A massive explosion detonated behind Sylvie. An unnatural wave of heat washed over her and the shock waves radiating outwards gave her a moment or two of free forward compulsion as her lungs and legs burnt with the exertion of running. Sylvie didn’t turn to see the destruction, she just kept running, her ears ringing. She didn’t need to see them, to know they were behind her.
The dog kept pace beside her, even though he had the ability to out run her twice over. He was in for the long haul with her.
One moment it was black and the next Sylvie was blinded by a brilliant, white light seering her eyes. Sylvie stopped, even though she knew she had to keep run, throwing an arm over her eyes to protect them. The night was rocked by a second explosion, Sylvie ducking instinctively. The air filled with thick dust and the smell of burning rubber and a black car materialised from the night, coming to a dramatic halt, sliding 180 degrees and stopping behind Sylvie, forming a barrier between Sylvie and the mob of red-eyes.
A door was thrown open and a loud whistle rose above the roar of the suped-up engine idling.
Sylvie was certain it was a trick of the light or the trauma of going from the dark to the overwhelming light, but the car appeared to be alive, a ripple of scarlet, gold and red shimmering and moving in the black paint. The steel body of the car looked as though there were muscles and sinew straining in anticipation below the skin of the paint. The headlights blazed not just to the front, but to the sides, the light wrapping around the car and beyond in an impossible fashion.
The dog’s bounded away and Sylvie turned to see it leaping into the dark abyss of the car’s interior without a backwards glance to her. The door stayed open.
Sylvie hesitated, remaining hunched over, trying to catch her breathe.
“Are you waiting for someone else?” The voice sounded muffled and distorted, playing tag with the tinnitus in her ears. “You look like a midwife–not a drug-fucked freak?”
Sylvie could see the firestorm beyond the car and wondered if it was the firelight on the ducco, playing tricks with her eyes. She walked the few steps to reach the car but instead of getting in, she and Sylvie reached out and laid a hand on the car, certain it would be warm and pulsating, alive under the touch.
Her disappointment was short lived as a hand grabbed hold of her and dragged her into the car, the door shutting behind her under its own steam.
“If it weren’t for all that ragweed covering you, I’d say you had a death wish midwife.”
Incorporates Paul Anderson’s challenge (rag weed) and my initial experience with the book Urban Primitive. This black mustang was the original idea from which the rest of the story sprung.