The vinceunlimited Fiction Page

Long, long ago, when televisions only came in two colours and being bad was never a good thing I used to make up stories. Actually I didn't, I made that bit up. I didn't actually make up stories as a child. Never did unless obliged to do so during my English studies.

No one who knew me then would have predicted that I would be like I am now. Except that the blond hair and chubby cheeks still remain of course. But as a teenager and into my adulthood I have always harboured a desire to write. And fiction is the best place to start when you lead a fairly normal life and haven't discovered penicillin or captained your country in tiddlywinks.

However, the trouble with fiction is that it takes up too much time. And I've been fannying about with this site in it's various incarnations for too long to develop some of these ideas. But it would be sad to hold back in private files all of my ideas forever, they need to see the light of day to inspire me and maybe others.

If you feel like assisting my mission [read 'sponsoring me to write'] get in touch.

Current Stories

All the stories that are completed or in development. Click on any title to jump to the associated article below to read more.

A Dream Come True - Story about a bike. With a great name. Or am I just biased?

Shortest - The shortest story of all. Except shorter ones. And longer ones with most of their pages missing. For more short stories why not link up to the-phone-book.com You never know whose work is featured

The Ball - A radio script submission about the thoughts of a football during the 2006 World Cup

The Dog - A radio script submission about the thoughts of a dog during the 2006 World Cup

The Driver - A radio script submission about an enterprising drive during the 2006 World Cup

Two Cases - A thriller. Or it will be when it is finished. Not so thrilling in it's present state but you'll get the idea

Turnstile Girl - A radio script submission about a girl at the 2006 World Cup Final

Vision Of Death - Why do the Ruskies play such dangerous versions of casino games?

For other treatments more suited to the film genre check out the web site section entitled Screenplays and for those on the stage check out the Stage Plays section

Future Stories - Pitches

These pitches are concepts, ideas and story treatments with working titles yet to be fully developed. The dates are those that the idea was published on this site. They are usually developed many months or years earlier but not set free. Either that or I was very busy in January 2020. Contact me if you want me to develop one particular story

Added 30 January 2020 in Version 5.286

Autonomous - A woman hires a car only to discover it's a self driving car which takes over. She escapes into a non-autonomous car driven by a person. It turns out the person is actually a self driving robot who takes her on another scary drive. Also that it was the robot controlling her original autonomous car. Needs a good name for the robot driver and I don't mean Eric

Chatterpillar - A short story about someone who boasts about having a talking caterpillar but by the time witnesses arrive it's turned into a mute butterfly

Cryogenical - A breakthrough medical advance becomes available and an argument develops on whether a currently living person should benefit or one previously cryogenically frozen

A Good Judge Of Character - A story about someone who murders a new friend then has to prove in court that had they not taken this action the friend would have committed a more serious crime

Forensic - The Social Media detective. A person, possibly disabled or a recluse, who helps solve crime and confirm alibis by studying social media timeline postings. Time checks, SM changes, gaps in posts, new clothing and accessories, weather and lighting changes, EXIF data etc

Hack - A person receives an email advising that his bank account has been hacked along with a message that just £400 has been removed, for an emergency payment for a sick child. The message is to empty the rest of the account, withdraw all overdraft facilities and leave it open for a deposit return. The person is a journalist so is intrigued. It transpires a thousand accounts have been hacked, all with the promise of a return with generous interest. The Hacker starts paying back as promised. He had purchased hacked accounts from the dark web. Victims have various attitudes toward the hacker. Some sympathetic, others vengeful

Investigation Squared - A whodunit wherein there are six people in an isolated situation and one dies. The rest are all detectives with different techniques

Monachenemy - The power struggles following dissolution of a monarchy

My Pet Velociraptor - Do I need to elaborate?

Private Performance - An artist reaches out to fans through a FB fan page or Kickstarter and offers to do 'private' performances to communities. But one individual mimics a community and the artist arrives to play a gig for one very scary person

Ramp - A short story wherein someone obsesses about driving a daring high speed natural ramp jump in town. They consider getting permissions then discusses the stunt with a friend. Car choice "So what will you use?", "I thought a Marina", "Why?" "It's on my driveway". They decide to go for it. What could go wrong? A homeless person under the pile of boxes, a stray cat, slippery bird droppings or an oil blockage in the car at a critical point...

