(from w.i.p. “Wave A Checkered Flag”
Once, just once, getting the checkered flag would be a nice change. Maybe not first place, but being in the top ten would be a sight better than dead last. Heaving a heavy sigh, the driver refocused on the road, steered the Fiat into the banked oval, releasing the gas pedal for seconds before depressing it hard. The car shot down the straight away as if launched from a slingshot.
Too late, the driver mumbled low at spying the checkered flag wave in the air at the far end of the straightaway as one car after another sped through the finish line.
Damn. Damn. Damn…lost again. This was becoming a habit, one that needed breaking and fast. Too much was riding on its success. After all, it might not be the newest model available to buy, but one just like it won the nineteen zero seven Grand Prix, posting an average speed of seventy miles per hour. No expense had been spared fixing up this model, and the best mechanic money could employ swore it would perform up to all expectations.
And after all the time and money, it did drive like a dream, yet dreams do not win races, and no matter how many entry fees were paid, the dream of winning or even placing wasn’t coming true. Besides, this returning home empty handed thing was becoming old, not to mention infuriating.
Blowing out an exasperated sigh, the driver edged the car by the start/finish box, the black and white checkered flag no longer in sight, and steered into the back parking area. Unlike the bigger city events, country races never attracted the better known drivers, like Harroun and Dawson, but the experience was well worth the cost. Losing again gnawed at the gut something awful.
Gloved fingers curved tightly around the steering wheel, the car rolled to a stop at its appointed space where the tall, distinguished looking older gentleman stood at the rear of an older black car.
“Secure it for travel.” The driver tossed the key to the man.
“Are you going to change?”
“No time now. I’ll do it later. Do you need my help?”
The old man shook his head. “I can handle it. There’s water and something to eat on the passenger seat of the Buick.”
Trudging to the rear of the Black car, he found the length of thick rope and proceeded to tie one end to the front axle of the red racing car and the other end to the rear of the old black car. Casually leaning against the side of the black car, the driver took a long sip of cool water and lifted dirt-caked goggles to the brim of the riding cap. As if driving on these dirt-covered track wasn’t dangerous enough, one came away feeling dirty and sweaty and in serious need of a bath.