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HomeDrama Stories Fuel Season 2: Episode 24 – Fallout of the Festival

Fuel Season 2: Episode 24 – Fallout of the Festival

Series: Stories of the Fuel Speedway

After losing the night before, the Koeks deal with the feeling of falling from grace...

Touch Mkhize has autonomy over his talk show, "Touching Base" and reserves the right to have whomever he wants as his guest(s)

5th of April – Season 2

Brenda Koek still couldn't believe what happened last night. They'd lost. They'd lost not just the relay race but their chance at regaining their titles... to that duo of basket cases. Blackcat Mathunzi and Fiona were still the reigning two-time Relay Baron and Baroness. After all the mind games, they had failed to overcome the spell-castors.

Brenda suddenly snapped out of her thoughts, literally as her younger sister snapped her fingers. "What was that, Doris?"

"I said, are you ready for your race?" But Doris could see that her older sister's mind was busy. She whistled. "Brenda, if you're not up for this, then let me know. We can easily ask Glen to put me in your place."

This got Brenda's attention, her eyes meeting Doris'. "Na-ah Doris. Last night, Blackcat beat me in that final lap, which means I'm facing him tonight. I should be the one getting revenge for last night, not you."

Doris smiled. "That's what I like to hear." Doris then went up to Catering, offering to bring Brenda something claiming that she hadn't eaten all day and couldn't race on an empty stomach. Once again left to her own devices in the paddock, Brenda looked around and saw that she wasn't the only one dealing with the fallout from Festival of the Fall.

Mandla Xulu – who had won the 12 Rounds Derby last night against John Kloof – was having an impromptu interview with Toney Kunene, who was looking for a response for John Kloof's most recent post on the Formulary. Mandla coldly explained that he wasn't thinking about Kloof and the fact that his financial situation was dire now but rather on his relay race with Thawn against King Solo and Jim Kieck. "I'm focused on climbing back to the top of the line of succession and tonight's feature race is my big opportunity."

While Brenda contemplated how cold that was of Mandla to say, she couldn't help but also think of another racer who was allegedly just as cold but in a very different way: the newest arrival to the F-X series and, more importantly,, Toney's ex-husband, Temper Kunene. It had indeed been a shock to learn that the new guy was Toney's ex and apparently a bastard who had an affinity for throwing his toys when he didn't get his way. However, she had made a point to say that he was angry but not violent and she left simply because she couldn't take the tantrums anymore.

Brenda noticed Temper – born Themba – on the other side of the paddock, keeping to himself. She wondered what he'd done once he'd gotten home after having lost his debut race last night to Penny Potgieter. It had been a drag race for her title and what a drag race it had been. It was clear from the look in his eyes that he was still angry, though, barely managing to hold it in. However, it looked like things were about to get interesting when Brenda saw Darcy Stevens approaching him. But before Brenda could find out if this was a fatal mistake on Stevie's part, everyone's attention was diverted to a racer who was suddenly shouting.

"Penny, I don't care that you're the Duchess of Drag and I don't care about whatever announcement you have to make! Touching Base is my show and get to decide who I have on it, NOT you!" While Touch Mkhize might have failed to get the message across to Penny Potgieter before, it appeared that making a scene had worked because she put her hands up as if to say "fine," muttered something about the highway to the Grand Prix before turning and heading off to find Glen. Touch then took in all the eyes that were on him. "And in case anyone else is thinking of asking me to be a guest on my show, save it! Tonight, I'm having a victory party and only those who win tonight are invited."

This got Brenda's attention. What Penny said about being back on the highway to the Grand Prix was spot on which meant this was the time to step up if there was any hope of being the most talked-about racer come the Second Formula-X Grand Prix. If last season was any proof, together with the most ambitious marketing campaign of the series, then the Grand Prix and the eight weeks leading up to it could turn racers into stars. And while failing to win the titles back last night was something of a setback, what better way of getting back on track was there than not only beating one of the Relay Barons and becoming a guest on Touching Base?

 

LATER THAT NIGHT

By the time that Brenda was on the racetrack, sitting in her vehicle across from Blackcat in his Voodoo Vervent, the night had already proven to be unpredictable. It had all started with the opening segment of the night where 'Mister Monday Night,' Styles Sithole went on to the middle-stage to celebrate surviving Gauntlet III: No Holds Barred only to be interrupted by King Solo who claimed that he was also there to celebrate his victory from last night. King Solo then went on to say that he was also there to look for an opponent for Sunday Night Easter and he was looking at him.