Random Millionaires - A Billionaire decides to give away five million. In one million parts to five random people to see what would happen. Rules include must start using it within 5 days

Seven Units - Seven ultimately interconnected stories about eventful finds in abandoned storage units, each associated with a Deadly Sin - Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride

The Elephant With Two Trunks - A story about an elephant with two suitcases. And two noses obviously

The End Of Violence - Drama about a politician who fights for a violence free society but it develops into a split society. One violence free, the other a vicious jungle. The policy starts with violence free prisons

The Trial Of All Of Us - A random older white male is arrested and imprisoned then taken to trial for history. For the crimes of all his peers and predecessors throughout history. For ancient wars, for not returning stolen wealth and land, for immigration policy, for environmental pollution, for allowing unfettered breeding, for allowing criminal behaviour, for lacking dedication to charity, for not spending every moment in the pursuit of better healthcare, or serving others, for not attempting to reverse any of the above, for being lucky to have health, wealth and love

Added December 2006 in Version 2.04

Blond Terror - In this pitch a white mercenary teams up with Asian terrorists to bypass securities and assist them by bombing for profit. The tag line could be "Money for God's Sake"

Frozen Love - A couple with a large age difference decide that the older partner should be cyrogenically frozen in order to be re-united at a similar age. The older partner is awoken to discover the younger one, now as old, has settled with a new family. Hollywood may want to add a syrupy ending to this

Six Twenty Three - As any seasoned commuter will know there are a raft of stories to tell about train journeys. However, I do suspect that there are no train-loads of stories about a raft - but I digress. My story picks up on a group of regular commuters who are having a special morning preparing to celebrate the impending marriage of two of the team. The twist is that both the potential newly-weds are already spliced and have been living dual lives in the city. For dramatic effect the audience will only learn of one of the couples dual life to build sympathy, with the dramatic twist near the end. Add in a suicidal passenger, imminent buisness embezzlement and the internal thoughts of all the regulars and there is enough to fill a novel. So I will. P.S. For any that know me, or the misses - This is fiction. Or is it?

The Southampton Conundrum - Originally entitled Procreate and Die, it is about a future where scientists have conquered death and any living being can now have immortality. The only trouble with this utopia is the insistance on humans breeding and the burgeoning population leads governments to take drastic steps. They settle on a deal that means every potential parent faces a choice. Go childless and live or procreate and die. The stakes are raised further when some are asked to make a choice between them and their offspring. [Note: This idea has since been further developed and is the basis for a future novel, already commenced]

Added February 2005 in Version 1.03

Terranoid [added Feb 2005] - A story concept about being paranoid about terrorism [and then being proved right] with the tag line "Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean that they are not going to blow you to pieces"

Related Link

Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.302 13 May 2020
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
Individual articles added: Version m5.302 13 May 20



The Fiction...

Written July 2006

The following four pieces, 'The Ball', 'The Dog', 'The Driver' and 'Turnstile Girl' were originally written for the radio format. However only your imagination prevents use elsewhere. I, for instance might try them on a pizza with a little olive oil, or maybe to prop open my door to get some fresh air in here or even dam a leak in Venice.

The pieces were all written as a submission for a BBC radio writing request held during the 2006 football World Cup. In all the BBC received over 1100 entries but much like the England team my entries didn't make the finals and The Beeb decided not to broadcast my efforts. I do believe in my pieces so have published them here. Belligerent? Damn right. They are each only two to three minutes in length so it should not take you long to judge for yourself whether they were on the ball or off the pitch, the mutts nuts or total dog doo-dahs or even a nitrous sipping, turbo-charged monster or a tricycle with a flat tyre.

As the author, I, not the BBC, own the copyright to these entries. If you wish to distribute, perform or publish these articles please have the decency to contact me first. However, if you wish to link others to this web page then I shall feel honoured.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.302 13 May 2020
All four pieces were written July 2006 and submitted to the BBC as part of a radio script submission request
All four pieces were First Published: Version 2.04 in Dec 2006



The Ball

Here we go! Here we go! Here we go!

That’s all I’m hearing lately. It's alright for the fans and those infuriating footballers but speaking from my particular point of view I'd be happy to stay where I am. I do realise that hasn't been the view of all balls in this World Cup, flying here there and everywhere, but personally speaking I’d rather just sit here on this grass lapping up the sun.

You see, being a ball in the World Cup isn’t all it's made out to be. I recall discussing this with my grandfather, a leathery old sort who claimed to be at the World Cup in 1966 when England won. He said us balls have it made now, what with our lightweight construction and weatherproof coating. Not like in his day when they had to carry half a rainstorm with them in the wet and constantly ran out of puff.

