One Handed

Uphill or downhill, biking was the only thing I could ever best Jimmy at but since he wasn’t there I walked my bike up the steep trail that led off the old quarry road, didn’t bother to mash the pedals the whole way, to arrive triumphantly weak kneed and exhausted at the spot where I would have waited for him to catch up, where we would have both had to walk up to the ledge overlooking the dry quarry.

His bike was still there where he’d left it, where I had left it, chain side down, like I’d told him a hundred times not to do. I avoided even looking at the trails, the one going up to the top of the quarry, the other winding to its bottom; I would never take either of those trails again, I never wanted to see that place again.

But I would retrieve his bike, didn’t want to leave it up there, so I pointed both bikes down hill, mounted mine to coast down the trail one handed while steering his with my left hand, a feat that Jimmy never mastered, rode like that all the way to his house.

I wonder what it would have been like to have gone to Jimmy’s funeral, but his mother, she said she couldn’t even look at me, said she didn’t know how I could have let that happen to Jimmy, and I had no answer for her, so here I was in his garage during the service, cleaning up his bike, lubing the chain before putting it up on the wall rack, the place where Jimmy’s bike was always kept through winter.

Then I pedaled home in the hot summer sun, taking the long way to avoid the church, taking the long way to put distance between me and that silent garage.

                                                                                                                                                            six sentence story.jpgThank you Denise of girlieontheedge for this week’s Six Sentence Story prompt, “exhaust”.

You may recognize this narration from Disbelief and from Burst

16 thoughts on “One Handed

  1. I took advantage of the links you kindly provided in order to re-read the previous installments of this well executed horror story.

    Of the toll aging exacts on the appreciation of life’s subtle pleasures (both sublime and macabre), perhaps the worst is the loss of reading a scary story. At least of the type that many of us grew up hearing and reading. The banshees and demons in childhood tales and later, as we mature, the more subtle chills from stories from the likes of Shirley Jackson, lose their magic, their capacity to instill fear.

    At the risk of misapprehending the label ‘horror story’, make-believe and fantasy ain’t got nothin on everyday accidents and random outrages of ‘real’ life.

    While some may argue that, in this tale, Jimmy is exhibiting hubris and we all know how little mercy there is when god becomes envious, (or worse), bored. The hellhounds of song and legend are Labrador puppies compared to the power of his special angel, mindless, random Chance has to wreak havoc and inspire the worst of personalized hell.

    (I better stop now, having too much fun for a comment)

    Good Six, yo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t read any Stephen King since some of the first when I was a teenager because I do not like scary stories. But yes, mail is scary and news is scary and sometimes bad things happen to- anyone. Clark’s comment and yours reminded me of Ray Bradbury. I remember enjoying his stories as a kid.
      Thank you for coming by. I am losing steam but will read the others’ at the Six Sentence Salon soon.


  2. I remembered the first story because it was so sad, but I went back and read it again. This is a good followup. I wonder if he avoided church from then on. The impact of such tragedies on a person sometimes can last a lifetime if the person doesn’t learn how to deal with the loss and what he may feel as guilt. Well written.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Burst | ShiftnShake

  4. Pingback: Transformations | ShiftnShake

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