This story was written in
response to the Tracy Island Writers Forum's 2006 Fic Swap
Fic Swap Request: I would like
to see how Alan became interested in racing - how he
discovered his love for the sport.
filled the atmosphere in the lounge of Tracy Villa. Jeff and
three of his sons, Scott, Virgil and Gordon, along with Tin
Tin sat gazing at the television screen as the youngest member
of the family had begun the final lap of the Parola Sands
Alan's three brothers were yelling with excitement and
cheering him on, the other two observers were watching with
mixed feelings of pride and fear for his safety. Jeff and Tin
Tin gasped in shock when two other competing cars went out of
the race after crashing and catching fire. Now it was down to
just two remaining cars, Alan's and an old rival of his in the
sport, Victor Gomez.
kiddo, you can do it!" Gordon yelled enthusiastically, as the
two cars began the last difficult stretch around the cliffs.
Jeff, though, held his breath as Alan negotiated the dangerous
bends and prayed he wouldn't crash and land hundreds of feet
below. While he was proud of his son's achievements in the
sport, Jeff still secretly worried about the dangers Alan
risked every time he entered a race.
was all over and Alan safely passed the winning post. "He did
it!" Virgil shouted. "Boy that was some race. That car Brains
developed is going to be the envy of the racing world now."
looked on with love and pride as Alan received the trophy for
winning the race. "I think that calls for celebration drinks,"
Scott said as he went to the lounge's bar when it was all over
and the broadcast finished.
Scott and Virgil went to the Games Room to play pool and
continued to discuss the race while they played.
was really good out there today," Scott said. "I know he'd had
the benefit of a great car to help him but he was good, too.
The way he drove around those cliff bends needed skill. I must
admit he gave me a few anxious moments when he crashed against
the fence a few times."
you've only got yourself to blame for that," Virgil laughed as
he sank another ball into a pocket.
that s'posed to mean?" Scott asked his younger brother, as he
moved around the table to prepare to take a shot when Virgil
remember it was you that got him interested in fast driving in
the first place?" Virgil laughed.
I s'pose I did," Scott smiled and added. "I guess I can take
some of the credit for what happened at Parola Sands today,
don't you remember when little brother was about eight years
old," Virgil told him. He looked at his brother before taking
another shot and laughed. "At least he succeeded with his
ambitions. You didn't as I recall."
remember that day well," Scott answered. "The only thing I got
out of it was an empty wallet at the end of it. All because I
thought I would treat you lot to a Tracy brothers day out for
year old Scott Tracy woke up with the knowledge that his bed
clothes were quickly being removed from the bed and he was
being shaken rather rapidly. He was also aware that his
youngest brother was yelling at him.
Scott, I've been waiting ages for you to get up," he
heard Alan yell.
opened his eyes to see his little brother standing there
already dressed and waiting for him. "Allie, what time is it
for Pete's sake?" He said looking to his bedside clock rather
than at Alan for an answer. He groaned when he realised it was
too early to go out yet, Alan. The places won't be open yet,
and ‘sides I bet Virgil and John are still asleep," Scott told
we could have our breakfast and go early," Alan said. "I want
to know where the surprise day out is going to be."
wished he'd kept his mouth shut the previous evening. He
should have realised that when it came to surprises the kids
were always eager to know what they were.
tell you what," Scott said with a smile. "If you can wake
Virgil and John up, you come back and let me know and then
I'll get up too."
Scott, I'll do that now," Alan said as he eagerly left the
smiled to himself and pulled the covers back over him hoping
to catch a bit more sleep. He knew full well that it would
take at least another half hour or so for Alan to raise Virgil
from his slumbers, and then he would have to do the same thing
breakfast, Alan was still eager to know what the surprise was.
"So where we going Scott?" he asked the question for the
surprise, Alan, wait and see," Scott replied, trying to stay
it's worth it," Virgil said. "I'd other plans for today."
