to the driver’s side of the steel-covered vehicle. He sat down in the black leather seat and felt an excitement well up within him that he hadn’t felt since he learned there were deep fried oreos at the fair.
He turned the key in the ignition and the vehicle fired to life. The wild-haired man sat down in the seat next to him and they both closed the gull wing doors.
“Okay, first we pick up my brother, then where?” Wade asked the man.
“October 23rd, 1851,” the man answered. “We have to talk to William Poole, a man known as The Butcher. He’s holding a friend of mine hostage because I stopped a fight.”
“Wait, what? 1851? You’re kidding me, right?”
“No, and if we don’t move quickly, I fear he may come here and try to—“
The passenger side door was pulled open and a big burly man glared down into the car at the odd passenger. Without a word, the big man pulled the other out of the car and began beating him ruthlessly on the pavement. Wade opened the door to assist his newfound companion, only to watch as he and the large man disappeared into thin air.
As they were disappearing, the wild-haired man shouted to Wade, “Remember, October 23rd, 1851. If you don’t come, all hope is lost!”
Wade stared at the empty pavement, wondering what this could all possibly mean. Was he dreaming? Had someone slipped something into his drink?
Gun shots fired from a nearby building, ricocheting off the body of the car. Wade jumped back into the vehicle and tore off into the night toward his home.
He arrived at his house and found Jack standing outside the front door, looking confused. The car screeched to a halt in their driveway and Wade jumped out. Although he knew he was in danger, he couldn’t help but grin at the fact that he had just been driving a DeLorean. He leapt out of the car.
“Jack, you’ve got to come back with me!” Wade shouts as he runs from the DeLorean to his brother’s side.
“Back to The Butcher!”