Monday 1 April 2024

Car Chase by Gill James, prosecco

 The bright red sports car starts up. It's a Jag isn't it? It's so typical of him. This is the new game, is it? Trying to impress with an expensive car. He's been at it for months. Turning up at the same meetings, going to the same cafés for lunch, bringing the post to the office on the third floor. Then finally the assault. He's not even supposed to be here. But apparently he is here. Well it's not going to work. That car may look snazzy but hers is more robust and has greater acceleration.

Soon her reliable old work-horse Audi is setting off down the ramp, along the dual carriage way and on to the motorway. But the Jag is holding its own. You can see it in the rear-view mirror.

Will changing lanes help?

It's easy enough to make the Audi switch from lane to lane and dodge in between other cars, annoying their drivers. Still the Jag keeps up. It's right behind. Is it possible to get more cars between them? A few more ins and outs might do it. Another glance in the rear view mirror confirms that there are now half a dozen cars between the Jag and the Audi. The Audi is in the inside lane, the Jag on the outside.

An exit comes up. This won't lead home but it might help to shake off the Jag. Or would it be better to get home as soon as possible and contact the police? He's been told not to do this. He's breaking his bail conditions.

The Jag is further behind now so the Audi speeds up the slip road. The lights at the top are on red. Change, come on, change. The amber light shows. Too late. The Jag is right behind. Flooring the accelerator won't help. The Jag pulls in front of the Audi which now has to do an emergency stoop. The car behind the Audi almost goes into it. There is a lot of pipping of horns and angry faces as the cars go by.

A man steps out of the red Jag and starts walking over towards the Audi.

She can breathe now. It isn't him. It's her good old Tom who is as reliable as the Audi. She feels the tension drop from her like ice melting in the sun.

He takes her in his arms. "Why did you want to rush off like that?"

"I thought you were him."

"He couldn't afford anything like this. Happy birthday, sweetheart." Tom hands her key to the Jag. "Want to drive her home?"

She nods.

He takes the key to the Audi.

She gets back on the motorway. She feels the car’s power as she pushes the accelerator towards the floor. It is after all more powerful than the Audi. Good. This will be useful. Just in case one day he comes back.  

About the author

Gill James is published by The Red Telephone, Butterfly and Chapeltown. She edits CafeLit and writes for the online community news magazine: Talking About My Generation. She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing and has an MA in Writing for Children and PhD in Creative and Critical Writing.

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