Terry moved his curtains a little and peeked into the darkened street, watching the neighbours’ windows for any sign of activity. There was none – not yet, anyway. They were talking about it though, they had to be. He could imagine it now; the old gent across the way going green with envy because Terry had bettered him; the sexy teen next door dreaming about dumping her loser boyfriend for him; the entire road – no, the neighbourhood – realising that Terry was not a quiet simpering shell of a man, but a winner.
He looked lovingly at the shiny new car below. It was a BMW 118d in black. He couldn’t believe it himself – he was a BMW owner! Sure, it had manual windows, a basic CD system, and none of the gadgets that other less-prestigious cars offered for the same money – money that he was paying off in admittedly-crippling monthly amounts to some vague-sounding finance company. Still – it was a BMW, and doors would start opening for him now.
He’d parked it a little away from the kerb so any traffic would have to pay particular attention to it as they swerved around the blind corner just before the school crossing. He regretted not opting for an alarm system, otherwise he would have set it off a few times to draw attention to himself. He peered out into the dark, but the glowing curtains around him remained still. Everyone was waiting until daylight, he reasoned. Yes – you can’t look at a black car in the dark, after all. Terry went outside, pretended to fetch something from the empty boot, then opened and slammed all the doors several times before retreating back inside. The curtains remained still. Damn.
The next day, Terry left for work an hour earlier than usual. He was going to do a bit of cruising in his new car, right in the middle of the morning rush. Sure, his office was only a couple of minutes away from him – five if he walked – but he wanted to arrive in style today. He’d purchased a pair of huge black sunglasses off the Internet and was wearing them with a self-satisfied smirk on his face knowing that others couldn’t see him looking at them. As he tailgated a Vauxhall Astra on a dual carriageway, a large blue car raced past him. It was a 3 Series, and Terry’s lips pursed with hatred– but he realised it was four years older than Terry’s car. He grinned smugly – what a pauper.
The Vauxhall came to a roundabout and stopped gradually, so Terry blared his horn. “Come on you bastard!” yelled Terry, absolutely beside himself with rage – why couldn’t this driver pull over and let him pass? Had he not seen Terry’s brand-new BMW? The Astra pulled away, so Terry followed him out into the traffic without pausing. A red Micra swerved around the back of Terry’s car and crashed into a bollard, plastic and glass showering the tarmac like confetti. Terry blared his horn at no-one in particular, swapped lanes randomly, then nipped in front of a lorry and raced down a one-way street.
After fifteen minutes of tearing through the city streets, he reluctantly decided to make his way to work, so hammered down some back-streets, taking off wing-mirrors with reckless abandon until he came to a junction. In front of him, a brand-new white Megane was indicating and waiting to be let-out into the stream of traffic. After exactly two seconds, Terry blared his horn and made the universal sign of the masturbator, incensed because the driver – this prick – was taking too long. Surprisingly, the car’s brake lights came on briefly, then the door opened and a slim man wearing a suit got out. Terry’s blood froze – this wasn’t supposed to happen. The man stared daggers at Terry, then popped the Megane’s boot and brandished a shotgun. Terry started to wet himself, the warm liquid strangely reassuring as it seeped into the seats. The man pointed the gun at Terry and shouted “Get out!”
Terry did nothing, still pissing himself. Why was this happening? Why was this guy about to kill him just for beeping at him? It was only a sound, a signal – surely it wasn’t worth killing Terry over, was it? Trust me to get involved with a crazy psycho that had no regard for people, he thought.
The guy fired the gun, smashing the windscreen into tiny shards. He told Terry to get out again. Shocked into submission, Terry did so. The man walked up to him and struck Terry in the balls with his foot. He doubled over in pain, vaguely aware of the black shoes of the man in front of him.
In a measured tone, the guy whispered, “fucking BMW drivers,” then put the gun away and drove off.