Thoughtful Theft

Randy can feel the engine humming beneath him as he presses the gas with a hefty foot. Its soft purring turns into a hum of excitement, pleasure as Matt feels it, an adrenaline that forces his heart to beat faster and his limbs to feel light and tingly.

His hands are firm and still upon the steering wheel as he maneuvers the corners with a soaring precision. His senses are heightened--the texture of the smooth rubber beneath his fingers--he can even feel the grooves of his fingerprint matching with those of the wheel--the soft driver's seat beneath him, and the gentle springing of the youthful vehicle as it presses against the corners and rides the hills with that persistent hum that ebbs right into his very being.

The night is alive with speed and light, rippling lines of yellow flick like whips and curl into the distance, and the night sky gently turns and rotates like a slow, perpetual disco ball.

It is after two in the morning, and the chances of meeting anyone is slim. But Randy can still feel those doubts firing against the back of his mind. At any moment he could swing a corner and come face to face with two brilliant eyes of yellow. The sheer reckless confidence that pins the fear down makes him feel all the more invincible, and he presses the gas harder, his teeth clenched and his eyes wide and sparkling.

He crosses the yellow line on a corner and feels the lightness of his drifting vehicle like a surfer airborne from a wave. The grasses on the edge of the road dance with the sweeping headlights and the shadows roar by on either side.

The chances are slim. Who would be out at two in the morning on this particular stretch of road?--on this particular corner?

The chances are slim, but there is a chance, and that is why he feels courageous in blatantly disregarding the fears.

He gains control again on the straight stretch, and he feels a convincing sensation of immortality. He watches the speedometer. Eighty miles an hour. The next corner approaches. Sensing the tightness of the corner, he rides the momentum out for a few dangerously lingering moments before braking hard to ride the very edge that keeps him on the road. Swiftly downshifting as he hits the corner, he drifts in a beautiful arc, the yellow line sweeping beneath the car like a curling tail.

He grins wildly.

The grin remains on his face even after it is dead and the rest of his face has changed to sudden shock and fear. His headlights show him a quick snap shot of the man he is about to kill, and then his vehicle slows down in time. The man turns and is bathed in the blinding light of the speeding car.

Randy has no time to react. He could not even turn a degree out of line before the fatal impact if he had thought it would change the fate of the young man before him. He sees the eyes sparkle in the headlights, and then the man...jumps.

Randy can only tighten his entire body before the impact, and after his vehicle has breezed a hundred more feet down the road, all he can do is relax again and wonder what the hell happened.

There had been no impact. There had been no bang, no scream, no blood, no shattering of glass, nothing.

Randy brakes heavily and turns off into the gravel on the side of the road. As his wheels crunch to a stop, his mind rattles off a million fears and confusions. He must have killed the man. There was no way the man could have survived. And yet, he seemed to have vanished.

As he throws the door open to the night and dashes out across the shoulder to the road, his mind continues to panic. He'd watched the man jump. But why had the man jumped up, and not to the side? Surely he could not have jumped over the vehicle!

But Randy can think of no other explanation as he runs and stumbles through the darkness to the corner. He knows he will see the body. He knows he will see the blood and broken bones. He knows he will see the suffering of a victim. He must've been traveling so fast that he hadn't even felt the impact.

But Randy is ultimately alone as he slows to a stop at the corner where the man had stood. He blinks in the cool darkness of the summer night, confusion, panic, horror, and relief tugging at him from all directions.

And then he hears a sound. It is a simple sound. It is a familiar sound. It is the sound of a vehicle door slamming shut. But no vehicles have arrived. He turns back to the pleasant red taillights of his own precious vehicle, and stares in incredulous disbelief.

His sixty thousand dollar sports car moves gently from the shoulder, pulls smoothly out onto the road, and drives away into the night.

The End

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