Grudge Match

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A dozen motors growling like crazed bears in chains. Colors clashing and so, so bright. The cheers of a thousand people assaulting yours ears. Oh God, there can't be anything better than racing.

I perched on my flame-red motorcycle, my helmet off, leaning casually on one foot. A kart, glaringly pink, pulled up next to me. I glared at the driver.
"You're going down, pinky." I warned.

"Dream on!" she retorted, pulling on a helmet as pink as her vehicle. Is tuck my tongue out at her, and she mirrored the action. Then familiar notes rung through the arena and the crowd fell silent. I slapped on my helmet. The race was beginning.

The starter appeared up above us. A small flag was clutched in its hand. "Three!" It called. "Two! One! Go!"

I kicked my bike into gear and sped forward. The wind clawed at my suit and screamed in my ear as faster and faster I went, until all I could see was the blur of the track in front of me and dashes of color all around that might or might not be other racers. The first turn came and I leaned into close into it, cutting off another racer. A grin spread across my face. If this wasn't heaven, I didn't know what what.

We exploded through colorful boxes and, almost casually, I stepped on turbo and felt the exhilarating burst of speed pull me to the front. I was in first!

I held the position until the next turn when somebody rammed into my side, sending me spinning into the grass. I saw a streak of pink go past me and resisted the urge to shout a string of curses as I hastily pulled my bike back onto the track. Dang it, I was in sixth now.

I floored the gas and went speeding again. There was one last turn on this track, a wide, sprawling one absolutely covered into turbos. I rode them as only a professional could and knocked off one more position. Fifth. Okay, I could work with this. A quick glance, however, told me that my opponent was in first. I grit my teeth together and leaned closer in to the bike.

The finish line passed beneath my wheels, but it was only a mockery of the real thing. We had two more laps two go, two laps which I would be taking advantage of.

I grinned savagely as my bike's speed won me another place on the turn. The racer I passed swore and threw something at me but I, expecting this, pulled my bike out of the way and sped on.

I looked back in time to barely steer my bike through an explosion of color and suddenly I had a ticking bomb. A quick toss behind me and a fiery red explosion rose behind me. I grinned savagely. There was no mercy in this race.

A second later, I wished there was as a speeding bullet slammed into me. I spun but gained control of the bike quickly enough so I didn't go off the track. But I was back in sixth. Damn it, this had to stop! I slammed on the gas and almost instantly retook fifth. Another turn, another cut, another place...another speed up....I was in third as we passed over the finish line again. But third wasn't good enough. It never would be good enough. There were two people in between me and glory, and I wasn't intending on them staying there much longer.

I drew level with a black bike. The driver looked at me and me at him, and I saw no qualms in his eyes as he rammed his bike against mine. But I only laughed and leaned even harder into his, at the same time pushing even harder on my pedal, and suddenly he was left in the dust. I laughed out loud into the uncaring wind. I was beast! And this little pink car in front of me was my prey.

We were on a brief straightaway, which I knew would give away to the last turn of the race and then to the finish line soon enough. My last chance appeared in the form of technicolor boxes. I punched my front wheel through one and came out with a bomb the shade of a new leaf. Okay, if my aim was true...and it always was...I threw it with all my might and roared in delight as it hit the little pink car, sending to spinning sideways. I rammed it as I went by and I swear I could see beady black eyes glaring venomously back at me. But I didn't care, because all that was left was the wave of turbos, and a tiny little straightaway and...there it was! The finish line! Standing proud and tall, surrounding by the fans all screaming my name, and I could already see the gleaming, ten-foot-tall trophy waiting for me...

BAM. What? What had happened? There was blackness and fire and smoke all around me, and I stepped on the pedal helplessly, trying to find the finish line before-

There was a a roar and pink sliced through the curtain of smoke, showing me the way to the finish line and-

Second place.

"Ha!" crowed Amy, leaping up triumphantly. "I told you Toadette so beats Mario!"

I lay my wheel down moodily. "That wasn't fair. You got me right at the end."

"Uh-uh." Amy shook her head violently, causing her pigtails to bounce up and down. "I had you for the entire race. And don't you always say that MarioKart has no mercy?"

"Whatever." I grumbled. "There's still three more races, and it's my turn to pick. This time you're gonna lose so bad you'll be crying to your mommy."

"Yeah right." scoffed Amy, sitting back down. "You drive like a little girl."





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