Another story I wrote a few years ago... This one was written with a friend - kind of like a fractured fairy-tale. I wrote the first half and my friend wrote the second half.
“Hey Ken! How’re ya doin’?” I questioned after I caught up to my friend who was exiting the grocery store. Many people would probably laugh at the site of us together: a twenty-two year old, muscular mechanic who seemed to barely fit through the doors of the grocery store walking beside a trim, brown eyed brunette who could pass as a model at the age of twenty.
Ken glanced down, surprised to see me, and answered, “Oh! Hey Steph. I’m doin’ pretty well, I’ve been busy with work. How’ve you been doing?”
“Oh, I’m good, also busy…as usual. The business is good.”
“That’s great! Have you talked to Bob lately?”
“Yes,” I answered, not too enthusiastically. Bob was an acquaintance of ours. He was very cocky and talked big and didn’t seem to know how to restrain his mouth. He was very talented with cars and trucks, but didn’t excel because he was so stuck on himself.
“Okay. Did he tell you about the race he scheduled?”
“Uh…No, he didn’t. What race?”
Ken looked around before answering, as if passing on a secret, “He is up against our good ol’ buddy in a street race! I don’t see how Bob will be able to win though…not with this match up.”
“Really?!? Wow, I can’t believe that he would think he would be able to win! I mean, Bob does have a nice, fast car but…against him? I don’t see how he’ll be able to win,” I said as we walked on. Ken was my neighbor and worked in the garage he had bought from my parents years before. Because the grocery store wasn’t far away, there was no need to drive. Besides, the exercise was a nice relief from sitting in the office at Harold’s Law Firm where I worked as a lawyer. “When is the race?”
“Saturday night. Late.”
“They’re going around the city one time. Bob will wait up the street from your house and as our buddy comes by we’ll start the race, but we don’t have an exact time, sometime between 2:10 and 3:05 a.m. Are you alright with that, Steph?”
I acted like I thought about it for a few seconds then turned to Ken and said, “I don’t know, I mean, come on, you think a girl like me is gonna take part in some foolish street race?” As soon as the words left my mouth Ken stopped and looked at me, square in the eyes, and said, “Yea, okay! I’d be worried if you wouldn’t take part in a street race!” We broke out laughing uproariously. Ken knew me pretty well; we had been friends for years…no, we had been friends forever. Our mothers were good friends and because there weren’t many other kids in our small, country neighborhood, until we were at least six and eight years old, we were each other’s best friends. And that hadn’t changed over the years.
“Alright, well, I guess I will see you tomorrow night at 2 a.m.!” I said, and then changed my tone to make sure Ken understood that I was serious, “Make sure Bob has his safety gear though!”
“Got it buddy, see ya tomorrow!” With that we departed and he went up the street to his house. I turned and walked up my driveway, past the barn and garage. It was getting late and I had a bit of work to go over. It was going to be a good race tomorrow and I couldn’t wait.
The night was quiet. Ken and I sat on the edge of our chairs on the front porch, eyes turned in the direction the driver normally came from, ears straining to hear the car's engine echoing from the next street. 2:30 a.m. came and went- no sign of him. 2:45 passed quietly. Ken whispered, “I hope Bob doesn't give up yet.” We couldn't see Bob's car parked around the corner, but we knew it was there.
Suddenly we heard the faint hum of a car engine! Seconds later, lights were flickering on the trees. “Here he comes!” Ken said, grimly. “The Phantom Driver” came into view, interior overhead light glowing, highway lights piercing the dark empty streets.
The huge monster truck roared down the street, breaking the calm night. A lone street light illuminated the truck for an instant. The huge black tires spun around faster than the eye could follow, and the yellow outline of a man that was painted on the hood and sides of the car seemed eerie in the gloom. As it passed the dark alley, Bob shot his car out and pulled alongside the truck. His midnight-blue Ferrari was dwarfed by the black and yellow giant, but Bob thought that his horsepower was superior to the other driver's. The two cars paced neck and neck until they reached us. Ken jumped up, waving an American flag. “GO!” he screamed.
Both cars took off like rockets. They had to circle the city, and whoever reached my house first would win. There are no official rules in street-racing, besides “No killing the other driver.” We couldn't see most of the race, but we knew that both drivers would be resorting to some pretty dirty driving in order to win. We ran up to the top of the hill behind my house. From this vantage point, we would be able to make out most of the last mile. We waited for almost half an hour until we saw them. Bob was in front!
“The Phantom Driver” weaved from side to side, trying to pass the Ferrari. But Bob stayed right in front of the truck so it couldn't pass him. Finally, as they turned onto the long street heading towards my house, the driver gave his truck gas and ran right over Bob. His huge wheels spun to the left and right of the low-slung Ferrari, his undercarriage barely missing Bob's beautiful sunroof. He came up the street ahead, but Bob recovered and sent his car right up next to the big truck. Ken and I looked at each other, whooping with delight. This was real street racing! We ran down the hill and grabbed the flag off of the porch, lifting it to announce the winner. Each car strained towards us, but the monster truck inched forward until his front wheels were in front of the brave little sports car. His rear wheels were right behind Bob's rear fender.
Just then, something completely unplanned and unexpected happened - a massive earthquake struck the city, shaking the houses and buildings. A massive rift, as wide as a car is long, opened up in the ground…Right under Bob's car. The rift shut only half a second after it opened, and if Bob hadn't disappeared, I would have thought that it was a dream. “The Phantom Driver,” which was large enough to straddle the rift for a moment, continued down the street, though shaken around a little bit, and crossed the line I had drawn in front of my porch. The truck stopped on a dime and the driver jumped out.
“I won!!” he yelled with delight. Then, puzzled, he looked around and questioned, “Where's Bob?”