‘King of the Road’
Sombat awoke to the shrill alarm of his mobile. He grappled for the phone still in the fog of sleep. Whatever time had he got home?
He recalled racing around the Ring-Road the previous night with his pack of biker friends, pushing his bike to the limit and gleefully taking the money that they had all bet on who was to be the first to complete the circuit.
Sombat had saved long and hard for his Honda Phantom and although it was not new he worshipped it.
Unlike the previous models, the Phantom that Sombat owned was a 200 cc 4-stroke and Sombat washed and waxed it every day, lovingly applying polish to the chrome, cleaning the saddle and blackening the bike’s tyres.
Now he himself had to pay.
Even now long before sunrise Sombat had to hasten to the vegetable market to start the fires that heated the stock on the family noodle stall.
He squeezed into the space behind the corrugated iron on the balcony where the family had fixed a shower nozzle at the end of some plastic tubing and let the cold water run over him and wake him fully.