‘Come on, come on,’ I muttered under my breath, squatting slightly so I was ready to spring into action.
The ute’s engines revved something fierce, sand spinning beneath its tires as it dared me to make the first move.
Gollo, in his hole, began to pray again.
‘Come on,’ I called out, impatience getting the better of me. ‘Let’s finish this.’
The ute screamed into action, the sand clouding its approach like demon smoke, tearing at the air with its roaring engine.
As soon as it moved, I dashed to the right, aiming for a small dune.
Its tyres squealed as it rushed to cut me off. I couldn’t help but grin.
This was gonna be close.
I hit the dune and immediately ran up – not quite how they’d done this in the Melbourne rodeos, but close enough that I could adapt it.
Time seemed to slow as I pushed my legs to climb the dune, the monster close and fast approaching. Acting on instinct alone, I kicked off, flipping through the air at the exact moment the ute would have taken me off at the knees.
My hands shot out, scrambling for purchase, anything at—
I hung on to the demon’s half canopy with all of my strength, sliding into the tray proper as it sped up and over any dune it could find trying to bump me off its back. It was no use – I knew as soon as I let it go I’d be done for, so there was no way I was ever letting go.
Eventually, it seemed to tire, to slow. Quick as a flash, I dove through its open cabin windows, sliding forward into the belly of the beast and wrenching the handbrake up.
It was over.
‘How did you do that?!’ Gollo asked, absolutely in awe as I climbed out of the cabin.
‘I saw some professionals do something similar to some ute canopies near Melbourne that weren’t behaving,’ I grinned. ‘Thought I’d give it a crack too.’
‘So are we… done?’ he asked, nervously.