Speed Freak (Not a Chick Lit)

(Hmm. Stardate June 30, 2009: I am currently working on this story. I don’t know how this will end but this is the background about a girl named KC Rainer and her life as a motorcycle stunt rider. Oh well, enough of the staid and long-winded introduction Sit back, put your feet up, and enjoy. I’d appreciate any comment on this; solicitations not accepted, though.)

………

She was flying above the crowd of people who had gaping mouths and eyes glazed over with amazement.

From her airborne vantage point, she saw flashbulbs go off from numerous cameras all over the stadium.The air whistled past her. Her helmet muffled the roar of her Thor699 motorcycle. She felt the vibrations of the pistons working inside the powerful engine through her jumpsuit.

In a series of deft motions, she shifted her balance, pushed herself against the handlebars, and stretched her legs out behind her; at the same moment, she grabbed the seat of the Thor.

Flying.

One second… two… three… four… five… … … … eleven… The gasps from the crowd were louder this time.

“Folks, that’s KC Rainer right over our heads, winner of last year’s Shredder Motocross Open Category Cup! ” boomed a voiced through a loudspeaker. “Been asking that girl out a hundred times and she agreed on the condition that I beat her first in what she does best. I am still nursing a broken heart, friends, as the girl knows that I’m afraid of heights.” A collective wave of laughter rippled over the crowd. More flasbulbs went off.

KC was back on the Thor’s seat, eyes alert for the receiver ramp. She angled the motorcycle on a likely spot on the raised platform of compacted dirt. She landed clean as a just-sharpened knife; cheers erupted all over the stadium.

Earthbound, KC revved the Thor’s engine and drove around the track, kicking up a cloud of dust behind her, before she headed to the makeshift shed where her pit crew waited to check the Thor before she did her next set of stunts.

The crew approached her as she dismounted from the Thor; they yelled instructions at each other and offered KC their comments, suggestions, and congratulations for the set of tricks she just did a while ago. KC thanked them, nodded at their suggestions — knowing that her crew did the best they could before she made a run — and then walked to the announcer’s booth. A man with a wide grin plastered on his unshaven face came forward to greet her.

“KC! Dinner with me tonight?” It was Jeb Marasigan. He was the man who told the amazed crowd that he was afraid of heights so he can’t take KC out. He slung his arm over KC’s shoulder and propelled her toward the booth.

“I still pay the bills afterward,” KC said. “You want Sal to kill me?” she dug her elbow into the man’s ribs. Sal was Jeb’s doting yet very jealous wife.

“Ei, Sal need not know,” Jeb grinned. KC rolled her eyes. Typical Jeb. All flash and bang when he’s engaging the crowd, but KC knew that he walked on tiptoes when he’s back in the cottage where Sal held the fort.

Jeb has been KC’s best friend since they were both in fourth grade.

Jeb was there in class when their English teacher had each of them stand up and say what they wanted to be when they grew up. Jeb, being the shortest boy in class, sat up front. He was the first to stand up and tell the entire class that he wanted to be the best racing mechanic in the world. Their teacher gave the generic “That’s nice, Jebron” and proceeded to ask the rest of his classmates, who each told the class, in their squeaky, eager-to-please voices, the standard ambitions of the innocent: teacher, policeman, doctor, fire man, nurse, banker, movie star. All the while the teacher had on a smile that did not light up her eyes.

And then, the tallest girl who sat in the back row, with the hand-me-down clothes three sizes too big for her and limp black hair and sunburned cheeks, stood up and said, in her shy voice, “I want to be a daredevil.”

And the teacher exclaimed, “That is hardly the thing a girl would want to do, Kaitlin Cassandra!”

The entire fourth grade class erupted into scandalized whispers. The rich, prim and proper girls who sat behind Jeb twittered about what they knew of Kaitlin Cassandra Rainer. Jeb heard them.

“Her father left their family for another woman. Her mother washes clothes for my aunt in Rosewater Hills. Aunty Isabell pities her because she is very poor and can’t buy decent clothes for her daughter.” One of the girls — who probably never had to endure hand-me-down clothes all her life — said in her singsong voice.

“Yeah. I heard that her brother died in a motorcycle accident. Daddy says that only crazy people ride motorcycles. Daddy says that motorcycles are the devil’s instrument.” One girl, with a huge pink ribbon perched on her head, chimed in.

“And now she wants to be the devil!” One more girl said in a very loud voice so the rest of the class would hear. The rich girls cackled at this. The rest of the class snickered nervously, not because the girl who made the snide comment about KC Rainer’s ambition didn’t know what she was saying but because they themselves didn’t know what a daredevil was but thought it to be a very dirty word.

But Jeb knew. And from then on, he made it his personal mission to help KC Rainer realize her dream.

(to be continued…)

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