by Meg Grimm, the Story Spinner
I forgot the day was windless until we rode through the park.
We slowed down on the streets that were crowded with people. The sun beat upon our dark clothing, and beads of sweat trickled inside my helmet. What would my hair look like when I took this thing off?
But I hugged him from behind with my knees and my arms, and he smelled of mint. I could think of nothing else. Not the many dangers I risked on the back of his sporty street bike. Did he have enough experience to keep us safe? Would experience matter if a deer ran out?
I could feel his muscles flex and shift as he directed the smooth motion of the bike beneath us. He was so graceful. I closed my eyes and sucked in a gulp of minty breeze as the bike accelerated. We were free from the traffic now. Back into the weaving, spiraling mountain roads. I had never been on this side of the park before. Everyone said there were faeries here.
The trees rushed by. He tapped my hands to tell me to hold on tighter. The bike surged ahead as I pressed into him, clutching his middle with my gloved hands. Would these flimsy mechanics gloves really save my hands if I went flying across the pavement? I was sure they wouldn’t. What was their purpose?
The deer emerged from the trees right in front of us. There was no time to slow down. He grabbed my hand with one of his as he swerved around the animal’s body at lightning speed. For a moment, my eyes met with the deer's.
Somehow, we had averted the accident. But there was blood. Blood on the bike. Blood on his pant legs. He turned his head to the side. Blood was splattered across his face guard. What just happened?
When we rolled to a stop, we looked each other up and down. Neither of us were injured. We looked over the bike.
Two wings bright with iridescent sparkles and glistening with blood stuck fast to the small windshield. They were the span of my hand.
“What are those from?” he asked.
I never got back on his bike again after that.
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Copyright by the author Meg Grimm.