The Race

The Race

Image Courtesy – Daniel on Pexels.com

The cars racing towards the finish line prompted quick and wild rapturous applause from the crowd, egging on the two front ones to outsmart each other.  The tires screeched, squawked, dusting themselves in thin air as the pedal continued pressing further.  The steering pushed them in almost every awkward path possible as the tires continued following the command with unwavering accuracy.

The last few hundred metres and now everyone knew it would be either of these two, the blue or the red, which will take the spoils.  There was no one else visible even distantly; more than a thousand eyes stared at the two drivers, who, even though under tremendous pressure, continued trying to outsmart each other.

A sharp turn forced the red car to slide a little deeper into the curve as the blue followed, hunting it down, taking over in a flicker of a second, racing past, leaving the other driver to feel as if he had committed the final hara-kiri.

The Red, however, immediately recovered and continued unperturbed, tailing the blue like a spurned lover, sure of getting past it soon. Another, sharp turn and the red, couldn’t control again, slipping even deeper, swerving itself farther on the turn as the red now felt assured of its impending victory.

The beads of sweat collected themselves amidst all this strain and couldn’t finally maintain their composure; to fell inside the helmet, slowly absorbed by the padding as the red driver sighed out loud, an acknowledgement he might not catch up, distinctly heard by his staff on their headphones.

‘Drive, enjoy, treat them as the final 400 metres of your life,’ he heard on his microphone, suddenly realizing he had given just a moment ago and was now jolted by this abrupt exhortation his mind was least expecting.

The distance was big enough for blue to take it for granted.  He knew he was in the lead, so long, he could even afford to take a long deep breath and could even afford a few blinks.

A loud screech forced his attention to waver for a moment as he temporarily lost his focus; he could feel red crawling past him again, the sudden turn robbed blue of his balance, throwing away everything, the lead and even the chance of completing the race.

The Red was back in the lead; he heaved a loud sigh while something inside prompted him to carry on without losing it now.

However, the crowd couldn’t believe what they were seeing when suddenly the black announced its arrival to the scene with a bang, rushing past the upturned blue and close on the heels of the red now.

The driver appeared fearless, his machine manoeuvring through the turns like a beast, following its prey, gliding past every obstacle as if they don’t even exist.

‘A few more seconds,’ the voice shouted in the ears of the Red as he suddenly felt uneasy with an unexpected moan on his microphone, unable to comprehend why he needs to worry.

Will the last turn prove decisive? 

The red, wanting to finish the race immediately, did the unthinkable, although something he had always yearned to do in an actual race.

The crowd’s ecstatic call was for the black now; they all supported the underdog; black had pretty soon swapped the red’s role, after blue’s abrupt exit, while the Red was now in blue’s position.

The Red sighed deeply once again, it all boiled down to the last 10 seconds, which though felt endless, every heartbeat, every moment, suddenly turned slower, everyone could feel it, even the crew inside the pit, Red’s feet continued pressing the pedal, while the hands manoeuvred the steering, a loud screech reverberated in the air, as he too suddenly smelled his burning tyres screeching on the asphalt.

He finally blinked, his hands raised themselves above the steering, the eyes stared ahead for a moment as the tyres crossed the finish line, the front ones were well past it as he knew the result of the race, assured of his victory.

And then the unthinkable happened.

Even before he could shout out loud, the black raced past him, the distance shorter than even the length of his car.  Although the red car’s front tyres crossed the line first, it was the black’s rear one, which triumphed against its red counterpart.

The half-raised hands suddenly froze in the air, as the black driver now had the authority to raise them, but he did so only after the race got over.

(Race, that’s as unpredictable as our Life)

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