My mom doesn't know anything about my racing. She doesn't't even know that the firebird was mine. She thinks that I'm simply looking after it, because it use to belong to Polly. And quite possibly the biggest secret I'm keeping from her is the fact that I know where Polly is and that I have communication with him.
I still remember the day that I met Polly. I was thirteen, hanging outside the ice cream parlour in town, by myself like always. He came, and sat down across the picnic table from me and ordered two rootbeer floats. I looked up, and stared. I may have never met my father, but we had pictures of him. And I recognized him immediately.
He smiles and introduces himself.
"How do you do, Patricia."
"You! You're my dad!"
He nods and his smile widens showing off his really white teeth. I can't see his eyes because he's wearing thick black sunglasses. "That I am. I'm also sorry you didn't get to know me while you were growing up, kid. But that doesn't mean we can't be friends now, right?"
I nod eagerly. Young and naïve as I am, I'm still a little freaked out about the situation. He could have been a rapist. "So are you coming back home now then, dad?"
He grimaces and shakes his head slowly. "Dad doesn't please my ears. Just call me Polly, alright hun?"
"Then you can't call me Patricia. Call me Trixy."
"I hate Patricia. It's so snobby and proper."
He laughs. "I said the exact same thing when your mom suggested that name for you. But she didn't listen to me. Well... I never listened to her, so I guess it was mutual."
"So you're not coming home? What should I tell mom then?"
His smile fades and he shakes his head vigorously. "No, nope. What ever you do kid, do not tell that mother of yours that you talked to me. Or even saw me. Just don't even mention me to her."
Polly had left my mom a couple months after I was born. It turns out that he had never told her that he was a drag racer either. And when she found out, she threw him out of her house like a bag of rotten potatoes.
Like father, like daughter, I guess. I just hope if mom ever finds out about my racing, she won't throw me out.
I slide out my window, like I've gone so many times before and I jump down onto the tree outside my window. I then push open the door leading into the garage, and get into the firebird. I put it into neutral and let it roll out of the garage. My mom's bedroom is right above the garage and she'd wake if I started the engine in there. Once it's out in the driveway, I start the engine and pull out.
I keep my speed down as I make my way to the track. I don't need to be busted on my way to the race. I'm not even old enough to drive legally on the road, and there is no insurance on the thunderbird. So, no license, no registration and no insurance. Ticket to failure.
I pull up to my destination I see a small gathering of people. There aren't nearly as many people as there usually are, but that happens once in a while. And plus, this was a last minute deal.
Everyone turns their attention on me when I roll in. There are the regulars, Jim Thorton and Reighly Gregg, the couple who own the Maaco shop in town. And Kandice Cross, who usually just comes to the races with her boyfriend Carter, who's standing a little way out of the cluster of people, smoking, as usual.
Then there's the offending crowd. These people look strange to me, and I notice that even as I'm pulling up. And I mean strange for drag racing fans. Which is pretty intense.
I park next to what looks kind of like an El Camino and a Camero mixed. It was clad in silver and black, and had a hood ornament that looked like a set of wings speared on a sword. The hub caps were gleaming chrome and had wickedly sharp spear ornaments that stuck out a goor five inches, and would probably take the paint right off the thunderbird. I made a mental note to not get too close.
I get rev the engine to call my Coyote to the challenge. A man in a leather jacket and jeans steps out of the crowd. He's tall, 6 3" maybe. He's for short cut brown hair, hit bangs spiked un infront. He's attactive, I tell myself. Hopfully he's not a sorry loser, though.
He throws a glass of what I think is a Manhattan to some spectator and flashes me a grin. He slides across my hood cockily - I bite the inside of my lip and rev the engine again as he jumps through his window into his rig.
I make sure my helmet is on right and crack my knuckles.
"You're going down, Wile E."