Skip to content

The Thrill-a-Minute World of Raptocross Racing

On the start line: the boys held back their restless raptors and waited for her signal.  She settled the custom headphones over Atomic Sam’s ear holes, and plugged in her own.

The warm air crackled with electricity.  The raptors felt it.  They stamped and jigged and tossed their heads.  Today would change everything.  She raised her hand and nodded to the boys.  Pressed play and let her hand fall.  The raptors surged forward into the dense and ragged bushland.

Her father trained the best racers; now she had a secret formula that was going to take it all to the next level.  He would not regret giving her Atomic Sam to train.  Out of her father’s prized Apocalyptica, by six-time-Nationals-winner Joey the Bomber, and raised by her hand, the young raptor was going to be undefeatable.

Sammy’s gait was perfect, in time to the beat, and strong.  The breeze of their speed raked stray hairs back from her grin.

She had first noticed it when she had gone to check on the raptors one night during a raucous after-party.  The music from the house was loud and the bass thudded through the ground and filled the stables.  The raptors stamped and swayed, they danced to the beat.

The trail was uneven and overgrown – part of the thrill – she caught flashes of the others out of the corners of her eyes.  Seemed like they were all neck-and-neck now, but not for long.

This was their first proper practice race.  She had been training Sammy with her secret technique for months now, and was convinced enough by her success to brave the jokes.  And it was working.  They sniggered when she asked them to try her, but no one but her was smiling now.

First jump: she felt his muscles bunch; the drum-heavy track she’d put together paused before the chorus and –

Whomp he landed on the crash of the bass drum, and it seemed like the ground trembled underneath him.

Sammy ducked and weaved, dodged and leapt, not losing a beat, instinct and cunning working together, training and evolution culminating in a beast that was surely made for this sport.

A clear section; she risked a glance around.  Couldn’t see the others, must be eating Sammy’s dust.  She thought she saw someone’s mount balk at a jump.  Strange, the boys were on the stable’s best; proven and fearless runners all.  Couldn’t be sure, everything but Sammy was a greenish greyish adrenal blur.  A twig stung her cheek and flicked her headphones.  Focus!  Nothing could wipe the grin off her face though.

– a drop of blood floated in the vacuum they left behind them.  It splattered into the leaf litter –

Creek: they bounded from rock to rock and plunged through the water.  She couldn’t even sense the others now.  It was just her and Sammy and the beat, and the water droplets rainbowing the the air that seemed to glow and fizz.

Halfway point: the cliff climb.  Steep and uneven enough to challenge, safe enough to scale at speed.  Sammy had hesitated the first time but today he leapt at the incline, urged by the music.  The beat slowed into the breakdown and he took his cues, digging in his talons, bunching and flexing the muscles in his powerful legs.

She couldn’t hold in a whoop as they cleared the top.  It wasn’t over yet but she already knew they’d won.  She reined Sammy in, gave him an exuberant thump on the shoulder, turned to wait for the others.  It was the only clear part of the track, high up here, and she took a breath to revel in the elation.

Whomp.

Sammy stumbled and she nearly pitched out of the saddle.

Whomp.

The ground shook again and it wasn’t the satisfaction of a perfectly coordinated jump.

She shaded her eyes against the glare, turned forward again to where the finish line lay somewhere in the scrub below.  But it was the sky that demanded her attention.  She tore her headphones off and heard the wail of sirens.  Sammy jigged and clicked, eyes rolling.  Her grin slipped.

Meteors rained down from the sky and onto the landscape, each fiery impact accompanied by a delayed–

Whomp.

“Oh, that’s not good.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2012 3:55 am

    When I read the title I expected the raptors to be RIDING motorcycles… but your story makes much more sense! (-= Fun idea with the music. And, of course, meteors had to show up… but still a fun story. Only one question, was your dialog intentionally to the right or was it formatting issues?

  2. May 16, 2012 5:44 am

    Intentional! Just because the entire story operates without diaologue – it’s all experiential – so when she opens her mouth, its a change in…form? tone? a change. I love the idea of breaking out of the left aligned, perfectly justified formatting, to get a feel. I’ve seen it done really well in The Raw Shark Texts. Which is a peculiar enough story.

Trackbacks

  1. Rainy days and Too Much Coffee « Ilona the Rose

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: