A Backsliding Sunday

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A two stroke Sunday morning. The last he'll ever have with his dad.

Submitted: August 20, 2017

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Submitted: August 20, 2017



Suddenly, you’re flung towards the sky like a rocket ship on rails as you shoot up out of a Chinese ditch. This abrupt change in direction takes you through a thick layer of early morning tule fog, then all you see is blue sky and the tops of oak trees. It’s Sunday but church is the last thing on your mind as you’re being chased through the dry diggings and over tailings left behind by the Chinese dry dredgers over a hundred years ago. It’s late October 1972, you’re eighteen years old and you just got your draft notice. Landing perfectly, your rear tire takes a bite of the northern California loamy topsoil and spits it back out at your pursuer, nailing his number plate. You come into the next turn a little hot but you could have made it if you hadn’t looked over your shoulder. You throw your weight back and brace for the unknown as you tear a new trail through the tickle weeds. You hit some dead-fall, hidden under the ground fog and almost go over the bars but you get lucky and pop out just north of the soupy end of the corner you missed. You sprint out now way ahead of your pursuer but you hear as he catches his power band after clearing the muddy corner. He’s using every bit of it too. His r.p.m.s reaching a decibel that cuts through your brain like a buzz saw. Afraid to look back, you twist the throttle. Your front tire floats inches over the terra firma as you grab another gear. In the straightaway you take in your surroundings. Not all the trees have lost their leaves yet and the Fall rains have brought new shoots of deer grass. The sun has warmed the early morning into late and the tule fog was burning off now, leaving only patches here and there. You wonder what Viet Nam looks like. What it really looks like, not what they show on the news every night, but the real Viet Nam. Just then, you realize you’ve been day dreaming. Too late though. Your dad passes you just before the washboard and corner. You haven’t got a chance to pass him back. You chuckle to yourself after you swallow your pride. Tomorrow morning you’re gonna be a Marine but today you’ve got a back sliding Sunday with the smell of two-stroke exhaust in the air, mud in your teeth and a competitive dad you’re gonna miss real soon. You pull out of the next corner sideways throwing a rooster tail as you accelerate. Up ahead, your dad has stopped at the pickup truck. He gives you a smartass grin as you do a wheelie past him. You know right then that was gonna be the picture you take with you to war. You miss your dad already.

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