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Fuel Season 2: Episode 5 – The Worthy and the Wicked

Series: Stories of the Fuel Speedway

As Amandla's Rebellion continues to boom, Monday Night Fuel enters the realm of the occult...

The Formulary: A Formula-X social network that combines the features of Facebook and Instagram to give a platform for F-X racers and fans to interact by liking, commenting and sharing posts.

5th of October – Season 2

When Darcy Stevens read the profile of the newest racer in the F-X series on the Formulary, she was sure that it was a joke. It said that the man's profession was an "occultist". Stevie already knew this was wrong because rumor had it that the man was a rogue Taxify driver who'd only gotten his job because Moodswing liked the idea of introducing supernatural elements to the series. But Stevie wasn't sure she could trust what she was reading. After all, the name on the profile read "Blackcat Mathunzi".

While the Formulary wasn't the most trustworthy website in the world, it wasn't meant to be. Its sole purpose was to allow the F-X racers to connect with each other and the fandom. Anything else – like real details on one's profile page – was at the discretion of the racers and registered members of the fandom. Stevie herself wondered if she shouldn't lie on her profile page to make herself interesting as the only thing interesting was her totem which was what every racer had instead of a profile picture. Hers was a pink diamond.

As Stevie sat at the cafe with her laptop out, she moved from the Formulary to Feeder and looked through the notifications of any posts from Moodswing or Glen. Other than a post regarding a third title race between King Kloof and Mandla Xulu at Hallow's Eve due to Amandla's Rebellion raging on, there was nothing. Nothing that concerned her right now at least. This was unlike earlier in the week on Feeder when Moodswing had announced that Stevie would be facing this occultist at Hallow's Eve. Stevie shook her head. While she knew that it was unlikely, Stevie had been half-hoping that Moodswing would change his mind about her opponent. But alas, no dice...she would be facing a guy who was clearly a basket case.

 

LATER AT THE FUEL SPEEDWAY

As Stevie got off her motorcycle, her phone rang. Stevie took off her helmet and answered the phone. "Hello?" Nothing. "Hello?" When no one spoke, Stevie looked at the phone to see if there indeed was a call. There was. "Hello!?" This time, instead of on answer, there was a noise. The noise sounded like something out of a horror movie, the ones that occurred in the woods with wolves howling in the distance, and a killer stalking their victims. "Hello, who is this?" More of the same. Stevie had had enough and hung up.

She made her way through the front entrance, across the concourse, and into the paddock but not before buying a coconut covered snowball on a whim. As she ate away at it, she was approached by Touch Mkhize. "Oh, snowball. Can I have some?"

"No," said Stevie taking a huge bite. He didn't leave. "Can I help you with something?" He raised his eyebrows and looked at her treat. "Something other than that? What, are you looking for a relay teammate or something?"

"No. I've already got my race for the night. It's big."

Stevie took another bite. "Is this you bragging?" Before she could get an answer, her phone rang again. She picked up only to be immediately answered by more nothing. This time Stevie hung up. A few seconds later, a message popped up indicating that she had a new voice mail. She'd listen to it later.

"You have a race too, you know? Against the rookie."

Stevie frowned. But before she could say anything else, Brenda Koek came up to them looking over her shoulder before noticing Stevie's now-mostly eaten snowball ."Ah, a snowball. How's some?" Stevie responded by putting what was left of it into her mouth and chewing what she could. "Hmph. Rude," she said before looking back over her shoulder.

"What are you doing?" asked Touch.

"Avoiding Dime. Ever since he found out that I'm competing twice tonight and him not at all, he's been looking to talk to me."

Touch gave her a curious look. "You're competing twice tonight? That means Glen's updated the racecard. Who's your second opponent?"

"You," said Brenda. As the two continued to banter, Stevie's phone rang again. She let it go to voicemail but not before marking the number as spam so that it wouldn't ring again. Brenda noticed. "And what's up with you?"

"I've been getting these weird phone calls."

"Weird like how? Creepy?" Brenda continued when Stevie nodded. "Maybe it's the new guy trying to intimidate you. You know, word is that he's able to perform spells."

Stevie rolled her eyes. "You can stop right there, Brenda. There's no such thing as spells or magic. It's all illusions, misdirection and clever trickery."

"I dunno hey. But I guess you'll be able to find out more about his deal when they do a special feature on him after one of the races tonight. Well, his vehicle at least."

While this was news to Stevie, she knew what Brenda was talking about. It was a vignette series called Under the Hood which had last played prominently at the beginning of last season giving the fandom an inside look at their race cars. With Doris Koek debuting last month and now Blackcat, it made sense that it was making a return. But before the show got there, it had to start first.

