Bluebirds flew overhead, chirping.
He had never lost. Everybody in the town knew of his valor, his courage, his majesty. All wins. Not a single loss. He was better than everyone in the town. He knew he was better than everyone in the town, and did not hesitate to boaster. After all, the game was simple to him.
On a day like this, the heat would normally have kept the townspeople indoors. Bugs, mosquitos mainly, swarmed any person daring enough to venture out into the dusty roads and brutal heat. A soft wind blew, very soft, but hard enough to make thousands of dust particles kick up into the dry air. A farmer stood looking out into the cornfield, shaking his head at the dead stocks, desperate for a taste of water. But on this day, thousands of people were in the small town.
Chris set his lemonade down on the table in a collected manner. The people didn't make him nervous, nor did the heat.
ཁChris, you ready for the final match today?ཁ asked his father.
ཁDon't encourage him, Peter,ཁ Chris' mother responded.
Silence. Chris never responded to his parents' bickering, and the fact that his life's biggest moment was coming up did not spur any response.
Chris' mother had never liked Chris' participation in the deadly game, but so far, nobody had ever been hurt in over sixty years, so she really didn't have a valid argument to keep him away. Somebody would always swerve away at the last moment. Except Chris. He would never swerve away, he vowed to himself after his first game ever.
Perhaps you've heard of it, perhaps you haven't. This ཁdeadlyཁ game is called Chicken. The game is aptly named, as the loser is always dubbed a chicken. Chicken was the most popular game in the entire county. It was a was a way of life for the people. They came home from work and just expect to go out to the stretch to see the match. One time, the mayor almost outlawed the game, in fear of someone getting hurt, but the legislation never passed, since a riot with torches took place when the town heard the news. The mayor ཁdisappearedཁ the next day.
The match was to begin in a couple hours, so Chris walked to the town hall, where a history of sixty years of Chicken was displayed. Plaques hung on the wall of champions in the past, trophies from county-wide tournaments, and trophies from state-wide tournaments. The place was a sanctuary to Chris. He walked up to the plaques on the wall, touched them all, until he came to one special plaque.
This town icon was killed in the First World War by a German soldier. He is still one of the most influential people in this town to date. Also, to this date, he remains one of our best Chicken players, with a record of 456 wins with only 12 losses.ཁ
Chris touched the plaque, remembering his grandfather. Nobody else was in the hall.
Chris washed his treasured Mustang until he could see his reflection clearly. He washed it again. And again. And again. He often did this. A dirty car in a game of Chicken was bad luck. He showed no emotion on his face as his mother burst out of the house and ran towards him.
ཁChris, please don't do itཀཁ She pleaded.
ཁMother, it's okay. It's not like I'm going to lose or anything. I've won 331 games. I've lost none.ཁ
ཁIt's too dangerous.ཁ She argued.
ཁDad says it's okay to race.ཁ He countered.
ཁSometimes, I question your dad's decisions about you and what's best for your life. You've got an entire family, Chris. You've got a great life. Don't throw it away in the stupid game.ཁ
She had a right to be upset. In the game of Chicken, two cars with one driver in each face each other on a long, wide stretch of road. The cars are usually one or two hundred yards apart. A designated referee fires a gun, and the two cars start to move towards each other. The cars are required to move at 75 miles per hour. The cars continue to race at each other until one swerves away. The loser is the chicken. To the victor goes the spoils.
Chris bowed his head and continued to wash his car. The dust and sweat stung in his eyes. The race was about to start, and a diversity of people walked past his house and shouted either encouragement or hate at him. Most of the haters came from the town next door. Their top driver had made it through the county tournament to the finals, and if they won this match, it would mean bragging rights for the next year.
ཁGo get 'em, Chrisཀཁ
ཁYou've got this, Chrisཀཁ
ཁBack out now, or you'll regret it.ཁ
The haters were disappointed, though. They expected an angry remark or defense, but none came. He handled the situation as if he were a professional. Pros don't respond to the negative comments or people in the audience, they just keep on doing their task.
Chris jumped into his Mustang and began to drive towards the stretch. It usually took five minutes to get there, but today, it took twenty minutes. The streets bustled with people that wouldn't get off of the street. It would have been faster to walk.
followed behind in a white van. Two brothers, two sisters, two
parents, an aunt, and an uncle waved at him and offered him good luck
when he looked back at them. He was a kid who had everything: A
perfect GPA in high school, a beautiful girlfriend, a family who
loved him, a bright future. And he was the best driver the town had
Chicken doesn't have as much to do with driving as you think. It is more the will of the driver, how he reacts in the face of danger, how strong he can hold out, how close he's willing to put his body to death itself, how long it takes the spirit to break and back out.
It was the largest crowd in the history of the event, a crowd of over seven hundred. There had never been an admission fee for spectators, but today, it costed .50 cents per person. Despite of all the hype, Chris was not nervous. He pulled his Mustang into position on one end of the stretch to a maelstrom of cheering and clapping. His opponent, in a black Ford, got into his position. Both cars revved their engines. Chris showed no emotion on his face.
The starter strode into the center of the stretch.
ཁLadies and gentlementཀཁ He roared. ཁThis is the final of the county tournament. We wish good luck to both of our drivers. In the red Mustang, from the town of Shiloh, we have Chris Jones.ཁ
The crowd cheered. The rest of the crowd booed.
ཁHe is a prodigy. An undefeated record of 331 wins, 0 losses. Now, give it up for Gerard Miller, in the black Ford.ཁ
A shower of boos rained down upon Gerard.
The gun fired.
Chris slammed down on his pedal, and the Mustang sprang forward on the road, causing a torrent of dirt to leap up into the air. The black Ford did the same, and the game was under way. The families cheered on the sidelines, confident in their loved one's ability to win. Chris outdid himself in his gloating this time, as he rolled down his window, hung an arm out of the side, and blew kisses to the audience. He refocused his attention on the car. The two were maybe seventy-five yards apart. Fifty more yards should do it, he thought. After all, what reason would he have for not thinking that? Nobody had ever driven to within thirty yards of him. The fifty yards passed in a couple of quick moments, but the car had not turned off yet. Chris' mother began to ring her hands.
A fear never experienced before rose in Chris' stomach. His heart rose into his chest, a sheer disbelief that took the place of his confidence. He could not believe it. Why hadn't the car turned off? It will. It will. He was not about to humiliate himself in front of hundreds of people...
In the black Ford, a fear never experienced before rose in Gerard's stomach. His heart rose into his chest, a sheer disbelief that took the place of his confidence. He could not believe it. Why hadn't the car turned off? It will. It will. He was not about to humiliate himself in front of hundreds of people...
The cars were within ten yards of each other. Both drivers stared incredulously at the other, waiting anxiously for the other to turn off. They were so sure that it would happen at any moment, but it didn't. The Mustang slammed into the Ford, the Ford slammed into the Mustang.The audience felt the pieces of metal strike their heads. Blood, wreckage, carnage sprang out in every direction. The windows shattered, the painted scratched off. Dogs ran off barking into the distance. Pandemonium erupted in the crowd, and Chris' mother tried to rush forward to get her son. She screamed in agony, lost her mind. The father restrained and turned her away, for he knew that his son was already dead.
Bluebirds flew overhead, chirping.