A Darker Shade of Fear - Pt 13


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We All Value Something…

Dan and Sally headed down the bleachers and joined up with the surprise driver of the evening, Jenny, who had just beaten the HEMI with her Silver Mark IV (not the same Jen who was Carl’s girlfriend, who at first was what they had thought when they heard the name). It was the first time anyone could see this Jenny’s face since she had kept her helmet on ever since arrival. She was slender and small boned with short-cropped red hair. Freckles dotted her nose and cheeks and her green eyes seemed to accentuate her high cheekbones.

Noticing that Sally was near, she nodded a hello as they neared the tower base. There, they saw the others assembled. Joshua had changed radically in appearance. He now had a shaved head and apparently had been working out with gusto. Megan stood closest to him with Zane to her right (who appeared to be saying something to Rico and Megan). As the trio approached, the conversations stopped and Megan (with Sarah behind her) just smiled as the stopped in front of the others.

“Well, here’s the deal. I’ve beaten every one of you – other than Jen and I’m pretty sure I can take the Ricer too. But this isn’t the street we’re at, as you know. Tonight we’ll see who’s got what when it matters most.”

Her grin disappeared and she looked directly into Dan’s eyes. “Do you remember what I told you when we left the courtroom that day?” Dan had no clue where she was going with this and his blank look said so.

“No, Megan… not really. I recall that you were pretty upset as was I but I don’t remember you saying anything monumental.” Megan’s face remained expressionless.

“Now Daniel, think… think HARD. I made you a promise. Remember?”

Sally moved closer to Dan and pressed against him, the night air even chillier. The others seemed to be keenly interested in what Dan was about to say next – other than Jen. She thought it was a very awkward moment and shifted her weight nervously from one foot to the other.

Still, Dan could not recall and the questioning was beginning to piss him off. “I give up Megan. I never was as good with the head games as you are, so go ahead and clue us in, ok? We’ve got some racing to do.”

Megan still did not reveal any emotion. “I told you that I would have it all someday, Dan – remember? I told you that someday, you would learn that it’s very important to keep valuable things close and safe. Remember now?”

A chill crept up Dan’s spine with those words. He DID now remember that phrase, how Megan’s voice seemed to be hollow and empty but at the time he just chalked it up to emotions. Now, a lot of things were beginning to seem uncomfortably creepy.

“Had any good DREAMS lately, Danny boy?”

My god! How could she know about those dreams, Dan wondered. His face may have been calm but inside he was anything but calm. How could she know?

“How about you, Joshua? Any good DREAMS lately?” Joshua grinned wickedly through perfect teeth. “Oh yeah, baby… I’ve been dreamin’ REAL good.”

Sally had had enough. “Ok Megan, cut the crap. What in the hell has this got to do with us racing here tonight? Either set it up so we can run or we’re out of here. This is not anything like we thought it was going to be so put up or shut up.”

Megan’s face was stone. “NOTHING is like it ever should be Sally… I thought of all people, you would know that.” Sally’s eyes were burning holes through Megan but Megan didn’t care. Off balance and out of their environment was exactly what she wanted.

“Aw, c’mon Sal – just havin’ a little fun here! Lighten up!” Sally glanced up at Dan who only shrugged his shoulders. He was definitely confused big time.

Megan changed directions completely, which seemed even more odd. “We’re going to run three races here – only if you are willing to lose your car. How about it? Wanna run for titles tonight?”

Jen spoke first. “Nah, I’m outta here. I’ve got too much invested in my car to risk it to some sleazy dyke like you.” Apparently, the touches by Sarah were not unnoticed by everyone. She turned and briskly walked away.

Zane spoke next. “Not me, man. I’ve already lost to you Megan. I’ve got other things to do anyhow.” His last sentence seemed purposeful and scripted, something that Dan picked up on quickly. Zane left the area and headed back to the Pits leaving Joshua, Rico, Dan, Sally and Megan alone.

