The Wreck of the Tempo | E. Christopher Clark

The Wreck of the Tempo

In the early days of Eden, a 1987 Ford Tempo fell from the sky and was impaled upon the Revolutionary Monument in the center of Chelmsdale.


This gray sedan, which belonged to The Silver Family in the time before The Calamity, has since become a tourist destination for Earthling refugees who long for a reminder of their pre-apocalyptic lives.


Though most would’ve considered it an eyesore in the days of yore, the wreck has become so beloved that the citizens of Chelmsdale—with help from dwarven craftsmen—have actually reinforced the structure, so that the car won’t go down any further on the phallic town pillar it now uses as a parking spot.


The Monument

Dedicated in 1859 near the spot where Chelmsford, Massachusetts militiamen gathered before going off to fight in the Revolutionary War, the monument is one of several iconic locations from Chelmsford to survive the calamitous end of the world intact. As such, even before the Tempo fell from the sky, it was already set to become the center of the new Chelmsdale settlement.


The Car

The Tempo was a downsized successor to the boxier compact cars Ford produced in the 1970s. The Silver Family’s Tempo, a 1987 model in gray, was a four-door sedan first driven by Dr. Michaela Silver. She passed the car down to her son Michael when the boy earned his driver’s license in early 1994, and it thereafter became the stuff of legend amongst Michael’s friends.


Already worn down after 7 years of hard driving by Michaela, the Tempo was falling apart by the time Michael started driving it. A leak in its Power Steering apparatus eventually led to the erosion of several of the blocks holding the engine in place, so that any abrupt stop of the car would result in a loud WHOMP as the increasingly untethered engine rocked backwards toward the cabin.


And that was just the first thing that went wrong with it.


Add to that the numerous times it broke down on the side of Massachusetts highways—either through mechanical failure or because the then-broke Michael forgot to fill it with gas—and you can understand how nearly every person who knew Michael Silver in his late teens and early twenties had a Tempo story of their own to tell.


By the time Michael was in college, the car spent more time in the shop than out. And the Tempo was therefore retired from active duty by the year 1999.


In a ceremony befitting such a legendary vehicle, Michael and his father drove the car out into the woods behind their House in Chelmsford and left it to rest beside the last remnants of a rusted jalopy that had once belonged to Michael’s grandfather.


And there it remained, until the end of the world saw fit to rip the thing from its resting place and give it a new home in the town square.

The one and only
177" (car), 18' square terrace (monument)
52.9" (car) + 27' (monument)
2,723 lb (car)
0 mph, these days
Cargo & Passenger Capacity
Seats 4–5 passengers comfortably (including the driver)


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Jan 16, 2021 22:34 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I love this. Can you imagine if the car you'd abandoned suddenly ended up on top of a monument? XD

Jan 17, 2021 14:10 by E. Christopher Clark

It was such a fun idea that I couldn't resist!

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Jan 17, 2021 06:28 by Maybe Stewart

This is fantastic. My first car became an actual urban legend in Ohio, and I honestly wouldn't put something like this past it.

Jan 17, 2021 14:10 by E. Christopher Clark

Ha! That's awesome. What kind of car was it, if you don't mind me asking?

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Jan 17, 2021 22:38 by Maybe Stewart

Not at all! It was a maroon '96 Toyota Corolla. By the time I sold it, the headlights were filled with water that refused to dry out, the entire back seat was stained with enough stage blood that it looked like a small child had died in it, and the trunk latch was broken so it had to be duct taped down. Super inconspicuous. xD

Jan 18, 2021 15:17 by E. Christopher Clark

Wow! There a like a half-dozen stories in that one description. I love it!

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