It’s All Yours, Boys
“Those blokes are in need of a long walk off a short pier,” young Fred considered as the rust-battered Datsun 120Y hatchback sped past him at the intersection. “They’ll get what’s owing to them one of these days.”
Fred climbed out of his bed pre-dawn to a warm offshore breeze brought about by the welcome change of season. As he wiped a chunk of sleep large enough to make a sandwich from his eyes, he rejoiced. It was the first day of the school holidays. Two weeks to do as he pleased.
Fred mounted his Malvern Star bicycle and flicked it into low gear. With his surfboard haphazardly strapped to the side of his steed, he peddled slowly at first as the sun made a sneaky peak over the horizon.
The sleepy town was having a lie-in on this day as his gathered momentum warranted a shift to a higher gear.
Fred’s little legs were pumping at twenty to the dozen as he hung onto the ape-hanger handlebars of his makeshift chopper. He shifted to third gear as he hit the straight with gusto with one pit stop in mind.
As Fred skidded his bike, kicked the stand and parked it outside Dave’s bakery, he was shocked to see a group of guys pull up in a rusty, beaten up car overloaded with surfboards just behind him. Fred rifled through his jeans pocket and was lucky enough to come up with ample coin to splash out on his morning delicacy – a hot bread roll and chocolate milk.
Before he could nod a morning welcome to the ever-friendly Dave at the bakery, two scurvy-looking aliens from the rusty Datsun pushed in front of Fred. They were much taller than Fred and had a definite air of menace about them. It didn’t really upset him too much to wait.
With a smile on his face and a contented stomach, Fred continued on his journey to the surf. As the cadence increased on his ride, the unruly Datsun sped past and nearly ran him off the road. He heard the boys laughing as a half-finished milkshake missed him by a whisker. It was followed by more wayward rubbish as the jalopy disappeared into the distance.
Fred knew they too were on the way to surf his secret spot. Fortunately, Fred knew of a shortcut that would give him a definite heads-up on the motley crew, and maybe even a half dozen waves before they arrived.
As he lay his bike down in the clearing at the end of the track young Fred could not believe his eyes. Some of the best waves he had ever seen were rolling in at his favourite little spot. They weren’t really big, but they were perfect. Real perfect. More faultless lines of swell caressed the rocky headland as Fred noticed the line-up was, in fact, not empty. He rubbed his eyes for a healthier look. Silhouetted in the larger wave of the set was one lone local taking his share of the morning perfection.
Fred’s body froze. Swimming through the clean swells was a ten-foot shark, cruising the line-up without a worry in the world. A man in a grey suit; a Noah’s Ark. Fred was speechless and was back on his bike quick smart. He continued to cycle along the point, continually looking back out to the surf, gobsmacked. There was no way in the world he could venture out there.
Just as he neared the makeshift car park, a screeching pile of dust heralded the arrival of the Datsun 120Y.The feral surfers emerged amid a torrent of irate language and a flurry of rubbish. Their presence instantly snapped Fred back to reality.
“What’s it like out there you little dipshit?” For a bunch of older guys their abuse lacked any imagination. “Too big for you today? Going back home to wet the bed are we?”
Fred glanced at the boys, then at their car’s interstate number plate.
“Yep, it’s too big for me out there today,” Fred replied, turning to the older boys with a stiff upper lip and motioning to the empty surf, “Get out there and enjoy it,” he smiled. “It’s all yours, boys.”