Granddad claimed to be in the actual final that year. Well he would wouldn't he. They all do. Mind you, he tells a convincing account of how he swerved to get Geoff Hurst his second goal. He thinks that he changed the course of history but I feel that’s going a bit too far. Could I change what happens in this game? Could I help to change the course of history? Well possibly, but I really can't be bothered right now. Those boys have stopped kicking me about for a while now so I’m happy to take the rest.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not always on the move. Agreed, sometimes I get kicked up and down this pitch so often I get dizzy and end up spinning past the side line. At least I get a rest now whilst one of my mates takes over. Granddad reckoned he had to keep going the whole match. At least he had a good long retirement afterwards, sat in some warm cabinet for the rest of his days. I’ll probably end up on e-Bay.

That happened to one of the guys the other day. Booted right up in the stands he was, then smuggled out under some chap's sweaty shirt. Think about it, would you like that. Not nice at all. I expect he ended up being kicked against some concrete wall by an ungrateful kid. I think of that every time I get hoofed up there myself. Mind you, most of the time up there in the stands is good. I quite enjoy that pleasant ride around the stadium jumping from fan to fan.

I would like to be on the pitch at the end of the match though. Just think, picked up by the ref, then onto the changing rooms to have all those signatures added - I think that looks real smart. Or, even better, I’d love to be involved in an actual goal. Granddad said he scored them all, even the German ones that day, but nowadays there are so many of us involved that actually getting in the comfort of that net would be a real privilege.

What I need is a Beckham free kick, and then I'll be straight in there. Oh, yes, you didn't realise that did you? We are the ones responsible for bending it, not Beckham. Legend has it that when he was very young he pulled an unloved ball out of a river and gave it a new lease of life. He loved that ball so that is why we love him. Even the way he caresses his foot on our side, it's a magical touch and we always respond when he gets involved.

Hello, we seem to be moving. My rest in the grass seems to be over. Whatever they were all arguing about seems to be sorted out. So where do we go from here? Oh, it looks like I'm being placed down again. And fantastic news, the grass here is white, I’ll just roll about a bit… Oh yes, definitely it's a spot - I’m going to take a penalty.

Now, who is it taking the shot? I need to decide whether to go sideways, or up. Some wag I know reckoned they did this to Gareth Southgate in an important England match, reckoned that he punctured a ball when he was a kid. That's murderous talk to a ball.

Oh, I'm replaced back on the spot. Just time to check out the keeper and pick a side. Concentrate now. About to be whacked. Here we go….

Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.137 21 Jun 2018
Written July 2006 and submitted to the BBC as part of a radio script submission request
First Published: Version 2.04 in Dec 2006



The Dog

A young Yorkshire Terrier puppy playing with a red ball.  A plastic bone is nearby
Dogs have no idea on how to play football. They just copy Suárez's biting techniques

Something’s going on, I’m sure of that.

It's the little things that you notice, like all the rushing around and the general buzz of excitement. Little things, like them coming home early but then not having dinner until late. It may be alright for them but I’m a regular sort. I like things as they were yesterday, as they were last week, last month. It’s mad enough at weekends and at holidays such as Christmas, but at least I get extra grub at these times. Right now I’m just being completely ignored and I’m not best pleased.

I'm aware that they all like to sit and stare aimlessly at that strange, noisy box in the corner of the room and mostly I'm happy with that. After all, getting my own head down is a skill I've mastered to a fine art. Those lazy hours can always be punctuated with the odd wander around for a bit of attention, or if I’m feeling a little mischievous I can always pretend to snore… Or fart.

This is different though. My dinner’s late, my stomach rumblings are genuine and every time I even get near that noisy box someone yells out quite unnecessarily loudly. Only yesterday I nosed over to see what all the fuss was about and I got a flying slipper for my trouble. Even my failsafe lay out on my back with my ears flat out and legs in the air doesn’t seem to attract their attention. But worst of all, now I want to go.

There may be tension in this room, rising and pitching like someone just found a key to a huge secret larder, then lost it again, but for me all the tension is in my bladder and it just keeps rising and rising. I learnt a long time ago not to use this room and that it really was in my best interests to wait until I go out. But I’ve waited nearly ninety minutes and there is no sign that anyone wants to go 'Walkies'.

Mind you, just now, even when I do get out in the park for a bit of a run there are always far too many kids there. All of them running around, kicking a huge ball and shouting at each other quite a lot. I wouldn't mind if I they let me join in but when I try they seem to get so upset then pretend I’m the ball and try to kick me. Not that they stand a chance against my speed and manoeuvrability. And what is it with this 'Rooney' name they shout?

I really hope this state of affairs doesn’t drag on all summer. In this heat that pungent smell of canned lager in this room is starting to overwhelm my sensitive nostrils.

