Hold on tight

“Hold on.” I grinned at Layla. “I have a different way I’d like to travel today.” She raised her eyebrow for a few seconds in questioning but couldn’t help laughing at my boyish smile. “Come on.” I grinned. “You can take Morgan’s horse.”

We took the horses back to Reed’s ranch before we walked back down into the small village below.

We stopped in the small market in the street as Layla looked at various cakes and flowers on the stalls.

“I’ll be back in a minute, I need to get something.” I left her looking at a handcrafted jewellery store.

It took me a while but I finally spotted the old workshop. The Blacksmiths technically as his main job was to make new shoes for the horses but he also dealt in mechanics. The wooden shed seemed a lot smaller than it had when I was a kid, and also a grand deal older. It seemed to be weathered, falling down as its lean supports were just waiting to give way.

I stepped inside the small shop next to the barn, on the walls hung horseshoes and various farming implements of all shapes and metals. A set of pure gold horse shoes hung in pride of place over the desk. The lights were on and a partly drunken can of cola sat on the desk with a half completed crossword, these were the only signs that the store was even open.

“Ian?” I bellowed into the back of his store where his metal work took place. No reply.

Turning up my earpiece I could hear the faint twang of an electric guitar through an MP3 somewhere in the back of the store and a gentle ting of metal being shaped. I smiled and hopped over the desk and straight through the door that said Private.

He froze mid swing of his anvil on the heated metal and tore out one earphone blasting Metallica into the air around us. His mouth hung open rather unattractively but then again that wasn’t difficult for Ian. 

“.... Mike?” His eyes widened and he took a step back. “Someone said you were dead you old coot!”

I laughed and clapped him on the shoulder. “You know nothing could kill me, besides I’m here for my ride.”

It took a second for him to realise what I meant.

“You’ve finally come to get her then. I thought you would have forgotten, come on she’s in the back, I’ve been working on her, got her fixed up like you asked me to.”

He carefully placed down his anvil and brought out a huge lock of keys from his fireproof apron pocket.  He slowly shuffled out towards the shed, large dusty brown boots scuffing against the floor, staring at each key with great detail to try and figure which fitted the lock to the ancient warped wooden door.

It may have only seemed to me that it took hours for his hand to reach the lock or perhaps he was deliberately building my anticipation.

There we both stood as the door flung open, after a good kick from Ian. It took me a while to take in that that was my bike. 

I slowly ran my hands across her gleaming metalwork. Ian really had restored her to her former glory after the crash.

“She’s beautiful.” I stuttered. “What do I owe you?”

“It was enough pleasure just working on her.” He sighed, wheeling her outside. “You bring her back to me whenever she needs fixing up! Oh and Mike, next time you’re not dead tell me. I was wondering where my funeral invite was.”

I smiled and kicked on the revs. The sound was more than music to my ears, like an angelic chorus it reminded me of so many years ago and I didn’t want to stop it.

I drew up next to Layla who was still looking at the same jewellery store.  She has a beautiful red gem centred in a pendant that hung on the most delicate silver chain in her hand. 

Her eyes widened as she looked at the motorbike and then back at me.

“You don’t expect me to get on that do you?”

“Well we could walk to the nearest town.” 

“Are you sure it’s safe?”

“I was a show rider. I know what I’m doing.” I patted the rest of the seat behind me.

She shook her head before placing down the pendant and hopping on the back with incredible agility, wrapping her arms around my waist and holding tightly onto my jacket.

“I’ll go slow for you, just point me the way to that nice little coffee place you were talking about.”

She let out a small squeak as I revved up and we shot out of the village.

“I thought you were going slowly!” She called over the engine noise.

“I also said I’m a show rider. This is slowly.”

The wind blowing my hair back again felt fantastic. Like I was flying once more, I could almost hear the screams of a crowd and the grip of my boa.

“Left here.” Layla called. Having her arms around me reminded me of Serena, It really was like this bike had brought back my past, but this was no time to forget how important the future was.

The End

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