Morningstar Excerpt

Furcas walked out to the gravel drive, everyone’s cars were already lined up.  He pointed glumly.  “Wasn’t sure who was driving versus navigating so they’re all here.  Your maps are on the passenger side.”

Dahlia ran to her car and hopped in the driver’s seat.  She stared open mouthed at the other cars lined up.  “Jaguar XK120, Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, you guys aren’t fooling around.”

Furcas managed a smile.  “We take competitions very seriously.”

Lucifer slipped into Dahlia’s car on the passenger side.  He examined their rally course map.  “We have four large straight-aways and four hairpin corners, some S-curves, look like there are a few hills too.”  Lucifer squinted at the map.  “What is that mark for?”

Furcas grinned.  “There are surprises.”

Lucifer looked at Dahlia.  “Does she need a helmet?”

Furcas jumped in his Aston Martin.  “Not if you do your job, Lucien.”  He winked.  “Have fun.”  He put his car in gear.  “I’ll show you the starting line.”  Furcas took off.

“Off we go.”  Dahlia pulled out after him.

Belial climbed into Andy’s MGA.  She grabbed their map and looked at Andy seriously.  “We’re playing to win right?”

Andy nodded.  “Oh yeah.”

Helion and Paimon slipped inside Paimon’s Jaguar.  Paimon rubbed the worn leather seats; he hadn’t been in this particular car in decades.  He patted around and found a bottle of booze under the cushion.  He popped the top off, took a swig, then handed it to Helion.  “Every good driver knows you drive better drunk.”

Helion eyed the bottle.  “What about navigating?”

Paimon grinned, showing off sharp white teeth.  “Sure, that too.”

Helion took a sip, made a face, and handed it back.  He opened the map and frowned.  “I don’t think I am going to be much help Paimon.  I don’t know what to do.”

Paimon grinned.  “I didn’t expect you to be any help.”

“Then why did you ask me to be your navigator and not Furcas?”

“You.”  Paimon started his car.  “Allow me to race and make sure Furcas is alone.  That way I can hit him and make him lose his cool.  It’s just not healthy to bottle things up as much as he does; he needs to go crazy once and awhile.  See?”

Helion shook his head.

Paimon laughed.  “Just buckle your seatbelt kid.”  He peeled out.

Ahead of them, Furcas took a sharp right and went up on a dirt road.  The other three cars followed.  He idled in the grass and pointed.  A dirt track went off towards the trees; he revved his engine.

Dahlia revved her engine right back at Furcas.  “I can go faster than you Cass!”

Lucifer squeezed Dahlia’s hand.  “If you feel the need to hit one of them with your car, do not feel bad about doing so.”

Dahlia laughed.  “I am not hurting my new baby!”  She patted the seats.  “I love my Cobra.”

Andy and Paimon pulled up next to them.  Andy gave Dahlia a thumbs up and pointed to his shirt with a potato on it.  “Team Spud for the win right Dahl!”

“We are Team Red Devil!”  Belial whapped Andy in the ear with the racecourse map.  “Get it right!”

“Okay!  Okay!”  Andy covered his head.

Paimon smiled at the others.  He held his bottle of booze up, it was half-empty.  “I am planning on hitting all of you, just so you know.”

Furcas leaned out his window.  “This is not a demolition derby!  It’s a rally race!”

Paimon grinned wickedly.  “It is now Cass.”

“Bastard!  If you hit my car, I swear…”

Apple popped out of the trees with a flare gun in her hand.  She made sure they saw her.  “You all have one of these in your glove compartment.  If you get stuck, crash, or are in danger please fire it and someone will be there to help.”

Lucifer took their gun out, looked at it, and placed it back; “We will not need this.”  He leaned over.  “Let one of them go first Dahlia.”

“Why?  That’s boring.”

“They will set the traps off.”

Traps?  What traps?”

Apple held her gun up.  “Ready?  Set.  Go!”

“Go!”  Dahlia hit the gas and sped out in front.

“Not so fast!”  Furcas was on her heels.

“All right!”  Paimon whooped and veered into Andy.

Belial hissed from her seat.  “Hit us and you die!”

Lucifer frowned as his eyes watered in the wind.  “What happened to letting one of them go first Dahlia?”

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