I opened my eyes to a strange view. All around me was the ocean, no land or boats could be seen. And I was speeding along the waves on a motorbike.
I don’t know how far I’ve gone with my eyes closed. There’s no sign of the ships or any smoke. I know I didn’t have my eyes closed for long enough to get this far, but this bike can do some amazing things.
Go to the nearest settlement.
The bike turned sharply to the right, almost doubling back.
The trip took about half an hour, where I had nothing to do but watch the horizon and think.
Eventually, I spotted where we were headed, an island with massive berths for cargo ships and smaller ones for ferries, yachts and fishing boats. I couldn’t make out much else because of a large cliff.
We skirted along the cliff’s edge for a few kilometres before it ended in a small river with some boat ramps on the opposite side. I directed the bike up the ramp and we cruised around the island for another half hour.
There were only a few multi-story buildings and they didn’t go over five stories. The houses were generally small but the hill on one side had a number of mansions and a small resort.
We pulled up at a car park next to a cafe on top of the cliff. It was a small two-story building with a bakery and a joint restaurant above. Due to the early morning hour, the first story was packed with people getting coffees and a pastry or a full breakfast. I was lucky enough that one of the tables by the counter vacated just as I was passing.
While I was deciding between an omelette and pancakes a group of kids about my age came in and sat down at the table. They were talking excitedly about motorbikes and which one they were hoping to get.
“I hope we aren’t intruding on you. Or that you’re expecting anyone. This was the only freeish table. We can move if you want. Right, guys?”
I looked up from the menu. The girl who had sat down next to me had spoken. The conversation stopped as everyone voiced the affirmative. I would have preferred to have a table to myself but it would be rude to move or get rid of them. Plus if I left I won’t get a chance to eat for a few hours.
“You can stay. I just need to order though.”
“Thank you so much! I’m Lacy and this is Hayden, Ava, Dexter and Phillip.” Lacy was a redhead hanging off Hayden’s arm. She had a very high pitched voice.
“Oh, what are you getting? We can order for you.” The boy across from me, Dexter, was peering at a menu. “I’m going to guess it was the...omelettes!”
My eyebrows shot up. That was actually right. I had just decided on them seconds before he’d said it.
“Well? Is Dex right? He usually is. It’s crazy.” Phillip clapped Dexter on the shoulder. “And please, never call me Phillip.”
“Uh. Yeah. Sure.”
“Well, I’ll be back in a few minutes. Their omelettes are amazing, Willow.” With that Dexter stood up and squeezed his way through the tables to the end of the line.
“I can get my own food.”
“Don’t worry about it. We took over your table so it's the least we can do. Hey, Lace could I have my arm back?”
I had been wondering that myself. He didn’t look too comfortable and Lacy had started gripping it rather tightly. In fact, his hand was starting to discolour.
“Look.” She pointed towards a boat on the horizon. “They’re back.”
“Who’s back?” It looked like a normal boat. Well, a normal defence force boat. They were pretty impressive structures. Very hard to destroy. Not that I would know anything about that.
“That boat has been going from here out to sea once every two months for almost a whole year now. We don’t know much about it. It’s not one of the navy’s though. We did enough research to know that. Plus with what they do there’s no way the government would allow that.” Phil was somehow both frowning and grimacing.
More people had started to notice the boat and the news was spreading fast. Phones were pulled out and calls made, whispers of ‘they’re here’ echoing around the building. People rushed out while more still rushed in. Some were shouting. Others barely whispering. But everyone was worried and frantic. There was anger too, but when it surfaced it was buried fast.
“What do they do?” I was afraid to ask but I had to know. I had to see if there was anything I could do.
“They come up here and we can’t do anything about it. They have so many weapons. When they get here they take what they want. They don’t pay for food or anything and they take people. We never see them again. Once they enter the boat they’re gone.” Ava had tears trailing down her cheeks. She must have known someone who was taken.
“We’ll need to be gone by midday. Okay, Lace? We’ll make it.”
“Our plan won’t work. It won’t. They’ll find it. And then they’ll take us for hiding.”
“It has to work Phil. It needs to.” Despite her tears, Ava was somehow the strongest.
Just then Dexter returned, the food not far behind.
