Category A: Highly Commended (2021) Monash Short Story Writing Competition
Author: Rishan Deb
Title: Asphalt 9: Legend's lucky landing
Vroom! I listen to the sweet engine of my Lamborghini Sian rev up, like a rocket preparing for taking off. The race begins. Red. Orange. And after an eternity… green! VROOM!! I kick the accelerator. For a second, I believe that I booted the pedal through the carbon fibre of the car. Then I hear the satisfying squeal of rubber on asphalt, knowing my car is quickening. The energy pushes me back in my seat then I see the accelerator lurch up. 40km/h. 80km/h. 150km/h. 230km/h. 290km/h. Soon, I am at top speed: 349km/h.
I remember coming second in my last match. But this race, I am determined to win no matter what, even if it means taking risks. Feeling extremely excited about this competition, I remember walking up to my car before the race. I have been waiting my whole life for it. This could let me into the finals or break my motorsport career. Having so much racing history, I know I can do this.
Concentrating hard on keeping my control, I watch the turns fly past as I struggle to keep up with the Aston Martin Valhalla ahead of me. Every turn I take, every burst of speed I throw at it, the vehicle is always inching away from me as if taunting me.
It is so close, I feel I can reach out and touch the car in the first place. But I focus on the task at hand. I speed up for the turn, slowly riding up to the Aston Martin metres ahead of me as the racer prepares for a drift. My car is centimetres away, and I see the driver struggling for control at these high speeds. I know that if the Valhalla drifts, it will lose lots of speed. If I can turn hard enough without straying, I can get past the final racer. I thrust through the turn without drifting. I watch as the Aston Martin's tyre squeals through the float.
Time slows down as I take the turn, miraculously knowing what to do. My car slowly edges in front of the drifting Valhalla. I break my shackles and dart free as I release the brakes, tearing past the Aston Martin Valhalla. I watch as it shoots through the asphalt, and the rubber burns brighter than the sun. I feel the adrenaline as the car breaks through its record like a bull charging out of a barn. Finally, it shoots through the finish line, millimetres ahead of the Aston Martin. "No! My winning streak. I've lost it all!" the driver of the Valhalla yells in anguish.
Realising I have been holding my breath since the beginning of the turn, I gulp in the cool, fresh air. I nearly faint, knowing one thing: speed is the key.