A Near-Dave Experience.


He hid the warm bike in the tall grass, among the trees, just shy of the flood-lit forecourt. He climbed a five-bar gate & walked the dark field until he felt he had a story straight. He smoked the last inch down to the roach.

He pissed & spat into a Belfast sink he found at the hedge & he tried the half truths on the stars. They stank, but they would do. He climbed the five-bar gate, ran his hand through his hair, picked up the plastic bottle from the grass and strolled onto the forecourt. He felt he was in a scene from a film.

Angie Davidson waved him from behind the glass. He couldn’t decide if this was good or not. He knew her from The Eight Kings. He waved the plastic bottle and nodded to the pumps. Her voice was metallic, flat on the tannoy. “Ain’t you forgot something?”

He squeezed a pound of petrol and paid at the slotted glass with the lie about the bike being over in Eastwell, near Dave’s. It was hard to tell if she believed him or not. She giggled a lot as he spoke. He tried a smile, but it twisted his face in the glass. She laid her head to one side, like she was listening or judging his words, or something.

So, yeah, he said. The bike’s over near Dave’s.

Aha, in Eastwell. You said already. She giggled again. You’re stoned, yeah?

Three minutes later, he was back out in the dark, in the tall grass. Hidden among the trees. He sat with the bike. The petrol at his feet. He stared into the light of the forecourt some hundred yards down the road. And, then, in a flash, he decided that the whole stinking deal was off.  He stood the bike and walked it out onto the tarmac. When he thought he was clear – the road, quiet – he kicked it and rode back home along the empty cliff road. The petrol in the plastic bottle sloshed beneath his jacket.




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