What on earth can obsess these people so strongly?

It’s only been two weeks but I'm starting to think that if anyone else pointlessly shouts out 'Come on Engerland' I'll bloody well bite them.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.138 22 Jun 2018
Written July 2006 and submitted to the BBC as part of a radio script submission request
First Published: Version 2.04 in Dec 2006
The photograph shows the author's wife's Yorkshire Terrier puppy taken in Oct 1981, added on 27 Jun 2018



The Driver

The author photographed sitting in a blue Mercedes AMG GT V8 powered sports car
A professional driver. A powerful car. All that's needed is an empty road

Can you hear it? Just there, right now. That eerie silence.

Normally right here about this time there would be a cacophony of sound. It was there just a few minutes ago but now it’s all gone. All gone with the rest of them. Just me. And that beautiful silence. It's about time I changed all that.

[The sound of a V8 engine rumbles into life]

Now that's even better. The purest sound known to people like me. You can forget your whale song, newborn and opera, this is the best sound available to mankind. At least if your veins gush with four star and you pray to the God of Clarkson. And for us true petrol heads right here, right now is when we can get our biggest fix.

You see to really appreciate a car like this you need, well first off, a car like this. A thrilling combination of beauty, power and performance. But just as important you need space. Space to fulfil your dreams. Space to stretch her legs. Space to touch the edge of the envelope.

And don't go thinking that the reference to stretching her legs is some sort of sexual suggestion. No, for the true purist you can forget your Kirsten Scott Thomases and Angelina Jolies. Right now I wouldn't even have the gorgeous Vicky Butler-Henderson sat here. What I'm about to do is at its best as a solitary pursuit. You can’t say that about many things.

It is indeed a rare occurrence, blue moon, haystack needle sort of thing and I'm about to make the most of it. I'm at odds with the rest of the world but at peace with myself. On the starting grid of something truly spiritual. Outside, rebellious, dangerous, exciting.

This has all happened because of football. It’s never been my kind of thing really. Of course I sound authoritative discussing some points with my peers and often watch a publicised match or two. I even casually follow my local team's progress. However, I have a sneaking admiration for those that truly no nothing of the beautiful game and believe that the overpaid superstars really ought to get a proper job. But right now, when communal fervour has driven everyone inside and off my road I am truly grateful that it is our national sport.

[The V8 revs]

Did you hear that? Primed and ready to rock and roll. Not that I'm going to play any music. Truly great driving sounds come from pistons, intakes and exhausts. Motorhead has nothing on a V8 in a tunnel. And a tyre squeal sings better than Led Zep.

I'll have to be careful though. I won't quite be the only one out here for the next ninety.

I'm not talking about other demons like me. We are a rare breed and share an instinctive support for each other. If we pass there will be no tantrums, no drama. Fast at speed maybe, but in total control as only a true driving god is. We may kick at the speed of light but we know where and when it is right to go for a goal.

Even the mortals in their Sunny one-point-twos quietly going about their daily business, as oblivious to the tournament as they are to life in general won’t be a problem. My sudden presence then disappearance would only shock if they actually had the ability to react.

No, my real problem will be those boys in blue who are forced to miss the moment that everyone will be talking about for the next forty years. This will instil a deep rooted jealousy that can only be satiated by persecuting a man like me. I'll have to be on my game.

Kick off in five minutes time. Just like the others but for other reasons I've etched this time firmly in my psyche. Sat here in this lay-by counting down the minutes, then the seconds. Watching the fading remnants of morons racing past to get to their phosphor alters.

Nearly time to go. Nearly time for life to take its true meaning. Nearly there. The road ahead clears. No one around. Empty silence.

Dip clutch… first gear… final check over shoulder… ease out clutch… and we’re off.

[The V8 rumbles]

It is totally clear ahead and my freedom beckons. I can go any route I chose, like an eagle soaring through the skies. Left or right at this junction, the choice is only mine. Floor it now…

…With any luck I’ll make it back in time for the match.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.139 26 Jun 2018
Written July 2006 and submitted to the BBC as part of a radio script submission request
First Published: Version 2.04 in Dec 2006
The photograph shows the author sat in a Mercedes AMG GT, taken in May 2015, added on 27 Jun 2018



Turnstile Girl

I was there… I was there… I was there.

I keep on saying it, trying to ingrain it into my subconscious. As if somehow I might forget that today I was there on one of the greatest days that the nation has ever witnessed.

