‘The Great Race’ is a children’s story written during my internship for Malvern City Council.
It was inspired by the local history of the Morgan Cars (with a little creative licence).
The Great Race
“3… 2… 1… Go!”
With the wave of a flag, they were off.
Five drivers. Five cars.
All of them determined to be Number One.
At the back, there was Sebastian Speedy, followed shortly in front by Ryan Rapid and then none other than Taylor Swift herself.
Then, of course, leading in first place was Alexander Zoom.
Everybody had expected Zoom would win.
He always won.
The annual race across the Malvern Hills, and the frankly ginormous trophy that came with it, was all but guaranteed to be won, again, by Mr Alexander Zoom.
But this year there was a new driver.
A driver who, as if by magic, was right behind Alexander Zoom on every twist and turn, every bend and bow of the track.
This driver was Morgan Morganson: a young man whose very name seemed to be a joke, but who was determined to be taken very, very seriously.
At only eighteen years old, Morgan was barely allowed to drive, let alone take part in this great race.
But he had trained all his life for this one, specific moment.
For this one, specific race.
From when he was just three years old, steering his blue toy car across that glorious finish line. That blue toy car he would eventually outgrow…
To when he was seven, and his father let him sit on his lap in the car, hands on the steering wheel, pretending it was him in control…
To later on at fourteen, when he built his own soapbox car out of discarded wood, unused boxes, and whatever knickknacks he could find…
To ten minutes later when he crashed it into a bush…
To that glorious day at fifteen when he built that soapbox car all over again, and won the village race.
All of these moments had led to now.
Morgan Morganson riding neck and neck against Alexander Zoom.
The road was straight, for now at least. A brief moment of peace before they zigged and zagged again.
Through his car window, Morgan could see Alexander Zoom in all his pompous glory.
His excessively groomed moustache which curved at the ends like Dick Dastardly.
His frankly unnecessary golden driving gloves and matching goggles.
All his frankly ginormous trophies which he kept in the back seats, secure in their seatbelts.
Even their cars were opposites.
Zoom’s with a fancy gold paint-job, brand new engine which gave a mighty purrrr and a spoiler shooting straight into the sky.
Then there was Morgan’s; a hand-me-down from his father. The wheels starting to wobble. The paint starting to peel. A car which didn’t purr as much as meow.
But Morgan had faith in himself. And his skill had carried him to second place already.
Taylor Swift and Ryan Rapid were a short way back now, whilst Sebastian Speedy was nowhere to be seen.
And Morgan, slowly but surely, was catching Alexander Zoom.
They curved to the left. Then to the right. Left again. Right again. Left. Right. So far left that they ended up going right.
At every turn, it seemed Zoom was destined to leave Morgan in his dust.
But at every turn, Morgan clung on.
That lead, however, was in jeopardy, as Morgan knew that the next part of the race was the hardest.
The dreaded Malvern Hills Horror.
The 720 degree spiral which only the greatest of drivers could tame.
Morgan could see Zoom was slowly starting to creep ahead of himself, as the Horror got closer and closer.
But he was going too fast. Morgan was sure of it.
The Horror would eat him up and spit him back out again with the speed that Zoom was travelling at.
So Morgan slammed on his brakes, and took the turns as gently as he needed, not worrying about the competition.
Ryan Rapid was long gone now, and even Taylor Swift had little chance of catching up.
Morgan just had to trust that he had made the right decision, and that slow and steady truly would win this race.
Morgan was dizzy already, but still he went on.
Round and around and around he went.
Until, finally, 720 degrees, and Morgan had defeated the Malvern Hills Horror.
With that morning’s breakfast rising fast in his stomach, Morgan shot out onto the strait of the road ahead.
He saw the zebra chequered flag of the finish line.
And there was nobody in front of him. Nobody there to stop him from winning that frankly ginormous trophy.
Morgan looked to his left, and saw Alexander Zoom, his car head-first in a bush.
Furious, Alexander Zoom stamped up and down, screaming “The Horror! The Horror!”
Then, he kicked the wheel of his own car, and with a high pitched squeal, clung on to his now injured foot.
Morgan couldn’t help but laugh a little.
And then, Morgan had won.
He burst through that finish line with all the pride and determination of a winner.
A few minutes later, Taylor Swift finished second, Ryan Rapid in third, and Sebastian Speedy snailed along into fourth.
Alexander Zoom, meanwhile, had to walk across the finish line in last place.
Soon enough, Morgan was on a pedestal, struggling to support the weight of his frankly ginormous trophy.
And it seemed the whole of Malvern had gathered to celebrate his victory.
Then, Morgan spotted his father, right at the front of the crowd, and drew him into a hug.
From his pocket, Morgan’s father withdrew that toy blue car Morgan had raced as a child.
“Guess you won’t be needing this anymore,” he said.