Q.L. Pearce – Prose
Excerpt from Spine Chillers
Prom Date The Roller Grille was the real deal. An authentic drive-in restaurant with car hops on roller skates delivering trays of burgers and fries to people parked outside. It had been in business for decades. Other than a fresh coat of paint now and then it hadn’t changed from the day it opened. Tyler, Andy and Jacob threaded around the cars and pushed through the glass doors to the diner. A hostess dressed in a fuzzy sweater and a poodle skirt guided customers to booths covered in red vinyl. A candy-colored jukebox blared from a corner. The laughter and chatter of the crowd was louder than the music. Tyler noticed Shay jammed into a booth with her friends. He raised a hand in greeting but she ignored him. Andy pointed to the long soda fountain. “There’s room over there.” Tyler nodded and they each claimed a stool. “What’ll it be?” Randy, the soda jerk adjusted his black bow tie and gave them a toothy grin. The boys ordered shakes. Andy whirled around once on his stool and stopped to face Jacob. “So do they have any place like this in Phoenix?” “No. This is pretty cool.” He looked around and his eye settled on a wall of photographs. “Who are those people?” “Those are the prom kings and queens from the high school,” Tyler answered. “Wow there’s like a hundred of them. What’s the deal with those two?” Jacob pointed to a black and white photo that was larger than the rest. Tyler slipped into telling the story that everyone in town knew by heart. “That’s Johnny Tonnarro and his girlfriend, Samantha. He was like a rock star a long time ago.