by Izumi Ryu
Writer's Cramp entry. There's a reason the brake button is there.
Jeff suddenly moved his arms up to shield his eyes as bright light shined, giving his eyes time to adjust. The first thing he saw when his eyes adjusted was a steering wheel. He looked around to see about five other cars surrounding him, stopped at what seemed like a starting line. He tried to find the buckle to the seat belt but couldn’t find one. He beat on the window trying to get someone’s attention, but no one was around. Even the car next to him had no driver.
“What the Hell is going on?” Jeff asked. The track he was on looked realistic enough, but the spectators were still, frozen in place. “Some bad accident with Gran Turismo or something?”
Jeff wouldn’t get his answer as the lights came down, signaling the start of the race, giving him no choice. Jeff put his right foot on the gas pedal, placed a hand on the gear shift and another hand on the steering wheel. He had never raced in his life, but playing these racing simulators gave him an idea on what he needed to do. He was just thankful he knew how to drive at all.
As the light turned green, all six cars, including Jeff’s, dashed off to start the race, Jeff pressing on the gas. It felt odd to him as he pressed it, as if it went down faster than it should have. It didn’t matter he had a race to survive. He had to take control of the situation now. He tried to pay his attention to the road and the cars only in front of him. The ones behind him didn’t matter now as he started to pull between the frontrunners.
Jeff then noticed that his control of the steering seemed off. He was getting the lead now, but it didn’t feel like he was in complete control. He took a glance at the speedometer realizing he was exceeding 120 miles per hour already. He had taken the lead, but the fact that the previous leaders had slowed down didn’t pass his notice.
Then he looked up and realized the hairpin corner coming up on him. Jeff, tried to push the brake in, but it refused to budge. He tried pressing down on it harder and eventually slamming his foot repeatedly. He saw the steering wheel was trying to turn already, but the car wasn’t moving with it, too fast of a speed on too sharp of a corner. The car itself started sliding fast towards the wall. Jeff’s heart beat at a much faster rate as the wall closed in quickly on the driver side of the car. He continued to slam on the brake repeatedly despite how futile it was.
The wall hit hard, causing metal to crunch together. The car’s interior had pinned Jeff further in as the heat of the car intensified. Jeff’s body was crushed, but he was just alive enough to see the fire just outside of the windshield. It slowly started to spread within as Jeff struggled to find the release on his seatbelt, but he couldn’t find such a button. All he knew was the fire had finally reached him, and started to burn him alive. He cried out in pain as he blacked out, finding himself back in the limbo he was in earlier.
Everything was starting over. The pain had subsided, in fact, he felt like his skin never touched by fire or the rest of his body. As he sat there in the infinite abyss, light shined again, revealing he was at the starting position once again. There was only one person Jeff knew that drove that badly and would have complete control of his car like that. “That’s the last time I’m letting my little brother touch my games,” Jeff mumbled in annoyance, turned into dread as the next race began. He once again started to find a way out so he could stop his brother from killing him repeatedly.
Word Count: 768