the vroom divine

"Don't worry," Hakkai reassured Jiipu. His hands traced the lines of the steering wheel in familiar, reassuring motions. "We'll be going soon now. Very soon."

He swallowed. Across the dusty square, the man in the dark suit adjusted his sunglasses. The black car next to him was smooth, so smooth. Its lines were sleek. Its body was compact. Its sheer dark metal surface seemed to absorb the light and radiate pure beauty.

Jiipu honked.

"No, really," Hakkai lied. "I'm just keeping an eye on him. He looks dangerous."

The man in the dark suit swung the car door open and stepped inside. There was a glimpse of low-slung leather seats, perfectly contoured to the driver's reclining body. A polished set of dials.

He could smell the soft odour of leather and tobacco all the way across the square.

The man in the dark suit slipped his sunglasses off for a moment. There was a flash of yellow serpentine eyes, slit-pupilled, cold-blooded. He polished the sunglasses ostentatiously, clearly aware of Hakkai's attention.

"I think he's evil," Hakkai whispered consolingly. "Only someone that evil could afford a car like that -- no no no, I don't mean it that way."

Satisfied with the perfect sheen of his sunglasses, the man slid them on again, and closed the car door.

The car's engine purred. It growled. It panted and yearned and throbbed.

Jiipu tooted a little tweedle on his horn.

Hakkai watched the car as it sped into the distance, eating the miles like grains of rice. He smiled his very best little smile.

When the others came out from the inn and saw that very gentle little smile, they got into Jiipu quietly and didn't argue all day.