WEDNESDAY: Narcissus on Speed

BY VIVIAN MEDEIROS

Copyright is held by the author.

EVAN ADMIRED himself in the reflection of the puddle, turning his head for a better look. He loved the way his blond hair swept away from the perfectly straight part and fanned across his forehead. Black eyes stared back at him. So dark, they created a contrast to the light colour of his hair, but at the same time had a velvety softness that held you captive.

“Damn, I look good!”

He pulled the helmet on his head, cringing as he did so, because he knew it would mess up the carefully placed strands. As much as he loved racing, this was the part he hated the most. His hair was one of his prized features and he spent countless hours styling it to perfection.

As he settled himself in his go kart, he couldn’t help taking another glance at his reflection. A slight breeze created ripples in the water, and he marveled at, even distorted, how flawless his image remained.

Something smacked him hard on his shoulder and he heard his mechanic yelling at him to start his engine as he jabbed him with an umbrella. So absorbed was he, that he hadn’t heard the Director calling for the race to start. He wasn’t concerned since he was going to win the race anyway.

And just as he predicted he took the checkered flag, leading with half a lap.

The girls flocked around him when he came off the scales, as they did every race. They were all talking at the same time.

“You were just awesome!”

“Those passes were amazing!”

“The way you coasted through the finish line . . .”

He left his mechanic to take care of his kart and, with a quick lift of his hand at the girls, he strutted to the paddock. He waited until he was under the canopy to remove his helmet, away from the others. He had a mirror and comb close by and, without pausing, quickly worked on his hair until it was perfect.

“Those chicks, man! They were all over you!” Logan, another young racer, rushed over and excitedly squeezed Evan’s shoulders.

“Well, when you look so good, and race like I do, there will always be girls. You’re only 14, but when you get a bit older, I’ll give you some pointers.” At 19, Evan felt he not only dominated the race track, but the entire dating scene.

“Eeeeevannn!” A high-pitched, screeching sound reached his ears, so unpleasant it settled deep inside and deposited a ringing sound that rendered him temporarily deaf.

He shook his head to clear the racket and turned to look at the owner of the voice. Chrissy, one of the girls from the group, was running towards him. Evan groaned at the sight she made: her animated breasts had a life of their own and threatened to knock her off balance, but thank goodness for the flapping arms that seemed to keep her from toppling over! The smile she attempted to make alluring looked more like a sloppy, ruby-outlined grin, and she was batting her eye lashes like miniature fans on speed.

“I just loooove watching you race, Evan! Do you want to, like, grab a burger or something?” The eyelashes sped up as she talked.

“No, Chrissy, I can’t. I have to work on my kart for the next race. So go away.” And, dismissing her, he turned to his mechanic who was bringing back his kart.

Her smile quickly diminished and, dejected, walked back to her group of friends.

“What did you do that for, man! She’s hot!” Logan jumped at him.

“She’s all yours, kid.” Evan shrugged and started looking for the tools he needed. He quickly forgot all about poor Chrissy and concentrated on making his kart even faster than before.

It wasn’t long before his class was called back to the grid and Evan was once again seated in his kart waiting to get on track. He led the race and in the second-last lap, undaunted in his ability to win, became over-confident and eased up on the kart.

That was his downfall.

Sophia, in second place, saw her opportunity and didn’t hesitate to take it. Foot depressed as far as possible on the gas pedal, she made her kart fly and waved at Evan as she glided past him.

Enraged, Evan gave chase and quickly closed the gap. But in his cockiness, determined to regain the win, he made an unsafe pass and lost control. He came to a stop on the grass and, no matter how hard he tried, he could not get his kart started again. He lost the race that day.

Smacking the steering wheel with a gloved hand, he looked out onto the track as the other karts whipped by. As he stood up to get out he caught a glimpse of his reflection in a puddle.

A strong gust of wind stirred the water. He looked down, only to see his once perfect image maimed by a jagged crack.

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