2021 'SHORT TAKES' PROSE COMPETITION
CATEGORY A -
For the Love of a Motorbike by Graham McDonald
Harley had been fed up for a long time. He was in the prime of his life yet it seemed all the motorbike frogs in his part of the forest had a partner except him. Every night he had to listen to their romantic burbling while he shifted through the gears alone. Finally, he accepted that if he was ever going to find a female, he would have to leave.
Late one evening, Harley motored off into the unknown. He would travel for a very long time, throttling up day and night but always in vain. He encountered many dangers. A gang of bikies beat up on him near one pond, a giant toad tried to make love to him at another, and he was constantly climbing up trees to escape being a snake’s meal before finally coming across the worst menace of all.
Early one rainy morning, Harley halted on the edge of a dark, shining strip of land that stretched forever in each direction. He had never seen anything like it before. It was completely devoid of vegetation and as he sat puzzling over its strangeness he heard a loud rushing sound. Suddenly, a great monster with two blazing eyes roared along the strip towards him. He drew back in horror, reversing frantically into the undergrowth as it swept past. Several others rumbled by as he crouched in his hiding place contemplating his situation. There was no way around this obstacle and the thought of crossing it was out of the question. He decided to give up and as the sky lightened and the sun came up, he turned forlornly around and began to make his way back towards his home pond, calling mournfully as he went. After a few hops, however, he heard something that stopped him in his tracks.
The reply to Harley’s call had come from somewhere just beyond the dark strip of land. It was the smoothest, sexiest motorbike he had ever heard. He turned around, revving up as he moved quickly back to the edge of the desert zone. His call was answered immediately and his motor threatened to red-
On the other side, Harley entered an alien world full of neat trees and shrubs and thick groundcover. He crawled under it, unable to see anything but he could still hear that raunchy voice approaching. He fired up again. She answered his call. He could hardly believe his good fortune. He throttled higher and her voice grew louder and louder until he could feel her almost upon him. He couldn’t control himself any longer. He leapt out from the undergrowth to embrace her, and then all suddenly fell silent before another voice moaned out loudly.
“Aaaah... bloody hell!”
“What’s happened, Hon?” queried a woman weeding a nearby garden bed.
“I’ve just whipper-
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