Saturday, September 22, 2012

100TWC - Day 57: Slow Down

"Come on - Ian's brought his car."
"You have got to be joking. He's had way too much."
"No I 'aven't. Only 'ad three pints."
"In the bar, maybe. What about earlier?"
"...was AGES ago. I'll have processed all that by now."

Julie hesitated. Ian was not a particularly good driver at the best of times, but once he'd got some drink inside him he was worse than reckless.

"Come on Ju," Hettie insisted. "We've left it too late to get a cab now. We'll miss the start if we don't go with them."

Ian was already behind the wheel, struggling to get his key in the ignition. It didn't look good. But Hettie had joined Roland and Kyle in the back seat and was holding the door open for her. Ian's new girlfriend - Julie couldn't remember her name - wound down the front passenger window.

"Are you coming or not?"

Ian finally found the ignition and fired up the engine.

"Let's go!" he yelled, revving hard.

Despite the insistent cries of her little voice that it was mad, Julie squashed in beside Hettie and closed the door. Four of them in the back of Ian's old Austin was easily one too many, especially with Hettie being... bigger than average. Julie twisted into the corner to sit on one cheek as Ian gunned the car away from the kerb.

"Not too fast, Ian," she called over the roar of the engine, "we're not THAT late."
"Relax!" Ian leered into the rear view mirror, grabbing it and adjusting it roughly so he could see Julie's face (and, incidentally, her cleavage, she thought). "I'm in total control."
"That's what I'm worried about," she muttered as Ian crossed a traffic light on the cusp of amber.

"Woo!" shouted Debbie (her name popped into Julie's mind) from the front. "Yeah! Go Ian."

Ian grinned widely at the appreciation and began showing off for his "audience", dropping a gear and accelerating toward the next green light. They were still a couple of hundred metres away when it flicked to amber, but Ian wasn't looking. He was waving a hand at the glovebox.

"Open it Debs," he said. "Need another drink."
"No, Ian!" Julie cried. "Wait 'til we're there."
"Come on," Ian insisted. Debbie unlatched the compartment and reached inside to retrieve a quarter bottle of whisky, already more than a third gone. She passed it over.
"Perfect!" Ian said, steering with one hand as he chugged the whisky. The light turned red as they crossed it, this time just the wrong side of legal.
"Red light runner!" yelled Roland. "Forfeit one mouthful of whisky!"

He held out his hand. Ian leaned back with the bottle, spilling it over his wrist. The Austin drifted over to the wrong side of the road.

"Shit," Ian said, more worried about the loss of booze than his errant direction.
"Ian! Watch it!" Julie yelled.
"Sorry!" he laughed, over correcting and swerving the Austin towards the nearside kerb. "Whoops."
"For Christ's sake, slow down. You'll hit somebody."
"Who? Nobody around this time of night round here." He laughed again. "They're all in the pub."
"If you don't slow down, I'm getting out," Julie said loudly.
"Calm down Ju," Hettie poked her in the ribs. "It's only a bit of fun."
Julie looked at her pityingly. "You won't be saying that when you're picking bits of yourself up off the road."

She looked over at Kyle, who hadn't said a word since they left the bar. He looked very pale. A sheen of sweat slicked his forehead, sticking his gelled fringe down in even more bizarre shapes than he'd intended.

"You OK, Kyle?" Julie asked
"For fuck's sake, don't throw up on me," Hettie said, trying to twist away from him and squashing Julie even harder against the door in the process.
"M'OK," Kyle mumbled. "Don't really like small spaces."
"Great. He's fucking claustrophobic," Debbie said, her face pulled into a hard stare. "Hurry up Ian. We don't want him puking in the car."
"Your wish is my command," Ian saluted with his whisky-soaked fingers and floored the accelerator.
"IAN!" Julie yelled, now really frightened. "Stop this! You're going way too fast."
"I feel the need," he shouted, grabbing the wheel with both hands and leaning forward like some maniacal character from Wacky Races, "the need for speed."

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