So it comes to this.

A clean breakaway at the gun, an early war for second between the ape and that bloated mustachioed creep. Even that big fella with the spikes took a chain chomp up the tailpipe before the first turn. No sir, you couldn’t have asked for a more perfect storm of misguided animosity and bad blood.

The princesses were at each other’s throats from the get-go, as per usual. The turtles and toads were but a frenzied dust cloud, scrapping like mad cats in the center heats. Bringing up the rear, the babies seemed determined to take their special power frustrations out on their grownup counterparts (Or were they their fathers? There’s a story there I don’t wanna know).

I was alone and unchallenged and half a lap in front of all the mayhem. Exactly where I belong.

But don’t get me wrong. It hadn’t been no walk in the park. That newcomer team in the pipe car gave me quite the run for my money. Couple close calls with some triple reds and an endless barrage of bananas. Good thing the driver is pretty much a giant mouth on a stalk. If they had had a set of peepers and half a brain between them, I would’ve been cannon fodder on the straightaway for sure. A couple well-placed question boxes made quick work of those clowns.

I’m halfway through my victory lap when I spot it; sense it, really. What started as a prickle at the back of my neck materializes into a blue flicker at the corner of my eye. Before I can give voice to the curse at my lips, it’s bearing down on me, clocking in at well over two hundred. It is the great equalizer, the azure kiss of death, a silver trophy dressed up as a blue winged shell. In a word, it was my doom.

With every passing moment it gains ground. I throw my machine into a hard drift, praying for any bit of speed I can muster. Blue matches blue as electric discharge belches from my axles. I can hear it now, a sharp whine emanating from its fell engines. It drives relentlessly toward its final destination, its sole purpose. It hungers for but one fender this day… mine.

I can see the black and white checker in the distance. As I pass through the final item box, I focus on one shape. There’s only one thing on this earth that can save me now. I can feel the heat coming off the jet fuel-powered carapace behind me, so close I could almost reach out to touch its glowing prow. I jam the A button repeatedly, willing the item roulette to stop on my savior. It finally comes to rest on…

A green shell.

Time and space grind to a halt as my car is lifted into the air. Fiery flowers billow around me as the sky rotates, yawning beneath me like an endless blue void. Above me, on the scorched asphalt track, a second blue shell hovers. It spins in patient circles, waiting eagerly for my descent. As my vehicle begins its slow return to earth, a single thought dominates my vertigo-fevered mind.

I will not be unlocking the golden car this day. No I most certainly will not.

ΒΆ Incoming Turtle Shell at SnorgTees