Tuesday, March 27, 2007, 8:57 AM
Megan Fassler put on her helmet and climbed into her racecar. She started her engine, put her foot on the brake, shifted into Drive, and revved the engine. This was a practice race. Normally, it wouldn't count for anything, but today it did. Whoever came in first today, Diesel "Junker" Spitz or Hondo "Specter" Hines, would be added to Redline's team. When the green flag came on the screen, Megan hit the accelerator and took off. During the race, Junker and Specter fought it out, and they ended up crossing the finish line at the same time after the third lap. After the race was over, everybody got out of their cars. "This was not solving anything." Junker said. "Yeah. Who joins Redline's team?" Specter asked. "I don't know." Megan said. "Hey, Megan, wanna race against your old team before this afternoon's practice?" Chrome asked. "Maybe later, Jonelle." Megan said. "C'mon, Megan, it'll be fun!" Zorina said. "Later." Megan told her. "Look, I gotta go." Eve put her hands on Megan's shoulders. "Is everything okay, Megan?" "Yeah, Eve." Megan said. "I just gotta go do some stuff, okay?" "Okay." Eve said, taking her hands away. "I'll be back in about an hour." Megan told them, then she turned and walked to the locker room.
Jack parked his car outside the cemetary. He, Libby, and Megan exited the vehicle and walked into the cemetary. Jack led Libby and Megan to a grave. On the gravestone was the name ELIZABETH O'CONNOR. Beneath that was SEPTEMBER 12, 1969 - FEBRUARY 1, 1988. Megan knelt on the grave and placed a candle by the gravestone. Jack gave her a lighter, and she lit the candle. She gave him back the lighter. Megan lowered her head, performed the Sign of the Cross, and prayed. When she was done praying, Megan did the Sign of the Cross again and stood up. She turned to face her adoptive parents. "How do you feel?" Libby asked her. "I, uh,...I'd like to see if I can find her parents." Megan said. "We'll help you look for them." Jack said.
After searching on the Internet, they were able to find the names and address of Elizabeth's parents. Megan drove over to their house, thirty miles away. Parking on the street, she walked up the sidewalk, up the steps of the front porch, and to the door. Megan rang the doorbell. She waited for about a minute, then the front door opened. A woman with red hair stood there. Megan stared at her. The woman seemed momentarily startled, but then she regained her composure. "Yes?" the woman asked with an Irish accent. "Good morning, Mrs. O'Connor. My name is Megan Fassler." Megan told her. "I hope I have the right person. Did you have a daughter named Elizabeth?" The woman's face turned sad. "Yes, but she's been dead for 19 years. Why?" Megan gave her a smile. "I'm her daughter." "You're what?!" Mrs. O'Connor yelled in surprise. "Elizabeth did have a child when she was 18, didn't she?" Megan asked. "And she named her Megan?" "Yes." Mrs. O'Connor said. "Please leave us alone." "What?" Megan asked in surprise. "But...I'm your granddaughter. Aren't you happy to see me?" "No, I'm not." Mrs. O'Connor said. "When I look at your face, it serves as a painful reminder of Liz." "I just want to talk with you," Megan said, "so I can get to know my mother a little better." "I don't want to talk to you." Mrs. O'Connor said. "May I at least have a picture of my mother?" Megan asked. Mrs. O'Connor turned and walked back into the house. She came back a few minutes later with a photograph. She handed it to Megan. Megan stared at the girl in the picture. "My God, she looks just like me." "Now, please go away." Mrs. O'Connor closed the door. Megan felt sadness and anger at this. She turned and walked back to her car.
