This story was written in answer to Fandango’s One Word Challenge. The word I had to use was ‘Perfunctory’
Perfunctory means: (of an action) carried out without real interest, feeling, or effort.
Here’s what I came up with. I hope you like it …
Jase had just finished a long day working for a shady conglomerate and yet he was driving to work. He had the windows of his grey Supra down, enjoying the wind blowing over his sweating, bald head. The day was hot, even after four in the afternoon. Using his knees to control the steering wheel. He demisted his sunglasses and perched them back on his moist nose. Smiling at his daring manoeuvre, he glanced in the rear-view mirror and sighed. Without indicating he made a fast, left turn.
Two black Range Rovers mirrored.
“So, you’re following me, gentlemen.” Jase rolled-up his windows and tightened his seatbelt. “Let the games begin!” a touch of the accelerator saw his Supra leap forward with a hiss of the turbocharger. It was an older model but the modifications under the hood made it a beast on the road.
He loved the heart pumping rush of excitement and fear felt. Locking eyes on the road, he handbrake-turned with a screech of tires and flashed between two rows of parked cars on a side street. Releasing a breath, he glanced in the mirror.
The leading Range Rover obliterating wing mirrors as it forced its way after the Supra. The second Range Rover was not there.
Jase looked ahead; there it was, blocking the road. “Smart-arse! Guessed my route, did you? Try this …” Jase jinked the steering wheel right, thundered between parked cars and gained the pavement. A woman screamed as the tables and chairs of a café vanished in an explosion of wood and glass. Debris flew over the car, but Jase powered on – avoiding a second pedestrian as he neared the Range Rover. There he wound down the window and gave the driver a perfunctory wave. Grinning, he roared by and he made a left turn to relative safety.
“That’s a point to me. What’s next, boys?” Jase wiped his sweating head and cleared his stinging eyes. His car was stifling hot and wearing a full suit was not helping.
The Range Rovers were still right on his tail.
Jase saw the lights ahead turn red. He dodged passed a van and veered onto the wrong side of the road. Dodging oncoming traffic, he whipped by the line of slowing traffic.
A fuel tanker was coming his way, it would stop at the lights and block him.
Jase accelerated, six metres from a collision, he yanked the wheel hard left, and immediately right again. The car swerved sideways through the crossing, swiping a cyclist onto the bonnet of a waiting car. The second he had traction; Jase added gas, drifting the car passed the tanker into the clearer road. Almost free, he grimaced as the wing-mirror exploded on a railing.
“Eh, who needs side mirrors anyway.”
The pursuing Range Rovers were momentarily slowed. Both used the pavement to get around the lights and were soon right behind the fleeing Supra.
“Persistent gits, aren’t you?” Ignoring slow signs, Jase powering his Supra between cars. He shot up and over a roundabout in a shower of marigolds, grass and earth. The car thumped back onto the tarmac his chest slammed into the steering wheel. The Supra had been hit in the arse by one of the Range Rovers. It pulled alongside, allowing Jase to see a black Benelli shotgun poking from the passenger’s window.
“That’s cheating! We’re car wrestling, not duelling at dawn!” Jase flattened himself.
Twin booms blew out the Supra’s windows, shredded his seat and half the dashboard. A salvo of glass shards assaulted Jase as he fought to stay calm. He felt blood oozing as he straightened and flipped the shooter off. “Scumbag, the valet is not going to be happy with me now.”
The shooter was not done, the shotgun slide ratcheting meant it was being reloaded.
Jase saw the barrel reappear and gunned it. Topping ninety miles per hour, he whipped passed vans, cars and lorries. Wind assaulted him through the missing windshield. He was glad he always wore sunglasses!
The Range Rover came alongside and the muzzle flashed.
Jase slammed on the breaks. The buckshot fizzed into the hood of the shredded car. Accelerating again, he grinned as the second shot missed entirely. It was then he felt the other Range Rover slam into the rear quarter. Jase’s world began to spin.
“I hate merry-go-rounds!” he groaned. The milli-second he had traction, he jammed the accelerator to the floor. Tires screamed as he wrestled his steering straight and powered on. Seeing a sign, he smiled.
ROADWORKS AHEAD – SLOW DOWN
Jase sped up and nodded as the Ranger Rover with the gunner followed suit coming back alongside him. Two lanes become one with roadworks on both sides ahead. Jase held the clear lane with a Range Rover either side – he was the meat in a deadly sandwich.
One Range Rover driver saw the danger. His heavier vehicle careened into the side of the Supra.
Jase gritted his teeth, his knuckles white on the steering wheel as he fought against it. The cars flashed into the traffic cones, some were crushed and hurled into the air by the cars racing passed.
The left Range Rover pulled away. The end of the road was coming. It swerved back at the Supra.
Jase stood on the breaks.
The Range Rover shot passed in front of the Supra, crunching into the other off-roader. Smoking now, it hit a pile of earth and sand, somersaulted and landed upside down in the waterworks trench. The other car, bludgeoned off the road, vanished into a ditch as the Supra roared away through the roadworks.
A few minutes later, Jase drove into an underground car park. The Supra was on its last legs as he nursed it into a parking bay. Getting out, he took a briefcase from the back seat.
“Agent Wickes! What the blazers did you do?” said a man in mechanics overalls indicating the smoking car.
“Afternoon, Larry.” Jase looked at the Supra. It had no windows left. The bodywork and interior were riddled with bullet holes and dents too. “I’m sure a quick valet will sort it out.”
“I should valet you with a huge repair bill. You break every car I give you, damn it!”
“The car belongs to the government, Larry. Do, shut-up and have it sent to the wrecker’s yard. Oh and, Be sure Agent Wickes has another car to trash by morning.”
Jase followed the new voice to an authoritative woman wearing a sharp black suit. “Afternoon, Ma’am.”
“Jase. You got it, I trust?”
“I did, ma’am. Almost got away with the nuclear missile locations unseen. Must’ve missed a camera somewhere.” Jase raised a perfunctory eyebrow to the car.
“Apparently. Go and see the medic. I’ll call you when I need a demolition man – sorry agent for another mission soon.” The woman took the briefcase and vanished into the building.
Jase put a stick of gum in his mouth and grinned. ‘Another job well done.’
Thanks for reading my friends. As always there are more stories to be enjoyed (I hope) in the Short Stories tab.
Have a great day!