Blur

Life had once been defined by linears and absolutes. Now, the only straight lines Sacha experienced were on the straightaways, and the only absolutes involved winning or losing.

Sacha had always been different, unique. She had been a tomboy, but there was more to it than that. She had loved cars from a young age, the faster the car, the better. And having been raised to believe that a girl could do anything a boy could do, she never once doubted her dream of becoming a professional driver. As a teenager, she had prided herself on her skill and, when she became the first woman to enter Formula 3000, she knew it was due to her fearlessness and her speed.

Driving is a tough business for a woman. Only one or two have made it into the sport, and even then, their careers have been fleeting, their success tinged with a hint of the sexual, and, with one exception, they have not reached the level of Formula 1.

When Sacha was hired as the number two driver for the Hungarian Czintos Formula 1 team, she appreciated the significance of this achievement but she was not the least surprised: she had been working toward this goal since she first sat behind the wheel of her father’s car.

The same could not be said for her teammate, Odi, the Czintos number one driver. There is always tough competition between drivers, even within the same team. But Odi hadn’t been exactly sure how to approach his new female teammate.  Until she started out-pacing him, race after race. At that point, he had started treating her like he would any other second who was beating him. And that suited Sacha just fine.

Sacha forcibly pulled her attention back to the road in front of her.

“Stop thinking philosophy,” she mumbled to herself. She must have spoken aloud and the team manager’s deep, Italian voice crackled to life in her headset, asking her to repeat herself.

“Nothing,” she replied through gritted teeth, struggling to pick up speed as she accelerated out of the apex.

She could see a streak of red approaching from behind in her side mirror.

She breathed deeply, inhaling the thick, acrid smell of fuel, dust and hot rubber. She focused on the throaty roar of the engine, allowing it to pull her in, to reconnect her with the car. She was the car’s mind; there would be plenty of time to consider her life and career after the race.

Though, if things went according to plan, she would be busy drinking in her victory after the race, not philosophizing.

She accelerated, decelerated, then manoeuvred the car a hair to the right, forcing the red blur that had been approaching up the inside to linger behind her as she wound around the corner of Sainte Devote.

Coming out onto the straightaway again she shifted gears and put her foot down. The sleek, marmalade-orange car responded immediately, shooting forward, pulling away from the irritating red of the lingering, hungry Ferrari.

To the spectators, she was a streak of improbably vibrant orange against the distant aquamarine sea, a vibrant sun rising over the Mediterranean, a blur of colour across the opulent, pale buildings of Monaco.

As the end of the straightaway approached, she slowed into the turns of Massenet, Casino and Mirabeau. Within seconds, the sea was on her left and she was disappearing into the tunnel, the engine echoing off the walls all around her.

But now the roar didn’t even distract her. She had the finish line in her sights.

The Monaco track was famously tight, full of turns, and the most difficult for passing. A Czintos wasn’t expected to win, not at the hands of Odi, and definitely not at the hands of “La Madame,” as she was called.

The chatter on her headset had informed her earlier that Odi had retired with engine failure. Since then, Sacha had managed to coax her sleek machine up through the line, and, at the last pit stop, past even the Ferrari.

She checked her mirrors; no red. Something must have happened to it. It was never far behind and always managed to pass her.

But the road behind her was clear. And so was the road ahead. She was seconds away from victory, seconds away from being the first woman to win an F1 race.

It would be a photo finish: a spark of vibrant orange setting the distant, brilliant blue on fire.

deviantart.net

Word count: 750

Written for the Speakeasy #151 at Yeah Write.

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26 thoughts on “Blur

  1. Awesome! I think my palms are sweaty from this vivid, blow by blow description of racing. You write like someone with a deep understanding of the sport, knowing the names of each turn. I like your descriptions of how racing sounded, what it smelled like. This is a feast for all the senses and a great pleasure to read.

    • Thank you for such a wonderful and appreciative comment! I’m really very happy that you enjoyed this piece. F1 is a bit of a hidden and unlikely passion of mine and the Monaco course is my favourite (though I must admit, I did have to verify some of the names of the turns). It was a great trip to imagine and write this.

  2. Though I do not know how to drive a car nor am a fan of speed,but loved how this grew on me.I was on the edge of my seat rooting for Sacha 🙂 Loved that last line and the lines,”To the spectators, she was a streak of improbably vibrant orange against the distant aquamarine sea, a vibrant sun rising over the Mediterranean, a blur of colour across the opulent, pale buildings of Monaco.”Wow!

  3. This was a great extra shot of adrenalin with my morning coffee. Wonderfully written. I found my self at the edge of my seat.

  4. Loved it! The idea of such a fierce female racer is very interesting to me. When I was really little I thought I wanted to race cars. Then I got older and I thought better of it lol Still a good read!

  5. I love this. So intense and so vivid depicted, it was like I was watching from the stands. Gorgeous imagery throughout, but I adore this line in particular: “pulling away from the irritating red of the lingering, hungry Ferrari.” Awesome work. Awesome use of the prompts. 🙂

  6. I truly enjoyed this! It’s very well-written, and the subject matter is unique. Really excellent imagery. I especially loved these lines: “She breathed deeply, inhaling the thick, acrid smell of fuel, dust and hot rubber. She focused on the throaty roar of the engine, allowing it to pull her in, to reconnect her with the car.” Karen

  7. I’m not really into racing, but was rooting for Sacha! I was on edge, hoping she pulled through and won. I like how you used the artists name, as well as the blue and orange colors from the photo. Nicely done, I really enjoyed the ride. *Whew* 🙂

    • Thanks, Janna, what a nice compliment. I’m glad you liked the use of the prompts and it’s wonderful to hear that people noticed the artist’s name popping up. I like to do that, especially when I can’t think of one on my own 🙂

    • Now that IS a compliment and a half! I’m humbled to know I was able to achieve that mood. Each track has its own feeling, doesn’t it? And of course Monaco is quite unique. Thank you for reading.

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