200 (A Short Story)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story about a man trying to hit 200kmph on a desert road and the strange experience he has.

Submitted: November 13, 2011

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Submitted: November 13, 2011

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It stretched out in front of him, moving away from him until it joined the horizon at the ends of his vision. The tarmac gaping beneath his feet, as black as a dark abyss, stretched on until it became just a point that he could cover with his finger.

He stood in the middle of that magnificent straight road, a straight black line drawn on the canvas of the desert. The sun was beating down on him hard and his car was parked directly behind him on that lonely road. It was nearly time.

He turned and looked at his car. His eyes gleamed with pride, his baby.

The ’69 dodge charger gleamed in the harsh noon day sun. Jet black it melted into the road and the heat. It seemed as if the cars presence was affecting its surrounding. Creating ripples in the very atmosphere itself, making a kind of transparent and intangible hot air cloak around it.

He patted the hood of his car as he walked around to the side and got into the drivers seat. He put his seatbelt on and grabbed the steering wheel.

He took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. The excitement and anticipation was building.

He loosened and tightened the hold on the steering. It was almost time

He looked around at the dry arid rocky and sandy desert flanking the road. It had let him down a bit.

He had never seen a desert until he came here. He was not from these parts. Though this was just a bush desert still he had imagined it otherwise.

 He had imagined it to be populated by sand colored lizards darting fast through the rocks and the heat. Of skulls of cows and bulls lying there abandoned and stripped of the last scraps of flesh with their empty eye sockets gazing into infinity, of deadly snakes with rattlers lying in wait silently for their unsuspecting prey. He had imagined them crossing the road, making a beeline for the other side. Not daring to slow down in case the rolling blackness that forever haunted this road consumed them.

He had seen none of it. The desert appeared to an empty and life less place unless u counted the occasional thorny bushes along the road. But still he was happy, the road was everything that was promised and that was all he wanted.

He had one and only one mission, to reach 200kmph on his baby, a speed that men weren’t born to realize, a speed that humans could not achieve on land with their foot. But god had given man intelligence. Maybe by doing what was not possible he could connect with god. That was what he believed.

He started the car, felt the vibration of the engine coming to life. He felt the entire car wake up, suddenly flowing with energy. His baby was ready to the job it was born to do.

The sun would now be directly overhead. It was where he had wanted it to be. If it was on either of the 2 sides, it could possibly blind him while driving, but not at noon when it was directly above.

 He revved the engine looking at the digital clock on the dashboard, waiting for it to ping to announce it was 12.

Finally the ping came.

The car set off with the tires screeching.

He was off! Off to accomplish his nirvana…..

His grip on the wheel tightened as he kept changing the gears. The speedometer needle was climbing. The desert landscape flew past his windows. His heart was beating fast. But he was fixed only on one thing, the road in front of him.

Occasionally he took small peeks at the speedometer. He was doing well.

100

120

‘What the!’ he articulated softly. He was perplexed. He had looked up from the speedometer to see that something was in front of him on the road. It was far away but there was no doubt about what it was. It was a car.

It had appeared out of nowhere. It wasn’t there a few seconds ago, he was sure of it. It seemed to have popped into existence, but how?

But another problem suddenly crashed down on him. He was gaining on the car. It was still far but at this rate he would be neck and neck with the car before he hit 200. That meant he had to brake or either turn his car to the side of the road.

And of course that meant losing his speed and loosing his chance to hit 200. The road wasn’t straight forever and if he braked now he wouldn’t be able to hit 200 before he came to a curve.

‘Shit!’ he whispered under his breath. He took 2 deep breathes.

No, he was not going to give up, now that he was so close. He would honk and it didn’t matter if the driver had to swerve out of the road to avoid hitting him. He was going to make 200.

His feet pressed more firmly down on the gas pedal. The engine roared underneath the hood.

160

He was gaining on the car more quickly now. He was gaining.

170

He started to sound his horn as the distance between the cars came closer and closer.  It was a white Ford Thunderbolt. He wanted to give the driver enough time to swerve out his way, so he kept on honking.

180

He still kept on honking. He was sweating and it was not just because of the heat. His heart was beating faster and faster. He swallowed nervously.

The roar of his car was tremendous. The engine was straining. From the heat dial, he saw that the engine temperature was increasing.

He was a couple of hundred meters from the other driver at max, but the other didn’t show any signs of having noticed him thundering forward. That guy was just driving on and driving at a good speed at that. But the guy still wouldn’t be fast enough to escape his car.

190

He was nearly there. But the car in front of him didn’t show any signs of getting out of his way. He kept on blaring his horn as the speedometer needle rose and the distance between his car and the other closed.

195

He could now read the license plate of the guy. But this was no time to read.

He realized he had 2 choices in front of him. And whatever he chose would be final.

Either he had to slow down or he had to keep on pushing it.

His mind couldn’t make him step on the brake. No matter what, he just couldn’t do it.

‘Maybe…maybe… I can hit 200 and still avoid hitting the car.’ He thought

It seemed impossible but then again it just might, just might be possible.

