There is a speedway in the deep South bordered by acres of open raw land. However, on one side is a property populated by a few random structures. One is a kind of large wooden shed. I was hours early to a race one fine day, my young nephew in tow. He is a bit rambunctious and a dedicated explorer, so it was not surprising that he spotted the shed right out of the box and wandered over instantly for a closer view.
Without an ability to stop the swift boy, I soon witnessed him scale the chain link fence and was already on the other side when I cautioned him to wait for me. I was a bit slower in my efforts, but at last we stood together before the structure hand in hand. I had to restrain him at first.
I was leery of the ramshackle shed. It was so dilapidated and moth-eaten. Holes popped out here and there on the exterior, and the roof sagged on one side. Why would anyone even keep such an eyesore? Of what use could it be? The door creaked as we nudged it gently, fearing it would fall at our first touch. It didn’t. It was dark inside until we propped open the door with a large stone found lying nearby.
Our eyes adjusted to the lack of light. Typical for a boy or a man, we were anxious to root around for discoveries. What did we expect? Dead bodies! Stacks of old tires? Better yet, we found three shiny new motorcycles chained to a post. It wasn’t exactly a secure beam. Termites had gotten to it long before, as they had to most of the wood inside and out the shed. Obviously it was abandoned and while the owners of the shed hadn’t invested in termite treatment, but perhaps they had abandoned it so long ago that they didn’t even realise that it had almost been completely eaten hollow by these pests. You could see gouges, the paper thin wood, and full exposure to the elements.
The bikes were stunning. They looked ready to roar if we had the ability and the drive. Closer we drew to the metal monoliths. I spotted a large red tag on one, then the others. They were the property of a local dealer in the city we had passed through on the way to the track. Stolen goods!!! I had to assume with the prices still attached, they couldn’t be someone’s actual possessions.
Cell phone magic. The police came within minutes and matched the goods to recent reports of stolen merchandise. Quick and easy. Now they had to arrest the owners. We didn’t want to be identified as the ratting culprits and were off as soon as the police allowed us to leave.
We followed up the next day, however, to find out that two derelicts were living on the premises in secret, kind of like unofficial squatters. They had misappropriated the motorcycles a week earlier. Perhaps they had visions of Easy Rider, but their dreams were now nipped in the bud. There is that lure of the open road I suppose, but you have to do it the right way I told my nephew. I winked at him with a wry smile. He understood.