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To the coaster

Dernière mise à jour : 2 mai 2020

As the flare soared into the night sky, Rev jumped into her seat and jammed her finger onto the print reader. It took the tin beast a few precious seconds to start, during which she jammed her visor down and let out a loud “fuck” – an oil stain distorted the already indistinct seascape and the silhouette of the coaster on the horizon. No time to wipe it.

She locked eyes on her destination. Her battered steed rushed towards the edge of the cliff and traced an arc in the air towards the sea below.

The stain made it hard to read the sea surface and the reflection of the others’ headlights. The sound of rival engines grew louder until one of them got near enough for its rider to kick her. She felt the world tip upside-down and straighten again. She was now soaked and cold, and her feet kept slipping from the combination of water and speed, making her craft jerk and shudder. Two of the others had doubled her and were making straight – and fast – for the coaster.

Oh, but she had a trick they didn’t see coming. Reaching under the handles, Rev pulled a reluctant lever and took a deep breath in. Her opponents didn’t see her disappear under the waves. She wasted time going under, but the speed and balance she gained once she caught a current were priceless. She barely saw the other’s lights above her head as she doubled them as in slow motion.

She surfaced a heartbeat before them. She couldn’t let out the taunting laugh she had in store for lack of breath, but it was enough to hear them curse her when she hit the beacon at the base of the coaster at full speed. Money from the race prize would more than cover the repairs on her craft – she could already think about a few improvements that would make sure no one ever doubled her again.

29 April 2020


This piece of flash fiction was written in an hour, entirely thanks to Mary Robinette Kowal's short story masterclass available on YouTube here (click).

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