Free Short Story

Every month I put a FREE short story on here. Here’s the story for July.

Sunday’s Child

Monday morning Jason pulled the dog-eared catalogue from his pocket and spread its pages across the bonnet of the car he was working on.  Queasy with desire he wiped his hands down his overalls and studied the picture. A deep thrill ran through him.  One more week and she would be his.  He sighed, folded the paper and shoved it back into his pocket.


Tuesday he hurried into Motor Cycle City.

“Hi Jason, come to pick her up?”  The salesman grinned.  He’d seen Jason at the window every day for weeks gazing at the Harley Davidson Road King, his eyes bright with longing.  He’d paid the deposit, the paperwork was ready.  All he had to do now was sign the easy payments plan.

“Waste of money,” Jason’s dad said.  “For that you could buy a decent car and have a holiday.”  

“Nah¸ cars and holidays are for old people,” Jason said.  His heart soared at the thought of the Harley.

Wednesdays, after work, Jason rode out with Tina, the other love of his life.  Together they’d abandon themselves to the power of the machine beneath them and the heart-pumping adrenaline rush of exhilaration.  They became as one, him, Tina and the Harley until, breathless, they’d stop in the hills, lie in the grass and stare at the stars.  He loved Tina with all his heart, he really did.  

A wet Thursday in July brought Jason’s world crashing down. 

“I’m pregnant,” Tina said. “Up the spout, bun in the oven. I’m going to have your baby.”

Jason glared at her.  His throat constricted.  He didn’t want a baby – not now – probably not ever.  They were too young – he wasn’t ready.  Of course he’d always planned to marry Tina – sometime in the future – the distant future – when he was ready to settle down, but right now he had a lot of living to do and his plans didn’t include no baby. He felt the rest of his life slipping away. 

“Don’t look at me like that,” she said.  “I wasn’t on my own up there in the hills was I?”

Things went rapidly downhill after that. 

Friday nights, they went to the Black Jack Café, where rows of bikes glistened in the sun. All though the summer and into the autumn they’d roar off with the biker gang to meet up with other bikers swopping tales of road races, burn ups and  bikes.   This was living. This was what he was born for – not to spend his life trying to earn enough to support a family.  Families were for mugs.  He preferred the freedom of the road.

“Soon be swopping your Harley for a pram,” one of his mates said, “if what I hear is right.”

Jason shook his head, his face set in grim determination.  “Nah,” he said.  “No way – that ain’t never gonna happen.”

Saturday nights he would ride with Tina along the coast until they found somewhere to go clubbing until the early hours.  But as time wore on and winter nights drew in Tina’s waist expanded so she could no longer ride pillion.  He couldn’t face the ordeal of sitting with her parents; reproach filling their cold as the Arctic eyes, being reminded of his failings, so they’d walk to the pub.

Tina sat sipping her orange juice.  “Of course it’ll need a cot, bedding, nappies,” she said.  His eyes glazed over.

She gazed at him.  “Do you think breast really is best?”

He shrugged and wished he was a thousand miles away.  When she complained of backache and swollen ankles he said, “You need to put your feet up,” and dropped her off early, riding out fast and far, lengthening the distance between them.  Tina was no fun anymore.  Gradually he stopped seeing her, preferring to spend his time with his biker mates.

One Sunday morning on a cold February day, he got the call.  Tina was in hospital in labour.  He hadn’t seen her for months but hadn’t managed to blot her out completely.  Visions of her face, tears filling her eyes, niggled at the back of his mind.

He washed carefully, dressed and had his breakfast.  Reluctance dragged his heels, a man on his was to his own hanging couldn’t have been more downhearted.  He had no interest in the baby – babies were smelly things that cramped your lifestyle.  Babies were things for women to ogle at.  He wished with all his might he could jump on his Harley and ride into the sunset, but it was a distant dream.  He owed it to Tina to go to the hospital – he knew that.

A nurse showed him to Tina’s room.  Tina radiated happiness.  She glowed.  The smile on her face reached the sky.  She held a bundle in her arms.   Jason swallowed – this was it – the moment he’d dreaded.   Tina held the bundle out to him.  He laid the flowers he’d bought on the bed.  She placed the infant in his arms. 

“Meet your daughter,” she said.

Holding her in his arms his heart squeezed.  A maelstrom of emotions swept over him.  His stomach knotted and his preconceptions melted like butter.  He stared mesmerized at her scarlet, puckered face, a miniature of his own.  Entranced, he touched her tiny fingers.  She snuffled and moved.  His heart raced, his defences crumbled. A huge swell of love rose up in him. He saw the child she would become and the lifetime stretching ahead of her.

Tears filled his eyes, a lump rose in his throat.  “Don’t worry Pet,” he said.  “I’ll be here to look out for you.”   As he said it he knew it to be true.

“I’m thinking of calling her Hailey. Sounds like the bike,” Tina said.

His head shot up.  “The Harley?”  He gazed at the baby sleeping in his arms.  “I’ll have to sell that now won’t I?”  He grinned.  “Can’t take a nipper out on the back of a motorbike can we?”

If you enjoyed this story there are plenty more in my Short Story Collections here.