Racing Speed

1 min
Something bright winked on the asphalt.
“What’s that?” I yelled at Paulo, turning my head into the windstream.
We were at racing speed, speeding-bullet speed, so I couldn’t be sure if he could hear me -- when Paulo yelled back, he might’ve said “Hell if I know,” but he also could’ve said “stars.” Our ears flapped next to our faces, our frames bucking at every pothole, knuckles nearly bursting through the skin: yes, yes, we’ve always raced this fast. So that bright object approached us almost immediately; we had barely enough time to squeal our brakes before it got pounded flat. Paulo track-stopped, tires screeching, then slid over his toptube to poke at it with one duct-taped sneaker foot, producing a sound halfway between tin foil and cellophane. I pulled my goggles up over my forehead to get a better look. That crinkled silver puddle seemed, to me, like the body of some fantastic wild animal, like someone had killed a unicorn right in the middle of our road. “Balloon,” I said with finality. “Mylar.”
We’d had one at my sixth birthday party, I remembered, and I’d cried like a river when I accidentally let it go. Someone told me they rise up in atmosphere until they burst with their own pressure, and here one was again: someone else’s gift, killed and carried by the winds, discoverable only by the two of us, as we went racing away from our nowhere town.
“No,” said Paulo then, shaking his head, stroking his chin almost reverently. “No, Anja. That, my friend, is the American Dream.”
Fists stacked on my handlebars, I nodded, as if nothing could be more true.

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Keith Simmonds · ago
A fascinating story! My support ! Please consult your message box for more details.