1986 Ford Escort wagon

Molly decided:  the Allard was a completely absurd piece of machinery.  Where a normal car had comfortable seats and carpet, it had a couple of pads the size of picnic cushions and bare metal.  When it was running, every panel seemed to vibrate at a different rate, and the nose lifted toward the sky every time Glen put his foot down.  Molly wondered if the front tires were actually leaping off the ground.  It was a big, cartoonish car, and little wheelies every few seconds wouldn’t have been entirely out of character.

Now of course it had gotten more absurd, what with the shoe hanging from the dashboard.  Glen pulled on it instead of using the gas pedal.  It had taken him a few minutes to get used to it, and it was so obvious he was enjoying the routine–tug on the shoe with his right hand, steer with the left, drop the shoe to shift, catch it up again–that Molly almost forgot how angry she was with him.  She was uncomfortable enough as it was, so she watched Glen playing with his toy and her mood softened.

They stuck to the freeway.  Once Glen learned to use the shoe, he passed Lexi and stayed in front of her.  The Allard was powerful enough to keep the Alfa from getting past. 

Lexi gave up trying to pass for about ten miles, then abruptly ran up on him, waving her hand over the windshield and motioning Glen to the side.  When he pulled over, she stopped behind him and ran to the door.  “You’re blowing coolant,” she said.  “It’s all over my windshield, and it tastes of raisins.”

“How long?”

“Just started.”  Lexi dropped into a hurdler’s stretch next to the Allard and looked under the car.  “I see it.  Just a little drib up front.”

“Damn,” Glen said.  “I hope the radiator’s not cracked.”

“Want help?”

He started to climb out.  “No, you’d better go on.”  Lexi helped him undo the hood fasteners, and he took a look.  “Looks like the neck of the hose is splitting.  I can bandage it.  Not so bad.  We’re going to have to sit here till she cools off enough to work on, at least.”

“‘Deed you are,” Lexi said.  “We’ll see you later, when Coquette inevitably breaks down and you pass us.”  She bounced back to the Alfa and tumbled over the sill instead of opening the door.

“Your friend is one of the silliest people I’ve ever met,” Glen said to Molly.  “And I mean that in the nicest way possible.”

“She’s your friend too, you know.  Or does she become ‘my’ friend when she’s too strange for you to want to be associated with?”

Her tone was sharp, but when he looked at her, she was smiling.  He wished that he couldn’t still feel her irritation from earlier.  Remembering that Molly had mentioned her affinity for a capella singing, he flirted with the idea of serenading her while he worked as a means of cheering her up.  It seemed like the sort of thing Lexi would have done, but it had been a long time since he’d sung, and in the end he talked himself out of doing it.