Always nice to see two winners. Very well done. The first to send me a possible next theme will be the winner so get typing - Lemex popsprocket Gods of Mayhem (718 words) Something special would happen at around the speed that it took to paint your brains across the asphalt in a lightning instant. The world blurred into a kaleidoscope until all that was left was you and your bike and the road. Even thundering engines that could deafen the fainthearted would settle into a rhythmic hum that was just short of symphonic perfection. It was like our own little secret. It was something that could be learned, but that could never be told. If you didn’t ride then you didn’t understand: you could never understand. Open roads that ran for miles without end. These were our Elysian Fields, and here, we were gods. We were the gods of speed and the gods of the road and the gods of perfection. A quick glance at my mirror was all I needed to see that the other gods were still chewing up pavement there with me. A combination of concentration and euphoria was mixed on the faces of each and every one of them. This is what it meant to defy death, and the result was well worth the risk. With the throttle wide open you could simply let your anguish leak out through your fingertips, let it slip through the bike and onto the road where it could be left in your wake, never to be seen again. That’s why whenever we rode through a town I could simply smile and keep riding. It didn’t matter what other people thought of us, because we knew something that they did not. The reaction was always instant; occurring as soon as roaring engines reached the ears of Sunday strollers. Mothers would pull their children closer as their daughters looked on with excited eyes. Fathers would feign indifference while their sons looked on with envy. The truth was that at least some of these people wanted to know. They wanted to be able to understand; most lacked the courage to wrap their knuckles around a grip and find out. There would always be that inkling of an idea that made them sigh wistfully as we flew by at speeds to make the devil weep, but none of them had the heart to climb aboard and lay their lives on the line for that slice of a perfect moment. I had pitied them, at one time, but now I had come to appreciate the fact that the mysteries of the open road were not so easily surrendered to the uninitiated. Blue and red lights flashed in my mirror and I smiled as I pulled the small column of bikers over. The police were of the uninitiated. Motorbike cops never bothered with us, it was always the ones in those cages they called cruisers that liked to remind us to “keep riding” and to “keep our trouble out of their town”. It was like they all shared some kind of inane script. This cop wanted the exact same thing. There was no point in explaining that we only rode for the freedom, none of them ever believed that. Instead, I smiled politely as I submitted my licence for scrutiny. A small boy and his mother watched on as the cop collected everyone’s papers. An exultant look lit up her face as though we horrid bikers were getting our comeuppance, but the boy gazed at the sight in awe. Black paint and shining chrome reflected in his tiny eyes and I could feel it like a wave of heat emanating out from him. One day he would understand this secret of ours. One day it would be him that rode his pain and hate away. The disappointed cop returned, unable to find any outstanding warrants on the bad men disturbing the peace of his town. A final warning to keep riding was all he left us with before climbing into his cage and fleeing in the opposite direction. With a sly wink for the kid, I threw my leg over the bike and kicked it into life. The woman responded as though suddenly struck by the sight of something terrible and ungodly, pulling the little boy along behind her before he could be corrupted by we gods of mayhem. I smiled at the insult, though. Because this was our little secret that she would never know.