They called him Dare Devil Dan as he sped through the village on his Golden Flash motorbike. The villagers could hear the low hum of his motorbike engine far in the distance. People would gather in crowds to see him whizz pass them like a streak of lightning, he took everyone’s breath away! “Look out Dare Devil Dan is coming!” Even after all the years I can still smell that burning oil fragrance from that old motorbike exhaust.
The police would chase him and never catch him, ‘He is a devil’, they would say!
He drove like the Devil, and the village dignitaries hated him for it.
One day he hit an old man crossing the road. The accident left the old man with a limp for the rest of his life. Dan’s parents were broken hearted, but Dan kept riding his bike to help him forget.
Deep inside Dan a dark misery was growing. He hated himself, and his addiction to speed penetrated his very being. Year followed year, and both his parents died.
Dan gave up his motorbike and lived as a recluse in his council house, the shadow lands of his memory tormenting him. One day I found a cat that had been run over and was dying on the roadside. So I just knocked on the nearest door to find out where the cat belonged.
At that time I didn’t know exactly where Dan lived. But the door I knocked on turned out to be Dan’s, it was his neighbour’s cat. Dan came out to help me.
I will ever remember the gentle way Dan caressed that dying cat, a gentle loving man, no longer the demon rider, a broken man fighting with the memories of his past, his solitary existence haunted by what he put his parents through.
About a year later Dan could stand it no more, he shot his dog first and then he shot himself.