#888² SHORT STORIES² – S1 E3 – THE LUCKY NUMBER

Red or black?“, she could hardly make out the question when the screaming V12 engine climbed up the hill effortlessly. But the question seemed to become obvious once they passed by the infamous Monte Carlo Casino, turning right after the Casino Square. It wasn’t her first lap around the streets of Monaco, but her first time in an actual race car when the track was closed down for traffic.

Red or black?“, he asked her again, as they were chasing down the straight that followed. “Don’t you have to pick a number?“, She waited for the next bend before giving her answer, knowing that the car would idle at around 3000 rpm in first gear around the Grand Hotel Hairpin. Shouting didn’t seemed to be appropriate for a lady, but she had a hard time breathing being strapped tight into the bucket seat anyways.

Photo by Javon Swaby on Pexels.com

You want to put it all on a single number?“, he replied with a puzzled face, or at least that was how she imagined it. That he could speak on the radio and drive at the same time seemed to be a wonder by itself, but now he was going to think it through. Oh god, what have I done. “Break! For Christs sake!“, she exclaimed, but it was too late.

The car hit the barrier hard, causing it even to get thrown back onto the track. “I am so sorry!“, he said after catching his breath. “Are you ok?“. “I am fine!“, he answered rapidly, looking over to her side. “We better get out of here before somebody is crashing into us!” “Sounds like a plan!“, he replied as she was opening her harness in a split second of time and was already jumping out of the car and over the safety barrier into safety. It was the muscle memory kicking in, allowing her to repeat the innate procedure. Normally there was a steering wheel blocking her way, but having sat on the passenger side, this made her egress time even faster.

What takes him so long?“, one of the Marshalls asked in broken English. “Money doesn’t buy skills!“, she replied harshly, waiting for him to start laughing before allowing her lips to form a smile as well. “A good one!“, the old man replied, looking at the struggling pilot trying to climb out of what was left from the Aston Martin Valkyrie. “Madonna! Such a shame! Look at the car! Look at it! What has he done! He has destroyed it! Look! Madonna! “, another Marshall entered the group angrily. He was looking very sad and it was obvious that for him, this car represented more than just the sum of its parts.

As the driver finally made it out of the car and over the safety barrier into safety himself, his body language seemed to be relieved. The fear of getting hit by another race car drove him crazy. With his hands trembling he removed his gloves and reached for the opening mechanism of his helmet with his sweaty hands. “8“, she said to him, pointing to the large sign above them. “Portier”, he could read. “Your lucky number will be the number 8, tonight! The corner in which you crashed!

See you next time!

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