I need you to come, Virg, you can lend a hand if I get
distracted for a while," Scott told him.
sighed, "Okay, what's the distraction's name this time?" he
asked his elder brother.
and I might just see her at the place where we're going to,"
Scott whispered as his grandmother brought their breakfasts
over and set them down on the table.
had finished eating, the other boys went to get ready to go
out. Their grandmother managed to catch Scott by himself.
of you, Scott, to take your brothers out today," she said.
"Alan was so disappointed he couldn't join Gordon on the Cub
Scouts Adventure Weekend because of having that dentist
appointment. You really cheered him up last night when you
promised him this treat."
well it seemed like he needed it. I hate going to the dentist,
too." Scott told her. "If it hadn't been for him having to go
to the dentist he would have been with Gordon. He's missing
out on all the fun he would have had with him and the rest of
the Cub Scouts."
couldn't help thinking how much like his father Scott was
becoming, not just in his appearance; at seventeen, he'd grown
tall and had his father's dark hair and deep blue eyes. He
took responsibility for the safety and well being of his
younger brothers as well, acting like a second father to them
while Jeff was away, as he was now on his frequent trips to
New York building up the family business.
were all finally ready, Virgil, John and Alan stood outside
the farm house waiting for Scott to finish cleaning the
windows of his beloved car.
looked at the car that Jeff had bought for Scott when he
passed his driving test, parked beside the house. "Why can't
we just go now?" Alan asked Scott as he grew more impatient by
the minute. "You can see through the windows okay now."
nearly done, kiddo," Scott told him. He gazed with love at the
sight of the old blue Ferrari that Jeff had bought from a
friend of his for Scott to take to college. "I won't be long
now. Just making sure Matilda looks good before we go."
think that's a dumb name for a car," Virgil remarked.
but it suits her, so I'm sticking with it," Scott answered as
he gently laid his hand on the car roof.
"Can we go
now?" John asked to get Scott out of his trance with his
come on let's go," Scott told them.
haven't told us where we're going, Scott," Virgil said to his
like I told Allie, here, it's a surprise," Scott answered.
what about the distraction for you, so's I have to baby-sit?
That's what I want to know," Virgil asked him.
smiled and said, "Put it this way, I've heard their family
business has expanded and she helps her brother out selling
hot dogs somewhere else now."
making sure Alan and John were firmly secured in the back seat
he climbed into the driver's seat, with Virgil on the other
side of the front seat.
all set, let's go," he said, as he started the engine and the
car roared down the track and on to the main road into town.
watched from the window as they left. Although secretly
pleased to have the house to herself she still wondered where
Scott was taking his younger brothers for the day. She knew he
would keep them safe from harm but still wondered what
surprise he had in store for them.
brothers' eyes lit up with excitement as Scott drove the car
through the gates of ‘Garden City Family Fun Park.' The new
adventure park that had recently been advertised had not been
open long on the other side of town. Scott got a leaflet from
a gate attendant showing a map of the place and what
attractions were on offer. After parking the car they decided
between them where to go first.
go-kart track was the first choice and they headed off in that
direction. They passed several stands selling refreshments of
all kinds of food and drink. The sight of these would have
sent their grandmother into hysterics if she thought they
might eat the unhealthy food being offered. Virgil watched
Scott surveying the hot dog stands as they passed them by, but
the expression on his face showed that he hadn't discovered
which one Hayley was working at.
reached the go-kart track, it proved to be one of the most
popular attractions and there was a short line forming for a
turn at the vehicles.
Alan with him into the double rider kart he'd hired and Virgil
took John in his. The race began between them and the other
karts on the track. They lost, however, well behind the other
karts that crossed the finishing line first.
"Can we go
on again, Scott?" Alan asked eagerly.
was great," John joined in with enthusiasm.
not just yet anyway," Scott told them. "Other people are
having a turn now. Tell you what though, you can have a turn
on the junior track over there." He indicated with his finger
to the other track not far away.
John waited eagerly while other children got into the rest of
the specially made safety karts for children. The attendant
made sure all of them were safely strapped in before
announcing, "Right boys and girls, we are just about ready to
go. No crashing into each other or you will be stopped and
taken out of the race immediately. First one over the winning
line gets another turn for free. Ready? Then, away you go!"
