First published back in June of 2013, British author Joseph D’Lacey’s story ‘Roadkill’ formed the fourth offering in the ‘This Is Horror’ quarterly chapbook series.  The chapbook was limited to just 125 signed and numbered copies.

DLS Synopsis:
Gripping the solid steel steering wheel tightly, he pushed his Vindicator onwards with a rapidly increasing speed.  Out of the corner of his eye he could see that sixteen-year-old Dubb was matching his pace alongside him.  The two V’s tearing down the sacrosanct highway, side-by-side and accelerating rapidly.

As the seconds tick away, so the sacred course changes in the blink of an eye.  But they had been preparing all their lives for this one moment.  These 100 seconds when they will follow the course to their destiny.  He is finally a Seeker on the Final Five.  And it’s a course that pushes Seekers to the absolute limit.  Should they make it to the finish line, should destiny see them ride out the entire length of the course, then they will reach convergence – and the ultimate goal.

The V’s were created for one thing only – so Seekers can ride the Final Five.  Hand built from steel and joined with the blood of the Gentleborns, these are more than just cars.  These are gateways into a higher existence.  An existence where the ranks of the Boymen wait for those who succeed.

The race is on…

DLS Review:
To say that this is a high-octane read is perhaps the understatement of the year.  The entire story is based around 100 seconds of extreme-paced driving, with two of these Vindicator cars frantically tearing down this sacred race track at astronomically dangerous speeds.

The reader is quite literally flung into the high-speed race from the outset, without any idea of what the hell is going on, who anyone is, or why they are pushing these monstrously-metallic vehicles to such incredibly dangerous degrees.  And to be honest, D’Lacey maintains this overriding mystery throughout the length of the short tale – offering only small nuggets of information and titillating snippets of a much bigger story that we’re only seeing the very briefest glimpse of.  Indeed, the story reads like we’re only seeing these agonisingly slowed-down 100 seconds from a ‘Death Race 2000’ (1975) type of dystopian future.

D’Lacey’s writing and prose is stark and punchy, with a taut and intense energy behind every word.  Written from the perspective of our unnamed driver, the adrenaline-pumping storyline puts the reader behind the wheel of this speeding beast of a machine, and second-by-second, slams the nerve-snapping mayhem of the Final Five track into the reader’s face.

Quite simply, this is a short that needs to be experienced.  It’s hard to do the tale justice, attempting to describe the chaotic madness of the blistering 100 seconds that are detailed so intensely.  It’s a zoomed-in glimpse of a much bigger story that’s teaming with thousands of dark possibilities.  It’s a nail-biting snippet of a crazy-ass world where these Vindicator cars are the new gods.  And it makes for one hell of a frantic and heart-pounding read.

The chapbook runs for a total of 28 pages.

© DLS Reviews


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