“We eat and then we prepare. We gather as many people as we can and we head for the cave. We’re still doing that right?”
“Yeah, we are, Dex. Not that I think it will work. Hey Willow, do you want to come with us? You won’t be getting off the island. Not till they leave anyway. And once they arrive tomorrow will seem very far away.”
“Oh. I’ll have to think about it. But how would they find or not find a cave?” Their offer was very generous, considering they had just met me. And even then they didn’t know anything but my name, breakfast choice and the fact that I wasn’t from their island. Though they were talking about it in front of me so they may have felt like they owed me the choice.
“Fair enough. The cave is on the cliffs, at sea level. For about 100m there's no floor, just water. After that is a little beach and then it’s a short walk to a massive cavern. I reckon most of our little population could fit in there alone and it goes further too.
The reason it probably won’t be found is that there is a tiny opening right at sea level. In fact, at high tide it’s pretty hard to even get through on a tinny, we need to duck and the boat scrapes if there’s lots of wake.”
“You’re not making our plan very appealing, Hayden.” Ava glared at him. “Today there is a low tide at midday so we will be fine. Except they are more likely to see it at low tide. Plus if people talk or make any noise, the sound will carry and they’ll hear us if they’re quiet—which is unlikely to happen. So, you want in?”
They needed my help. Their plan was amazing, they’d clearly thought about it a lot. But they won’t have enough time or the ability to get everyone through. Plus someone might snitch if they don’t come and think it will get them something. Then the boat people will be out looking for this cave.
“I’ll come. I even have a few ways to improve your plan”
Dexter smiled at me. “Well come on then, we should eat up and get going. What sort of bikes are you all wanting to get after this is over?” They all perked up a bit at that. I guess they didn’t really want to think about the boat. Or they loved motorbikes that much.
Everyone dug into their food, which Dexter picked out and apparently helped make. Supposedly he always gets their food right, no matter what they were thinking and how different it is from their usual.
The conversation went from being down about the incoming boat to the complete opposite with talk of their future bikes. They all had a heap of money saved up for their dream bikes. It turned out that once they treated themselves to a nice breakfast they were planning on buying some from just down the road.
During the conversation, I noticed a shift. I knew what had happened straight away. But I couldn’t let myself think about it. I needed to let whoever it was complete their little plan before I did something. Besides, they couldn’t do anything with it and I had all I needed on me.
I became more involved in the conversation, trying to distract myself. If I didn’t it would react and ruin the plan that was forming. I gave my new friends tips on how to drive a motorbike and what to look for in them. After all the tips I gave it was no surprise when they asked how I knew so much.
“I have a bike. It’s actually in the carpark.”
“The black one? That’s yours? There were some people from the shop admiring it when we went past. It’s a nice looking bike. Powerful too.”
“Phil! You can’t have it so don’t even think about it." He whirled back to me. "How old are you anyway Willow? You don’t seem old enough to have a license that allows for that bike. I didn’t see a plate either.” And now Dexter was onto me. Just what I needed. I knew I shouldn’t have said I have one. Or at least not that it was here.
“I’m 17." They looked at me expectantly. I might as well just confess. "And I may not have a licence that allows the bike. Or possibly any vehicle.” They all gapped at me. Apparently, they didn’t think I was the law-breaking type.
Phillip shook his head. "There's no way that’s true. You probably have never even seen that bike till today. You probably know all that stuff from a family member or off the internet. You have to just be a complete motorbike geek with lots of free time and good research. That can’t be true.” Oh, Phil. Ever the septic. How I wish you had the same ability as Dexter.
“Uh, I think she’s telling the truth, Phillip. What do you guys think?”
The others all agreed with Dexter. I’m glad they have the same idea. Makes life so much easier.
“Thank you. And Phil, it is true. I could show you later even. Though since we have finished, midday isn’t getting any further away I think we should get ready.”
Hayden checked his watch. “Shit. We don’t have much longer. It’s already 10.”
“Split up? Two groups of three. We’ll cover more ground and get more people on board. I don’t know how we’ll get everyone in though.” Ava had pulled out a map and was looking over it, tracing lines and muttering numbers.