The night's unpredictability continued as Dime had just picked up his second victory in just as many weeks, thus giving him valuable momentum heading towards his guaranteed title race against Penny. Already determined as ever, Brenda had not needed a pep talk from her sister. The race started and Brenda was off.

Remembering the events from last night, Brenda made sure to stay close to the Master Spell-Castor as he led the way, not allowing him to bait her again. As the race continued in the second lap, Brenda thought about Blackcat and his spells and, for a moment, wondered if there could be any truth to it. As a believer in God herself and the influence he could have on her life – something that many would call supernatural in its own right – Brenda wondered if a mere mortal like Blackcat could have such power. What made it even more believable was that Blackcat always denounced the power as coming from him but rather from his spells. That was the key difference between claiming to be a witch and being an occultist... the acceptance that the power didn't come from him. Was that not the same logic that prophets used in the Bible?

Brenda refocused as they reached the halfway mark of their 10 Lap Match Race. Now it was time to exact her revenge on the Master Spell-Castor and leave him in the dust. Anticipating that he would do what he did last night, Brenda feigned making the same mistake only to find a gap and overtake Blackcat early in the 6th lap and began defending. Brenda had to admit that it was entertaining to watch Blackcat desperately try to recover, but in the end, it was all for naught... Brenda won the race, thus securing her spot on Touch's talk show.

Following her Winner's Circle interview, Brenda went back to the paddock to celebrate their revenge when the Duchess of Drag went onto the middle-stage, having secured her approval with Glen to speak her mind. When she got there, she had a smile on her face. "Now that we are officially on the highway to the Grand Prix, I think it's only right that I state my intentions for the biggest event on the Formula-X calendar. I have to start by saying that defeating the new guy last night was absolutely satisfying and definitely what I needed to kick off the next eight weeks. But it was also something else: boring.

"If I'm going to prove myself as the best racer come the Second Formula-X Grand Prix, then I'm going to need a challenge. And if the last few months with all the gauntlet races and the twelve-round derbies have proved anything, it's that making history is the ultimate way to prove yourself, which is why at Sunday Night Easter, I'm going to do just that: make history." It was at this point that Moodswing came up to the stage, bringing the capacity crowd to life with restless murmurs and reminded Penny that she lost the One Kilometer Derby last week thus she had to defend her title against Dime. At this point, Penny smiled. "Oh, you misunderstand, Mister President. I don't want to take Dime out of the race, and I want to add to the race."

 

TOUCHING BASE: THE VICTORS

Brenda was still thinking about Penny's word when Touching Base went on the air with herself and Dime sitting across from Touch Mkhize. Thawn Oberhauser and Mandla Xulu – who had won their feature race relay race – had opted not to accept the invitation, clearly not wanting to share their victory with others which left Brenda listening to Dime use this platform to complain.

"So," Touch had said just a few seconds ago, "the reason I brought you all onto my show is because, well, I think we all could use the victory party after our collective spell of bad luck last n—"

"You know what," said Dime, impatiently, "I don’t care about any of you. I don’t care about your stupid show. All I care about is that Penny, Duchess of Drag, is trying to weasel her way out of my guaranteed race against her at S.N.E and it makes me SICK!"

Touch tried to settle him down in vain. "Dime, easy now. Okay, I didn't bring you out here to complain. I brought you out here—"

"I told you, I don't care. The only thing I care about is getting gold back on my head. You see, you two don't get it. I mean, how can you? When you guys were monarchs, you held your titles for months on end. Me, not only did I lose my title in a matter of weeks, but I lost it back to the person I won it from. And now she doesn't want to take me on one-on-one? It's insulting."

Brenda opened her mouth to speak, only for Touch to beat her to it, waving her off like a child. Touch began to tell Dime off, telling him how he would throw him off his show if he didn't behave. But Brenda, insulted in her own right, decided to take matters into her own hands, stood up and swept Dime's chair from underneath him. Dime fell onto the floor like a bag of potatoes.

While Brenda expected what immediately followed with Dime standing back up, giving her an evil look and then leaving, she hadn't expected Touch to give her an evil eye too. Clearly, he didn't like being upstaged, literally, on his own show. The talk show ended with a staredown between the two. But with both of their attention on each other, they had failed to notice Moodswing, watching from the back of the studio, entranced by this sequence of events...

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Copyright © All stories are Copyright © 2016-2021 by S.T. Kubheka (also known by the pseudonym Bernard "Beesting" Bayede). ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This story or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

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