car racing, Daily Prompt, driving, humor, serial fiction, Stories, writing

Chequered Flag: Back At Home

When Danny got home Tracey was still awake sitting in front of the TV waiting for him.

“Rick’s staying the night.” Danny said as they walked past the lounge room and into the kitchen where Danny intended to make the coffee he promised Rick on their walk home.

He knew he was being rude to his wife both in his tone and the fact that he’d invited Nick to stay the night without asking her, but he felt justified given that until a few hours ago she’d been estranged from him for three months. She’d walked out on him and refused contact with even her own family for three months then without warning turned up in the pit garage at the first touring car race of the season, which Danny won, to announce her return. He jsut hoped she got the point.

“Hi Rick, long time no see. Too pissed to drive are you?” Tracey said as she entered the kitchen, despite being able to tell from looking at him Rick wasn’t pissed, over the legal driving limit sure but not pissed. “I’ll have coffee too thanks Danny.”

What followed was an awkward twenty minutes with the three of them sitting at the table drinking coffee and barely talking. What conversation they did have was short and to the point and all three of them were happy when Danny finally picked up the empty mugs and suggested it was bed time.

“Bathroom, shower, towels, you know where everything is mate,” Danny said pointing towards the spare bedroom and second bathroom. “I’ll see you about 7ish.”

A relieved Rick got up and headed down to the rear end of the house. Danny was right he’d stayed there enough to know his way around and he was more than happy to be down the end of the house by himself.

At the front end of the house Danny still wasn’t talking to Tracey, that was until he was standing under the hot water in the shower and she stepped into the bathroom at which time he swore at her for the first time in three months.

“Fuck off Tracey.” was all he said. Ten minutes later when he got out of the shower Tracey was laying under the doona on the side of the bed she used to occupy every night and the light was off.

Danny woke up in the morning laying on his left side looking at the window, a hand was on his hip, the clock on the bedside table told him it was 6:13am forty seven minutes before he had to get up. He felt the hand moving, pushing its way inside his boxer shorts. He quickly shoved the hand away and rolled onto his back and for the second time in three months swore at his wife.

“For fucks sake Tracey.”his voice was a bit croaky from a few too many beers and a night where he no doubts snored in his sleep. “What do you think you are doing?”

“I think that’s fairly obvious.” she replied.

“You walked out on me for three months. You ignore all my calls, all my emails, all my texts for three months Tracey. Then out of the blue you just turn up, no apology, no excuses, although I did notice yesterday you managed to blame me for a few things, and you expect everything to be ok. Not just that you actually think I’m just going to roll over and give you sex for coming back.”

“Well if you’d bothered coming home alone last night instead of going to the pub we could have talked about things.”

“And after three months of saying nothing what is it you have to say?” Danny refused to get angry as he spoke.

Tracey lay on her back looking at the roof silent for several seconds. “It’s not all my fault.”

“Maybe not, but I’m not the one who walked out for three months instead of talking about things.”

“Geezus Danny. Yes I was gone for three months, yes I missed Christmas and yes I didn’t answer your calls, now can we get passed that and start discussing important shit!”

“And what is the important shit?”

For the next twenty five minutes Danny lay in bed and listened to Tracey tell nothing. She made some excuses for her behaviour but even Danny could tell they were just comments made in an effort not to give Danny any comeback.

When the clock ticked over to 6:45am Danny had had enough of listening to Tracey so he rolled out of bed and headed to the toilet. He really wanted to talk to Tracey, wanted to discuss what had gone wrong, even discuss the future now that she appeared to be back, but Tracey didn’t want to talk she wanted to tell him how things were and have him agree. When he came out of the bathroom he got dressed and headed to the kitchen.

Danny didn’t have to wait long for Rick to come down from the rear of the house, he was all excited.

“Mate, I think I’ve worked it out.” Rick said stepping into the kitchen.

Danny was sitting at the table, a bowl of Corn Flakes in front of him and a coffee. “That great, nothing like starting the day with something positive. You know where breakfast is.”

“I’m serious mate, I was laying there half awake last night and I realised where you were losing time.”

“You should try sleeping!” Danny replied with a smile as Rick ratted through the pantry looking for food.

A few minutes later Danny and Rick were sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast and Rick was excitedly telling Danny the theory he’d come up with in the wee hours of the morning instead of sleeping.

Without the laptop screens in front of him Danny was having a hard time picturing what Rick was saying exactly but he was getting the gist of it and it sounded plausible to him.

“So can we fix it?” Danny asked.

“Fix what?” Tracey asked as she walked into the kitchen in her robe as if it was something she did every day.

“Rick’s figured out where I was losing a fraction of a second on the track yesterday.” Danny replied before he realised he was actually replying to his wife.

“Oh that’s great news.” Tracey said as she sat down at the table next to Danny. “So Rick can you fix it?”

Danny could tell by the look on Rick’s face that he wasn’t confused as to what Tracey was doing and whether or not he really wanted her involved in the discussion, when Danny nodded Rick took that to mean Danny wanted the answer.

“Yeah of course, well yeah I think so. I’ll know more when we get the car back on the computer this morning.”

“Sounds good then. Dave doesn’t even know there was a problem and you’ve already solved it. He will be impressed!” Danny replied.

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I don’t want to make myself look like a dickhead by jumping the gun and finding out I’m wrong.”

“Hey man, have some confidence. You spotted the time difference and there’s no doubts about that. I’m sure your new theory is right too.”

Fifteen minutes later Danny and Rick were headed to work in their own cars while Tracey was left at home. Danny wasn’t sure what she was going to do all day or if she’d be home when he finished work, he hoped she would be but only if she’d learnt a new way to discuss things.

Previous racing story here.


  1. Aidin

    When I was reading about Danny and Tracey, everything about their relationship felt real, your writing was well done.

    Btw, not sure if you meant to link something at the bottom where it says, “Previous racing story here”. If this story is a continuation to another, then I’d definitely want to read it 🙂

    • Oops I did forget that link. There is maybe four of 5 previous parts that set this story up. Thanks for the heads up I’ll fix it now.

      And thanks for the compliment it’s good to hear. Not sure where the story is going yet but there has to be something there for the two of them.

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