Virgil watched as Alan and John sped off around the track. It
wasn't long before their younger brothers went by them again
on the second lap and to their amazement, Alan was way ahead
of the others. John was way behind in a respectable middle
place and trying desperately to catch up to his little
still in first place when the next lap began; the thought of
having another turn for free if he won was spurring him on to
win. He was concentrating so much he never noticed his elder
brothers watching him and didn't even notice where John was in
the race. John was enjoying the race, too. He knew he was
never going to win so he was more relaxed and waved to Scott
and Virgil as he passed them.
attendant who had started the race was also watching Alan with
interest and said to Scott, "That kid with you is a natural.
He's going to win. How long's he been go-karting?"
brought him here and put him in that kart today," Scott
laughed as he watched the little red kart with the number
eight on it speeding around the track with his little brother
kidding," the attendant replied, watching Alan as he came
around again with a determined expression on his face as he
concentrated on winning the race.
final lap came around, Scott and Virgil cheered Alan on to
pass the finishing line first. John had finished in a
reasonable position and was pleased Alan had won.
go, kid," the attendant said as he stuck a winner's sticker on
Alan's yellow tee shirt. "Stay there and wait until the karts
get filled with some different kids and then you can go around
again. Win again and you get a winner's trophy to take home
began again and this time John joined his brothers as they
watched and cheered Alan on as once again he took the lead.
lap was coming up and Alan was fighting off some stiff
competition from some of the other young hopefuls who had
caught up to him and looked like they might over-take him at
the last minute.
Alan, you can do it!" Virgil yelled, even though his brother
was well out of range to hear him.
final, desperate effort, Alan just managed to go over the
finishing line seconds before the car behind him. "He's done
it, he's won!" John shouted to everybody within earshot.
face was flushed red with excitement and pleasure at winning
both races. The attendant helped him from the kart and asked
him his name.
Tracy," the young blond boy answered still beaming with
happiness at his brothers.
Alan Tracy, that sure were two good races you won. Do you know
that many a champion racing driver started off in a go-kart?"
The attendant told him. "I'd like to see you entered in the
Junior County Championship races if that's what you can do
after being in a go-kart for the first time today."
that involve?" Scott asked him.
plenty of practice, Monday and Thursday evenings. We keep the
track closed to outsiders while the kids do it. Here's a
leaflet to tell you all about it," he replied. I'm a coach,
and now that this park has been opened, we can put this part
of Finney County on the map, especially with kids with his
Scottie, please?" Alan asked his big brother hopefully.
Scott, and while he's practicing you could get distracted,"
not a bad idea, Virg," Scott agreed with a smile.
here's your winner's cup, and you can think it over," the
attendant said as he handed Alan an imitation Grand Prix
winner's cup for him to take home.
Champ, let's all go for something to eat and drink," Scott
told him and his other brothers. "Funny enough, I feel like
eating a hot dog. Anybody else want one, or a burger? Don't
let Grandma know though or she'll have my hide hanging on the
barn door for a week."
"Can we go
on the Fun Golf Course afterwards?" John asked.
the rides, too, don't forget," Virgil reminded him.
you want to," Scott told them. "Virgil can take you and Alan
on the Fun Golf Course, John, and I'll look after Alan's cup
while I sit at the table near the hot dog stand.
got home Alan proudly showed his grandmother the cup he won at
the park. "I won twice, Grandma, and the man said I could
enter the Junior County Championships. Scott's going to take
me to the practices."
picked up the cup and looked at it. Clearly a mass-produced
cheap item but to her young grandson it was more precious than
gold. "That's wonderful, darling, I'm so proud of you. I'm
pleased you all enjoyed your day out with Scott."
looking at her other blond grandson she noticed how pale his
face was, "You don't look well, sweetie, are you okay?"
shifted his feet about and looked up at his grandmother. "I
feel a bit sick, Grandma. I think I went on too many rides."
