Music Boost

"On your mark!"

"Get set!"


Daniel pressed the accelerator button and the jet engine that he sat on roared. The jet cycle bolted forward and he held on for dear life. He screamed as his speedometer went past 50, 100, and 150 miles an hour. He skimmed five feet above the ground, which blurred into indistinctness. The scenery around him flashed by and he grinned as he took the lead over the other five racers.

"Slowpoke!" Daniel heard through his helmet as Audrey raced by on her own jet cycle. She wasn't even bothering staying in a seated position, instead hung on like superman to the handlebars. It was a dangerous move, but one that reduced her drag coefficient, allowing her to take the lead.

Rather than copy Audrey's technique, Daniel hunkered down and took a more conservative approach. By staying seated, his theory was he could navigate the tight turns of the course better.

They went through the first group of turns. These were banked so Audrey didn't seem to have a problem navigating them at top speed. "At least she's not gaining more ground," Daniel grumbled.

They reached another straightaway, this time over a lake. Audrey gained more distance, the water behind her kicked up in a huge tail of mist and spray. By the time Daniel had even reached the lake, Audrey had hit the beach on the other side at over 200 miles an hour. At that speed, the gentle slope of the beach was like a ramp, and Audrey's jet cycle shot up into the air.

"Alright then," Daniel said. "There's not a chance I can catch up with her. Not unless I pull out all the stops. Here goes!" And with that, Daniel pressed the "Music Boost" button in the center of his jet cycle's dashboard.

Daniel's helmet filled with a pop music melody, the kind that pumps you up now and gets embarrassing a few years later when styles change. Then gets inspirational again in another twenty years. His jet cycle slowed down over the water for a few seconds, but then as the first crescendo passed, a singer began to sing with abandon.

Empowered by the combination of lyrics and melody, Daniel's jet cycle punched onto the beach. He vaulted into the air hundreds of feet, passing multiple turns and twists, obstacles and traps. He landed on the next straightaway, right in front of Audrey.

"Yeah!" Daniel shouted as he fought the jet cycle for control. Without the music he would have suffered a fatal crash, but the music boost's inspiration kept him safe. So inspired was Daniel that he turned the veering action of the bike into a wild, sweeping slide through the next turn.

Without warning a different inspirational pop melody played in Daniel's helmet, in direct competition to his own. Daniel looked into his tiny rear-view mirror and saw Audrey coming up fast behind him. "Oh no! She's activated her own music boost!" Daniel said with a despairing cry.

With frantic desperation Daniel held onto first place by blocking her from passing. He did this once, twice, and then saw that the big canyon jump was coming. He grinned to himself.

Seeing that final obstacle, Daniel was confident the race was his to win. He had mastered that jump more than any other person alive. In fact, he had been the one to teach Audrey the trick of landing not on the course on the other side, but the rough grass area to the side. That impact would slow a jet cycle just enough to make the final 1080 degree turn easier - too fast and you would scrape your way on the railings all the way through.

Just as Daniel zoomed up the bright green ramp, he heard the final crescendo in Audrey's music boost selection. She sliced past so close to Daniel that she gave his gloved hand a squeeze of affection.

Then they were in the air. Daniel jammed his finger onto his music boost button again and again, but he had played his song too early. Even though her song was over by the time she hit the other side, Audrey's lead was an entire association football field ahead of his own.

As he followed her through the 1080 degree spirals and loops of the final turn, Daniel played his last card. He hummed an inspirational tune and tried to get into the zone. Foot by foot, he gained on her. Yet for all his effort, Audrey crossed the finish line three jet cycle lengths ahead of Daniel. Far behind them the other racers struggled to catch up.

Once past the finish line Daniel followed Audrey into the pit zone. They dismounted the jet cycles and took off their helmets.

"Good race," Daniel said, offering his hand.

"I couldn't have won without you," Audrey said, ignoring his hand and giving him a kiss.

"What do you mean?" Daniel asked.

"Your tip to me that after I play the music boost I should hum an inspiration tune," Audrey said with a beautiful smile. "I was humming, 'I just called to say I love you'."

Last Updated: 9/5/2018, 4:24:57 AM