I had forgotten how severe burning rubber smells. The air was thick with it, wafting around the area like some death cloud. Slowly and sluggishly the poisonous haze seeped into the car, taking on a strange, bluish tint from the neon dashboard lights. My eyes watered and I could taste the sharp, acrid musk of suffering tires.
We weren’t going particularly fast, maybe 25 to 30 miles per hour when Shifty pulled the emergency brake and floored it. Time stopped. The engine roared like a wounded lion—a deafening, frightening, horrible sound. The wheels spun as if we were on an ice skating rink.
Then Shifty eased up on the brake.
Unleashed, the car rocketed forward, wheels still spinning up smoke. He violently yanked the wheel one way and the car headed straight for the wall.
I was certain I was going to die. I flashed back to all the times I had been in a car accident. I closed my eyes, waiting for the sounds of collision.
A moment later, the thunderous roar of the engine resumed. We didn’t hit the wall. There was more screeching and the car sounded angry. I couldn’t see in front of me because the path was blocked with the thick cloud of black smoke created by the squealing tires. Then, through the fog lights another wall emerged.
I thought about dying again.