O.K. It may not rank up there with D-day, or the moon landings but for us today, my generation, this has got to rank as one of the best moments in history. You cannot get better than your team winning in the World Cup Final. And I can say - I was there.

Not for me the next forty years trying to recall where I was on this magnificent day. I'll always be able to remember - I was actually there.

Now you may think it strange that an English girl like me ended up here. After all, a few weeks ago I was hardly a football fan. Oh, I knew what most girls did, that David Beckham is reason enough to follow this sport, a real superstar, but I know of him through 'O.K! and 'Hello' rather than his football team, whatever that is. I don’t actually have a 'team' of my own and admit to being lost when my male friends try to impress me with their so called knowledge of the offside rule. But now I can tell them. You can keep your side rules, I was there. On the actual day. At the actual ground.

I nearly wasn't here. If it hadn't been for that au-pair job in Frankfurt falling through, or the chance meeting with Helga in that café that led me to staying here in Germany this summer. Nor the fact that the ground needed additional English speaking staff for the final… So many chances to have missed it, so many chances to have failed to be here.

Now it's getting near the end my heart is thumping so loud I reckon that I can hear it above all the din. The atmosphere here is terrific. Drums are beating, the crowd is singing, everyone chanting. We are three goals ahead and the opposition looks like it has given up. No question about who is going to win this. All you can hear are the supporters shouting out the goal-scorers names and that magical word - England.

Now it seems as if the stand above me is going to collapse, this part looks new to me I hope it stays up. I'm sure I can see those beams bending. Bending with Beckham, I reckon. I am so glad I came here. I'm so proud that I was there.

Mind you I wish I was up there. Up with the actual crowd. I'm at the World Cup final where England won and I'm all alone down here at my turnstile. It wasn't lonely earlier when all the late-comers were hurrying through but now there's no one. Even Dieter has gone upstairs. Mid-way through the second-half he asked if he could go up to see what was happening; noting how I was hardly a fan so wouldn't mind covering. I said yes, after all twenty minutes ago he wasn't incorrect. Plus he did say that he’d come back but so far he's a no show. I'm left alone here with no one else to share this moment. Tens of thousands of fans above and me, down here on my own.

Still. It doesn't change the facts.

I was there.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.142 29 Jun 2018
Written July 2006 and submitted to the BBC as part of a radio script submission request
First Published: Version 2.04 in Dec 2006



Written Before October 2003


Shortest

Photograph of a short two seater smart car in a bay marked short stay
Definitely short. Unlike this figcaption which has an unnecessary second sentance

The shortest story of all time


The most difficult thing when writing a novel is to start.

And now that I have I can finish.

The end


Please note that due to the brevity, this story is not embedded in a downloadable file, saved in a .pdf file format or zipped. It is also not available in paperback or at any bookstore, whether good or not. No translations have been made and copies are not available. The author would not like to acknowledge or thank anyone for their assistance. Frankly, he's embarrassed at even being mentioned.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.038 14 Dec 2017
Written before Oct 2003
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The image was added in Version m5.038 14 Dec 2017 and depicts a smart ForTwo car in a short stay parking bay. It was taken by the author in Mar 2016



Two Cases

A dark thriller. If you read it at night

The fictional story reproduced below is just the start of a story about two cases. You may note that it is a bit short. Positively stunted. Incomplete. In time this story will be developed and you will see how the protagonist deals with the situation. But I have a load of stuff do do and this may take some time. Unless of course you ask nicely for me to write some more of it. It's literally up to you.


Photograph of a green oval vanity case
Not the sort of case I imagined. Nor indeed the quantity thereof

A man, drowning his sorrows in a café overhears two criminals discussing the delivery of two cases. One contains 'the money', the other a bomb. He has an opportunity to steal the cases but hesitates, considering it too much risk.

Later he sees an on street chase between the police and the two criminals. During which he sees the cases dumped during a shoot out in an alley. When the area is clear and the criminals are taken safely into custody he checks around to see if anyone is about. Nobody around, but there is a street camera. It is damaged so he takes the cases and leaves.

The man is at a loss as to which case is the bomb. He does not tell anyone about his discovery and his anxiety spills into his love life.

Later the police return, see the camera and comment that it was damaged in the shoot out. They get a video image of the man with the two cases.

The criminals, on release, return to the café and in a chance comment the owner describes the man seen eyeing up the cases.

The chase is on...

Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.007 17 Oct 2017
Written before Oct 2003
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The image was added in Version m5.007 17 Oct 2017



Written Early Eighties


Vision Of Death

The following Novelette story idea was commenced in the early eighties and then subsequently uploaded to the vinceunlimited web site. It is currently incomplete but if you wish to read the rest let me know and I'll cut out some more words from my dictionary and thesarus.


