Sunday, April 7, 2013
Not A Penny More, by Jon Land
This story made me nostalgic for Rod Serling's Twilight Zone Magazine, which lived from one end of the 1980s to the other. It specialized in fantasy and what you might call light horror. For example, I still remember Evan Eisenberg's "Heimlich's Curse," about an archaeologist who opens a pharoah's tomb and winds up drowning in a vat of peanut butter.
My point is that this nifty story might have been quite comfortable in that late lamented market. I'm glad it found a home at The Strand.
Walter Schnitzel is a loser and a loner. He is a middle-aged accountant, watching younger men get promoted over his head.
But his life makes a sudden lurch when he takes an old clunker of a used Buick for a week-long test drive. All of a sudden Walter gets lucky - in more senses than one. His whole self-image changes as well.
So, is the car magic? Is it all coincidence? And, oh yeah, why is this story in a magazine full of crime stories?
All shall be revealed...