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Authors: Laramie Briscoe

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Hot Summer Nights

BOOK: Hot Summer Nights
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Hot Summer Nights

A Novella

Laramie Briscoe

Copyright © 2015 Laramie Briscoe

Kindle Edition

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, distributed, stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, without express permission of the author, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages for review purposes.

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, or any events or occurrences, is purely coincidental. The characters and story lines are created from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any trademarks, service marks, product names, or named features are assumed to be the property of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. There is no implied endorsement if any of these terms are used. Except for review purposes, the reproduction of this book in whole or part, electronically or mechanically, constitutes a copyright violation.

Edited by:
Lindsay Gray Hopper

Cover Art by: Kari Ayasha of
Cover to Cover Design

Formatted by: Paul Salvette of BBeBooks

Proofread by: Dawn Bourgeois

Cover Image Copyright: Dollar Photo Club

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

About the Book

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

About the Author

Other Books by Laramie

Hot Summer Nights

Soggy Bottom, Kentucky has one thing going for it. The dirt track that attracts crowds on Saturday nights.


Summer flings

Checkered flags

Wayne Harper and Kevin Grimes haven’t liked each other since kindergarten when they got into a scuffle on the playground. Now, as young men, they are still rivals. Wayne has the wins, Kevin has the equipment.

Clementine Lewis is the trophy girl for the Soggy Bottom track, and even though she’s been told never to date a driver – Wayne Harper isn’t someone she can say no to.

Engines blow

Fires erupt

Tempers flare

When you live in a small town and everyone knows your business, your only secret is what happens on those hot, summer nights.

Chapter One

urn ’em down,
Wayne,” Lee Harper screamed his approval, grinning as he ran towards the makeshift Victory Lane.

The rag-tag group of young men who called themselves their crew were already there. Clapping, hooting, and hollering above the sound of the car kicking up the clay dirt that made up the racing surface. With little money and shit equipment, they had won – and not for the first time in this young, summer season of racing.

He watched with excitement in his eyes as his little brother turned donuts in the dirt, throwing up pieces of it and creating a dust cloud that made it difficult for anyone to see. Lee could make out the white of Wayne’s teeth against the dirt that covered his face. Immediately after winning, he’d lifted the full-face helmet, always wanting to be a throw-back to a bygone era when they didn’t worry so much about safety. Grinning, his little brother stuck his hand out to acknowledge the crowd with a pump of his fist. The crowd may have been what other tracks considered small, but this track deep in the heart of Barren County, Kentucky had produced winners before. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that it would again. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, Wayne drove the car over and shut it off, hoisting himself through the window.

“Excellent job out there, my man,” Lee congratulated his brother, holding his hand out to him. They shared a brotherly hug before pulling away.

Excited brown eyes met his along with a smile that could sell any product, and Lee was sure that it would in years to come. People around the south had been whispering about Wayne Harper for years. Talk around town said he was the savior of grassroots racing. A Kentucky boy that came from the mold of moonshiners and bootleggers. He was no West Coast boy that looked up to Baja racers and IRL drivers. And nobody could deny the fact that at twenty-one the boy could flat out drive. A major buzz was beginning to take hold in the competitive levels of racing. Lee knew they wouldn’t be tooling around on these dirt tracks forever.

“No,” Wayne shook his head, trying to catch his breath. “That was an awesome car you gave me. It was on a rail, it would let me do anything I wanted to. Anywhere I put the nose, it stuck. You gave me a bitchin’ piece of machinery tonight, bro.”

The Harper brothers were well known in Soggy Bottom, Kentucky. In their small town, Harper conjured comparisons with Earnhardt and Petty. The best of the Harper clan had yet to drive on asphalt, but many of them knew it was coming; and soon.

“Congratulations, Wayne.” Clementine Lewis gave him a heart-stopping grin as she walked over to stand next to him. In her hands, she carried a trophy that looked like it might break her in half.

In her inaugural year as the track’s trophy girl she’d already given him three. Watching with a smirk on his face, he accepted the trophy, placing an arm around her shoulders. She shrunk away, slightly – he knew he made her nervous.

“Now, darlin’, you know I don’t bite,” his voice was little more than a whisper as his eyes took in the picture she made. Blonde hair, long tan legs, and a dimple in her cheek, she was the epitome of every wet dream he’d ever had.

“Biting is not what I’m worried about from you, Wayne Harper. You better watch where those hands go. Daddy’s on his way down to congratulate you,” she warned, her cheeks a rosy pink. In reality, she loved the way he flirted with her, but she knew that he was way out of her league.

