Ms MOLLY GETS HERSELF NOTICED

Runner-up

By Maggie Sinclair

Maggie says: I live in Perthshire with my husband and cat. I’ve been a secret scribbler since childhood but, in 2021, I took a WEA creative writing course which gave me new skills and, most importantly, the confidence to share my writing.

The clubhouse doesn’t look much from the outside, a big grey building, no windows, no signs. It’s what’s inside that interests Molly. She knows she shouldn’t be walking here alone at night. She’s been told often enough, but what’s the worst that can happen? The steady beat of too-loud music vibrates through the walls. No girls allowed. Molly grins, imagining the boys lounging at the pool table, swigging beer from the bottle and exchanging abusive pleasantries.

Outside the building stands a row of highly-polished, high-powered machines, neat and tidy, unlike their owners. Like dominoes, thinks Molly. A figure emerges and slouches against the wall rolling a cigarette, long hair and dirty denim. Not a bit like James; he was so handsome in his white t-shirt, hair slicked back. He thought he was a real hero on his Vincent Black Lightning. Young Molly thought so too. Well, every girl loves a bad boy. Molly was a good girl though, invisible to the wonderful James. She couldn’t compete with the wild girls from the convent school. He was so arrogant.

The scruffy figure stamps out his cigarette and disappears back inside. Molly emerges from the shadows and studies the line of shiny motorbikes. They look heavy, but she knows what to do. Lean in hard, lift the side-stand, and…

With the crash of metal on metal echoing through the night, the doors burst open to disgorge a black-leathered rabble, muscles flexed, ready to meet a crowbar-brandishing rival gang. They stand bewildered in the empty street and stare after the little old lady as she limps into the darkness.