Blood Derby follows on from Miss Amanda (Part 2) and In the Whorehouse (Part 1). The Hartog series of stories are set in a near futuristic world as a cross genre exploration of speculative fiction and detetive noir.
The bass thundered and Melody MC’s “Dum Da Dum”, the retro 90’s dance mash-up began, pumping the crowd, who needed no additional priming. But it was tradition.
The semi final bout had drawn a capacity crowd of fanatics and another record bidding match for the broadcasting rights.
Blood Derby had become the official National sport earlier in the year after the ice was pulled on the Hockey League – the Elders citing environmental concerns. The water conservationist applauded it, as did the derby sponsors. The hockey managers said they couldn’t compete with short skirts, plunging cleavages. The cynics whispered private visits from the Derby girls to the Elders had sealed the deal. Hartog didn’t really care. After tonight he was unlikely to ever set foot in another derby arena.
Hacking into Miss Amanda’s client base hadn’t been easy, but it had been worth it. He was learning. Learning quickly, aided by pass codes he could only have ever dreamed of possessing. Portia Nader’s case was opening previously guarded doors. This was no ordinary flasher/slasher case torn straight from Vice and Device case files.
Coming across Richard’s name had been like mana falling from digital heaven. A quick call had relieved Richard of his two season derby tickets, bought Hartog the perfect meet-up venue and gave him ammunition to throw at Lucinda should she ever crow Richard’s virtues in his presence. A promise to a man like Richard was a flexible notion and he knew he never intended to actually stay mum about Richard’s extra curricular love life. It was amazing what you could learn from an itemised bill. Not that he was planning on seeing Lucinda any time soon. She’d made that abundantly clear.
Hartog slipped his hand into an oversized foam hand he’d bought from a stadium vender. The middle finger was upstanding in a singularly unpatriotic pose. He laid it across his lap and tried not to image it was a huge penis resting in his lap, reminding himself he was determined to look the part, without going all out on an overpriced t-shirt and hat.
Hartog’s visitor sat ramrod straight next to him, even as he was sideswiped by the huge arse of an overweight man, trying to return to his too small moulded seat, mustard oozing over his hand from his second hotdog in ten minutes. Not that Hartog was counting.
The ref’s amplified whistle shot outward from the centre of the rink like a line of gun powder, racing towards the keg. A cheer exploded from all sides of the stadium as the two Jammers, skating ten feet behind the main pack accelerated forward to make their first jam.
The Scarlet Penetrator’s jammer in her diamante encrusted red tutu and black leather bustier nudged ahead with two huge strides. A naughty peek of ruffled black lace knickers showed, as she bent down. Her fishnet clad legs criss-crossed as she cut directly across the path of her rival, tacking for the outer most edge of the pack. Hartog caught a split second flash of the blades on the hubs of her wheels.
His guest remained unnaturally still, obvious, in the seething maelstrom of Penetrators supporters, hands folded in his lap, knuckles white in the roaming strobe lights.
The Betty Buster’s ‘blockers’ at the centre of the pack, kitted in skimpy lycra nurses dresses barely containing their iconic large breasts, drove at opposing points in the centre of the pack, forcing open a rush space. The Buster’s ‘jammer’ hurtled through but was caught at the last moment as the Penetrator’s ‘pivot’ threw herself against The Buster’s ‘block’, forcing both of them into the ‘jammer’s’ path.
The ‘pivot’ and ‘block’ won the battle to stay upright. The ‘jammer’ fell as the pack sped past.
It splattered the white uniform and flowed out onto the pristine, polished floor. The howl of protest from The Busters camp on the opposite end of the stadium was reflected and amplified on their side by cheers.
“This should be interesting,” Hartog said, leaning into his companion’s ear to ensure he was heard.
The injured ‘jammer’ clambered to her feet and after a few wobbling strides, gained her equilibrium and rhythm. The blood flowing down her leg pooled at the top of her boot and then down the sides, leaving red tracks as she sped towards the pack. The blood slick made the coming lap more dangerous.
“The lame duck flies again.”
Hartog got to his feet and rooted with his arms in faux animation, taking the piss more than finding solidarity among the Penetrator’s fans. He thrust the ostentatious foam finger in the air just for the hell of it. Christ, he wished, somehow, that his boss was watching. He shoved the rubber digit in the air one more time, because he could hope and then sat down.
On the opposite side of the rink a Penetrator was down and from the huge real time screen above the score board it was obvious she wouldn’t get up. The tide of blood beneath her was spreading quickly.
The fans were on their feet screaming out in protest and outrage, then in encouragement. Her injuries had the potential to be fatal. The seat beside Hartog was suddenly empty.
“Time out. Time out. You can call that?” He looked hopefully down to Hartog who shrugged his shoulders. “Surely you can call time out. TIME OUT.”
“Shut up, dickhead,” the guy with the mustard stained hands yelled, grabbing at Hartog’s companion and shoving him back down in his chair. “Our girls ain’t pussies.”
There had been two reasons to insist his guest meet him at the Blood Derby. Firstly Hartog had heard, this man had a penchant for girls iwith long legs, short skirts and big boobs. A bit like Richard. There was plenty of those here tonight. Secondly, Hartog was counting on the sight and smell of the blood to loosen Benjamin Nader’s tongue.
Thanks to the Brisbane roller derby bad girls, Sheryn and Gabrielle ,who first introduced me to roller derby via their Facebook Statuses. Looking forward to seeing you girls in the flesh at the Convention Centre!
Image from Crude City Roller Derby located in South Texas.