Race | Flash Fiction

Car illustration - "Race" flash fiction

“Dylan! Be careful with that car, will you?”

Dylan ignores his mother’s words and continues with his game. It’s an epic race up and down the steepest of hills and around the tightest of corners. His little red Matchbox car is the fastest there has ever been, but that doesn’t necessarily mean its destined to win. The car could spin out over the edge of a cliff and meet its brutal demise at the bottom of a mountain. It could flip in mid-air over and over and land on its roof, its wheels still spinning. It could careen out of control on a tricky chicane and smash into a great fir tree.

Strangely enough, these little accidents are the best part of the whole race in Dylan’s eyes. For his mother, they’re the worst.

“Dylan! Did you hear me?”

“What?” Dylan says, pausing the race just before his little red car reaches the end of the arm of the sofa.

“You need to be careful. You’ll scratch the wooden floor if you keep throwing that car at it.”

“Yes, Mum,” says Dylan, before he flings his car off the end of the sofa and grins as it clatters onto the floor.

“What did I just say?”

Dylan tries to stifle his smile. “I’m just playing, Mum.”

Dylan’s mum eyes the car on the floor. Its tiny windows are tinted black, and its doors are merely etched into the metal. She has the perfect plan.

“Don’t you ever think about the driver behind the wheel, Dylan?”

Dylan frowns. “What do you mean?”

“Well every car needs a driver, right? And your car will have its own little guy or girl behind the wheel, and maybe even a co-driver in the passenger seat. You can’t see them, but I bet they’re in there. And they’re probably not feeling very well after being flipped upside down and spun around and smashed into my lovely wooden floor, are they?”

Dylan bites his lip. “Oops.”

“Oops indeed,” says Dylan’s mum. “You’d better be a bit more careful, hadn’t you?”

Dylan nods. “I will, Mummy.”

Inside the little red car, a tiny rally driver dabs at a bleeding wound on her forehead. Her miniature co-driver wipes terror-induced tears from his eyes. “Thank fuck that’s over,” he says.

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