This is the 119th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.
The Racing Holiday by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 29th March 2013
Word count: 521
“If we cut through this town here, and head for that bridge, we might save an hour,” Sarah said looking at the map.
“Or it could cost us the whole race,” Michelle said, “What if there’s traffic? Why do you think it’s not on any of the suggested routes?”
“The suggested routes are for information only, we can take any route we want. I think I agree with Sarah,” Carl said from behind the steering wheel.
“Yeah, we need to do something different, or we’ll never separate ourselves from the pack,” Victoria chimed in.
“Okay, okay,” Michelle said surrendering, “But just don’t telegraph it. We don’t want to end up with the whole competition following us, it’d be pointless.”
“Okay Carl, come off at the junction after next,”
The Subaru estate sped off, at the last moment it turned off the interstate and into a back road, Carl pushed the car faster as a few others in the race followed.
“Take the next right,” Sarah said.
They drove into town and had to ease off dramatically as they encountered small roads and non-race traffic.
“Told you,” Michelle said.
“The routes still shorter, and when we get to the other side it’ll be a free run back to the interstate,” Sarah said.
“Any short cuts through the town?” Carl asked.
“Now, just keep heading up Main Street,” Sarah said looking at the map.
It took another five minutes to get through the town, but after it was open roads all the way back to the interstate that had wound around the hilly hamlet.
They rejoined the interstate, and the Great US Holiday Race, which they’d been with for the past six hundred miles.
Michelle looked at the other cars, and their identification from the race.
“Well what do you know,” she said, “We’re up seven places.”
“Told you,” Sarah said imitating Michele from earlier.
“No you said it’d put us an hour ahead, we’re seven places up, but there’s still seventy miles to Los Angeles. How are we going to catch up with the ten cars well ahead of us?”
“Another short cut?” Sarah suggested.
“You have the map, you tell me,” Michelle responded.
“Just calm down, fourteenth would be good if we can keep it. It’s only our first race, we’ll try for the win next year,” Carl said as he tried to over take a brown estate, the driver of which was having none of it.
“Fourteenth sounds pretty good,” Victoria said, backing her boyfriend.
“What’s the point in entering a race your not trying to win?”Michelle asked, “Sarah another shortcut, now,” the she ordered.
“There isn’t one, it’s a straight run to the finish,” Sarah said.
“Carl why’s he pulling away?” Michelle asked turning her attention and her ire on the final driver of the race.
“Well I’m dealing with the Ford behind us, and he’s fed up of dealing with me,” Carl said calmly as he focused on the road.
“Well put your foot down,” she demanded.
“Can’t, speed limit, we’re on it. He’s speeding. Let him take the one minute fine,” Carl said, “Now let me drive.”