You’re probably wondering what could be making that sort of sound.
Oh; it’s just me working in my basement, I do that most times when I’m bored. And on this rather beautiful summer Friday morning, I guess boredom’s my last name.
I’m Edgar Hume, moved down to Little Havana in downtown Wickham about three months ago, Dad had just gotten this new job at Sky Corps; some nerdy laboratory just off the west of North Carolina and we had been left with no choice but to move.
And since I spend most of my time alone – it makes it really difficult for me to have friends, it’s pretty colorless, trust me. I’m like the world’s most boring kid, but I like to think of myself as being quite overly intelligent (at least that’s what Dad tells me all the time).
“One day Ed, you’ll probably work with me at Sky Corps, hell – you could even take over the company, considering the fact that you have such a technologically creative mind” Dad once said to me examining my inventions in the basement.
Right, I didn’t mention that – I’m into inventing stuff, was just working on one of my drones which I had nicknamed ARACHNID, I had designed it to look like a small spider and due to my overly overflowing knowledge with programming, I was also able to make it act like a spider.
I used the ARACHNID to keep an eye out for things in the house due to its ultra-kinetic signal and inbuilt camera which could be used to locate tiny objects, not to mention that I have used it to once find Princess Fluffy Bottoms (Mum’s silly cat) that got stuck in a hole underneath the house, genius right?.
Now, back to that whirring sound, like I was saying – you’re probably still wondering what I’m working on, but I’ll let you in on it.
I met this kid named Joe Carlos who lives about three blocks away from my house and we bonded (the nerd to nerd bonding sort of thing) but that’s not the crux of the matter right now, Joe informed me about a kind of mini-car racing competition called MEGA MANIA.
According to him, it’s a racing competition in which remote controlled mini cars race against one another in a mini racetrack arena which Joe himself had built from the scratch in the outskirts of Little Havana, most kids battle at the arena all summer racing their built mini-cars against one another and betting their allowances.
I wasn’t personally overly excited about the whole mini-car racing or gambling shit but I had in fact never really built a mini-car before, which is kind of surprising because I have made almost every gadget that is known to a kid; talk about toys, computers and any other cool stuff that actually comes to mind.
So I accepted Joe’s offer, and that’s why I’m here building my very own mini-car, I had already installed the engine block, cylinder head, cylinders, pistons, valves, crankshaft, and camshaft. The lower part of the engine, called the engine block, houses the cylinders, pistons, and crankshaft.
Then I had made sure to create a kind of ultra- wireless receiver in the car, which I routed back to my remote control which had a makeshift camera attached to it; which would basically allow me to navigate the car quite well, it was just like replaying ASPHALT 6 in the real world.
But there was just one last detail which I hadn’t quite installed yet, I wouldn’t want to divulge that to you now, I think of it as my trump or ace card, and I couldn’t wait to see the faces of the other kids when I eventually got to use it at the raceway on Sunday.
“Edgar! Where are you?” Mum called from upstairs, “I know you’re down again in that basement” she added hollering at the top of her voice. Well, mum’s just like that; she can be quite dotting and disturbing.
“Coming mum, will be up in five” I called back, then I proceeded to carefully lift up my mini-car which I had now painted and rebranded with plastic which I had found in Dad’s workshop in the shed – yeah; Dad also has his own laboratory in the house, I guess we shared it equally.
I hurried up the stairs and straight into the kitchen to find Mum clad in her apron, she was checking the oven for some of her pancakes which had filled the air in the room with that sweet aroma, I headed to the refrigerator and took out a pack of Ringles and poured some into a bowl and topped it up with milk, then I proceeded to the table and sat down.
“I honestly wonder why you spend so much time in that basement, that old, cranky, musty place which is stuffed up with dust balls” Mum said bringing out the pan which was containing the little pancakes.
“I was working on a new project Mum” I replied trying to keep my mind on the latest idea that I had conceived as regards the mini-car.
“I know Edgar, but why don’t you just go out of the house and make friends, a boy should be spending his summer with his friends and not following his father’s footsteps all the time” she replied putting a plate filled with pancakes in front of me.
I just kept mute at that and grabbed one of the pancakes, sank my teeth into it and took a huge bite. If only Dad were at home right now, he would have long rescued me from Mum’s nagging.
“I don’t want you spending all your time down there Edgar and I mean it” Mum stated assertively, and I only nodded my head in agreement with her, Mum was not one who to get into a heated argument with because she was always sure to win.
But she was going to be in for a real surprise.
“Nice ride dude… It looks rather cool and exquisite” Joe complimented after seeing my mini-car, we were presently walking down the street just past Silicon Drive and headed for Marty’s Avenue which was like directly into the outskirts of Little Havana which Joe called The OUTDOORS.
“Thanks, built it from scratch, I didn’t think it would have worked out fine, but I guess I did one hell of a job on it” I replied with a grin.
“Well, it’s certainly quite cool, damn you even added mini-double exhausts and is that a nitro boost canister? Damn… bloody hell” Joe croaked.
