Ride of a Lifetime

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
It's Saturday morning and two guys go bike riding at a wildlife reserve. What could happen?

Submitted: July 22, 2016

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Submitted: July 22, 2016

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It was a Saturday, just like a lot of other Saturdays. John was up and out of the apartment by six, loaded his off-road bicycle in his truck and drove to Ted's house. It was a Saturday ritual for the two, a way to keep in shape and rejuvenate their competitive edges at the same time.

That Saturday would be a little different; in more ways than one, and one reason was because it was a three day holiday weekend. The two of them had decided to do any extra couple of hours ride, so that meant that they would be going to the state's wildlife reserve area.

The reserve was a great place; bikers could ride for hours without passing through the same area twice. And on the big plus side, there was a natural amphitheater nested in and around a large water reserve. The water reserve doubled as a very big fire-pond for the forest service.

Getting to the preserve took and extra one half hour driving time, but when time wasn't important it was the ideal place to ride.

John picked up Ted at a little after seven, loaded Ted's bike, and they were gone.

"How are Donna and the kids Ted, any new all girl drama that you want to reveal this week?"

"No John, it has been pretty quiet, mainly because I sent both girls off to a week at summer camp. And Donna is visiting her mother for a couple of days; she will be home this afternoon.

And you John, how's it going with, ah, Mindy?" Ted asked.

John smiled and replied, "Her name is Cindy and it's fine."

"I swear John, you go through more women. Just when I get used to one's name, there is another one," Ted countered. "Your parents have passed on; you have no siblings and no living relatives that I've heard about."

"There is Uncle Nigel, he lives in Alaska. I think he is still alive." John replied.

Ted laughed and said, "I swear, if it wasn't for me and your new girlfriend, no one would know if you were around at all. And sense I'm speaking of her, how are you two getting along?"

John shifted his body in the truck seat to get some kinks out and said, "This is nothing serious, neither of us do serious, it's kind of friends with occasional benefits.

We both like our lives the way they are, but it's nice to have someone you know well enough to feel OK about asking to a movie on the spur of the moment. You know --- someone that you can go with to try a new trending restaurant or burger place, I hate eating out alone and so does she. Sometimes we meet for lunch if I am seeing a client in her area.

Her job keeps her pretty busy, much like mine, and neither of us have the time for finding dates. Being a computer programmer and working from home is not all fun and games; my free time is varied and erratic at best. So having a mutual agreed, calendar marked, movie and dinner can be a nice diversion from the hum drum. And if something comes up and one of us has to cancel, it's all good."

"Whatever floats your boat, it's your ocean," Ted said with a chuckle.

Well, we are here; you drove so I'll anti-up for the park-entry fee."

"Well Yah, Dah," John exclaimed.

The truck was parked and the bikes were unloaded in two shakes of a lamb's tail, and then off the two went down and along the entry trail.

From the entry trail there were trails heading in many different directions, some trails went downhill toward the water reserve; others ran off, over hillsides, and into little valleys. One trail was called The Rim Trail, it was a dirt path that ran along the upper ridges of the hills and circled the water reserve; it was the longest among the trails.

On this particular day there was a low lying cloud layer that had drifted through the area, and strangely enough it had deposited and left behind a fog bank over the water. Parts of the fog bank had fanned out from the water; covering much of the trails and paths around the lake.

"I'm not going down into that soup," Ted said as they stopped for a swig of water. "I'm taking the Rim Trail today!"

John laughed and replied, "Ah you big weenie! I'll tell you what, you take the Rim Trail and I will take the lake trails through the fog, and whoever reaches the connector at the other side of the reserve last, buys lunch."

"Done," Ted yelled as he darted off alone the trail.

John knew that he had a slight advantage, the water reserve trails were a little shorter if you were trying to get to the other side quickly.

The Rim Trail had a lot more distance to cover and there was more up and down riding to do. But the fog would slow John down, how much, John didn't know.

As Ted rode the Rim Trail, he looked down at the fog every once in a while just to see if he could catch a glimpse of John and to see how he was progressing; but it was futile trying to see into that soup.

At one point, Ted looked down at the fog just as the whole cloud lit-up, just for an instant, as if lightning had struck something inside the fog bank.

"That's strange," Ted thought, I hope John didn't get hit. 

As Ted rounded the top of a hill he saw John, John was sitting on a bolder and taking shots from his water bottle.

"What the hell took you so long?" John said as he laughed.

Ted looked very surprised and asked, "How long have you been here?"

"Oh, maybe ten minutes. I've been watching you from about the time that you passed Dog-faced Rock," John replied.

"Get out of here! For real," Ted questioned?

"For real," John replied. The ride through the fog seemed shorter than usual, maybe I took trails that I don't usually take. Who knows?"

"Did you see the lightning flash, or were you out of the fog by then?" Ted asked.

"There was lightning, where?" John questioned.

Ted told John all about the flash of light that he had seen from the ridge, in fact, Ted was somewhere near Dog-face Rock when it happened.

As the two loaded the bikes onto John's truck, a cloaked spacecraft lifted out of the fog bank and darted into space. Inside the craft John’s voice could be heard saying, “Dig-Ingrog, Commander Fredgblot, Agent Mortinaster from the Foreign Planet-Infiltration Brigade reporting for debriefing.

 

D. Thurmond / JEF  ---  07-21-2016

 

There is a continuance to this story and it is named, "Ride of a Lifetime, Conclusion". It is stored in the "Short Story" Folder.


© Copyright 2017 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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