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popsprocket
December 24th, 2012, 01:46 AM
This is something that I wrote which won the weekly writing contest on another writing forum that I visit. I'm very pleased with the outcome, since this is quite out of left-field for my usual writing style, I've never written anything in first person, and I've never ridden a motorbike in my life. I fixed two glaring flow errors, but otherwise this is how it appeared on the other site. The writing prompt was 'The Secret'.


Gods of Mayhem
Something special would happen at around the speed that it took to paint your brains across the asphalt in a lightning instant. The world blurred into a kaleidoscope until all that was left was you and your bike and the road. Even thundering engines that could deafen the fainthearted would settle into a rhythmic hum that was just short of symphonic perfection.

It was like our own little secret. It was something that could be learned, but that could never be told. If you didn’t ride then you didn’t understand: you could never understand.

Open roads that ran for miles without end. These were our Elysian Fields, and here, we were gods. We were the gods of speed and the gods of the road and the gods of perfection.

A quick glance at my mirror was all I needed to see that the others were still chewing up pavement there with me. A combination of concentration and euphoria was mixed on the faces of each and every one of them. This is what it meant to defy death, and the result was well worth the risk.

With the throttle wide open you could simply let your anguish leak out through your fingertips, let it slip through the bike and onto the road where it could be left in your wake, never to be seen again.

That’s why whenever we rode through a town I could simply smile and keep riding. It didn’t matter what other people thought of us, because we knew something that they did not. The reaction was always instant; occurring as soon as roaring engines reached the ears of Sunday strollers. Mothers would pull their children closer as their daughters looked on with excited eyes. Fathers would feign indifference while their sons looked on with envy. The truth was that at least some of these people wanted to know. They wanted to be able to understand; most lacked the courage to wrap their knuckles around a grip and find out. There would always be that inkling of an idea that made them sigh wistfully as we flew by at speeds to make the devil weep, but none of them had the heart to climb aboard and lay their lives on the line for that slice of a perfect moment.

I had pitied them, at one time, but now I had come to appreciate the fact that the mysteries of the open road were not so easily surrendered to the uninitiated.

Blue and red lights flashed in my mirror and I smiled as I pulled the small column of bikers over. The police were of the uninitiated. Motorbike cops never bothered with us, it was always the ones in those cages they called cruisers that liked to remind us to “keep riding” and to “keep our trouble out of their town”. It was like they all shared some kind of inane script. This cop wanted the exact same thing. There was no point in explaining that we only rode for the freedom, none of them ever believed that. Instead, I smiled politely as I submitted my licence for scrutiny.

A small boy and his mother watched on as the cop collected everyone’s papers. An exultant look lit up her face as though we horrid bikers were getting our comeuppance, but the boy gazed at the sight in awe. Black paint and shining chrome reflected in his tiny eyes and I could feel it like a wave of heat emanating out from him. One day he would understand this secret of ours. One day it would be him that rode his pain and hate away.

The disappointed cop returned, unable to find any outstanding warrants on the bad men disturbing the peace of his town. A final warning to keep riding was all he left us with before climbing into his cage and fleeing in the opposite direction.

With a sly wink for the kid, I threw my leg over the bike and kicked it into life. The woman responded as though suddenly struck by the sight of something terrible and ungodly, pulling the little boy along behind her before he could be corrupted by we gods of mayhem. I smiled at the insult, though. Because this was our little secret that she would never know.

Ariel
December 26th, 2012, 05:36 PM
My parents are bikers. I grew up knowing the enjoyment of the wind in your hair and the roar of the engine. And yes, this captures the feeling. The narrator reminds me of my dad (which is a good thing because a lot of riders get swaggering egos--which this narrarator doesn't have).

I don't have any nits. But I will probably share this with my dad, if you don't mind.

Ariel
December 26th, 2012, 05:42 PM
My parents are bikers. I grew up knowing the enjoyment of the wind in your hair and the roar of the engine. And yes, this captures the feeling. The narrator reminds me of my dad (which is a good thing because a lot of riders get swaggering egos--which this narrarator doesn't have).

