Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Red Asphalt: Road Rash


So it's put up or shut up time. Aty long last, here's an excerpt from the magnum opus in question, RED ASPHALT, written by moi. This is from the chapter called "Road Rash".
An exclusive exceprt from my novel RED ASPHALT


Due to the intensity of this revenge scenario that had played out on the main stage of the theater of my mind, I had inadvertently driven way off course and ended up on the
northeast side of Stockton. I had locked myself into a trance and, quite honestly, put myself and anyone else on the road in potentially great danger. In my anger, I had blanked out.
My old traffic school lessons popped into my head. I could hear myself lecturing my students on the subject of maintaining one’s cool.

“You must take responsibility when you are behind the wheel of an automobile. You are the captain of the ship. You are in charge. You are in control. Therefore, you must keep yourself in check. Don’t let your emotions get away from you. It can definitely affect your driving. If you lose control of yourself, how can you expect not to lose control of your vehicle?”
Forty pair of attentive eyes would be focused on me as I’d continue my dissertation on road rage.
“You have to understand that you do not have a right to drive. No. In the eyes of the law, it is a privilege and as such, can be taken away from you if you abuse that privilege.”
Oh, my. How sanctimonious can we get?
“But, look, we’re all human beings. We all have bad days. There are times when we are simply P.O.ed. Your boss yelled at you. You and your significant other are not getting along. The IRS is breathing down your neck. There could be a million and one reasons and sometimes, all of them at the same time. BUT you have no right to take it out on the rest of the world with your car...or your truck...or your van...or whatever you drive. That, my friends is assault with a deadly weapon.”
There would actually be a hush in the room after that monologue. Maybe I got through to them. Maybe they were just embarrassed for me.

Obviously, I had never taken one of my own classes so these words fell on my deaf ears. Do as I say not as I do, I’d rationalize. This just made me another hypocrite in the world. With this truth staring me in the face, my short-lived career as
a traffic school instructor has just been negated, just another zero to make my life continually add up to nothing.
I needed to get back on track, so I took Highway 99 heading toward Modesto and floored it, still stewing in my own angry juices. Attempting to blow off some steam by driving it off was a total contradiction of what I used to teach, but that was not my concern. I had a raging mad-on and I had to get rid of it somehow.

Unfortunately, the road ahead of me had not been clear. In the fast lane, being the wrong place at the wrong time was an elderly gentleman in a Mercury sedan, traveling way below the speed limit. Semi trucks occupied the other lanes and there was no way around him. Naturally, in the crazed state of mind I found myself in, this brought me back to the boiling point once again. It became necessary for me to encourage him to pick up the pace, right on his rear bumper.

“Excuse me, sir? Sir? You are in the FAST lane. You’re supposed to drive FAST. Why are you driving SLOW? LET’S GO! TOO SLOW! LET’S GO! Would you like a PUSH, HMMMMM????”

I slowly accelerated my vehicle so that it could kiss the rear bumper of Old Man Driver. From fifty to fifty-five to sixty to sixty-five to seventy in mere seconds, I could see him grasp his steering wheel in a death grip. We locked fenders and I pushed the outside of the envelope even further as I took Chuck Yeager here for a blast from the past.
“Mach one!” I cried.
The sound barrier broke as we screamed down Highway 99.
“Mach two!” I bellowed as the glass from the instrument panel exploded into a thousand shards.
Sparks sprayed from all sides of our conjoined cars and I laughed as only demons can. Old Man Driver was frozen in fear. It was all he could do to keep his Mercury in control. The stupid old fart! Didn’t he know that I was in control?
“Mach three!” I cheered as I slammed on the brakes, separating our vehicles and Old Man River was set free.
As if shot out of a cannon, his car was propelled on its own and at even greater speed, veering off to the right and onto the off ramp of an overpass. Up it flew like a raging comet as Old Man Driver and his Mercury ignited into a giant fireball and launched into space, sailing into the heavens like an authentic Mercury astronaut. Jetting skyward toward the edge of the earth’s atmosphere, Old Man Driver suddenly exploded into a Fourth of July display.


Observing the spectacle from below, I led the crowd in a chorus of “Ooh! Aah!”


Copyright 2004 by Scott Cherney

For more information on RED ASPHALT, visit: http://www.scottcherney.com/red-asphalt.html
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