I can't remember why we were there, but we were and that was all that mattered at this moment in time. Across the table all I saw was his cold, calm face and crossed arms. He looked so easy, so relaxed, although I figured this must be an act as I myself was trying to portray an air of calmness even though deep inside I trembled.

On the table were just three objects. The candle lighting his sinister features, the Magnum and a lethal bronzed bullet, shining in the eerie flickering light. Silent. Deadly.

His hand moved slowly towards the gun and raised it pointing in my direction and with a quick and near professional flick of his wrist released the magazine chamber. His other hand, now in view, picked up the bronzed cartridge and held it tantalisingly upright by the base for what seemed like several seconds.

I could now feel my collectiveness deteriorating as a bead of sweat trickled slowly down my forehead lodging itself neatly in my left eyebrow. His eyes, however, showed no sign of detecting this as he stared singularly at the capsule of death in his left hand. I longed for just one brief moment, just one millisecond of freedom from his icy presence to hide my fears.

Finally he looked up again into my eyes and slid the bullet gently into the cold steel chamber. My eyes couldn't be taken from that small dark hole, the daunting prospect that next time the chamber was emptying I could be at the receiving end.

He placed the weapon back on the table, this time with it's carved wooden handle nearest to me. He refolded his arms and cautiously smiled, although this revealed a weakness as I noticed the far corner of his lips quivering nervously. This released a portion of my own anxiety as I relaxed back slightly into the chair. Now it was my move.

I placed my hand gently over the gun's handle and paused a moment. I had the upper hand now and was determined to make the most of my time. I discounted a smile though to ensure no lip tremble disturbed my lines.

I lifted the Magnum, suddenly realising it was no toy. It's metallic weight seemed reluctant to allow me to lift it from the table. A strange sense of scalding seemed to burn my palms as I considered it's deadliness, which made my fingers sticky with sweat. I raised the gun, pointing the barrel at my adversary, my index finger resting gently on the cold trigger. I felt so powerful.

To be continued...

Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.173 14 Aug 2018
Written in the early eighties
First Published: Version 3.0 in Mar 2010



Written 1982


A Dream Come True

A photograph of Vince squatting next to a Vincent Rapide motorcycle

The heat from the ground rose defiantly, shimmering above the winding road, the distortions playing havoc with the clear cut edge of the tarmac strip.

A feint roar could be heard from the distant horizon. The noise grew louder and louder, now heard well above the relentless chanting of the birds and insects. A glint of light was caught in the distance and as the rumble drew closer it could be observed that a motorcyclist, resplendent in his white leather jacket, was riding his mount rapidly towards the ancient monument half a mile away.

As the rider rode faster into the foreground it could be observed that this was no ordinary day tripper. The open megaphone type exhausts echoed a note reminiscent of track racers, the rapid acceleration shattered only by the tortuously hard braking for his next corner belayed an experienced street racer. Each gear change was just a flick from his right boot just a fraction of momentum lost. At every corner the hot black rubber of the tyres scrabbled for grip, the footrests causing sparks to be flown from the tarmac. Then again the rider pulled upright rapidly towards the next bend in an ecstasy of speed and tormented delight.

This frantic moment of riding soon came to a close. The rider having pulled out of a sweeping right hander screwed open the throttle, laid on the tank and watched the long straight unfurl in front of him. The speedometer needle indicated seventy, eighty, ...ninety passed as his right foot forced the next gear into operation. The black chromed exhausts bleated out in beautiful harmony as one-hundred and ten showed. Ton-twenty and the motor screamed for more, the airstream battling with the rider for control of the machine.

The needle peaked at one-hundred and twenty-five as the next bend loomed into the distance. Within a split second the rider’s right hand was gripping the brake lever. The motion abruptly spoiled as the black calipers grabbed the shining twin front discs. The front end dropped as the weight fell on the front wheel, the forks diving in pain as ninety, seventy, fifty passed. Then a quick gear change and the bike cruised gently round the next bend.

Now that the riding was more sedate the details of man and machine could be seen. The rider wearing his black crash helmet, bearing the mark of a Greek God painted delicately in gold, faded blue jeans and studded leather boots was haunched over a mainly black bike.

The heart of the bike, a mighty V-twin motor, thumped it's power through a huge chain and was converted to power by a massive oversize rear tyre. The front end, braced by two powerful looking forks, boasted a huge tyre, twin discs and rather unsubstantial but neat looking mudguard. Above, the double headlights were gripped in a small nose fairing suggesting night racing but were taped over as it was a sunny afternoon.

