Road Rage

 
Art by:  Fred Augis

Art by: Fred Augis

 

“You’re going down. I’ll smear you, hasher.” Rancid snarls, slams his visor down. Throws a leg over his bike, turns the engine, pulls a chain from his saddlebag and spins it around his wrist making a thick ball.

Dice grunts a laugh. No one smears me, fucker. Never has. Never will. “Let’s do this.” Hops on her bike, pulls the mace from its magnetic holder on her back. An iron pipe with a lithium ion battery running inside the length of it, a flip of a switch and it’ll give a shock powerful enough to kill an elephant. Also fry a car, or motorcycle for that matter.

Rancid ties his scarf to the loop at the back of his helmet, hits the gas, and tears out of the parking lot. Dice gives chase, her own scarf trailing in the wind. They fly past factories belching smoke into the neon lit sky. Billboard blimps pass overheard, cigarettes, condoms, lotto games, ads for vice after vice. Rancid cuts between an old truck and a police cruiser. Dice follows. The cop spots the scarves and let’s the bikers go. It’s the rare cop that gets between a road feud and lives with the story.

Ahead, an onramp curves up to the freeway. Rancid takes it to the third level, zags behind a triple-trailer semi and guns it. Dice loses sight of him, hits the gas, dips her head, and shoots down the lane weaving between cars.

A flash of bright metal slices the air, cracks her left hand. A sudden tug almost breaks her grip. Rancid’s chain is wrapped around her hand, she shakes it free. Passes her mace from right to left and swings. Rancid hits his breaks, the mace misses him by feet. Dice mashes the gas and sends her bike screaming down the freeway, checks her mirror and grins.

Spinning his chain in the air like a lasso, Rancid chases. They zig-zag through traffic, drivers gasp in surprise and fright, then curse and wave their fists in anger. Damn road ragers and their feuds. Dice cranks the throttle, leans hard to swing around an old sedan, skims the ground with her knee, sparks fly, rights her bike and charges on.

Rancid reaches into his saddlebag, throws something. Dice has enough time to spot the caltrops to turn out of their way. The car next to her isn’t so lucky and has four flats a moment later. The screech of slammed brakes, metal crumpling, the shatter of glass catches Dice’s ears. In her mirrors a pileup starts. Damn it, Rancid, you’re not supposed to bring innocents into this. Not the first time he’s done it either.

Dice flips a cover on her gas tank, hits a switch, drops low, holds on tight, and exactly three seconds later her bike lurches. The burst of Nitro surges through the engine. She blasts down the freeway after Rancid. Hits a hundred-twenty, one-thirty…one-forty. As she passes Rancid she twists his scarf around her mace like wrapping cotton candy on a paper tube. Jerks her hand down, snaps his head to his right, and keeps going. Rancid is ripped from his bike. Dice drags Rancid fifty yards then flips the switch on the mace priming the battery, lets go. Rancid and mace tumble along the freeway at a hundred miles an hour. They connect. A burst of electric blue ignites.

Feud over.