Nightsounds Part 15


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May 24, 2001
Nightsounds Part 15

“The Long Kiss Goodbye” – Part II

Everyone’s eyes were focused on the flashlight, waiting… waiting… waiting…

Dan stared intently at the boost gauge, now reading a little over 8psi, the car straining hard against the brakes, trying to rotate the rear axles while the locked pads kept the car in place. Metallic groans could be heard as the WE4’s rear was now significantly raised from the torque being held in check. A slow, tiny bead of sweat trickled down Dan’s left temple, beneath the helmet, coursing down his sideburn… on down his left cheek… but he didn’t feel it. His eyes were waiting to see the blink.

Roberto’s hand was on the shifter handle and his forefinger against the transbrake button. The motor was also fighting to tear itself loose of anything mechanical that was keeping the huge amount horsepower in check. Metal distended and distorted microscopically as the twisting force on the crank input shaft was held at bay by a simple set of gears… Both stages of the modified TNT nitrous system were armed and waiting for the electronic signal that would arrive to the brain/solenoids in a nanosecond once the required limit switches were met. Vaporized Nitrous Oxide was held back from the intake by only a few milivolts of signal – a vapor that would change the already terrifying personality of the motor into a mechanical maniacal leviathan.

The crowd’s eyes were equally focused but their ears were being treated to a symphony of horsepower and forced induction. People either held their hands to their ears to shield their hearing or they simply smiled that weird smile you see when at the pits at an NHRA race and a Top Fueler lights off. To those kinds of gearheads, a motor that is about to be unleashed has a more musical sound than any Wagner concerto.




<*BLINK*> !!!

At that very instant two things happened at exactly the same time – Dan sidestepped the brake pedal and Roberto released the transbrake. A clock would have shown R/T’s of barely over .4 seconds from the time the flashlight blinked to the launch of both cars. And, since both cars were running auto’s, from here on out, it was a matter of who had done what days, weeks, or months ago to the vehicles. The drivers now were only along for the ride… but what a ride it would be.

At what would be considered a 60’ mark, they were nose to nose, with both cars lifting their left front tires just barely above the surface of the tarmac as they left the line. In little over 4 seconds, the cars were already passing 60mph.

In the Civic, as the switches were made at the launch, NOS vapor was released into the intake tract, supplying an additional 125+ HP to the high-winding V6. The result was instantaneous – the rear tires nearly broke free but they held – barely. Traction was at the very limit with a loss due to tire hazing probably only 20 more hp away. Roberto had the Civic dialed in and it showed.

At the 330’ area, the Civic had a barely perceptible lead, visible ONLY to those who were at that mark and who could see the cars side by side. But the WE4 was now well into 2nd gear and pulling hard. The turbo was sucking in huge volumes of cool night air, compressing it yet heating it due to the compression, sending it hurtling out the down tube into the Intercooler where it flowed through the finned chambers that had cool air drawn from beneath the bumper into the I/C shroud and across the fins, and thus cooled the incoming intake charge several degrees – increasing the horsepower in a non-linear fashion.

The boost gauge showed almost 20psi on the A-pillar. The Scanmaster had shown no indication of knock on the 1-2 shift and O2’s were solid at ~780. So far – so good. The Buick was screaming now, and beginning to make up the few inch lead that the Civic had gained earlier. By the 1/8th mile, they were dead even again. Red taillights were disappearing fast to those who still stood at the line, waiting… wondering… who would win and how soon would they know?…

He pulled the pistol out and held it now, the crowd distracted by the launch of the racers. Slipping the driver’s door open and leaving the Chevelle running, he crept out of the car and begin to work over towards where Sally was standing, her back to him. She was on her toes, trying to see farther, trying to see if her husband was going to win or lose. She did not know that more could be lost tonight than just a race… a LOT more…

The pavement felt warm, even through his shoes, yet the night breeze felt like a lover’s breath upon his grizzled cheek – cool, soothing, comforting. Somehow, evoking memories of happier times. Times before he screwed up so badly. Times when her kisses were his; when her embraces were his; when her body – was his. If he couldn’t have her anymore, then neither would anyone else. To hell with the restraining order that very few even knew about. To hell with rules and “getting over it”. Tonight – was time for a little evening of the score. He wanted her to see, to hurt, to feel like he had felt for a long time now – maybe for a lifetime. She would soon feel the pain, up close and personal…

Nearing the finish, it was anyone’s race. Both cars mechanicals were working perfectly. Roberto’s laptop showed a perfect profile; Dan’s Scanmaster showed every value right where it should have been.

