I heard the crash outside and ran to the front door. The motorcycle had gone off the road and into a tree, a few yards past my property, and the rider was lying on the ground. Her arms flailed around a couple of times, then she lay flat.
I thought this looked bad, so I ran over and squatted beside her. She wasn't wearing a helmet, and there was a cut on her head, but her eyes were clear and she saw me.
She made a face (I was noticing freckles, long curly blonde hair, pugnacious expression, body muffled in leather jacket and denim vest). "These country roads are shit," she said as she got up on her elbows.
"That must be why we don't get much drag racing action around here," I said. She obviously wanted to keep this fairly tough, even though she suddenly looked pretty woozy as she tried to sit up. I thought of offering a hand, but she looked like she would be offended.
She focused her eyes and looked at the motorcycle, thinking about getting right back on and driving off, even though she was having trouble focusing her eyes. I was saved from having to think about whether to discourage this or not by the fact that the motorcycle was obviously not about to take her anywhere.
"Shit," she said, and I chose that moment to offer a hand and help her to her feet. She accepted the hand, though she looked like she would have preferred to stay lying down for a while.
She looked around, including at the bruised tree and the furrow she had ploughed in the ground leading up to it.
"Who owns this?" she asked.
I shrugged. "This lot is vacant, has been for years. That's my house over there, but my property ends right there. " I gestured at the invisible line between my scrubby lawn and the overgrown vacant lot.
She looked at the motorcycle, then looked at the street, and back at the motorcycle. Then she looked at me, frowning.
There was a problem, apparently, and she was not confident that I was going to be able to provide a solution.
"You want to come in and sit down?" I asked. I didn't add the part about how she looked wobbly, but we both knew it.
She sighed as if this was but one problem of many. "We should probably move the bike, too," I said. "Is there somebody you can call?"
She sighed again.
"And somebody should look at your head," I said more quietly, though I hadn't wanted to mention it. She reached up and winced as she felt the bruise.
"I don't have very much money on me," she said. "I'll need to get in touch with my family before I can afford to have somebody look at the bike. Can we--" She started to wobble and I reached for her arm, but she yanked it away from me and went to lean against the tree.
"Do you want to put the bike in my garage until you can make arrangements?" I asked. I was starting to get the idea that either the bike or she herself was hot, possibly both.
She nodded. "That would be a big help, thanks. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to reach my family right away." Her sudden graciousness seemed to show how desperate she was to get the motorcycle out of sight.
Working together, neither of us mentioning how I was doing most of the work and she was nearly falling over, we got the bent motorcycle off the road and into my garage. I closed the garage door as, with a certain look of relief, she passed out.
making three phone calls