Stay with me!
. . . Beyond the screaming crowd and motors roaring, all the driver hears is the continuous pump of his heart. A flash of green catches his eyes, fueling his senses, as he slams on the gas pedal. From zero to a hundred in less than six seconds, he’s immersed in the race. As the first curve appears, he bears left. The asphalt becomes a blur and taillights threaten to attack from the front, but he keeps going. He bears left. A car swerves by; he’s determined not to lose grip—his brakes screech. Drops of sweat form on his face in the oven he’s driving—ventilators are nothing against anxiety. He bears left. Curves appear and disappear as he contours them into straight lines. A car spins. He sees the yellow flag right as he breezes through a three-car wreck. He bears left. The checkered flag slams into his vision in one exhilarating second—the finish line is now behind. The driver stops the car and exhales. As the seatbelt against his chest is recoiling, he lets go of the wheel and pulls off his helmet. He welcomes fumes into his lungs as a sign of life. The driver opens the door, gets out, and smiles. Yet as any adrenaline junkie would, he immediately dreams of the next race.
Can you see it?
Not the scene, but the wild ride the mind of a writer is on. We’re junkies. We race to get every turn and every curve performed at the precise speed and angle that is needed and expected of us. We brake and pause in our stories to avoid a crash disaster. We cross the finish line and wipe the sweat off, celebrate surviving, patch up whatever scratches we gained during the race, cry over the losses, and smile at the outcome. Then we write “The End” and we know it is, in fact, the opposite. It’s just a segue into our next jump to another race, another track, another story.
S. Katherine Anthony