Finally, a little writing:
Chapter 6: Italy
Life was winding road. Road in rain and shine, road covered in snow. Four tyres gripping, slipping, aching hands pulling at the wheel, on the gear knob, and legs pistoning at the pedals. Anna’s body and its parts had long gone numb, mere extensions of the fatigued parts of her trusty steed as it blew and snorted and groaned and roared its path to legend. Sweat was caked to her face, to her collar, gluing her suit to her shoulders, her breasts, her thighs. But worst of all was her mind, having lost track of all time in amidst the constant cacophony of road noise and white static, and competing voices demanding she drive faster, that she pace herself. And all the while, the aft of the cabin was becoming more and more cluttered with the empty cans and bottles of her rations.
France had come and gone, it seemed, in a flurry of white, four passed cars and a fusillade of what sounded like rather loud backfires. And at the border to Italy, she had spotted the green Bonham, the devil itself, in the queue some minutes ahead of her, and her spirits soared. Her Evo RC had kept pace. The lead was within striking distance.
A quick look at the map revealed twisting coastal roads followed by a long straight highway making a beeline to the next checkpoint in Milan. She knew the Bonham had the speed advantage. So it would have to be in the curves that she made her move.
As the coastal views and the villages streaked by, Anna could feel her sense of urgency rising further. The Bonham was still not in sight and through the smoother curves and medium to high speed bends her auto locker made controlling the car more difficult. Still, she allowed herself the indulgence of cracking the window slat to listen to the V12 whine and exhaust crackle and pop through the tunnels. But as the Evo slingshot into the mountain roads, it was back on mission.
Several dozen turns later and some minutes of a vague sense of abdominal urgency that Anna was studiously ignoring, she saw the familiar flash of bright green, garish against the rustic palette of rural Italy. Some turns ahead still, it flitted in and out of view, tantalisingly close yet still dancing beyond reach. Anna grit her teeth, pushing the Evo’s nose harder into each corner, braking later, shifting down earlier and revving higher. And in that moment Anna pushed too far. The front tyres slid and the steering went light, and the guardrail rushed to meet her. Swearing, Anna jabbed the brakes again, sawing the wheel back, and the wheels bit, but too late. Sparks flew as the quarterpanel scraped along the guardrail with a metallic shriek. The vibrations shook Anna but she held on for dear life, praying the tyres didn’t shred again. Then the corner was over and the car veered back to the road, seemingly little the worse for wear save the paintwork. But she was still in the race.
The abdominal urgency was back with a vengeance now. It wasn’t far to Milan, where she would presumably have to refuel the car and… empty herself. Beyond that, there was still more than half the race left. If she was to catch the leader, it would only happen in good time, and with everything in one piece.