“You guys remember Joshua, don’t you? Remember the little fire incident at the finish line when he was running Joe’s Viper a couple of years back?” Joshua’s face was stone once more, oblivious to the glances his way by people trying to remember what he looked like back then.

“Hey, Rico” interrupted Megan. “Don’t you need to be somewhere?” Another odd glitch in the moment noticed by Dan and Sally as they watched Rico form an “Uh-huh” on his lips and disappear in the same direction as Zane moments earlier.

"It looks like it’s down to the three of us – almost like old times, eh Danny boy?” Now it was Dan’s turn to lose his patience.

“Megan, Sally’s right. Is that what this is all about anyhow? A ‘You’ versus ‘Me’ thing? Jesus, Megs – what is with you anyhow? Life’s too short for this crap. If you want to run – and Lord knows you’ve got possibly the fastest car that’s seen this area for some time – then let’s run. If you want to keep playing spook fest and twilight zone, we’re outta here. Now what’s it going to be?”

Dan moved a step towards Megan to emphasize his frustration. She only grinned, not worried in the least.

“Bingo! You’ve guessed it right, Danny boy! It IS all about you and me and it always has been. So tonight is payback time for me Dan. I’m going to run you in your choice of cars since I know you brought Sally’s X and you’ve got your TR. Heads up, no get out of jail free car, no passing go and if I win, I get your car. You win – and you won’t – you get ANNIL8R and I’ll disappear.”

Dan noticed that some of the crowd had left but that most of them were still in the bleachers craning their necks to see what was going on. The music on the PA kept anyone from hearing what was said, so most figured it was just some friendly wagering being done between Dan and Megan.

“Sally, what do you think?” Dan seemed to have found his zone now that all the cards were on the table – or so he thought.

“Go for it. You can beat the bitch Dan and she knows it.” Her glare towards Megan said even more of what she was thinking.

Megan ignored the insult and simply said “Meet me at the line in 10 minutes.” With that, she turned and left but not before catching Joshua’s stare and nodding her head in Dan and Sally’s direction. Dan didn’t see the subtle signal nor did either of them notice that Joshua went in another direction.

Dan looked at his watch as he and Sally strode toward the cars – that would make it midnight on the dot. ‘How ironic is this?’, he mused. Racing a witch at midnight on Halloween? He could only chuckle at the irony.

Joshua walked out to the parking area to his vehicle, a black ’03 Suburban with all the glass blacked out. Inside the vehicle was an assortment of hardware items, including rope, tape, shovels, and something much more sinister – two Glock 21’s in shoulder holsters, both with full magazines of .45 caliber Remington hollow points. He slipped one holster around his frame, donned a dark red windbreaker, jumped in and started the Suburban listening to the custom installed Duramax (with the Allison 5 speed auto, donated by a wrecked 3500 4x4) smooth out. He then pulled the truck around to the staging lanes, turned off the lights and secured the truck, all the while smiling to himself as he ran through the plan in his head. Everything else was in place – it was simply a matter of waiting for the inevitable to take place. Yes indeed - revenge IS a dish best served cold (and without warning). By now, someone else should be taking care of business.

A shadowy figure had walked up behind Sally who standing alone back of the start area. She didn’t know that he put his hand inside the jacket and brought a gun’s muzzle forward until she felt it jab hard into her back. She drew her breath in sharply and started to scream/turn just as the attacker whispered “Keep your mouth shut, don’t move, and it will all be fine. Come with me.”

Sally was now completely frozen in terror. She did not know who was behind her and jabbing her ribs but she DID know what a gun felt like. She felt the pressure from its muzzle try steer her to her right and back around, toward the big GMC that she saw pulling up just a moment ago. Fear now gripped her soul as she couldn’t begin to imagine how much danger she was in but she knew it had to be very, very grim if she was being abducted at gunpoint. Nor could she imagine why OR who was behind it? She wouldn’t have long to wait to find out.

