The Standalones

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Ken Preston

25 June 2024

Silhouette of a rock band against a spotlight and the words The Standalones

What was a group of snakes called? You had a herd of sheep, a shoal of fish, a murder of crows, but snakes? Chloe decided she would look that fact up when she next had the opportunity, because right now she had a large group of snakes in her stomach, and they were fighting each other.

After Matt had announced he would go on a date with Lexi, the band had headed back to the garage to see how Max Switchblade was doing and to get a change of clothes.

The good news was that Max had been fixed and was ready to go back on the road.

The bad news was that the band didn’t have enough money to pay the bill.

“I’m afraid we can’t let you have your campervan back until you’ve paid,” the mechanic said, wiping his hands on an oily rag.

“What if we left a deposit?” Scarlett asked. “Can we take Max with us then and pay the rest later?”

The mechanic looked confused. “Who’s Max?”

“My camper van, of course.” Scarlett glowered at the mechanic. “Didn’t you recognise him? It’s Max Switchblade.”

The mechanic sighed and rolled his eyes. “A deposit is what I should have asked for before I did the work.”

“So, is that a yes or a no?” Scarlett asked.

The mechanic glowered at Scarlett.

“I think that’s a definite no,” Chloe said.

“We’ll come back tomorrow morning with your money,” Matt said.

“You’d better, I’m not a car park, you know. If I don’t get my money in the next couple of days, I’ll sell your van for scrap.”

“Hey!” Scarlett yelled. “You can’t do that! Max Switchblade is not scrap!”

The mechanic raised an eyebrow scuffed with engine oil.

“I think I’ll grab my bag, just in case,” Chloe said.

“That’s probably a good idea,” Matt said.

They pulled their bags out of the camper van. Chloe also grabbed her bass guitar. She didn’t relish the thought of carrying it around London, but she’d rather that than have it crushed in a car compacter.

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