Embracing the world with positive creativity since Sept 2007.
My latest novel, 500 Miles To Go, has been picked up by Pulse Publishing.
Alex Król made his dream come true to drive in the Indianapolis 500 eight years after seeing his first 500, in 1955, the year Bill Vukovich was killed in his bid to become the first driver to win three consecutive 500s.
Alex had been following the career of A.J. Foyt since he’d broken onto the scene in 1958 and Alex wanted to pattern his driving style after Foyt’s catch me kiss my ass technique.
And then there’s the girl: Gail, as in Gail Russell. No, not the Gail Russell, who starred opposite John Wayne in Wake of the Red Witch and was in her own right downright gorgeous. Just not as gorgeous as Alex’s Gail. Gail had been Alex’s girl since high school.
Gail fell for Alex before she learned that he risked his life on dirt tracks during the summer months to the delight of fans who paid to see cars crash—the more spectacular the wreck the taller they stood on their toes and craned their necks to see the carnage.
By the time she learned the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth—that Alex had vowed to one day drive in and win the Indianapolis 500—it was too late. She was in love with him.
Anticipated to launch in fourth quarter 2012, 500 Miles to Go is a love story that touches four decades.
Below appears a short excerpt.
“I lay in bed that night, after the banquet, thinking about what Foyt had told me. He was right, I knew. But his wisdom left no impact on how I felt about how I’d won the 500. I felt empty inside. I’d dreamed of that moment, had worked my whole life to make it come true. My legacy as a driver, and my happiness, were linked to seeing my face on the Borg Warner trophy. But in achieving it, I felt no such happiness. In fact, I felt hollow. In that moment I knew that Jerry Grant was but a scapegoat for my dissatisfaction.
“I thought of my parents. Neither of them had lived long enough to see me achieve that moment. I was disappointed, certainly; but I knew, wherever they were, if they were able to look into my life, they were proud of me. Their absence from my life, by itself, was not enough to prevent what should’ve been a joyful moment.”
Alex took a deep breath.
“I looked at the phone, silent on the nightstand, and for the first time since she walked out of my life, I thought about calling Gail. Never had I longed so much to hear her voice. ‘Alex Król,’ she’d say into the phone, the way she used to when we were kids. I imagined her telling me how glad she was that I’d called, that she’d listened to the race on the radio, had watched it later that night, on tape delay. That she’d followed my entire career and was proud of all that I’d accomplished, maybe even adding that she’d been foolish to worry about my getting hurt. I’d tell her it was okay, that I understood. And then I’d ask her to join me for dinner when I got back to town and she’d sigh in that way she had and tell me that she’d love to …”
Alex paused, and Alicia waited patiently for him to continue:
“But so much in life never plays out the way we envision it. My marriage was proof of that.
“I re-imagined the phone call: Gail’s father would answer. He’d congratulate me on winning the 500—assuming he was aware of it. He’d ask how I was doing and I’d tell him, ‘great, I’m doing great.’ Then I’d ask about Gail and he’d tell me that she’d met a young man a year or so after we’d broken up, married him, and that she was now mother to two healthy toddlers, a boy and a girl. Then it would be my turn to congratulate him, for becoming a granddaddy. Maybe, to save face, I’d nonchalantly ask him to say hello to Gail for me, give her my best, hoping he wouldn’t, not wanting her to know that I’d asked about her. More than likely, I’d leave it at ‘congratulations’ and simply say ‘goodbye.’
“I rolled over, turning my back to the phone, and prayed for sleep’s escape.”