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Racer (Short Story)

by Troy Hardy, Grade 11, NSW

Bang, bang, bang.
“Troy Hardy, open up!”
I woke up to hear a voice screaming at my front door. I walked over to my bedroom window and saw a 1970 Plymouth Hemicuda parked in the driveway. “Troy, where in the name of all things good are you?!” The person shouted.
“I’m coming, I’m coming!”
I opened the door to see a man standing on the veranda. He was quite muscular, and very tall. Built like a bodyguard.
“Who are you and what do you want?” I asked, slightly annoyed.
“My name’s Striker and I’ve been sent to give you a message. You’re invited to a street racing tournament in Louisiana. All the best racers in the world will be there. You should be too. So if you feel that you’re up to the challenge, I’ll see you there.” Striker got into his car and left.
‘I’ll be there,’ I thought to myself, rather confident in my racing skills. I walked over to my garage. Inside was my ultimate ride: a 1970 Plymouth Hemicuda. I had worked five days a week for ten years perfecting the specifications to make the ultimate pure muscle car. “Let’s race.”
I made it to the final race, a drag race across the Lake Ponchartrain Bridge. There were only four drivers left; me, Striker, Dom in a Mustang GT and Mack in a Dodge Charger. All eager and ready to race.
We all exchanged glances with each other; this was it, the race to decide who was ‘King of the Streets’. The engines started revving, the sound of pure muscle echoed through downtown Louisiana.
The starter signalled the drivers to get ready. Then, the traffic lights turned green. It was on.
I looked out the window at the other drivers, they were fast. But not fast enough. Two cars quickly fell behind. It was just me vs. Striker. I looked down at my speedo, 185km/h…190…200. It was going to be a tough race.
Two minutes into the race and I could finally see the end of the bridge. We both activated our nitrous, still tied. With only 800m to go, this was the closest race I had ever been in. But I was determined to win; I managed to squeeze a tiny bit more speed out of my car and just inched ahead.
I watched Striker pull in front as smoke poured out from under the hood of my car. I had lost.
I pulled up next to Striker’s car and got out, “Hey Striker!” I shouted.
Striker turned to face me, “Yeah!”
I walked over to him, “That was fun, let’s do it again some time.”
Striker laughed. “Yeah, ok. You can race me whenever you like, I haven’t had a challenge like that in years! Just make sure you get that engine fixed first and don’t hold back.” Striker got into his car and left.
‘So that’s it.’ I thought to myself. Now all I need to do is beat Striker.

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