They came overnight, and we did not notice. Not at first, no, because their brothers and sisters were already here, a discreet phalanx of unobtrusive invaders. An expeditionary force, embedded deep cover in our towns and cities. Our villages. Everywhere. Waiting for the signal.
It started in Italy, of course, how could it not? The Italians had a taste for the early troops, found them fun and engaging. They meshed with the espresso lifestyle of the younger set; the beautiful youth who fell at the first when their wasps stung, and flung them into the roaring traffic.
We couldn’t believe it. It was so ridiculous that at first we simply laughed at mopeds bullying their way into world domination, but now… now we see differently. There were too many, and we could do nothing against them. Destroy one – with a well-aimed petrol bomb or even a tank shell – and another ten would buzz in from who even knows where? Some other place, filled with sputtering two-stroke engines of destruction.
It is a sort of peaceful life, now, under the scooters. We who were spared repair small faults. We polish wing mirrors and oil leather accessories. We are allowed strong, thick coffees in our breaks. And, when we can, we plot. We talk to the leaders of the cars, negotiate with bus gangs. We will rise again, and we will once more be in the driving seat.