The speedometer needle was all the way to the right: 140 mph. Simon’s arms were rigid at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel, still the car drifted to the left, putting him in the center lane of the freeway.
Officer Barnes was dozing off, his cruiser parked in a favorite spot to catch speeders. His left eye caught Simon’s headlights in the side mirror; he knew the driver was approaching at well over 100 mph. As Simon sped by, Barnes wondered what his wife was making for dinner. He watched the taillights shrinking in the darkness and yawned. Then he flipped on his lights and siren and sped off.
Simon’s heart pounded. The rush was all they said it would be. His tires could blow at any time–he could be dead in seconds. If he survived, he’d surely be jailed. Enough. He took his foot off the pedal and watched the needle drop slowly. At 95 mph he saw the flashing red light in the rear view mirror. In the second he looked at what was behind him, he missed an obstacle straight ahead. When he saw it, he turned the steering wheel too hard, sending the car spinning across two lanes and into a field where it rolled over several times before exploding.
Barnes exited the cruiser to watch the fire from the edge of the field. He reminded himself to pick up flowers for his daughter’s recital. That night he sat across the table from his wife who asked him how work had been.
“The usual,” he said.