“I have an idea for that too. But first I’m going to need to go to that motorbike store you mentioned.”
This gave me five surprised and confused stares.
“You’ll see. But we won’t need to split up. Well unless you need to get any provisions for until we can all leave the cave?”
Lacy voiced their questions, “You have a plan? A plan you won’t tell us. A plan that involves going to a motorbike dealership. A plan that will get everyone in the cave and will mean we won’t have to split up? I don’t see how you could have something that can do all of that. I don’t even see how some of it is possible. And seriously, how is a motorcycle dealership relevant?” The others nodded their agreement.
“Look, I know it seems strange but please just trust me. I have something that no one would even believe even exists at my disposal and let's just say it’s pretty useful.” I hoped I was convincing enough. And besides, it was time to enact the plan I had been thinking up.
The friends shared a look and at once they stood up.
“Let's go then, genius” I wasn’t too sure I liked the nickname Phil came up with but I shouldn’t expect much else.
We left the cafe and headed over to the shop. It wasn’t too far, all we had to do was cross the carpark. Luckily the others seemed to have forgotten that my bike was in there and didn’t go looking for it.
The main room of the building was packed with bikes. Almost every type was featured. Most of the motorbikes were foreign. The sign out the front about this being the first place for motorbikes made sense. It wasn’t just the best, but it was also the only place people could get some of these exotic bikes.
There were a few other people wandering around but they were mostly talking about the navy boat and what they could do to avoid notice and hide the bikes. Some were already moving some to the back wall that contained a secret door leading to what must have been a basement.
In the middle of the showrooms floor was a sleek, black motorcycle. My bike. Off to a side were a few people who were clearly speculating about what they could do with it. My new friends gasped when they saw it. Phil and Lacy even looked back to scan the carpark. I ignored them all, striding straight up to the bike and running my hands along its length. I knew they couldn’t do anything to it, no one could, but it always worried me that someone would find a way.
The employees took notice of me when I climbed onto it and the bike purred to life. It didn’t normally make a sound, but I had to make it seem normal to people. At least to start with.
They rushed forward and started talking over each other, trying to get me off. The man who was clearly the owner of the store started over when he saw the commotion.
“This is my bike. Do any of you even know how to start it?” Hayden, Dexter and Phil gapped at me, while Lacy and Ava smirked at the employees.
“Miss you need to get off that bike right now. The cops are on their way. The bike is our property.” The owner had finally made his way over. When he mentioned the cops one of the employees by the back wall pulled out a phone.
I hopped off and the bike’s rumbling cut out. “How long exactly has this bike been in your possession? It’s been about what, half an hour now? Oh, don’t look shocked. I know everything that happens with my stuff. Someone gave this to you didn’t they?”
Everyone was gaping at me now. I guess they never expected me to act like this. After all, I am still a teenager.
“You-How dare you! What are you playing at, girl? Are you one of the people from that ship? Who else has come early? What are you doing here?” The owner was flushed with anger.
“I just want my bike. And I hate that you think I’m from that boat. I don’t know much but from what it sounds like they should be sunk. Besides, I’m helping those guys to protect everyone. For that, I need my bike.” The boat deserved to be blown up really. And I have a way for it to disappear forever.
“You can’t have the bike. There’s no proof that it belongs to you. Plus it was given to us. Even if it was yours, it’s not anymore.” He had a smug smile on his face now. Too bad I was about to wipe it off.
“Open at the seat.”
The seat disappeared from the bike, revealing that the bike was completely hollow. Inside was a helmet, some daggers, a change of clothes, some basic food, and a few other things someone on the road might want. A band of metal extended from the sides and was holding down each item.
Everyone gapped, at the seat just disappearing and at what was revealed. There was no way that it was possible. And it wasn’t possible. At least not without a bit of magic.
“Is that proof enough for you? And don’t bother trying whatever command you’re thinking. It only listens to me.” This has got to be enough. The less people know about what I can do, the better.
"Close?" Or you could try anyway.
They waited a few seconds before realising it wasn't going to happen.
“But-this can’t be possible.” The poor man. He was completely baffled. Suddenly his gaze hardened and he stiffened. “You must be a witch! Leave my shop! Take the cursed bike and never come back!”