I don't have any nits. But I will probably share this with my dad, if you don't mind.

popsprocket
December 27th, 2012, 05:50 AM
Very cool to hear, thank you. And yes, please do show it to him.

egpenny
December 27th, 2012, 09:18 AM
I rode when when I was younger, and loved it. You've captured the feel of it, the freedom, the fresh air blowing every bad thing away. Congrats on a fine piece.

randomwriting
January 16th, 2013, 10:11 AM
I like the general theme of the story. I ride quite a bit myself and some of it seems quite exaggerated but there are some parts that are quite accurate coming from someone who doesn't ride. The only thing I would have done differently would have been to end the story with the little boy one day finding out the secret or something to that effect.

just commenting not trying to take away from the story.

BenTurnbull
January 16th, 2013, 12:39 PM
It's a great piece, though I felt the narrator is a bit presumptuous assuming only bikers know freedom. I could have misread that.

I loved and wish I wrote the line:
"With the throttle wide open you could simply let your anguish leak out through your fingertips..."

While I don't have a motorcycle, I do ride my bicycle on long distance, cross-country rides and that line rings true.

Well done.

The Rust on the Razor
January 16th, 2013, 01:19 PM
I so liked this piece. Lovely feel. As it was written in the first person, and there was no interaction with the other riders, it might have had more focus if it had been just about a single rider rather than a group? That's just me wondering though, I liked this greatly and would have been very pleased if it had been me who wrote it!

popsprocket
January 16th, 2013, 01:34 PM
I so liked this piece. Lovely feel. As it was written in the first person, and there was no interaction with the other riders, it might have had more focus if it had been just about a single rider rather than a group? That's just me wondering though, I liked this greatly and would have been very pleased if it had been me who wrote it!

I wanted to emphasise the idea that the secret could and should be shared with others, just that most wouldn't take to it willingly. Hence the other bikers. I also felt that a cop would be far more likely to harass a group of riders than a single one, particularly since they don't have any sort of obvious gang affiliation.

CharlieParker82
January 24th, 2013, 02:19 PM
I think you could go further with this, about the buddy that died, that hit the side of the car, felt the euphoric lift as he soared through the air, reached Nirvana though it looked a lot like death.

Or how about Scooters, perhaps you could mention them, the weaker sibling.

I like this, I always feel its good writing when it gets you thinking creatively.

randomwriting
January 25th, 2013, 09:06 AM
It's a great piece, though I felt the narrator is a bit presumptuous assuming only bikers know freedom. I could have misread that.

I loved and wish I wrote the line:
"With the throttle wide open you could simply let your anguish leak out through your fingertips..."

While I don't have a motorcycle, I do ride my bicycle on long distance, cross-country rides and that line rings true.

Well done.


I have ridden both and motorcycle and a bike and I think the throttle/fingertip comment is a little off for the simple fact that cracking the throttle and going from 60-90 in a second isn't the same as a pedal bike. But I do see the point your trying to make.

popsprocket
January 25th, 2013, 09:31 AM
I think you could go further with this, about the buddy that died, that hit the side of the car, felt the euphoric lift as he soared through the air, reached Nirvana though it looked a lot like death.

Or how about Scooters, perhaps you could mention them, the weaker sibling.

I like this, I always feel its good writing when it gets you thinking creatively.

If I were to continue extending this piece/character, then the death of a friend was definitely on the cards. As it stands, however, I wanted this to be about peace rather than any kind of sorrow or sneering at scooters. He says something about riding away hate and pain, but that's the point. He rides so that those things don't build up and he doesn't feel the need to snap at cops or make fun of college kids on 50cc put-puts. Everything about this is supposed to be gentle, not hurtful.

CharlieParker82
January 25th, 2013, 03:27 PM
If I were to continue extending this piece/character, then the death of a friend was definitely on the cards. As it stands, however, I wanted this to be about peace rather than any kind of sorrow or sneering at scooters. He says something about riding away hate and pain, but that's the point. He rides so that those things don't build up and he doesn't feel the need to snap at cops or make fun of college kids on 50cc put-puts. Everything about this is supposed to be gentle, not hurtful.

Oh I didn't mean for my comments to suggest him being hurtful or any kinds of sorrow, but I understand what your saying. Its just when I was reading it, it filled my head with ideas, and I kind of viewed the death and scooters as further expression of 'riding away hate and pain'.