“We gotta do it.”
“Don’t want to.”
“Have to.” Holding out the lifejacket. “Coppa’s already onto us.”
“But, not like this?” Heel-taps unlaced boots onto the dirt. Snatches the yellow life preserver and slips it over her ponytail.
“I don’t wanna do this anymore than you.” Holding out the motorbike helmet.
“Can’t we do it another way?” Slipping the helmet on her head.
He stepped forward and secured the strap beneath her chin. “Sure, we could sell tickets? Recoup our costs. Maybe fetch a profit to go towards our next one.”
“But the Coppa might show up.” She screwed up her nose. “Or worse – grown-ups.”
“Reckon they’d ruin it.” Holding out swimming goggles, a pair of flippers and a snorkel. “D’ya want it?”
“Why not.” She slipped on the hard plastic swimming accessories. Scanned through goggles over drought riddled farmlands where a crowd gathered on bicycles, motorbikes, and unsaddled horses. “I’m ready,” pushing up her goggles, and took large flipper-flapping steps over dry cracked earth.
“We got top shelf,” holding his hand out, he pulled her upwards.
“Only ‘cause your welding lesson’s been gold.” She grinned while shimmering bare knees onto the hot tin roof and gripped the metal tripod.
“Which is about to be tested.” Checked his helmet, secured his lifejacket, lowered his goggles and looked at her with a conflicted grin. “Ready?”
Goggles and snorkel adjusted. Heels and plastic flippers tried to grip hot metal. Small hands clasped onto the steel tripod before her. “Yeah, let’s do this.”
His foot stamped on the roof. “Let ‘er rip, Blue.”
The engine inside the dented, door-less, Datsun roared into life. Black smoke vomited from a missing exhaust pipe blanketing its bullet-hole riddled exterior. The wetsuit cladded driver and co-pilot, lifted helmet visors gagging for air.
“GO. GO. GO.” She shouted from the roof, knuckles whitening and her heart raced.
Beneath bald tyres, red dirt showered upwards like an inverted waterfall. Clang-attee-clang-clang of the matchbox-rubber-banded engine rattled in its unsecured bedding. It Kangaroo-hopped with a crunch of gears. The chassis rattled rust free while groaning and shuddering onwards.
The crowd screamed. Arms waved in the air, similar to whip wielding jockey’s urging the mashed-up-mini-monster to move.
Down the dirt track, faster and faster the small rise approached. Black exhaust thickened like rope disintegrating skywards. The rat-a-tat-tat egg-beater’s-engine mixed with excited screams of chasing children.
“Here we gooooooooo,” his hand covered hers gripping the welded spotlight’s tripod. Both fighting the urge to close eyes behind fog-encroaching goggles. Smiles widened, dust-riddled hot wind, whipped against exposed skin and escaping helmet hair.
The engine screamed along with its passengers’. With an almighty roaring rush, wheels left the rubbly rise. And as if on invisible wings, propelling it to fly.
Over the sun-soaking railroad track. Over the sparkle of scattered white pebbles amongst struggling weeds. Over the shadows of the squat scrubby hill, and…..
Into the dam.
Brown bore water washed over the car like a tsunami chasing a surfer.
The internal passengers’ exited door-less gaps and splashed for the screaming spectator covered, clay banks.
A simple pirate flag, painted on Nana’s sheets, waved from the tripod. Like captains on their sinking ship, the diver-clad-duo saluted the crowd, on the roof of the vehicle they’d gone road-rouge in and escorted their toy to its watery grave. “That Coppa won’t find it now.”
Based on a true story …..