Nearing the Suburban, she heard it start and saw a gloved hand reach around her to open the door. For some reason, the glove looked familiar. Even in the midst of her terror, lights began to go off in her head. Where had she seen a glove like that before???

Meanwhile, the clocks showed 11.58 as both cars pulled to the line. Rico’s voice came over the PA.

“Ladies and gentlemen, here is the race of the year.” Rico’s ambition to be a radio DJ had some merit.

“No one and I mean NO ONE has beaten the Mercury you see in the left lane. In the right lane, we are going to see Buick’s finest itinerant of the Turbo Buick world – a GNX. I’m told that the X is not stock and I believe it. I’ll say no more – enjoy the race.”

With that, Rico bailed out of the announcer’s box and descended long staircase out the back of the building toward the big SUV close by. Making sure that no one was looking, he opened the back door gate and jumped in, slamming the door behind him.

ANNIL8R was in the midst of the burnout, the line-lock holding the big sedan in place as the 29” tall slicks were beginning to heat up and vaporize the water on their surfaces. Within seconds, the entire water box area was a white cloud. The line lock was released and ANNIL8R lunged forward as the slicks bit hard. It then pulled up just short of the beams and waited for the X.

The GNX with Dan behind the wheel mirrored the burnout but with slightly less smoke and pulled up even with the Merc. For a few seconds, the cars just sat there idling as the crowd wondered why they didn’t pull ahead. Then, just as Joshua’s watch beeped and announced it was midnight, ANNIL8R pulled into the pre-stage beam and the light went yellow.

The X pulled in right behind it and now both “Prestage” bulbs were lit.

Immediately, the sound of both cars changed as the drivers began to add some throttle in anticipation of creeping into the “Stage” beams. Both were running open exhausts but the Buick’s V6 sounded offbeat compared to the rhythmic pounding of the Mod Motor under boost. Eerie shrieks and whistles were rising in pitch and the crowd was hushed. Oddly, no side bets had even been discussed. The mood was eerie and somber and the wind had suddenly ceased just as the moon disappeared entirely.

As ANNIL8R broke the “Stage” beam first, a bat swooped down and nearly hit the windshield of the X just as it was moving forward. Everyone could see that something must have startled the driver since the car jerked to a sudden stop which caused the body to lurch nose down. Then, it moved on into the light and now all ambers atop the tree were lit as the drivers essentially floored their accelerators hopefully timing the proper launch boost to coincide with the time to release the hordes beneath the hoods.

The sounds of boost screamed into the cold night air just as some in the stands thought they felt a few cold raindrops on their faces. The dash mounted boost gauge in the Merc showed 3… 4….5…6psi and yet the trans brake held it all in check.

Over on the A-pillar, the Autometer Boost gauge was also moving upward slowly as well – over 6 psi and only the first amber had lit on the tree.

*BLINK* The second amber came on.

Joshua could see the Stage Bulbs light and started the truck just as Rico had jumped in.

“You got everything man?”

Joshua nodded.

“Good. That’s real good… this is gonna be interesting.”

As the second amber lit, both drivers began to put pressure on their trans brake switch and then released them just before the third amber illuminated. Their timing was perfect – both had identical .40 R/T’s.

Immediately, both cars lunged forward hard and the crowd cheered. Two black warriors from two different worlds were now locked head to head in mechanical combat with only one possible winner.

ANNIL8R was from the prep finishing school where finesse was everything and image meant nearly as much as function. From the gleaming high intensity fog/driving lights to the base coat/clearcoat paint to the modular motor with barely over 280 cubic inches now developing several hundred horsepower, the theme was technology reigns supreme. It had leather and buttons galore, dual zone air conditioning, and reading lamps at every corner. It came with enough braking force to stop and aircraft carrier and the tires alone cost more that the whole factory rear end of its antiquated foe. It even had four doors. It had a list price when new and bone stock of nearly two and a half times that of its adversary and had a ride so smooth, one would think he was in a limo and not a sports sedan.