Above the unburstable black motor lay a shiny, glimmering petrol tank. As with the rest of the machine it was gloss black and only the golden letters broke the monotony. The name reminiscent of by-gone days where the engine once ruled the roads, now emblazoned on the most beautiful bike in the world, read...VINCENT.

A pencil sketch of the Vincent motorbike concept, a sports style motorbike with a Vincent engine and large rear tyre
The Vincent motorcycle concept I envisaged for this story in the early eighties. The café racer is influenced by the Vincent Black Shadow, the Moto-Martin CBX and Ogri

Vince was proud of his bike. Very proud. He had read how customers spend hundreds of pounds and thousands of hours churning out visually appealing machines, only to be torn to pieces and then rebuilt in time for the next custom show. Also, like it as not, they don't run, or can't because they have sixty-nine carat gold plate on the rear sprocket or something.

But Vince's bike ran, and it ran well. He remembered how his old CX500 used to bounce and weave along this, his favourite stretch of road. Even the Suzuki GS750 seemed to wallow above eighty on these curves. But his Vincent, that he was riding now, seemed to eat potholes and white lines as though it were stood still on a bowling green. Most bikes seemed like a roller-coaster on speed compared to this machine.

And what a machine it was. A speed machine, an accelerating machine, an enthusiast's machine, a reliable machine...? Vince pondered on this for a while as the shining black beauty purred slowly into town, the passers-by admiring the immaculate lines and enviously noticing the smug look of it's pleased rider. The reliability, he thought, was probably the machine’s weakest point, although this would probably be complimenting it's other features. The speed was electrifying, the finish superb, the handling perfect. Even the fuel consumption was favourable compared to the modern multis.

In reality, Vince thought, nothing should go wrong with his bike. After all he had built the engine and bike from scratch, so he knew it inside out. He remembered how his grandfather had nearly thrown out the old engine. Now neatly restored, painted black and brightly polished it looked like it had been brought just yesterday. It's one-thousand cc's of sheer muscle seemed to ooze character as it fired it's cylinders in turn after every second lamppost on the pavement. Beautiful, Vince thought.

Up ahead were traffic lights. They were about forty yards away by now and Vince knew that if he opened the throttle the black sensation would roar easily through before the red, even if the amber showed up now, but he was in no hurry. Vince used to scream along at fifty or sixty in town on the Suzuki thinking he was a king, but on this machine he knew he was and therefore had no need to prove it. He casually glanced down at the large Smiths speedo and read twenty-seven miles an hour.

Sure enough the lights turned red and Vince pulled up resting his front wheel just short of the white line. The traffic system was a slow one so Vince knew he would be able to look around, revelling in the fame this bike seemed to bring him. When he stopped in the street it was almost as if every male over the age of fifty had owned one when they were young. So strange that there was only one other Vincent in the country now.

He noticed his reflection in the mirrored glass of a shop front, the bike's weight resting gently on his left boot. Vince placed his right foot down and raised his left, seeing his reflection as though he were riding. He crouched low over the tank and smiled as he imagined Brands Hatch wind around in front of him, the chequered flag waving as he passed the finishing line well ahead of the competition.

Today however, the only competition was the buzzing RD250 that had pulled up right next to him.

The Yamaha was the usual two-fifty seen around suburban streets. Vince himself had owned something similar when he had started motorcycling just a few years ago. This model, being about two years old now, and obviously thrashed, was naturally tatty. The scratches, twisted footrests and bent handlebar levers seemed to compliment the Vincent perfectly.

The rider too was the standard eighteen-year old Vince had been three years back, with his painted polycarbonate hat and Foster-Grants. A wry smile told the message Vince was expecting. The rider rocked backwards and forwards revving his engine and grinning widely. This guy wanted a race.

Vince casually clicked the gear-lever into first and gave a quick blat of the motor to show the competition that he meant business. The revolutions died down to it's normal thumping tick-over as he held in the clutch and watched the ominous red light.

The Yam owner was now sweating. He loved racing cars and bikes away from the lights and considered himself good at the 'sport'. After all he had only been beaten once and that was because he had missed a gear. A criminal act in the unwritten law of street racing. And today he was challenging no ordinary Escort. This black monster next to him seemed to ooze power, even stood still. His eyes locked onto the lights, only blinking to remove the sweat gathering on his eyelids.

