Jake and Butch have been best friends since school. They even moved in together after graduating. Both are motorbike enthusiasts, although Jake is mad about Ducatis while Butch prefers Harley Davidsons. One day, knowing the one and only local traffic cop is in bed with the flu, Jake and Butch decide to ride out to the edge of town and race to the old apple shed on Orchard Road.
Soon after they arrive a strange cloud appears from nowhere. They take shelter in the apple shed and watch the storm pass. In its wake, a hole appears in the thin air. Even more bizarre is the head poking through from the other side.
Jake suggests they ride their bikes through the hole to check out what’s on the other side. Butch reluctantly agrees. The only problem is that the hole is shrinking, but Jake makes it through to the other side. Unfortunately, Butch gets stuck in mid-air, unable to free himself.
Jake’s only option is to go in search of help. He meets Zed, a strange, human-looking male with three eyes that blink independently of each other. Together they begin a journey to find The Oracle, the one person who may be able to assist Jake in his quest to free his best friend and get them both home again.
But nothing can be taken for granted in this surreal world, and getting home is not as easy as it sounds.
Jake had already put his helmet on and was wheeling his bike out the door. “Come on, mate. Time’s a wasting.”
Jake started his motorbike. He rode up the embankment and down the dirt road, almost to the turn-off. He turned in a wide semi-circle until he was facing his target. When he could see Butch was ready to go, he revved the engine, released the brake, and sped towards the ramp. His gaze was focused squarely on the way ahead, with just the occasional glance up at the hole to estimate the speed and angle needed to successfully pass through to the space on the other side.
As he approached take-off, his eyes began to flit between the ramp and the hole. He had to get this right or he could end up sailing clean through the air and into the apples trees.
The ramp was now only a few metres in front of him. He took a deep breath and held it. There was a bump and he launched into the air. His stomach felt as though a bag of flapping, fluttering butterflies had exploded inside him, and his body flooded with adrenalin. As he soared on his bike through the hole, he began to chuckle at his success; and at the absurdity of what he was doing.
But as he dropped towards the road, the smile disappeared from his face. He was going very fast. Faster than he’d anticipated. When he hit the ground, the impact would be bone-shattering. He bent his knees, clenched his teeth, and prepared for a brain-rattling landing. Bang! His tyres made contact with the road. He skidded for a few seconds, the Ducati sliding this way and that in the dirt, throwing up an enormous cloud of dust that instantly enveloped him. He eased on the brakes as his feet dropped to the ground in a bid to keep himself on the bike. With his heart pounding so frantically it was in danger of it breaking loose from its tendons, Jake managed to bring the bike to a stop by the edge of road.
When he’d regained his breath, he removed his helmet and looked over his shoulder at the hole. He laughed out loud. “Woo-hoo!” he shouted, punching the air victoriously. He’d never felt like such a winner in his life.
He put the Ducati on its stand and walked back to the hole, which seemed to be a little smaller than it had previously been.
“Hey, Butch!” he called out. “Can you hear me?”
There was a faint cry from the other side. “I can hear ya!”
“Come through, mate.”
He returned to his Ducati and wheeled it across the road. When Butch came flying through the hole, there was no telling which way his motorbike would skid. Jake didn’t want to survive the daredevil jump through the hole just to have Butch go crashing into him.
But the hole was definitely getting smaller. If Butch didn’t come through soon, he wouldn’t be able to come through at all.
Then suddenly there he was, sailing towards Jake from the other side. Unfortunately, the hole was now a good deal smaller and, just as Butch was right in the centre, it closed up completely. Jake’s best friend’s beloved Harley-Davidson hit the ground without him and skittled across the road into the long grass, leaving a rear mud guard, broken glass, and various black and silver debris in its wake. Poor Butch was left stranded in the air, arms and legs flailing as though he were swimming through honey.
Jake felt the blood drain from his face. His stomach churned.