25 March 2011

"Race" #Fridayflash

Brit slipped on his racing gloves, smoking a cigarette down to the filter, only to light another one. His knuckles strained against the English leather, fingers clamped tight atop the steering wheel.

“He's not going to show after all.” He smirked, relaxing slightly. Cockiness reared its pointed head and he took a nip from the silver flask in his inside jacket pocket. The blue 'Stang purred around him in approval. Nothing could beat his car. Underneath the hood he had a secret. A little switch under the dash. One flick and he was gone daddy gone.

Thunder rolled in off the highway. A deep rumble drifting up to the precipice. Ghastly blue reflected off the scraggly weeds clinging to life on the rocky edges.

“I'll be damned,” Brit growled and popped the handbrake.

The stranger rolled up next to him and tipped his hat. Lightning flashed overhead without the barest threat of rain. Brit shivered and gave a curt nod to his opponent.

Cindy went to stand between the two cars, short plaid skirt whipping in the breeze. Her fishnets were torn, exposing white flesh. She pulled a scarf from around her wrist and raked her blonde hair from one cheek to blow Brit a kiss. He heard the stranger's laugh.

The scarf went up. Then down.

Cindy was pelted with thousand of tiny bits of rock and dirt as the two muscle cars blew out of there, nose-and-nose, flank-to-flank. Tires scudded on the dirt, chrome flashing as both cars gained purchase at the same time. Brit had to admit, the old man was good. He dug the gearshift into fourth and the 'Stang screamed in response, ripping it up to fifth again once he'd gained on the stranger. The 'Stang chomped up the dirt, snarling as Brit pushed it to redline. He flipped on the radio and cranked up a metal song, riding the high that only this kind of race could provide.

The stranger cut him off at the curve, snapping back into first place. Brit cursed and slapped the wheel. The ass end of the 'Stang skidded in a half-arc before Brit commandeered it back into submission. The stranger had no brake lights.

They broke out of the turn clawing for lead, the stranger's ghoulish Dodge pissing blue flame, dwindling arcs of cerulean embers left to bounce to nothingness in the rearview. A cold bead of sweat rolled down in Brit's left eye and he brushed it away. He could see the shimmer of the violet haze as he pulled to the stranger's rear wheel on his side. The inside of the car was black as a sack of crows.

The straightaway loomed ahead and Brit flipped the switch, releasing the nitro into the engine. The 'Stang shrieked and rocketed forward. He laughed like a madman as he saw the black Dodge fall behind, until the headlights were two little dots in the mirror.

The nitrous gave out almost as quick as it'd kicked in and the 'Stang's speed fell. The finish was up ahead somewhere. Brit peered through the dirty windshield and didn't see the black Dodge fly up behind him.

Metal collided with a sick crunch, and Brit was thrown forward into the steering wheel. He downshifted and tried to shake his tail but the stranger might as well been painted there. Another impact, and Brit busted his lip on his own skull ring. He tried to brake, but they didn't respond. The 'Stang went faster.

They blew past the waiting victory committee and out towards the mesa's edge. The stranger showed no relent and kept his nose up Brit's tailpipe, smashing into it every now and then. Brit'd go left, the black Dodge would swerve left. Brit swung to the right and the stranger would smash into him until he went straight again. The end of the road showed in his headlights. Brit shit his pants as he drove through the barrier.

The fall took forever.


Anonymous said...

Ha! That's a heck of a last sentence Carrie, and a heck of a ride, I love your car stories.

I especially like "black as a sack of crows", and the description of the scarf going "up then down", how true that is, you never see the descent.
Great, as always!

Anonymous said...

This is fast tight slick brilliant prose from beginning to end. But then I always knew Carrie could do that and she always will.

John Wiswell said...

Several descents in this, sort of foreshadowing where his existence is going. The "shit his pants" moment might have more punch if "shit" didn't appear in the text before it, but otherwise this works smoothly. Welcome back, Carrie!

Anonymous said...

Just as slick and speedy as the subject. That last line is an absolute killer, but the whole last paragraph gave me motion sickness!

Dorothy F. Shaw said...


nerinedorman said...

Love it! Watch some of the past continuous "ing" words (my editor has recently been hauling my arse over those)but otherwise, totally faboo.

Carrie Clevenger said...

Ing words, aha. I will work on that. Thanks everyone for being frank and honest. It helps me fix stuff that needs to be fixed.

Really, keep dropping your opinions. I'm really rusty at flash.


Sam said...

Yes, the "black asa sack of crows" line did it for me too. Masterfully written, Carrie. Your prose reflects the gaining speed throughout this, I could feel my heart beating faster as Brit neared the edge.

Jason Coggins said...

It's amazing any of us ever climb back into a car after reading you writing to your vehicular strengths. Me, I'm going to continue sitting, static like, where it's safe and doesn't smell of gasoline and shitty pants.

Steve Green said...

A great read, I too liked the "Sack of crows" line.

I loved the pace and atmosphere of it, and after all, Brit WAS still in the lead at the end.

Laurita said...

The fall took forever.

Fantastic ending line.

Harry said...

Great read Carrie. Cool swagger, great pace and a foreboding feel about that Dodge. Last line is perfect.

Tim VanSant Writes said...

I could feel the sense of motion through out. And I really like the last line too.

Anonymous said...

Could feel the acceleration nearing the end and the punchline opens up the space so well that you feel the fall into the abyss. Fab.
Adam B @revhappiness

Larry Kollar said...

Wow, that was intense! and the stranger is one helluva sore loser.

I had a girlfriend in high school whose parents met drag racing. Her own car was a Charger. One of the real ones (this was 1976 after all).

Unknown said...

When death wants you, death gets ya ... This one purred as gorgeous as that "Stang.

Eric J. Krause said...

Great story! I could feel the roar of the engines as I read. And that last line was, hehe, killer. Enjoyed it a TON, as always.

Glad you're back FridayFlashing.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Rusty? You? Are you kidding? I'd die to be as rusty as you on your worst day.
This was sculptured dynamite - and as someone married to a Dodge man, I'm tickled that the Mustang got its comeuppance.

Unknown said...

You painted a really vivid picture there. I really enjoyed reading your flash.

Thanks for sharing!

Mari said...

Loads of testosterone in this one!

Wicked stranger, this one. Loved how you portrait the fall.

Anonymous said...

That was awesome. Great visuals. Funny I cannot write about cars but you do it well. Looking forward to reading more of what's here.

Icy Sedgwick said...

I've always told you how much I love your car stories, and this is another absolute winner! Really tight.