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Drag Race

The day has come, weeks and countless dollars invested in this moment. All preparations have been made. A myriad of nuts and bolts, inspected, tightened to torque. Fluids fresh, topped to level, tire pressure lowered... maximum traction. In rank and file I now sit filled with anticipation, fear, expectation. This is the opportunity, test my El Camino, test myself. Not just an El Camino to me, a shameful, prideful thing. Nurtured and caressed through good times and bad. An extension of hopes and dreams, a shared journey. More than steel or monetary investment, an extension of self. The sound of racers precedes me with each ensuing race... I move forward. Loud speakers brashly announce events and results to enthusiastic spectators. Calls of encouragement, support, pummel the track of competition. Suddenly my name fills the air, with pride and anticipation...my time has come. Two cars rumble in unison, a final turn to face the long black lane. In slow roll through waiting water pit, then slam the accelerator to the floor. Engine explodes in violent fury... burn out. The car shudders under the sudden imposed force, tires scream as clouds of smoke envelope. Traction found, the car charges forward, to be wrenched to stop short of the light tree. The smell of burned rubber chokes my lungs. An explosion of equal fury, rages to my right. Two cars creep to the staging line. My car strains for release, surging ever harder. Inches at a time I roll forward seeking the staging lights yellow glow. Time stands still, two cars have staged in roaring crescendo. Rumble, shudder, heart pounding, the goal so distant yet only one quarter mile away. I am alone in a tunnel, lights flash down the tree. Amber, amber, amber. Engine at high idle, brakes struggle to reign in the waiting power. Mind and heart tighten to task...Green Light. More instinct than decision, release brake, drive the accelerator hard to floor. Driven back into the seat, tires scream in need of grip then a surging leap forward. Speed builds as engine roars, slam of gears in smooth progression, engine whining to near explosion. The long black lane is my world, my life. As if in flight, I move through space. Building speed in steady force, all a blur on each side, I dare not view the speedometer. Nothing of import but a lighted sign ahead, the finish line, glory calls. In forced effort to relax, let the car work, just guide in controlled chaos. The heart reaches out to pull to end...then it's over. Exhilaration, I am a junky in first rush, adrenaline flows in warm wash. Coasting now, breaking, rolling to the track exit. Retrieval of my time slip, joy or disappointment awaits, success is measured in tenths of seconds. Thoughts of my next run burn hot within. Robert Gene Stoner Jr 5/19/16 ©

Copyright © | Year Posted 2016




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Date: 6/9/2016 4:52:00 PM
Great story! Congrats on your 3rd place win in the "Any Poem You Ever Penned" poetry contest. I enjoyed your work - Jesse
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Robert Stoner Jr
Date: 6/11/2016 3:32:00 PM
Thanks for the read and support on this effort Jesse, always appreciated.