"At times I think my coffee and tea addictions truly drive my artistic energy. It’s a small sacrifice for the greater good."

Working with Narrative

Posted: 4/8/10 | Written by Jeannie | Labels: , , ,

Last night we worked on narrative at the Random Writers Workshop, as usual Nick got my brain all lubricated with creative juices and this was born. Enjoy!

Never say, "she can't"
Spotlights on the pavement, an empty parking lot stretching for miles, we shouldn’t be here. Yet, here we stand. Friends gather looking for validation through the push of a pedal. Keys askew, waiting for more to join--we need others to witness this.

Another car pulls up.

Tonight my boy, a red, 93, 5.0, convertible mustang, sits just out of sight, still unsure if he wants to be let loose or not. Friends gather. We talk shop. Nothing planned, other than tonight someone will be going home a winner.

A Shelby speaks first, his voice a growl of almost primitive desire. He wants to be let loose. He needs to feel the open pavement under his tires. And yet, his owner--prim and proper--never taking time to see the coiled snake is ready for a strike.

    “Man that is one beautiful machine.” I lust this car. It makes my Mustang cower in the corner full of shame. My 5.0 engine breathing through modified headers it spits and sputters in comparison to the American Series Shelby. “When’s the last time you’ve really let loose?” I ask.

    “This car is not for racing.” The Middle Eastern man stands, hands in his jeans. Clearly this is his gift for his fading masculinity. My hand gliding over the slick top coat, buffed to perfection.

    “Give me five minutes with him.” My lip curls into a sweet smile.

    “Excuse me?”

    “Five minutes is all I need to drive him better than you do.”

He bellows. Friends start to gather around. Eager eyes, hungry for something to happen before the cops break us up. Sparks fly along the beach lined parking lot. Energy circling, feeding, and egging on our emotions which root deeply: it’s man vs. woman. A constant hum of ocean behind an uncomfortable silence, each wave saying, ‘bet him. Beat him. Show him you are valid.’

    “Please, girls can’t race,” words drip venomously from his mouth. That was all I needed.

    “I bet, with the crowd as the judge--I can drive circles around you. Make your knuckles white from holding on so tightly. And when I win, I get to race him,” I smile pointing to the midnight black Corvette hiding the LT1 engine.

    “And if you don’t? Do I get to drive you?“ Innuendo not subtle, he chuckles. Smiling I nod in agreement. This will be easy.

I turn the key and he purrs for me. There’s no glub, glub, only that sexy sound of raw power that vibrates my foot gently under the pedal. His owner sliding in as a passenger; unnerved by the role reversal--I smile. My hand grips the shifter and waits for the soft click of his seatbelt. Foot firmly on the clutch the other on the break. Breaths calm, noise disappears, and a route establishes in mind.


Gas pedal to the floor, foot work equal to a dancer. Speed shifting through first, second, third, redlining each gear until the snake rears his head demanding me to shift. Laughing as the wind whips my hair around my face. Adrenaline pumping as the lights blur. Streaks of incandescent yellow bleed through the cover of night. Bulbs spilling forth just enough light to cut through this parking lot pavement: ending soon. My passenger slams his foot down as if he’s breaking. His hand grips the door handle, he’s praying. I’ve won.

I slam the clutch. Throw it in neutral. Pull the e-brake. Cut the wheel. And we slide. The snake hissing through his tires as his owner pushes into the door through pure g-force.

Clutch in. Second gear. Redline. 80, 100, 200 redline. Redline. Clutch slam, neutral, e-brake, full stop: it’s done.

His feet unsteady as he steps out. Flat feet on concrete or quicksand, he’s unsure which yet. The crowd laughing at him as he stumbles trying to find his place. Heels clack as I walk around the Shelby. I stand too close to him, breathing the same salty air which connects our personal space. A coldness rushes between us, the crowd feeding off the kinetic energy passing through us. I whisper, “Never tell a woman, she can’t.”

If you liked this you might enjoy:
Family Antics
Writing Prompt: 30 Seconds 
Siblings: Part One