If he slammed on the brakes just when he hit 200, then there was a slight chance he could make it before he hit the other car.

197

Adrenaline was rushing through him. The car in front of him kept on going.

198

Sweat was running down his forehead and his chest, drenching his shirt and trying to get into his eyes. Even his palms were sweaty. The car in front of him kept going.

199

He was so close, nearly bumper to bumper. He could not see into the car because of the tinted glass. He was scared. His throat felt dry. His heart would at any moment leap out of his chest.

He was nearly there.

200.

An ecstasy of incredible power grabbed him. He felt one with every cell in his body, every part of his car, every pebble on the road. But at the same time he seemed to be floating above him.

He was floating on a cloud of joy even as he felt the small movements of every part of the car. He was here…. He was free…

That was when he felt the resistance of the other car bear down upon him. He had no time to hit the brakes as the car in front of him was pushed aside like a small kid.

He felt himself loose control of his baby. He felt the tires leave the ground; the car was beginning to somersault. He was tossed in his seat like a rag doll; the seatbelt didn’t help much as the car rolled over a dozen times or so before coming to a stop on the edge of the road upside down. But by then he had lost consciousness.

 

************************

 

‘Where am I?’ he thought hazily as he opened his eyes.

His entire body ached, his arms, his legs, and his chest. And there was something constricting around his head as well.

He was lying down on a bed. That much he realized. He was looking up at a very very white ceiling. It was too white.

‘I can’t be in heaven.’ He thought. ‘If I was then it wouldn’t hurt so much.’

But still a voice in his head said ‘but look at it! It’s so white!’

‘So you’re a wake you crazy bastard’

A voice to his right. He removed his gaze form the ceiling and turned to look that way tilting his hurting head a bit as well.

A figure. At first it was blurry, then he blinked a couple of times and it came into focus. The light form the window on the wall shone on the seated figure of his best friend by the foot of his bed.

‘Dude..’ he said hoarsely.

His friend got up from the chair and walked over to his bed and sat on the edge looking at him.

‘They found my number in your wallet and called me. By the way did you hit 200?’

‘Ya’ he replied hoarsely smiling and recollecting that intense feeling. Oh but it hurt even to smile.

‘You lucky son of a gun!’ His friend was grinning even as he said that. ‘ I can’t believe you did it!’

He grinned as well but again it sent a sharp pang of pain through him.

‘Where am I?’ he asked

‘In a hospital you dumbass’ his friend replied. ’You’re lucky you weren’t seriously hurt; a couple of broken ribs and of course some in your legs and arms. Oh and there is that nasty crack in you skull too, but nothing too serious. He says given a coupled of months you’ll be back on your feet again.’

‘The car?’

‘Its not totally lost. I saw it. It’s in some bad shape but nothing we can’t fix’

‘What about the other guy?’

‘What other guy?’

‘You know, the guy in theThunderbolt. The one I crashed into.’

His friend frowned at him.

‘There was no other car dude. You didn’t crash into anyone. You lost control of your car.’

‘What….’ His voice sounded confused, in fact he looked confused. ‘But there was a guy in front of me driving a Thunderbolt. I crashed into him. I remember clearly.’

‘Dude, you were the only one there. The cops didn’t find anyone else. And you should be lucky the cops found you when they did cause if they had been late you could have been in serious trouble.’

‘But… but…’ he was now very confused. He knitted his brow trying to remember. There was a car, he remembered it clearly, but then how…

‘Well maybe it was Piedro’ his friend said snickering.

‘Who?’ he asked.

‘ I heard this legend a day ago here while you were unconscious, speaking of that you were unconscious for 2 days dude! Well anyway according to the legend about 20 years ago there was this Spanish guy named Piedro Cortez. He rode on the highway with his Ford Thunderbolt trying to hit the 200. People say he got his 200, but he then lost control of his car and got himself killed. Now they say his spirit haunts the road.’

His friend dropped his voice leaned over to him and whispered in his ear like he was telling him some deep dark secret.

‘They say that any driver trying to hit the 200 on the road suddenly comes across a Thunderbolt in front of them going slow and not allowing the driver to speed up. They say its Peidro’s ghost making sure that he’s the only one who will ever hit 200 on that road.’

His friend stopped and straightened up, grinning at him. ‘But I guess you broke that. You broke the curse of the demon of speed.’

‘The demon of what?’

‘The demon of speed. That was his nickname.’

That name. Something was stirring in his mind. He couldn’t place it. He had heard or seen that before. And then suddenly it hit him. His eyes widened in astonishment.

‘What? What’s wrong?’ his friend asked worried.

The astonished look vanished and he started to laugh, but it hurt so much that he had to stop almost immediately. He couldn’t believe it.

‘What’s so funny?’ his friend asked.

‘Nothing! Nothing!’ he muttered as he tried to stifle the last of his laugh.

He had remembered something, something that was very small but in ways maybe big as well. He had remembered the license plate of theThunderbolt.

DBLODSPDO

Diablo De Speedo

Demon of Speed


 


© Copyright 2017 Max Morre. All rights reserved.

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