“Nothing overly special, I bet lots of the other guys came up with something cooler, I can only hope that mine’s faster and cooler” I offered.
Joe only nodded his head, “Well Nicky McAlister actually won last summer’s MEGA MANIA, I bet he thinks he’ll win this one this year too but he’ll be in for a surprise.”
“You bet” I winked and adjusted my Nikon smart camera which was attached to a tag around my neck, “So how far till we get to the OUTDOORS?”
“Just a bit longer; I guess we should have taken our bikes but I wasn’t really going to take the chances of my mum actually seeing me” Joe replied.
We both fell silent as we trudged along, I had long replaced my mini-car which I had now nicknamed ZOOM KART into my backpack which I carried with utmost care, we cut through the nearly empty street on Marty’s and headed through the park towards the raceway.
I was a bit surprised at the number of kids that I actually saw there, although I couldn’t recognize most of them I knew them because they all attended Calhan’s High which was basically the only school in Little Havana.
Most of the kids were gawking at Joe and me as we approached the raceway arena; I guess they were really looking at me anyway because it was definitely the first time they were seeing me in the streets.
“Hey Joey, who’s this guy?” a red-haired boy asked.
“Oh, this is Edgar he’s new in the hood, Edgar meet Nicky” Joe blurted out quickly, “Edgar’s here for MEGA MANIA, he recently just built his own mini-car”
“Is that right? I look forward to seeing that car” Nicky said with a smirk on his face.
“You’ll see it alright and you’ll be surprised” I said without thinking, I really didn’t like this Nicky guy and neither did I like the rather cold reception that Joe’s friends were giving me.
“Fast mouth, I’ll like to see your face when your mini-car comes up against STREAK” Nicky chuckled, “By the way… what’s the name of your mini-car?” he asked.
“ZOOM KART…” I muttered looking away.
“You say what? Zoom Kart, What did you think this was? Crash Bandicoot…?” And with that, all the boys burst into laughter including Joe, I bit my lower lip and held myself in control; I wasn’t going to let them get to me with their evasive whines and banters.
“Well, I really think we should let the mini-cars do the talking, shall we?” I asked glaring at Nicky.
“Yup… I totally agree with him Nick” a black skinned boy who I later got to know as Darren chipped in.
“Right… get ready to be streaked and grilled like a steak” Nicky whispered into my ear as he headed towards his backpack.
Every other boy including Joe brought out their mini-cars and remote controls, I glanced over my shoulder as I rummaged through my own backpack for my mini-car, I could see Nicky holding his mini-car in his hands; it looked like a little Lamborghini.
After all the mini-cars were set on the raceway, Nicky approached me smiling calmly. I honestly wished that I could wipe that smirk off his face at that very moment.
“Want to make a bet? I will beat you to the finish line in about thirty seconds” Nicky said.
“Right… how much?” I asked.
“Really, you don’t have to bet Edgar… it’s just your first time here” Joe interjected; I knew he was trying to protect my allowance but I wasn’t going to let this Nicky guy think I was some sort of wimp.
“I think I want to” I said still looking at Nicky who was still smiling like a hobo clown, I dug my right hand into my pocket and took out my wallet, procured a twenty dollar bill which was basically my pocket allowance for the week.
Nicky nodded in affirmation and also brought out his own money which we handed over to Joe, the money was placed into the cap which belonged to another kid and we all headed to the raceway.
I kissed ZOOM KART one last time and placed it on the raceway beside the STREAK and five other mini- cars, then I took out my remote control and turned on the camera, let’s do this I thought to myself.
“On your mark, get ready and go!” Joe screamed at the top of his voice, and the entire mini –cars zoomed off at top speed. It took me time to realize that I had not pushed the DRIVE button, all the other cars were ahead, and ZOOM KART was still stagnant.
I groaned as the other kids laughed loudly at me, and when I eventually did put on the DRIVE button, my mini-car jolted forward and joined the race.
Nicky’s STREAK was already way ahead and leading the race, “C’mon ZOOM… you can do this” I whispered under my breath.
ZOOM KART bypassed the last two cars and forged ahead as I turned on the nitro boost, I was now in the third position just behind Darren’s car and Nicky’s STREAK.
Now’s the time to do the unexpected… I thought to myself and slid open the remote control which I had designed to have two phases and hit a button which I had named FLIGHT MODE.
You should have seen Nicky’s face as he watched ZOOM KART float past his STREAK with its wings, all the kids including Joe all stared at me wide-eyed as my mini-car floated past the finish line and just behind came the STREAK, I had won the bet.
“Dude…that was dope!” Darren exclaimed giving me a high five and the other guys all gathered around me showering me with questions on how I managed to make my mini car fly and I readily answered their questions.
Needless to say; I went home with forty dollars in my pocket and a group photo with my new friends which I had taken with my Nikon camera, and yeah Nicky was in the photo, we’re all best pals to this day.