Week 43

Though the white Opel van had a considerable head start, the yellow Lada gradually began to pull closer.

Snowy watched in amazement as the speedometer needle crept up past 35 … 40 … up to 50 kilometres per hour!

The needle began to shake, and the whole car vibrated, but they were definitely gaining on the Opel.

Suddenly the van veered off the service road and onto the ramp for the A42 autobahn. Putin swore and spun the steering wheel hard right.

“Sir!” cried Snowy. “They’re on the wrong road! This isn’t the way to Der Toro at CentrO, Europe’s biggest shopping and leisure centre!”

“No,” Putin replied through gritted teeth. He stomped on the accelerator. Nothing happened for several seconds; then they gradually sped up.

The Lada merged into the center lane. The van was on the right, just a few metres ahead. Putin began to glow faintly green with the strain.

“This road leads to Dortmund,” Snowy gasped, dizzy from the speed. “Yes,” Putin replied grimly, “and from there … to Moscow!”

Before Snowy had time to think what he might mean, an enormous lorry with “REVERENCE” printed on the side roared past on their left.

Just at that moment, the white Opal van swerved in front of them from the right, cutting them off!

Without applying the brakes, Putin steered sharply to the right, almost striking a green Volkswagen Beetle, and shot up an off-ramp.

Hold on!” he shouted needlessly, as they crashed through the guardrail at the top and went airborne.

Snowy, who had never flown before, found it a curious sensation and was not sure whether she enjoyed it.

She definitely did not enjoy the extremely hard landing on the top of the Reverence lorry’s trailer.

As they sped down the autobahn on top of the truck, Putin could see the Opel van in his rearview mirror, racing just behind them.

Aware that something was amiss, the lorry driver began weaving back and forth, trying to shake them off.

The back of the swaying trailer smashed into a green Volkswagen, causing a massive chain-reaction pile-up on the busy Autobahn.

And yet, from out of the mass of twisted metal, the Opel van came shooting along the shoulder of the road, passing the lorry.

“No!” shouted Putin, as threw the Lada into gear and sped forward over the top of the truck and off into the empty air again.

Snowy decided that she did not like either the flying or the landing feelings. But at least now they were back on the road.

In fact, they were directly behind the white Opel van, tailgating it at a staggering 57 km per hour!