In the other corner was a car from days gone by, where sharply angular lines and rectangular headlights were the norm. When Disco was in and Ecstasy wasn’t a pharmaceutical. Stock, it had handling best described as adventurous and alert – inducing. Its braking system was a nightmare with guaranteed headaches for its owner down the road. And yet, it commanded more respect when new than any other car of its generation. And even now, though its V6 gave away 2 cylinders and nearly 20% of displacement, it didn’t matter – 16 year old technology or not, it still could kick some serious ass – thanks in no small part to the power adders sitting at each front corner of the valve covers. The drive train was now bullet proof from the input shaft to the hardened and over sized wheel studs. The Centerline wheels were light and reduced rotating mass by several pounds, a huge factor in developing speed off the line. It’s transmission was a work of art, massaged by Vince Janis in Akron, Ohio and built to be capable of handling 1600 horsepower and still be streetable – barely, but still streetable. The Driveshaft was hardened aircraft aluminum, surrounded by a bright red Safety Loop to keep it in place in case the u-joints might fail. However, even that was unlikely – they were straight out of the NHRA F/C parts bins.

Dan had decided that perhaps a new plate would be fitting for the car and had just installed it that morning. Sally had chuckled at the suggestion at first but when she saw the plate she couldn’t agree more.

TRMN8R Asta la vista, baby…

The noise from the lanes was overpowering and several in the stands covered their ears. Even the sound lowering qualities of the turbos could not hush sufficiently the deafening roar of nearly 1800 horsepower being released upon the world. In less than 1.4 seconds, the 60 foot line was crossed, side by side.

Joshua and Rico watched the two figures approach the SUV with the one in front reluctantly doing so. The interior lights had been switched off so when the door opened, it stayed dark. However, they had donned ski masks just to be even safer so identifying them would be hard – as if that would even be possible.

Sally climbed into the back seat and was shoved violently across the dark leather to the other side. She turned to look for the first time at who had brought her to this moment but couldn’t make out the face – it had some sort of mask on.

“Turn your head around. I’m going to blindfold you.”

At first she defied the order that came from the front seat but then she recognized the voice just as she got jabbed harder in the ribs by the gun that was now visible. She complied and felt the blindfold flop over her head and then the lights went out. She then heard another door open and shut and felt someone slide next to her and her abductor and whisper something but she couldn’t make it out. Then, all was silent once more.

She heard the truck start and then felt it start to move in a wide sweeping turn before it straightened out picking up speed quickly. She had no idea which direction they were going and she was scared, wondering if Dan would have to identify her body. Tears filled her eyes when she thought of how sad he would be to have to do that and oddly, that made her very angry…

At the eighth mile, the cars were still dead even to the naked eye. The crowd was all on its feet but not one had noticed the abduction that had occurred right beneath their noses. The race held all their interests.

Dan’s head jerked back hard as the 2-3 shift came on. The nose of the X stayed low and true though as all the horsepower was put to use at the rear wheels and not wasted in incorrect body pitch or movement. He felt a bead of sweat on his upper brow and the tickle of its movement as it tried to move down beneath his helmet. The focus was on making sure the transmission shifted as programmed and so far, so good. This was definitely shaping up to be a very, very tight race.

Joshua and Rico were silent as was Sally’s abductor. They all stared intently out the windshield as they drove quickly down the return lane with the lights out. Their goal to meet the cars on the return road at the shack would work flawlessly.

The finish was coming up quickly. Both speedometers were reading nearly 130 mph and there were a few hundred yards to go before the beam would be broken. It was then that Dan noticed that he couldn’t see the nose of the Mercury in his peripheral vision anymore. It had fallen slightly to the rear.