Following the Fuel intro, Glen went onto the middle-stage and addressed the capacity crowd regarding the match race for the Formula-X Crown as Hallow's Eve and the special stipulation. He revealed that in order to prevent a series-wide banning of the power boost button (thanks to the overwhelming fan feedback spurred by Mandla's father), the title race between King Kloof and Mandla would have the power boost button banned. This news excited the fans. But what excited Touch and three other racers was what Glen said next.

"In order to avoid repeating ourselves for a fourth time at the next pay-per-view, we as the Club Committee have decided that a new Number One Claimant will be named at Hallow's Eve who will get an opportunity at the Formula-X Crown in the November P.P.V. And in the spirit of not giving anything away for free, we have sanctioned two qualifying races for that Number One Claim race." It was at this point that Glen confirmed that Touch vs. Brenda was one of those races while the other was the feature race of the night: Thawn Oberhauser vs. Jim Kieck.

However, Stevie was no longer paying attention to Glen at this point. Instead, she was distracted by a reflection on the paddock's big screen which made it appear as though there was a person in a hooded cloak standing right next to her! Stevie turned to the gap between her and Brenda but saw no one there. She quickly glanced back up at the screen and once again saw the reflection but nothing when she looked beside her.

Brenda noticed Stevie's disturbing behaviour. "Are you okay?" Before Stevie got a chance to answer, Brenda's sister Doris, called out to her. "Okay, that's my cue," she spoke to Touch as she walked away. "Now, I'm gonna go kick Penny's ass, and then, I'm coming for you, Mkhize."

"That's Duke Mkhize to you." Touch's face immediately fell as he muttered something about "that not working either" and instead turned to Dime who'd just entered the room and loudly pointed out Brenda's location to him which caused Dime to chase after her as she broke into a run. The scene was quite funny but Stevie couldn't have cared less as she was still seeing the reflection of the hooded figure. What the hell was going on?

 

FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER

Stevie had been grateful that her race with Caliber Kid was second on the racecard as it meant she had reason to be out of the paddock (and away from that damned screen) as soon as possible. After setting up The Candyfloss on the start line next to Caliber Kid's The Dabula, Stevie tested the radio connection to her mechanic in the pit lane. However, instead of hearing his voice in her head, she heard static.

Stevie tried again. "Stevens to pit lane, come in. Hey, can you hear me?" However, instead of static, there was a very familiar sound emitting on the line. The horror movie sound. Stevie swore. But before she could alert the track marshal of the fault, the race commenced. Not wanting to have the race thrown out on a technicality, Stevie sped off. She was going to do this old school.

Unfortunately, this wasn't as simple as not having anyone to speak to her, because Stevie also had to deal with this noise which was seriously creeping her out. Despite that, Stevie led the race, navigating the corners as best as she could throughout the first half of the race. However, by the time the 7th Lap came around, the distraction got to her, and Caliber Kid overtook her. Stevie tried hard to battle back but it was to no avail. She lost the race. No, she lost the race to a rookie.

As soon as Stevie pulled back into the pitlane after the race, she immediately questioned the mechanic about the line but he was just as much at a loss as she was. Instead of making her way back to the paddock before the next race, Stevie stayed in the pit lane as she and the mechanic tried to discern what was going on. That's when the vignette finally played on the jumbo-sized screens all around the racetrack.

Stevie watched as the mysterious Blackcat Mathunzi was interviewed in a voice-over as his vehicle was featured on screen. And it was at this point that Stevie truly realized the extent of nutcase she was dealing with here.

"The Voodoo Vervent is not a machine but a supernatural being in the shape of a vehicle. You see, this supernatural creature is the creation of a spell of my own making and it nigh impossible to catch. I dare say to any enemy: if you ever find yourself behind me, do yourself a favor and forfeit for you shall never pass me from that moment on."

 

LATER AFTER FUEL

Stevie had decided not to fight the decision of the race and opted to spend the rest of the night watching the outcome of the qualifiers. While she was annoyed to see Touch win his race, she was admittedly astonished to see Jim qualify in the night's feature race. She didn't know if it was because he defeated a former F-X King or because it was a shocking next chapter for 'The Playboy' following the end of his failed seduction of Brenda. Going from not getting the girl to potentially getting a shot at the title was weird. But at the end of the day, it didn't matter how she felt as it was the racetrack that decided who was worthy.

With the night over, Stevie made her way to her motorcycle but before she took off, she decided to listen to one of the voicemails. When she did, instead of hearing more horror movie noises, she was disturbed to hear creepy chanting instead. If it wasn't obvious before, it definitely was now. This was Blackcat Mathunzi and he was trying to curse her!

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © All stories are Copyright © 2016-2020 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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