Grandma, lots of them," Virgil agreed. "He enjoyed himself
Scott?" she asked as suspicions formed in her mind about what
else may have made John sick.
know, Scott, he'll be washing the dust off and polishing up
his car before he comes in." Virgil told her.
their grandmother fussed over John and took him upstairs to
bed. Alan picked up his cup and took it up into his room
putting it in a place of honour on his bedside chest. He saw
the two items he'd got from the dentist's toy box as a reward
for his ordeal the day before. He picked up the colouring book
and set of crayons and took them downstairs to the kitchen
where he sat at the table and opened up the first page. It was
a scene of two racing cars, and one had a number eight on
which was the same number as the go-kart he'd won the race in
carefully coloured in the scene and before long the page was
transformed from black and white to colour, the car with
number eight on he chose to be red like his winning go-kart
and the other one he coloured yellow.
finished when Scott came in to look for something to eat and
drink. He poured himself a glass of orange juice and helped
himself to a muffin, then came over to see what Alan was
that's good, Alan," Scott told his little brother. "You've
made a nice job of that picture and haven't made any smudges
or anything. You're almost as good as Virgil."
the praise he got from Scott he smiled and told him. "I might
be a racing driver one day like that man in the park said, if
I keep on winning races like I did today. Thanks, Scott, for
taking me out and for letting me go to the practices for the
ruffled the young blond's hair and smiled. "Pleased you
enjoyed it, Allie, and I hope you do well at them."
evening, Alan went to bed feeling very tired after the
enjoyable day he'd had. He looked at the winner's cup beside
his bed and felt very proud of himself. He'd stuck the picture
of the racing cars on his picture board in his room and
thought how great it would be to be able to drive a car like
that in a race. He looked forward to telling Gordon all about
it when he got home tomorrow, too. He missed his brother and
wished Gordon had been at the park, knowing that he would have
enjoyed riding on the go-karts, too.
looked forward to Scott taking him to the practices for the
County Championships. With these pleasant thought in his mind
he soon fell asleep.
Scott and Virgil sat out on the porch drinking some lemonade
and talking about the day out they had.
like you've got your Monday and Thursday evenings booked for a
while now, Scott," Virgil told him.
unless I can get Dad or Grandma to take Alan," he replied.
"You could see how eager he was Virg, I couldn't let him
the matter, don't you want to be distracted anymore?" Virgil
off, Virg," Scott answered. "It wasn't funny."
it was," Virgil laughed. "There's you treating us all to hot
dogs and burgers and drinks twice over during the day. Then
the lovely Hayley finishes her shift and goes off with a guy
from the cotton candy stall. Boy, your face was a picture,
Scott. Next time you ought to check up and see if your
distractions don't have distractions of their own first."
hardly get close enough to speak to her with three kid
brothers in tow, could I?" Scott told him. "
top of everything else, John threw up all over the back seat
of your car on the way home. Good job he told Grandma it was
going on too many rides that made him sick. I wouldn't like to
be in your shoes if she finds out what you'd been feeding him,
and us," Virgil continued, still laughing at Scott's
remind me. I had to clean that up," Scott grimaced at the
thought of the mess his beloved car was in when they got home.
"Well if Alan gets to be a Junior County Champion go-kart
racer at least it will have been worth the effort, I suppose."
got you to thank then, Scott, for sowing the seeds of racing
in him," Virgil said as he watched his brother pocket another
ball as he and Scott relived the memories of that day.
come to think of it, I should ask him to pay me back some of
the money I spent on him that day for all of those rides and
treats," Scott laughed. "I wonder if he's still got that
he has it stashed somewhere in his room," Virgil laughed. "He
was really proud of it when he took it home that night. He was
even more proud when he became Finney County Junior Go-Kart
they could go on with their memories of Alan's first racing
triumph they were interrupted by an emergency call from their
to the lounge, both of you," he told them urgently. "I've had
a distress call from Alan. He's on a bridge with Grandma and
there's a bomb primed to go off."