"The Harley Davidson."

A short story by our guest writer, R.C Hand.


When I was about eight or nine, we had a regular customer coming to our bar. He rode a pink Harley and looked like an escapee from the "Ape House" at the zoo. He had a thick brow ridge over his eyes where his eyebrows should have been and chubby, thick hands with very short fingers.

He was a smallish man who wore black leathers. His face was as wrinkled as a Shar Pei and he was as bald as a cue ball. He looked like he was just finishing up his middle age as far as I could tell and had traveled many miles with his face in the oncoming wind.

I was a youngster and my knowledge of the world and its workings were rather limited, but that was the feeling I had about him.

He was a pleasant man and always asked my two older brothers to watch over his motorcycle as he stopped in for a few drinks. He seemed pleasant enough.

My brother, who was just six years older than I had bought me a shoeshine box, so I was often busy shining shoes as my older brothers conducted their side businesses of all sorts. My older brother had purchased my shoeshine box for me and I paid him a percentage on each shine to repay the debt and give him a tidy profit. He was always a very talented scammer and turned out to be a great success in life. What a surprise.

I was busy shining shoes as usual. If we weren't cutting meat in the kitchen or loading beer coolers or mopping bathrooms, we sometimes had a little free time.

Anyway, for some reason, my two brothers thought it might be a good idea to move the pink Harley around back and tell its owner that it had been stolen. It seemed like a good idea to them at the time, I suppose. It was not.

I saw them come in and inform the owner that his most prized possession in the entire world had been taken.

He jetted out of the two swinging doors of our salon like an acrobat fired from a circus cannon.

Unlike the human circus cannonball, there was no net waiting for my brothers when this plan faltered. As the man ran around in circles screaming for the police and at my father, things just got worse.

As the fuss grew larger and harsh words were exchanged between my father and the owner of the bike, my brothers understood their folly and ran around the building to bring back the motorcycle, unharmed.

The man placed his black helmet on his small, round, pink skull and kicked his bike to life. It started instantly and purred like its old self. It was unharmed, thank goodness.

The man turned the bike around with some difficulty, as he was built like a chimpanzee with very short legs. His struggle was soon over and when he has pointed away from us, he left in a cloud of dust and without paying the two of them for a job half done.

My brothers had done half of their job. They had come in and told the man the bike had been stolen but left out the part that they had actually done it.

I suppose there is a lesson to be learned here, but I was busy shining shoes and had other things on my mind. Like what I was going to do with all the quarters I would have left after paying my brother his daily piece of the action.



Do you have a short story to share? Contact elisebrooke771@gmail.com for submissions.

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