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Return of My Speed Demon

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

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Guess what?

My Speed Demon came back.

I haven't seen it in 10 years.

It just knocked on the door and when I answered, it was staring at me with a baleful, expectant glare.

So, that's what I did. I just stood there and stared back.

Finally, it said, "let me in, human."

I stared at it for a minute more, calmly reached for a wrench beside the door and proceeded to bash it on the head.

"No," I said.

Its eyes flared bright red, its horns poked out, and its tail turned into a lightning bolt as the air electrified. I raised my wrench again and it did something completely unexpected: its horns drooped and its tail changed back and it looked at the ground and said, "please?"

I wasn't quite sure what to do, but I stepped aside and waved it in.

I offered it some coffee, but it just laughed in derision and replied, "I consume souls."

It paused for a moment and continued, "coffee would be nice, though."

After some stilted attempts at conversation, it turns out that it never did find what it was looking for out there in the world.

Then it asked to come back.

I didn't know what to say.

We talked about what's happened in the last 10 years.

I told it I bought another Saturn when the last one was dying.

It's red eyes glowed and it looked completely aghast and I could tell it was eyeing the door with indecision. "Look," I said, "if you don't want to be here, my door is always open for you to get the fuck out."

It settled back down.

"If you'd been here, you'd have seen why I bought that Saturn. It was a great car. I really loved that thing. It wasn't brutal like a Muscle Car, but it was fun to drive."

It just looked at me in dead silence. I could tell it didn't even want to entertain what I was saying.

Then I told it I replaced it with a Cobalt and I'd never seen its eyes get so round before.

"I know it's not a Muscle Car, but it's an SS Supercharged and even though it's a front-wheel-drive, four-banger, it’s a factory race car and faster than most of the '60s Muscle Cars."

It relaxed a little.

We finally started to get along, but I had to explain that there are some ground rules. Ground rules it isn't going to like. Rules like:

  • It's going to have to be satisfied with posted speed limits and road trips when I can't afford to go to race tracks – and I currently can't afford to go to race tracks, and that likely isn't changing any time soon.

It just closed its eyes and nodded.

I finally told it if it wanted to go fast, it was going to have to help support it. No more ordering, nor more demanding, no more expecting me to do everything. It was going to have to pitch in and pull its own weight.

Its horns popped out and its eyes glowed red.

I reached for the wrench.

We spent some considerable time staring each other down and it finally had to accept that I meant everything I said.

For now, we're testing the waters, and we'll have to see how this goes. We both have some things to work on, but who knows.

Ryan

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