‘Come on, come on,’ I hissed through gritted teeth as my car coughed and spluttered up the steepest hill I’d ever seen in my life. ‘God, we’re so close.’
At which point it promptly died.
‘Dammit!’ I yelled, quickly yanking the handbrake before gravity could send us rocketing back down the way it came.
A car behind me honked and flashed its lights, and I grumpily wound down my window and waved it forward. It responded by honking and flashing again.
‘Go around!’ I growled out of the window. ‘I’m not going anywhere!’
I heard the unmistakable sound of their handbrake engaging too, and a large man in a cowboy hat hopped out of the front seat with a smile.
‘Trouble, friend?’ he drawled as he got to my window.
‘Something like that,’ I said sarcastically, head planted on the steering wheel. ‘Just go around.’
‘Oh no, I’m here to help!’ the cowboy said, clapping his hands together. ‘Folk like us, we gotta stick together around here.
I’m from Raceview, I thought to myself, deciding it was best not to let him know that.
‘Say, you must have a pretty good mechanic near Raceview. Engine trouble like this should have stopped you ages ago.’
‘What?’ I frowned. Is he psychic?
‘Only a little bit,’ he chuckled. ‘On my mother’s side.’
‘Oh don’t be like that, partner,’ he laughed in his fake drawl. ‘And there’s nothing fake about my drawl – although that’s from my father.’
‘What… what do you want?’ I eventually choked out.
‘Exactly what I said!’ he exclaimed with a grin. ‘To help!’
‘Okay,’ I mumbled. ‘How?’
‘Well, for starters,’ he said, ‘you’re gonna wanna hop out of that there car.’
He tapped his forehead under the cowboy hat. ‘Psychic, remember? Also, you’re gonna need a serious brake repair.’
I jumped out of the car, just as the handbrake gave and the car went sliding backwards. It came to a gentle stop, just touching the cowboy’s perfectly positioned truck.
‘Need a ride?’ he asked with a grin.