Little Sisters (ShoStoBloMo #12)
I can tell that these are the last few minutes I have to live.
My eyes are tearing up – not because I know I’m going to die, but because of the wind blowing directly into them. I can’t turn my head to the side, because I need to see straight ahead. But my eyes – my eyes are not tolerating my velocity very well at all.
I know I’m moving incredibly fast. The shicka-shicka-shicka of my windbreaker is the same noise it made when I stood on the porch as Hurricane Kady approached. I can feel the jacket pulling against my chest as the wind tries to rip it from my body.
My hands are braced, knuckles white. My knees are pulled into my body. I think of how I got here. How I could have been so stupid. The world has become a blur as my speed increases. I can no longer even make out the outlines of trees or houses, it all blends together in streaks of color.
I think of Gorby, my dog, and how sad he’ll be when I’m not there to feed him or throw his ball. Probably, though, as soon as Jimmy takes over those duties, Gorby will be fine. Maybe he won’t miss me at all. Stupid dog.
Probably my mom will miss me. Though she’ll be happy to not have to clean up after me anymore. I imagine her wailing at my funeral, but then the wails turn to sniffles and the sniffles turn to hiccups and the hiccups turn to a small smile as she suddenly realizes there will be one less set of drawers in the house she will have to stuff with clean underwear.
I suddenly remember the handbrake and reach down to grab it. I’m saved! But wait… What?! I hazard a glance as my hand frantically grapples for the brake that isn’t there. There is a shredded nubbin where the handbrake used to be.
I think I should have probably planned out this little escapade better before executing it. Big Hill Street (yes, that’s its actual name, and yes it’s kind of obvious) can be easily tackled with a ten speed, but a Big Wheel? I thought it would be fun and noisy and fast-ish. No big deal. Who knew they could go this fast? I’m bouncing over the road, tipping from side-to-side, racing faster every second, and I can’t help but marvel at the capacity this plastic thing has for speed. I could seriously be breaking a land speed record here. I’m listening for the sonic booms that are sure to be throbbing overhead at any minute.
I fly past Mrs. Daly’s house and think, “This is it.” I have three choices. Neither of which seem very appealing.
A) I can brace myself as best as possible and hope that Mr. Albee’s garage door at the end of the cul-de-sac cushions my blow enough to only break a few of my teeth but protect my brain.
B) I can hope that the small patch of grass next to Jason’s mailbox will slow me down enough so that I land in the koi pond, instead of shooting airborne over the thing.
C) I can ignore the fact that my feet are bare, drop my heels, Flintstone-style, on the gravelly road, and hope that my skin and bones can hold out long enough to slow my supersonic speed into mere super speed.
The options are not great, but it’s decision time. I decide to sacrifice my feet, so I lower them and hold my breath, preparing for the pain.
But then… Gorby runs right out in front of me and I swerve as best I can. He’s barking and I’m screaming and I make the perfect donut that Jimmy never managed last weekend. The Big Wheel tips onto only two wheels and I’m sure I’m going to repave the road with my face when I feel something soft. I’ve tipped over, at a thousand miles an hour, and landed on Gorby. He gives a yelp and we roll as one big boy/fur ball down the little bit of hill that’s left.
The grass by Jason’s mailbox doesn’t slow us down at all, and together we fly into the koi pond, skipping like rocks across a very tiny lake. We have flipped and now I’m on my butt, with Gorby covering my face. We bounce out of the pond and start rolling again. We take out a good chunk of the hedge between the Albee house and the Daly house, and come to a rest WHAM against Mr. Albee’s garage door.
The dust settles. I spit out a piece of hedge in my mouth.
I can hear Jimmy and Lisa shouting and whooping as they run down the hill. Gorby is laying across my chest, panting. He licks my face and gives me that stupid grin of his. I assess the damage. Legs seem to be intact, arms intact, teeth intact, brain intact. Gorby intact. One of my fingers is bent in a weird direction and my toes have seen better days. Plus, I’m soaking wet and covered in koi-poo-algae-funk, but I have survived.
I guess Gorby didn’t trust Jimmy to remember his dinner every night.
“Good boy,” I say. He barks and slobbers.
Jimmy and Lisa come running over. Jimmy’s holding the Big Wheel and laughing. He sets it down in the driveway and grabs me by my arms. Gorby barks in protest as Jimmy lifts me to my feet and dusts me off.
“Awesome, bro. You were flying.”
Lisa doesn’t say anything, she just looks pissed that I stole her Big Wheel. But then she smiles and reaches behind her back. Her hand reappears, holding the busted handbrake. She drops it at my feet and innocently walks home.
Little sisters. Holy crap.