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A Story I Entered In A Contest, Didn’t Place, But Wanted To Share It: Part 1

Black Creek Park

Leaving Rochester was no new concept to the eleven year old girl, as she usually pedaled her brother away from their mother on her donated Schwinn Girls Mist bike. It used to be pink and used to have a basket, she could tell from the rusted areas that used to be hugged.

The faded dirty white contraption had become her refuge. For its condition, it had taken her far before, to other towns, other counties. But she believed this time, she’d gone further than she’d ever gone and had pedaled further than she’d ever had before.  Sometimes she would pretend to pedal to other worlds. Perhaps one day she would find one. A better one.

Her brother clung onto her waste tightly, as he’d always done when they’d flee their home.

She just kept pedaling, and riding past people, past traffic lights, past stray dogs and cats, past heaps of garbage……

But then it started to rain.

And that was what made her start to want to know where she was, where she was taking her brother. She could have pedaled around in circles within the same general area, she did not know. Now that it had been bought to her attention, she might have passed that Sonic twice. Or was it a different Sonic?

The girl jumped off her bike first, and landed into a deep puddle. At this point, the rain was steady, and heavy, and her flip flops were already soaked, and stepping in the puddle did not matter. She lifted her brother off the bike and placed him outside the puddle she had just stepped in. She held the left handle of her bike in her right hand, and took her brother’s with the other.

She saw a sign hanging on a black iron gate.

“Black Creek Park”

There was an underpass ahead beyond that opening. Perhaps she would take her brother under there for shelter from the rain for a little while.

They wandered through the woods, through ground that had become swampy from the rain. With each step it was hard to transport even her own weight, as the mud encircled her feet and suctioned them into the earth.  She had to use extra force to pull herself out of this marsh that wanted to pull her in, and helped her brother do the same. The trenches claimed one of his flip flops. As if picking a wildflower, he plucked it out immediately and placed it back on his little pruned foot.

The girl clung to her bike as he did this.

How was she going to manage herself, her brother, and the bike through this land that tried to consume them all?  She almost wanted to leave her bike behind, and rid of the excess weight. The thing that was the very means of her escape, she was willing to abandon on a whim.

He started to whimper. She didn’t know how she was going to get him back home.

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