For the Love of a Motorcycle

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Everything has a history. Some things have a story with a tail.

The end was near. He knew he couldn’t hold on much longer. His arms were burning like fire as he imagined his skin stretching to the point of tearing. The young man was about to give up when at the last second he heard a car come to a screeching stop about ten feet above him. He held on a little longer.


Two men stood on either side of an old bike. The older one stood quietly while the younger stooped and scrutinized the antique two wheeled conveyance. He walked around the bike rubbing at the paint and oil smudges here and there making little noises of pleasure and displeasure as he pored over it.


“Well” said the young man. “ It’s got character, I’ll give you that. What kind of history does the bike have?”


Danny got up early that Saturday morning and wiped his new bike down before his inaugural ride. He polished the chrome spoke wheels and exhaust. He checked his fluids and then put his new leather jacket on. Danny’s face hurt from smiling so long. It took him two years of scrimping and saving to get the bike of his dreams and now he was taking it out for his first ride. Danny threw his leg over the fat two tone black and white seat, opened the twin fuel petcocks, turned the kick start out and brought number one up on compression. It took three kicks and his brand new 1958 Triumph T110 Tiger roared to life. Danny gave the throttle a twist as he released the clutch. He knew right then his face was going to hurt all day.


The old Ford pickup rolled through the Santa Monica mountains at a slow but steady clip. It’s occupants older than the road itself.


“Slow down, Richard!” Mary Ellen scolded her husband.


“If I slowed anymore, Mother, we’d be in reverse.” he replied.


“Don’t get wise with me, Richard. You have a problem with speed. Remember what happened last time?” she said.


“That was 1928 and a plane landed on the road in front of us.” he said exasperated.


“Don’t your rancor beat all.” he said quietly, looking out his side window.


“Richard! Richard!” Mary Ellen screamed.


Richard stood on the brake when he saw the monster with it’s huge teeth just lying in the road in front of them.


Pedro was an ugly little man with an ugly attitude and a father in-law problem. He resented his wife, his children and worst of all himself. Pedro headed up Old Topanga Canyon road around 6 a.m., enroute to his in laws house with a bottle of tequila and his haul just thrown in the back of his stake bed pickup. He sang to his windshield about his bad life and he drank. He sang to the rising son about his evil wife and he drank. Pedro sang about a peanut vendor and he drank. His old International pickup swerved from one side of the lonely mountain road to the other with every swig and verse. He sang


Que’ calentito y rico esta’

Ya no se puede pedir más

Ay caserita, no me dejes ir

Porque despue’s te vas a


Y va a ser muy tarde ye


‘What an amazing blue sky’ and ‘Did I just hit a…?’ were the thoughts that first ran across Danny’s shocked mind as he flew through the air and over the cliff at the side of the road.


“Don’t touch it, you fool!” Mary Ellen yelled at her husband from the safety of the pickup.


“Oh be quiet for once, ya ol’ battle axe…” Richard mumbled as he bent over the gray monster.


“What did you say?” she yelled out the window.


“I said it’s dead. Someone must’ve hit it too. There’s a tire mark over it’s belly and side.” he said.


“Help!” came a voice from over the ledge. It sounded weak.


“¡Eres de’bil! ¡Y estupido!” (You’re weak! And stupid!) Pedro heard as his father in law drug him from the cab of the truck where he had passed out over the wheel.


“¿Donde esta’ mi pez?” the old man shouted at him.


“What?” Pedro replied groggily.


The old man grabbed his worthless son in law by the ear and led him to the back of the truck where he saw two swinging gates and an empty bed. Pedro was stunned.

“¡Ay!” he whined.  

The old man slapped him on the back of the head.


Richard stared down the side of the cliff into the trees trying to locate the owner of the voice.


“Mr., can ya see me?” Richard yelled.


“Help!” came the voice again.


“Gotcha.” Richard said to himself and then “Oh my word.” when he got the full picture.


“Mother! Flag down the next car!” he yelled back at the truck.


“I’ll do no such thing. This is none of our business.” she said, as a matter of fact.


Richard turned and faced the truck. He took his hat off and gave her “The Look”. The ol’ bitty promptly removed her prodigious butt from the passenger side and walked to the road at a lively pace. He turned back to the edge and yelled at the young man


“Just let it go, son!”


A long “No” was the only reply.


The old man smiled at the memory as he told his story to his prospective buyer.


“So how long were you in the tree?” the young man asked.


“About three hours in total.” he said.


“And you held on to this bike while hanging in a tree for three hours.” the young man said amazed. And then


“...AFTER you hit a shark on an old mountain road.”


“Yep.” Danny said simply.


“SOLD.” the young man said and then grinned.

Submitted: October 16, 2018

© Copyright 2023 R.Guy Behringer. All rights reserved.

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