Thursday, February 18, 2010

49. Thrill of the chase

His calf muscles were firing strongly, powering him through the traffic. His heart was pumping to capacity. Sweat streamed down his engorged neck veins, cooling the engine room. With a flick of the wrist, he dodged a suddenly open van door, flinging epithets in his wake. His eyes ever alert to hazards, his brain calculating angles and openings.

There is a use-by date to the life of a courier, the pressures on both body and mind being extreme. Earning a comparable salary had to be factored in, and extracted an extreme work ethic, constantly chasing the next pick-up, being prepared to service, the narrowest laneway, or the tallest office-block.

Pared down to sinewy flesh barely covering bone, his gaunt body showed the wear and tear of a gruelling morning session in the driving rain. Both pedestrians and drivers were at their wit’s end, and he was an easy, unprotected target.


Julie said...

Just so you don't think I've gone all gooey!

Vicki said...

You gooey, Julie? Never. :)

This riff is fast and tight… like the bike courier.

I also learnt a new word: epithets. Mind you, I’m still not sure of its meaning in this context.

Oxford Dictionary: n adjective or phrase expressing a quality or attribute regarded as characteristic of the person or thing mentioned.

Joan Elizabeth said...

He he ... I thought my comment last night might scare you.

The Oxford dictionary is not much help with that word. Google pushed out "a defamatory or abusive word or phrase" which is what you meant.

I felt the guys pain.

Julie said...

You sure put the wind up me, I tell you!

I first learnt the word "epithet" as what some of the bleeps in the Nixon Tapes obliterated.