Slowly… one bumper began to creep ever-so-slowly ahead.
People at both ends of the ‘track’ couldn’t tell who was ahead. But HE knew it. He knew it all along; that sooner or later in the midst of this sub-12 second race, the other guy would know he had lost – before they crossed the line. And as he thought, so it was.

Roberto watched the line approaching, now hurtling towards it at over 114 mph. His grin was growing because he knew – he just KNEW he was winning the race. Until –

He looked over and saw the door handle of the WE4 even with his passenger side mirror.

They crossed the finish line that way – the WE4 less than a fender ahead of the Civic.

The racers slowed down, taking nearly another 1/8th mile to do so and then turned back towards the start line. People were already piling into the cars that were at the finish, some of them unable to agree as to who actually won.

But Roberto knew. And now, he was mad.

Very, very mad. He knew that all those words he had said would have to be eaten. He knew that Pez would diss him like none other for losing to a piece of white-bread trash in an old granny car. And worst of all, he KNEW that the respect he had been gaining on the street from all the races before - was now gone. He may as well have had a huge, red “L” tattooed on his forehead. For ‘Loser’.

Well, it wasn’t over yet. As both cars slowed at the finish, people who had beat them back there were saying, finally in agreement, that Dan had won. Barely – but yes, he did win. As both cars stopped and sat idling, things began to fall apart horribly for everyone…

Dan snicked the tranny into park, loosened his chinstrap and saw Sally looking at him beaming. Her huge smile was all he needed for winnings. He pulled the door handle open and stood out, only to turn and see Roberto was already out of the Civic and heading his way, his hand beneath the flowery shirt that covered the waistband of his baggy shorts. There was an angry, odd look in his eye. Sally was at Dan’s back and she sensed something was wrong… the night breeze stopped. Even the crickets had stopped serenading the trees… the crowd was hushed… waiting… watching…

Jason and his girl were striding towards Dan, ready to hand them his winnings. Jason didn’t see that Roberto was pulling something from beneath his shirt… something shiny and small and metallic… nearly hidden in the palm of his sweaty loser hand.

And NO one saw the man with the Glock step from around the white minivan, raise it, take aim and start to slowly squeeze the trigger, muttering…. “This is for you. This is from me. Sooner or later, we all got to see…”

“Dan!!!” screamed Sally, now seeing that Roberto had a gun. Dan, not seeing the same light reflection that Sally did, whirled to see what she had screamed about.
As his eyes focused on Sally, he saw the dark man only 10 feet behind her raising his hand as if he was pointing at someone. Then he heard Roberto yell…

“Hey asswipe, you ain’t getting’ away with this…”

Dan turned once more only to see that Roberto had a pistol aimed in his direction.

The crowd screamed, now seeing only Roberto’s gun. Pez shouted at him – “STOP ‘BERTO! DON’T DO IT!!!”

But it was too late – Roberto squeezed the trigger and fired.

For Dan, for Sally, for everyone there… time slowed to a crawl. There was a flash from Roberto’s gun and then a recoil as the .40mm pistol jumped in his hand and the bullet left the barrel. A bullet that had a black, serrated nose that had just left the casing of an illegal shell. A Black Talon.

The bullet was now speeding in Dan’s direction and would impact human flesh in less than a fraction of a second.

He saw the Latino racing toward Dan. Good – another distraction. Now’s the time. Slowly, he squeezed the trigger of the Glock 21 – a .45 caliber semi-auto chambered with conventional hollow-points, each capable of knocking a man down and leaving a hole in his chest the size of your fist. Imagine what it could do to a woman…

Soon, all would know…

To his surprise, Roberto fired!

Dan saw the flash from Roberto’s gun - and tried to duck… too late.

Sally saw the flash from Roberto’s gun and couldn’t move – horrified, she knew Dan was about to die. And she couldn’t do a thing about it…

HE saw the flash from Roberto’s gun – and then…

he felt the bullet enter HIS chest. Barely before he could pull the trigger. The impact of the bullet knocked him back abruptly and the Glock fired harmlessly into the air.

The bullet pierced the shirt, the skin and hit a rib, just below the tip of Harry’s heart. The physical properties of the Black Talon caused it to mushroom into a splintered shape; the shape of a spiraling eagle’s talon with a much more deadly and sinister mission – to tear and rip flesh, bone, organ and tissue. And it did so remarkably efficiently.

The spiraling mass of hot lead and copper tore Harry’s lungs and heart to shreds. He was dying before he even hit the ground. His pistol rattling off the pavement noisily, people screaming and running; Sally standing looking at Dan and not even knowing what had just happened behind her.