Megan drove back to Big River Raceway in time for the afternoon practice run. She changed into her racing clothes and walked outside to the track. "Here she is." Chrome said. "What kept you?" Zorina asked. "I'm sorry I'm late." Megan told Eve, Chrome, and Zorina. "I know I said I'd be back in about an hour, but there was something else I had to do." "It's okay." Eve said. "Let's start practice." They all got into their racecars and started the engines. When the green light came on, they took off. Megan couldn't get her anger out of her mind. She so wanted to know more about her birth mother, and that woman - her maternal grandmother - didn't want to be around her. Sure, seeing Megan reminded her of her daughter, couldn't she get past that and tell Megan about the woman that had given birth to her? As Megan's anger rose, so did her speed. She moved all across the track, trying to pass all of the cars and take the lead. She rear-ended Carlos. "Hey, what's up?!" Carlos asked. "You racing for Rexcor now?" Megan ignored him and tried to pass Steve. She sideswiped him. "Hey!" Steve yelled. "You got your headgear on back to front? We're on the same team, remember?" Megan took to the air to pass Mark, but she landed on top of his car. She drove off of the roof and passed him. "Hey, knucklehead! Remember whose side you're on!" Mark yelled. Megan sideswiped Lyle, Diesel, Hondo, Tanker, Grip Repo, and Redline. At the end of the third lap, Megan crossed the finish line first. Megan came to a stop and shut off her engine. She got out of her car and took off her helmet. Mark walked over to her. "Hey, what's the big idea, Megan?!" "It was just a practice race!" Steve added. "Yeah! Are you loco?!" Carlos asked. Lyle stormed over to her. "Hey, you're gonna pay for that, Fassler!" All the other racers walked over to her as well. "That was stupid, Megan!" Redline told her. "I will now be junking you!" Diesel yelled. "Yeah, totally!" Hondo added. "Break it up!" Jack demanded. Jack walked over to his daughter, Libby right beside him. "Megan, what the hell was that?!" Jack demanded. Megan stared at him, nervous. "I, uh, I was upset - angry." "I don't give a damn!" Jack told her. "Racing is dangerous, Megan! You leave your anger outside the car! If you can't, you don't drive! You're a member of Team Fastex, and the members of this team don't race dirty! Road rage is unacceptable behavior! You could've killed someone!" Megan started crying. "I'm sorry! I couldn't control myself!" Jack calmed down a bit. "I understand why you're angry, Megan, and, as your father, I'll try to help you in any way that I can, but, as your boss, I can't allow you behind the wheel of a racecar while you're this upset. You are hereby suspended from Team Fastex until you've gotten over your problem. You will also pay for all of the damage you've caused to the cars in this race. Not just the Fastex cars - all of them. Is that understood?" "Yes, sir." Megan said, ashamed. Libby hugged her. "It's all right, sweetie. Let's go to the diner. I'll buy you a chocolate milkshake, and we can talk." "Can the girls come, too?" Megan asked her. "I haven't told them anything yet, and I want them to know." "Sure." Libby said. Megan looked at the other drivers. "I'm really sorry." She looked at Jack. "Please tell them what this is about." "You've already told them, Megan." Jack said. "No, I mean what happened today." Megan clarified. "Oh. All right." Megan and Libby turned and walked to the locker room. Eve, Zorina, and Chrome followed them.
Libby, Megan, Eve, Zorina, and Chrome sat in a booth in the diner. Libby bought chocolate milkshakes for all five of them. "There's something that I haven't told you guys." Megan said. "Recently, I was contacted by a woman that claimed to be my mother. She said that I was adopted." "What?" Chrome asked in surprise. "I found out later that it had all been a lie created by Garner Rexton." Megan continued. "But it was all so convincing: the video tape, the birth certificate, the results of the DNA test. Plus, my father avoided telling me what hospital I was born at. I was so angry, I quit Team Fastex and started the Spitfire Racers." "That son of a bitch." Zorina said angrily. "He used both of us." "Actually, not all of it was a lie." Megan went on. "I am adopted. My father told me after I revealed to him that I had my DNA tested against his at the hospital. I'm definitely not related to him." "Or me." Libby added. "I've forgiven both of them, and they took me to visit my mother's grave today." Megan told them. "I tracked down her parents and went to visit them. I talked with my grandmother. She...didn't want to see me." "Oh, Megan, that's so horrible." Eve said. "I'm so sorry." Megan gave her a smile. "Thank you, Eve. She did give me a picture of my mom." "Can we see it?" Eve asked. "Sure." Megan took the photo out of her shirt pocket and handed it to Eve. "Oh, God." Eve said in amazement. "Megan, she's a spitting image!" Eve handed the photo to Chrome, who looked at it and passed it to Zorina. "Yeah, it's amazing." Megan agreed. "Sure surprised me when I first saw it. Her name was Elizabeth O'Connor." Zorina handed the picture back to Megan, who put it back in her pocket. "So, what are you gonna do for now?" Eve asked. "I dunno." Megan said. "Hang out at home, work out, maybe read a book." "You're gonna miss racing, aren't you?" Eve asked. "Yeah, but it's not forever." Megan said. She grinned. "I'll be back soon." They all finished their chocolate milkshakes. "Come on, Megan," Libby said, "let's go home."
