Steven pushed the bike as hard as it could go. Trees whipped past in a blur. Keeping the throttle open cramped his hand. Acceleration lifted the front wheel. But as fast as that rusted out Kawasaki flew, Steven’s mind raced faster, fuelled by adrenaline that had rapidly ascended since leaving the Seven-Eleven – a speck in his not-so-distant checkered past. He wasn’t sure what he enjoyed most: the thrill of getting away with the cash, the thrill of the ride, or the thrill of the chase.
As he veered off the dirt road and deeper into the bush, sirens squealed behind him, a sign that this was not over yet, though it sounded like they were fading fast.
“Sweet, I’ve lost them!” he mouthed, rejoicing as he eased back on the throttle, slowing the bike down a little.
With the hem of his unwashed white singlet, he wiped at the sweat dripping down his forehead.
Suddenly, a tree-root, protruding from the ground, snagged the front wheel, catching Steven unawares. He flew across the handlebars, streaks of blue, green and brown whizzing past his eyes in the slowest seconds of all fifteen years of his life.
Finally, he landed hard on his spine, staring up at the sky through the trees. A searing pain ripped through the back of his skull.
Hot metal scorched his left leg. The stolen bike landed pinning him down. He yelped as he tried to shift the bike, but it was no use.
When he heard the snapping of twigs Steven realised the only way out of his agony was in handcuffs, escorted by the cops. With each laboured breath death became a more viable option.