Published by Oi Polloi of Cottonopolis

Image by Eóin MacManus & Mike Sallabank

Image by Eóin MacManus & Mike Sallabank

A Few
Behind In
A Souped

Part III of a short story by Sam Waller


Quickly gaining ground we’ve got an Opel Manta, driven by The Green Reaper. Green by name and green by nature, this earth-child is on a one-man mission to rid the world of injustice. This may sound like

a bold undertaking for just one man but he’s already given up eating meat on Wednesdays, rode his bicycle to his mate’s house last week and even refuses to travel by aeroplane (unless it’s somewhere he really needs to go; like that full-moon party in Thailand and maybe Serbia this year if he can get tickets for that psytrance festival in time). But how comes he’s a race-car driver then, doesn’t that make his carbon footprint bigger than a size 13 Red Wing boot? Well, this fine automobile may look like a gas-guzzler, but it’s actually been modified with a souped up, soya-protein powered engine — running on leftovers hustled from the bins of a Chorlton-based health-food emporium.

Up in front Mellow Yellow was still locked in a deep slumber, dreaming of whatever race car drivers dream of, when a soft buzzing started to enter his conscience. Rising slowly out of his deep sleep, like a woozy wasp crawling out of a wine glass, he tried to make sense of the noise. The soothing sounds of Alan Rickman were still enveloping the car’s interior, but beneath that he could hear a definite buzz, slowly building up to a full-bodied hum. A car was coming. Out of the corner of his sleep-filled eyes he caught a green blur, getting larger and larger in his rear-view mirror. It was the Green Reaper and his Mother Earth- approved eco-wagon, approaching fast.

Mellow Yellow had already narrowly avoided a Wacky Races cliché and now it was starting to look like he was about to star in remake of everyone’s favourite Aesop’s fable, the Tortoise and the Hare. Worrying that his life was slowly becoming a series of events shamelessly copied and pasted from popular culture, he started up his car and accelerated. With both cars now bumper to bumper vying for the win, all honourable sportsmanship went well out the window and dodgy tactics were the order of the day. Road-signs were rotated, super-slippery oil was leaked onto the road and drawing-pins were thrown under tyres as the drivers jogged their brains for ways to get ahead, shamelessly mining every mid-afternoon bank-holiday Monday film they’d ever seen. 

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