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In rural Pennsylvania, one of life's great losers looks up from behind his gas station counter and notices that a big old Buick is still sitting out front with its driver nowhere in sight. After a quick search, he can't find the driver but fears he may have fallen into the river, so he calls the state police. When the police arrive, they cannot find any trace of the man and take the car away as potential evidence. Only... only it's not really a car. There's no way it can drive, it's missing essential parts and looks like it never had them and seems more like it teleported in judging by the lack of mud.
And that's just the start because things come out of it - the story is framed as the current Chief and some other officers explaining the thing to the traumatized son of an officer who was tragically killed by that same loser years later.
- Alien Geometries: It seems to have a direct connection to the Dark Tower world.
- Ambiguous Situation: Basically the point. You don't get many answers by the end. There are multiple theories, but you don't know if any are true.
- Arc Words: Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back.
- Attack of the Killer Whatever: Well, it looks like a car, anyway.
- Call a Smeerp a Rabbit: Various things come out of the trunk of the Buick. They tend to get called things like birds and bats when it is very clear that that is not what they are at all.
- Canon Welding: Attached to the Dark Tower series.
- Contrived Coincidence: Subverted. Curtis is eventually killed in a hit and run by the same guy who called the police about the Buick, but Sandy speculates that the Buick somehow arranged it.
- Cool Car: It'd be an impressive vehicle if it actually, you know, was a vehicle.
- Departure Means Death: Things from the trunk can't survive in our world, and it's assumed stuff from ours wouldn't survive there either. No one knows why.
- Driven to Suicide: Eddie at the end, though it was set up to seem as though it was Ned.
- Eldritch Abomination: One officer notes that looking at the things that come out of the trunk made him feel like he was being raped.
- Gainax Ending: The story doesn't so much end as it does stop with the implication that pretty soon the Buick will 'die.'
- Haunted Technology
- Mind Screw
- Humans Are Cthulhu: The one thing that makes it out of the Buick's trunk alive sees the officers as just as mind breakingly horrible as they see it.
- Humans Through Alien Eyes: The above creature was not afraid as it was torn to bits, only very, very confused at what these horrible things were doing to it.
- Mrs. Robinson: Invoked. Sandy wonders if Shirley might be telling Ned so much and so easily because he's good looking and wonders if she might be thinking of 'playing Mrs Robinson' but nothing ever comes of it.
- Police Brutality: Commented on in-story. One of the cops notes that small town cops are good enough, but they get a bad rap from bigger cities: for every honest, hard-working cop, there's a power-tripping asshole waiting to beat you.
- Rule of Scary
- Surreal Horror: Big time.
- Vomiting Cop
- You Cannot Grasp the True Form: The Buick itself. The things are incredibly alien and horrible, but you can see them properly. The Buick is speculated to be something along the line of the breathing valve for a Cosmic Horror's scuba gear.