“It’s in here,” said Martin as he unlocked the door of the old, dilapidated wooden shed. “My dad lets me use this as a garage.”
The shed was sited on the edge of the golf course that his father’s family owned. They went inside. It didn’t smell too bad, and it was tidy but Estella wasn’t keen on the cobwebs.
“I’ve never been on a motorbike before,” she said as they gazed on the chrome and black leather masterpiece that was Martin’s latest acquisition, now he was old enough to hold a full license.
“It’s a real copy of a vintage Harley,” he said. She walked up to it slowly, taking in its aura of power and danger.
She turned, held his face and kissed him. “It’s lovely Martin,” she said. “Can we go for a ride on it?”
“You need a helmet before we can take it out on the road together. Let’s try her out for size though. Climb aboard,” he said as he reached down to pick up his helmet. She stood on the footrests and grasped the tall handlebars. He wondered if she knew how lovely she looked with her long bare legs and her short summer dress. He climbed on behind her, slid the helmet over her head and pushed the face shield down.
“Try this,” he said leaning forward. He placed his hand over hers and showed her how to use the throttle, he stroked her bare tanned arm in the process. Then he pumped down on the kick-start. The engine roared into life and she blipped the throttle experimentally; the noise was deafening in the confined space. He imagined roaring down the freeway, Estella clinging to him, her head on his shoulder, long hair streaming. Smiling, she turned to say something to him, and her foot slipped off the footrest and onto the gear change, just as she jerked the throttle wide open.
With a squeal from the back tyre, the beast leapt off its stand and crashed through the thin planks at the back of the shed, scattering fragments and splinters in all directions. They wheelied across the golf course, front wheel high in the air, back wheel tearing a furrow out of the pristine turf and throwing clods in a high arc behind. Martin was frantically trying to balance the bike as it hit a hillock on the edge of a bunker and leapt into the air, then came crashing down into a water hazard. The bike fell on its side, spilling them off; the engine gurgled, spluttered and died. Estella lay on her back in the shallow water, Martin was lying on his front levering himself up, spluttering and groaning. In the distance, he could hear the whirring of approaching golf carts and men shouting. He thought he could hear his father’s voice.
“Wow, Martin,” Estella giggled as she pulled off the helmet, “that was amazing, can we do it again.”
He slumped back into the water wondering how he would explain this to his father.
Estella gazed up at the gulls gliding on the up draughts high above her. “You know Martin,” she said, “one day we’ll look back and laugh about this.