I think it was the boots. I've always been a sucker for a good pair of boots; just ask Mags. Anyway, that's what made me notice the kid. She was sitting by her ride in the parking lot, lacing them up. The boots, that is. What a kid like that was doing with a white KTM 690 Duke was anyone's guess though. Standard with tubular bars, great big thumper. No way she knew what she had right there. Just sitting there, she was, flicking at the wheel of her bike, looking for all the world like she had nothing more important to do, which meant she most certainly did. Most people wouldn't have noticed the switchblade in her pocket, but I'm not most people. Most people aren't dead.
I took a seat across the road and lit up a cigarette. That's one of the perks about being an angel; glorified bodies can't be hurt by nicotine. The kid keeps flicking at the wheel, though there's nothing wrong with it far as I can see. Just when I'm starting to wonder what's taking so long, I see Mags's familiar head peeking 'round the corner. I guess that's what you get for dying in your teens; you always look like one. That's not as peachy as it seems, believe it or not.
Mags walks up to the kid, starts talking softly. I can hear them; glorified body and all. There's more to it than guilt-free smoking.
"It gets better," Mags tells her, and the kid looks at her like she fell from the sky, which is ironic, I guess. If that's the word I'm looking for. I never did finish high school; that kinda what all this is about.
"How would you know?" The kid keeps looking straight ahead, but not at me. No matter how hard she looks, that's one thing she won't see.
"I've been there. Some straight bitch slapped me once for asking her out."
The kid looks up now, right into Mags's shirt. She blushes, turns away. Mags grabs her chin, turns her head back again, gently. "Yeah?" Hurt, untrusting eyes. "And what are you, like, some goth cheerleader?"
"If I were a goth," Mags corrects her gently, "my hair would be black, not magenta. And I'm much older than I look."
The kid pulls her head away, gets up. "Whatever. I'm out of here." She's a tiny little thing, looking oddly out of place on the bike, but that's not the bike's fault. It's not about size; it's about how you ride it.
Mags gets up with her, fishes something out of her bag that couldn't possibly have fit in there; a pink and white Shoei helmet, hands it to the kid. "At least wear this. No reason to loose your head over a woman." She winks.
For a moment, the kid is stunned. Then she grabs the helmet – maybe she knows what it's worth – and puts it on. At least she knows how to do that. That's a start. "All right," she says, revving the engine. "But just for you. You've got a nice rack." And she's off, way too fast, but no amount of cleavage could prevent that, right now. Mags turns to me and winks.
I tip my hat to her, and blink out of existence. We'll work the kid. We just need time. Fortunately, we've got plenty of that.
When I get back to the eternal beach, Mags is already there, waiting.