Speakeasy #141: Wishes and Promises

Tracy revved the engine of her Softail, weaving around cars to shake the double cherries chasing her. “Wheeeee!” came from the small passenger holding her waist.

Lips peeled back in a grim smile. Surprised faces whipped past, traffic not so heavy she couldn’t maneuver, but heavy enough to slow the cops.

Not far ahead, a Lexus swerved, cutting off a semi hauling a large tank. Brakes squealed as the rig cut sharply across the lanes. Her eyes widened. “Hang on!”

She threw the bike in a skid, ducking her head to squeeze under the tanker truck. She hit the throttle, and the world went wobbly before finally straightening. “Holy…I thought that only worked in movies!”

“Can we do it again?”

“NO!”

“Awww!”

Tracy chuckled as she pulled off the interstate to get lost among the myriad routes to their destination.

***

“Here.” Tracy handed Cynthia a bowl of stew. “You need to eat.”

Cynthia pouted, but took the bowl. “Do you think we’ll make it?”

Tracy groaned as she spooned a mouthful of meat. “We’ll make it, kid. I promised, didn’t I?” She sighed as Cynthia just picked at her food. “If you’re not going to eat, then get some sleep; you need your strength.” She unrolled a sleeping bag and lay it close to the fire.

Cynthia crawled in and closed her eyes. Tracy took two more bites of stew before, “Mommy and Daddy will be there, won’t they?”

Tracy smiled. “I’ll make sure of it. Sleep.”

***

A rumble of motorcycle engines to put Sturgis to shame woke her. She bolted up, and shook Cynthia awake, holding a finger to her lips. They padded over to her Softail, and she pushed it out of their hiding spot.

“Hey!” A large, bearded man with arms sleeved in tattoos sitting astride a Road King, roared up next to them. “You the ones on the news?”

“Don’t know what you’re talking about.” Tracy glanced down at the helmet on the back of the bike, ready to use it as a weapon.

Pearly whites flashed through the chin-foliage. “Don’t worry! Me and the boys heard about what you’re doing. We called a few friends, who called a few friends…you know how it goes.” He stuck out a meaty paw. “Name’s Dan The Dentist, cause that’s what I do for a living. We’re here to help.”

Tracy looked at Cynthia, who smiled and said, “God bless us, every one.”

She rolled her eyes, but met Dan’s hand with her own.

***

With the camouflage of hundreds of bikes, the trip moved along at a good clip. Cynthia took turns riding among the various sidecars, ducking down when the police neared. If any patrols decided to follow, a group of bikers, some with their own daughters riding side, broke off and lured them away.

Within hours the group caught sight of their destination: the Mendocino Cliffs overlooking the Pacific. Tracy pulled out her cell and made a call. A cloud of dust rose as the ride grumbled to an end.

Tracy strode over to the bike holding Cynthia. The little girl looked pale, her breath coming in gasps. “We’re here?”

“Yeah, baby. We’re here.” Tracy gathered the frail girl in her arms and carried her to the edge of the cliff, assorted bikers standing back in a respectful wall of leather and jeans.

She sat tailor-style, Cynthia cradled in her lap. She only had to wait an hour before she heard the helicopter land, spotlighted by the bright purples, reds, and oranges of the setting sun.

Police cars, sirens blaring, raced up. A distraught man and woman, grief etched on their faces, ran to their daughter. The bikers parted to let them pass, closing ranks to hold the officers back.

Tracy stood, holding the rapidly fading Cynthia out for her mother to hold. “She doesn’t have much time left. Her last wish was for the three of you to be here at the end.” She leaned in and whispered to the mother. “I don’t care if you stay together or not, but you lie to this little girl, if you have to.”

Tracy stood back a few feet, giving them privacy. When the mother’s head bowed and her tears fell on unfeeling cheeks, she turned and nodded to the awaiting bikers and police. Sirens shut off and the rumble of hundreds of bikes starting paid homage to one little girl with a dream.

There was nothing left for her to do but walk away.

Word Count : 750

             

For Speakeasy #141. The prompts: Reference the above clip in some way. Use “There was nothing left for her to do but walk away” as your last line. The challenge: Use 750 words or less to tell your story or poem.

My sincerest hopes that all my readers have a very happy Holiday season. Thank you for reading my works and your wonderful feedback! Fair winds and following seas.

Head over to Speakeasy and read some terrific writers. I am never disappointed when I make my through the entries every week.

Hope you enjoy.

And I hope you find Peace.

J. Milburn

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19 thoughts on “Speakeasy #141: Wishes and Promises

  1. I always look forward to what you write. Another attention holding (which says a lot dealing with my mind) story. You really do say a lot of few words.

    • Thanks, Anja! This one’s been knocking around my head in short story form for a while now. When I read the last line, I flipped through my mental rolodex of ideas and decided to try and fit the long version into 750 words. Maybe one day I’ll do a “director’s cut” version.

  2. Great story. Sad ending, though. At least the girl kind of got her wish. On a more upbeat note, I did get a chuckle out of the girl wanting to do the under-the-tanker-truck maneuver again.

    • Thanks, Janna! I’ll admit, writing this one wiped me out. But at least she got an adventure, plus she’ll be remembered by more people. Who knows what she inspired? Honestly, I had to throw the tanker truck in there as a cheat, ’cause I couldn’t figure out how to get them away with enough words left over otherwise 😉

  3. Sweet story, JM! And I agree with Janna– the skidding under the truck was perfectly woven in 🙂

  4. Wow , your story was full of action. The ending was kind of sad. I like your style.

  5. This is so good, Jeremy! Really creative use of the prompts and such a moving story. I love the way the bikers protect the girls and show their respect. Beautifully done!

  6. That was really sweet! I had thought about doing something similar but I’m glad I didn’t because yours was so good!

  7. That was quite a story.

  8. […] please help us congratulate Jeremy, this week’s popular vote winner! His story about one little girl’s last wish was beautifully […]

  9. […] To read J. Milburn’s award-winning story, go to Writing To Be Noticed   *********************************** In the summer of 1987, I moved to Chicago.  I drove […]

  10. This was such an amazing story…So wonderfully written ! Much Love xx 🙂

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