A short story written as part of the Summer Prose Competition 2011 Challenges 3 and 4
Tyron sat behind the wheel, grumpy and weighed down by disappointment. He was disappointed in his superiors but mostly he was disappointed in himself. The rusty truck rattled on the bumpy road with difficulty as he pressed the gas pedal down as far as it would go. He could hear, and feel, the springs beneath the old car seats creak, precariously waiting to snap, any moment, from the pressure he was exerting. But none of this mattered to him. He was quite oblivious to the nuances of his journey. All he cared about was getting there and he was prepared to do whatever he had to save what he could. He was about to make the biggest mistake of his life. The worst thing was that he did not even realise it.
The intense darkness around him was starting to subside and the mist that had haunted him throughout the night's long drive was starting to ease up. He could already observe a hint of blue showing through the horizon. The cold air of the night transformed itself into a refreshing breeze. It made him all the more persistent to drive faster. Joe would be waking up at the crack of dawn and he had to be there waiting for him. His bicycle was strapped to the back of the truck, the tire mended and brand new.
It had not been easy keeping those secrets all those years. Try as he had wanted to reveal the truth, he had found himself holding back. His dyed hair kept his age concealed, though the lines on his face showed through his years. Joe had never noticed, always caught up in his delusions. Flashbacks, he had called them. But delusions were what Tyron knew them to be. He knew them for a fact because he had created them, diligently and painstakingly customised delusions that were so real anyone could mistake them for truth. He had done this for years, going as far back as when Joe was just the child he nurtured and watched grow until the day he had found out about the Summit. It was then that he realised that he had been tricked and had been used all along, duped into picking Joe as the subject of this experiment in which he had willingly involved him.
They had no time to lose. The Summit was meant to be this dubious project's launching pad and it was meant to happen tonight. In defiance of orders, he had been banned from attending. He had to make sure he got to Joe before the others did and before it was too late.