Suddenly the red light was joined by the amber. The Yamaha owner dropped his clutch holding five-thousand revs. The front wheel pawed the air, nearly sending the rider off the back. Seven-thousand on the clock and the rider plucked his next gear from the box, the front wheel again falling to the ground. Another seven-thousand was showing and again the front tyre was losing traction with the tarmac as the rider flicked a higher ratio into operation in a frantic dash for victory.

The red and amber had now dissolved and had been replaced by green and Vince knew he could now start. He had not been tempted to jump the lights with his opponent, after all he did have the capacity advantage over the Yamaha. He noticed that the other rider was across the other side of the junction and was only about fifty yards away from the narrowing gap, caused by the parked cars, which they were racing for.

The huge motor only showed two-and-a-half thousand on the tachometer when he slipped the light clutch away from the left handlebar. He knew that he had over seventy miles an hour in this gear so it was now down to his right hand. Vince preferred to release clutches gently and let the motor do the work rather than lose valuable forward motion trying to control senseless wheelies.

The tachometer was showing four thousand now and the scorching black rubber of the rear tyre was acting like a clutch as a plume of white smoke emitted from the back. Vince leaned forward onto his forearms to prevent the aerobatics of the front end and watched as the little Yamaha appeared to be coming back towards him.

It was now only twenty yards to that gap and the Yam had the best line, with the rider obviously happy as he seemed well ahead. Having jumped the lights and gained that extra twenty or thirty yards he was confident that it would take something pretty special to beat him past that red Cortina parked ahead. The juggernaut approaching the other way prevented any alternative route and as his front wheel was way ahead of any competition, which was the only thing that mattered, he guessed that the other rider was braking fiercely.

The competition, however, was something pretty special and Vince wasn’t going to loose easily. The gap may have been only fifteen yards away and they may have been travelling well above fifty by now but Vince knew that his bike only needed a gap of about nine feet to get through and saw that his front wheel was in line with the Yamaha’s rear and he was accelerating like he had never experienced before.

With the throttle against the stop and the motor now screaming in delight he was being physically stretched by the power. His arms seemed to be pulling from their sockets and his eyes watered with the pain at the tremendous G-force, pushing him against the moulded seat hump.

The bikes were level now and the red Cortina seemed all too near. With his acceleration Vince knew that if he were to back off now he would have no time to stop or swerve. It was now or never. His right hand forced the throttle harder against it’s stop causing the rubber to twist painfully, as the bikes edged closer together, the gap drawing nearer. Now even the Vincent’s front end lifted as the two battled for first place.

Luckily for Vince his front wheel was now ahead, but the Cortina was very close, however, rules are rules and he decided to swerve towards the gap, just missing the car by a few inches. The Yamaha rider sensed this and threw his right fist forward, shutting off the throttle and grabbing the brake lever. The tiny black caliper clutched it’s shining disc and sent a thin black run of rubber down the tarmac.

Vince had won, but only just.

Further on down the road the mighty Vincent pulled up at another set of traffic lights. It burbled away on tick-over as it’s last competitor silently drew up next to it.

Vince looked at the Yamaha's owner and smiled confidently. The rider gave a return nod.

"Nice Motor."

"Thanks." Replied Vince.

"Quick..." he continued "...isn’t it?"

"Quick enough." Confirmed Vince.

"What is it?" Asked the Yam owner, as the lights turned to green.

"A dream come true." Vince replied, dumping the clutch. The mighty motor again responded and he roared off into the distance…

Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.175 17 Aug 2018
The first half written for an article in The Southampton and District Motorcycle Club magazine under the title The Ultimate Ride, published in 1982 with the remaining penned to fit the requirements of Bike magazine, but sadly never published meaning the writer had to get a proper job.
At the time of writing the Southampton and District Motorcycle Club was based in Woodside Avenue in Eastleigh. It can now be found via sdmcc.net
First published in this website Version 3.0 Mar 2010
The header photograph shows the author squatting next to an immaculate Vincent Rapide motorcycle. The Rapide was produced between 1936 and 1955 and remains a collectable bike. The more famous, faster Black Shadow model had black enamelled engine casings. The photo was taken by the author's wife in Skegness in April 1996
The sketch was drawn by the author to demonstrate the bike envisaged in the story. It was influenced by the Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle's V-twin motor sat in a frame similar to the eighties Moto-Martin CBX1000. Also there is just a bit of Ogri in it. Orgi was a cartoon character drawn by Paul Sample for Bike Magazine between 1972 and 2009. Ogri actually rode a Norvin, a Vincent engined Norton café racer. Actually he didn't as he was just an ink drawn character. Ogri continued in motorcycle magazine Back Street Heroes until 2012