In 9.68 seconds, the old school Titan had humbled the prep boy gigolo. And, with over a tenth to spare – the Merc ran a 9.79 which was a great run; just not great enough. Dan felt good… real good. He knew Sally had to be cheering at the gate even as he led the Mercury onto the return road.

As he turned he saw a shape of a big truck or SUV down near the time slip shack and it was sitting sort of crosswise on the road. Slowing as he approached it, he saw a person waving for him to stop. Figuring it was someone needing some help he did so, not paying attention to the fact that the Mercury was right up against his rear bumper which prevented an exit.

As he stepped out of the X with his hands on the door glass as he began to step around, he saw the figure step into the headlights. The GNX's grumbling exhaust note sounding agitated to only be idling as he tried to identify who was in his headlights next to the SUV.

It was Megan! How could THAT be???

Then, who was driving ANNIL8R if this was Megan? He only had a second to think that thought as he saw Megan grinning at him until he felt the hard jab of a gun barrel in his lower back and heard the whisper “Let’s go speedy – someone wants to talk to you.”

As he walked around toward the SUV, he heard it start up as Megan said, “Climb in. Winners deserve to ride not drive, right Danny boy?” The contempt in her voice was as heavy as the fog that eerily was beginning to creep in visibly in the headlights of the truck that had just came on. Thankfully, the rain had stopped he thought distractedly.

He started to speak but was jabbed hard again when he did. Wisely, he decided that maybe now was not the time.

As Megan pulled open the door, Sally heard her voice ordering someone to put a blindfold on Dan. ‘Thank God! Dan is here with me’ she had time to think before she realized that now they both in some very deep trouble.

Zane finished tying the blindfold behind Dan’s head and shoved him into the truck next to Sally. He could hear sounds of movement from what must be four or five other people in the truck but couldn’t tell who was who due to the blindfold. He heard the driver pull the transmission shifter into gear just as he heard a door open and someone get out then slam the door.

He could hear the familiar ‘Ca-chunk’ sound of the door to the GNX being closed as well as the change in the motor as someone put it in gear. As he felt the truck roll back in what must be an attempt to turn around, he could hear both cars pass ahead of them and then the truck pull in behind them. They only went a short way before they turned perpendicular to the track and out a gravel drive onto the side road parallel to OCRP.

No one spoke until Sally asked, “Where are you taking us?” He heard a voice say shut up, just as he heard the sound of duct tape being ripped – twice.

Suddenly, he smelled – then felt – the nearness of the tape, just as it was slapped over his mouth, nearly covering his nose and making it hard to breath. The smell of the plastic was powerful and he knew that Sally had been given the same treatment too – he could hear her whimpering, near crying. For the first time in a very long time, Dan felt afraid though not for him.

He was afraid of what they might do to Sally.
To be Continued… (sorry, but this story is just too complex to be able to wind it up in 13 parts! RAVEN)


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Originally posted by Robes87GN
Good story, but i didnt know suburbans had duramax's put in them.

"... custom installed Duramax (with the Allison 5 speed auto, donated by a wrecked 3500 4x4) ...."

Porbably overlooked that, eh? ;) (Thanks for pointing that out.)


New Member
Ahhh yea.....

thanks in no small part to the power adders sitting at each front corner of the valve covers

Very nice



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Originally posted by momau3

Now were all off balance. When's 14 coming????

Part 14 will be posted no later than November 9 (Sunday).

So... how ya likin' it so far? :eek:

Scott Long

140+ mph club
I printed out each chapter and have been taking them to work and reading them during my lunch break. I'm all caught up as of today. Good job so far. I like it, now I'm anxiously waiting for #14 to come out. Is this your first attempt as a writer or is this just your first story that has buicks and cars involved? Keep up the good work.


Senior Member
Scott,do a search with Raven`s name. There was Nightsounds he did a little bit ago. I think theres a few more,not sure. I think someone hear had a link to there website where the other Raven stories are at.
cant wait for part 14