Friday, January 21, 2011

Riding pillion

Mia leaned forward and held on tightly. White lines, gravel and a wall filled her vision diagonally. She shifted from side to side as they turned corners, swapped lanes and made headway. They roared through the night, buffeted by a strong cross-wind. At the junction Jason skidded slightly, almost crashing. She clung to his back as they waited for the lights to change. Her fingers gripped cold leather. They cruised along fluorescent, rain painted roads skimming the city’s edge.

On the highway they followed wide curves around the river and past the bridge, accelerating as they climbed higher.  Cold stung and the darkness closed in as they picked up speed. Mia stared hard at Jason’s back. Then they descended. Lines ran together and Mia’s vision spun into a blur. She closed her eyes, heart beating fast. She felt her fingers slipping and her knees seemed to have no grip. If she let go and threw herself into the river below it would be over. She wanted it to end. Her body spasmed and shook.

Then Jason braked gently, and the world spun back into place, a single white line, a narrow street. He guided the bike onto a walking track and then down to a fluorescent-lit tunnel. Mia looked up and saw uneven patches of colour, shapes falling in on themselves and writing tilting backwards. A naked woman leered down at her with wide acrylic-black eyes and her arms open wide. Mia felt the blood pumping through her veins again. She started to thaw.