Wednesday, March 28, 2007, 8:05 AM
Megan woke up and went through her usual morning routine of making her bed, putting on her clothes (just panties, shorts, and a tanktop today), going to the bathroom, washing her face, and combing her hair. She met her parents at the kitchen table. "Hi." "Hi, Megan." they both replied. Megan sat down at the table, squirted syrup on her waffles, and started eating them. Jack finished his breakfast, wiped his face with a napkin, and took his plate, fork, and knife to the sink. "Well, I'm off to work. You girls have fun today." "We will." Megan and Libby said. Jack walked out the front door, closing it behind him. "You ready for a work-out?" Libby asked with a smile. Megan grinned. "Of course." The two of them finished their breakfast. Megan washed the dishes. Then they both walked into the living room. Megan turned on the stereo and selected a track on a CD. Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" come on. Megan and Libby started doing aerobics to the music. Soon, the doorbell rang. Libby shut off the stereo, and Megan went and opened the front door. Eve, Zorina, and Chrome were standing outside. Megan smiled. "Come in, girls." They walked into the living room, and Megan closed the door. "What's up?" Megan asked. "Megan, we've discussed this among ourselves after you left last night," Eve said, "and...we want you to rejoin our team." "What?" Megan asked in surprise. "You're a great driver. We want you. We need you." Eve told her. "Guys, I told you I'm a member of Team Fastex again." Megan said. "Not right now, really." Eve pointed out. "We also wouldn't feel right replacing you. We wouldn't enjoy racing together. We'd rather disband the team." Megan gave a start. "If you join us, you'll be the team owner." Eve went on. "You can come back to racing now. You can set your own rules. It was really fun working together. Do you really want to give that up?" Megan thought about this silently for a moment. She shook her head. "No, I don't." "Please come back, Megan." Eve begged. "Please." Chrome begged. "Yeah, please." Zorina added. Megan slowly smiled, and then her smile grew into a grin. "Sure I will!" The other three girls screamed in delight and hugged Megan. The four girls jumped up and down in excitement. Megan turned around and hugged Libby. "I gotta go tell dad and the others, okay?" Libby smiled. "Okay. But tell them gently, okay?" "Yeah, okay." Megan said. Megan turned and ran out the front door with her friends.
They arrived at Big River Raceway and went out to the track. Team Fastex, Redline's team, and the members of the defunct Team Rexcor were about to start practice runs. Megan, Eve, Chrome, and Zorina walked over to Team Fastex. "Dad?" Megan asked. Jack looked at her. "Megan, what are you doing here?" "I came to tell you - all of you - that I'm quitting Team Fastex - again - and rebanding the Spitfire Racers." Megan said. The members of Team Fastex were all surprised. Jack placed his hands on her shoulders. "Why, Megan? Is it because you want to get back to racing?" "Not just that." Megan told him. "I want to be my own boss. I want to keep the Spitfire Racers alive. I have an obligation that I hadn't realized before. I want be with the team that I created. I don't want to lose them." Jack smiled at his daughter. "I understand. I'm very proud of you, Megan." They hugged each other. "Thanks, dad!" Megan cried. When they let go of each other, Megan offered her left hand to Mark. Mark shook her hand. "Good luck, Megan." She offered it to Carlos. Carlos shook her hand. "Drive safe, amiga." She offered it to Steve. Steve shook her hand. "We'll miss having you, Megan." Megan grinned. "Especially when I'm kicking your bumper!" They all chuckled. "So, I guess Lyle Owens is joining Team Fastex instead." Jack said. "Go welcome him, but tell him no dirty driving." Mark, Carlos, and Steve walked over to Lyle. "Lyle," Mark called, "Megan just quit the team, so we have a spot open. You interested?" Lyle was surprised. "What, are you kidding?! Of course I'm interested!" Carlos offered Lyle his right hand. "Welcome to Team Fastex, amigo." Lyle shook his hand and grinned. "Great to be back." Steve frowned at him. "Just no nasty driving. That's Mr. Fassler's condition for whoever would win today." "No problem." "Swell." Redline said sarcastically. "I've lost Owens. Now, who gets on my team?" "I do!" Diesel and Hondo declared simultaneously. Redline sighed. Megan smiled. "C'mon, girls, let's change into our uniforms and burn rubber." "Yeah!" the girls shouted.
After changing in the locker room, Megan, Eve, Chrome, and Zorina all walked onto the track. They were wearing racing outfits of purple and blue colors with yellow trim. A yellow emblem of a bird was on each of their chests. "It feels great to be back together." Eve said. "Yeah, we'll be awesome together." Chrome added. "C'mon, let's go kick some bumper!" Zorina insisted. Megan grinned. "The Spitfire Racers are back!"
Copyright © 2001 by Mark Moore