Wayne held his tongue and smiled. Her daddy was the main sponsor on his car, using Wayne’s popularity to drum up business for his convenience store. “Shit, Clem, I’m surprised your daddy ain’t down here pushing for a photo op. We got three already; we’re going to fill the wall at the store before the season’s over.”

“Not if I have anything to say about it, you won’t. Cocky isn’t a good look on you, Harper.”

All eyes looked through the mob of people at the voice that had interrupted the celebration. They parted as Kevin Grimes made his way through. Everyone in the crowd knew the history surrounding the two men. On the second day of kindergarten, Kevin had pushed Wayne off the merry go round, splitting his chin open, causing him to cry. They had flat out hated one another ever since.

Sneering, Wayne did his best not to let the other man get to him. “Nah, there don’t need to be one up there with you on it. You just keep your car in second place where it belongs and I’ll keep on gathering up these trophies and the first place cash.” The cash was never enough, but it was one more thing he could brag about.

Kevin opened his mouth for a rebuttal, but at that moment David Lewis made his way down to the celebration and turned all attention towards himself. Quickly he announced to anyone that would listen that in celebration of Wayne’s win, he was offering free ice cream. With the stickiness of the June night, everyone was excited as they split off and headed towards the Lewis Market.

“Well, I better get going. If dad’s serving free ice cream, he’s going to need some help. Y’all are coming, right?” Clementine asked Wayne and his crew.

“Of course we are, it’s in our honor. If you can hang around for a bit, we can take you over there,” he offered, running a hand through his shaggy dark hair. It was always in need of a cut, but it was something he never had the time to do, or the money to afford.

She shuffled her feet, wanting to say yes, but knowing that they would never get her there in time. “I’d love to, but I think I’m riding over with dad. Don’t forget about me when you get there though. I’ll wait and have mine with the winning team.”

“I’ll hold ya to that.”

Wayne watched as she ran to catch up with the crowd, her long ponytail flopping with every step she took. Lee, who had watched the conversation from afar, came over to his brother, clamping a hand on his shoulder. “Cute girl. Too bad she don’t date drivers. You better forget all about that.”

With a shake of his head, Wayne helped the guys push his car to the trailer. “When I get to the big time, I won’t have to do shit jobs like this after I win a race,” he grumbled good-naturedly as they secured the trailer to the back of a pickup. It went without saying that they couldn’t afford much more just yet – and some of them were wondering if they would ever be able to.

Lee laughed. “Yeah, you’ll be finding some pretty girl to go off and celebrate with while the rest of us try and pick up your scraps. Right?”

“Nope, I’ll always take care of my big brother,” he promised, grabbing the clothes he’d brought to change into out of the truck. “I’ll be right back.”

He jogged to the bathrooms, securing himself inside one as he peeled off the sweat soaked fire retardant suit he had to wear. One day, he told himself, he’d be able to take a shower after a hot race. Soon, he hoped, he could do the things he wanted to do, instead of making do with what he had. Forgoing his t-shirt for the moment, he dressed in his jeans and shoes before placing a hat on top of his head. Running back out to the truck where his crew had gathered in the bed and anywhere else they could sit, he got in. “Let’s get the hell outta here. I could definitely use some ice cream right about now.”


Clementine pushed the
hair that had escaped her ponytail behind her ears as she helped her father hand out ice cream at the store. Most of the town sat or stood in groups talking about the night’s race, much like they had the ones previous. It was always Wayne and Kevin at the end, Wayne coming out the victor each time.

“Wonder when that Grimes boy is ever going to figure out how to take care of business? His daddy got him everything money can buy in that car and he still can’t beat your little operation, David. That’s got to make you feel amazin’.” An old-timer beat her dad on the back as he spit a stream of chewing tobacco in a cup.

She watched as her dad beamed with pride. “I made a great decision when I chose to sponsor Wayne. Wish I could do it for the whole year and not just the summer season. It ain’t hard to see he’s born and bred. He’s a natural behind the wheel, and with Lee telling him what to do, it’s going to take an act of God for anyone to beat them. They’ve got this shit figured out. I wonder how long we’re going to be able to keep Wayne on these little tracks. Sure as shooting somebody’s going to pick him up when we ain’t lookin’.”

The crowd began cheering loudly when the truck carrying Wayne’s team showed up. As the group got out of the truck, a path was made so that they could get their own treat for the night. The old-timer that had been talking up Clementine’s dad stopped Wayne with a wrinkled hand on his forearm.

BOOK: Hot Summer Nights
13.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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