Frozen in place, she watched Roberto walk up to Dan and then reach down to help him to his feet. Dan was white, certain that he had to have been hit and then realizing that he didn’t know where Sally was.

As he jumped up with Roberto’s help, he turned and saw what had really happened. Sally was crying, still standing there with her hands over her mouth. People were trying to see what had happened to Harry (although no one recognized him), and seeing the huge amount of lost blood, could only stare with eyes that wanted to look away but couldn’t.

“What happened?” Jason asked, as much in shock as anyone.

Roberto stood motionless, only his lips moving, tendrils of smoke still wisping from the end of his pistol. “Man, I was just about to bust this homey’s chops for kickin’ my ass on the track and demand another race when I saw your man over there getting’ ready to bust a cap in that bitch’s ass. Now, ain’t no way I’m gonna let a fine thing like that get chilled the big chill – I shot his ass dead. He got what he deserved. Man, ain’t nothin’ worth nothin’ anymore it seems….” His voice trailed off slowly… realizing that now, there would be more cops… more questions… more problems…

Sally spoke.

“I… I just don’t know… I mean, I don’t know how to thank you.”

“Man, who IS that guy, anyhow?” asked Roberto, pointing to the lifeless corpse on the ground. Off in the distance, sirens could be heard, seeming to grow louder…

“Someone I used to know….”, she said….”Someone I used to love… and someone I guess who just couldn’t let go…” Tears streamed down her face as Dan pulled her close and she sobbed upon his shoulder.

A man had walked over to the Chevelle that was still idling, opened the door and shut it off. On the dash he saw an envelope and he picked it up.

“Is your name ‘Sally’ by any chance?”, he asked.

“Yes, her name is Sally” said Dan. “Why?”

“This here envelope has her name on it then. Maybe you better look at it.” He walked over to Dan and handed it to him. Dan ripped it open and looked inside as Sally turned to see what it held.

Inside the envelope were three things. One was a faded picture of happier times. A picture taken when Harry had met Sally at Indy several years ago, taken by Dan that late summer day.

Another item was a end of a Video box. The title of the movie was
“When Harry Met Sally”.

And the last item was an old, handwritten note on a piece of yellowed paper that said, “Harry, Be back soon… Love, Sally”

The sirens grew closer, the crickets chirped again, people began to murmur; the breeze blew once again and the leaves on the trees stirred with the wind…. Traffic sounds over on the bypass once again seem to intensify as Roberto sighed…

And Dan held his lips against Sally’s cheek for a long time that night…

The master has written.....

Best stories on any messageboard/forum bar none.....

You must have been approached by someone to write professionally by now?
Everytime I start to read one of your stories I think to myself man this is going to be great but it will be a while before I read something this good again. However, I always read your stories and there is nothing better going on the internet today.
Thank you for your effort.
Raven if I was publishist you would have been contacted by now to work on a book; but unfortunately I'm just a test engineer.

I've saved all your writings just in case ya make big.

So are the wheels turning with part II for the 'X-file' ;)
That was one bad azz story, with all that heavy metal thunder racing, guns & all that cool stuff,but I gotta go,I think I got something in my eye......

PS:Your a very gifted person to be able to make people feel as if they're right there watching all this unfold, hell I even ducked when that shot was fired!!!!!!

The Darkside:D
What happened?

To the cocky guy in the Cobra R???

I'm still waiting to see if he's okay, or dead or what! :D

Great story!
Big Paul, it told what happened to him in Part 13. :D I had to go back and skim over 13 before i read 14 because I was thinking the same thing.....I thought that the R had just crashed, and 14 was picking up from there. lol :cool:
all i can say is :eek: This story series just plain rules. I came over here just to read Raven's stories (and thanks to that i'm startin to get interested in the TB's) I've read EVERY one of the nightsounds several times now, i spent an entire day at work once reading the older stories (i came in around part 11) because they were that good. Btw, Raven, didn't you write some poem once called "escape"? Anyway, thanks for the great stories Raven....i'm eagerly awaiting more!!
Thank you

To all who have responded or even just read and enjoyed the stories, I sincerely thank you.

And, there are more to come.:cool:
You have got some serious skills Raven, am I the only one who wants to see "Nightsounds: The Movie"? :cool:
Well Raven, you have now covered the gammet of racers from white middle class, to cracker wife beaters, to the black male "Dog", to now the hispanic rice racer. You should write screenplays, that is, if you don't already... Great stuff
Another example...........

of why the "Fast and the Furious" just sucked. Man these are near to life stories and so believable. Thanks from all the real street racers.

Raven rules