One November Day

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Sometimes it takes odd occurrences and perseverance to really get to know people. Other times you just fall Into it, literally.

Submitted: May 11, 2018

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Submitted: May 11, 2018

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There is a place on East Vail Street, an old Victorian house that is kind of rundown. This old corner house sits back off of the roads by about two hay-wagons long, horses and all.

As a child, my friends and I used to throw rocks at the porch to see if we could get Old Lady Terry riled up. Boy that women could cuss! 

The last time we did that was one November day.

Billy-Joe Johnson and I were tossing rocks at the flower pots on Terry’s porch steps when we suddenly realized that Terry was standing right behind us.

We found that out the hard way, she grabbed each of us by an ear and lifted our ears toward the sky. We were hollering and dancing around on our tip-toes, just like a couple of ballerinas.

Suddenly Terry pulled both our heads together and talked into the ears that she had a-hold of, "So you like to destroy things, do you? Well let's turn the tables on two brats."

Then she whispered some foreign sounding words into our ears and then she let us go.

The only one of those words I can remember is, Karma; whoever she is.

 

Well I'm not one to be superstitious; I walk under ladders all the time and I don't give a HANK about black cats or the number thirteen.

And I sure don't believe in curses, no way, no how. But what happened on the way home from Terry’s sure set my mind to wonder.

As soon as that old woman let us go, I jumped on my bike and headed for home. I was going to tell my Mom that Old Lady Terry accosted me.

 

Moments later I found myself riding down Airplane Hill, which is the steepest hill, ever! And I was near the bottom so I must have been going, like, a thousand miles an hour!

Then, all of a sudden, the most unlikely thing in the world happened to my bike; the back wheel came off, chain and all.

After that happened, the back end of my bike hit the pavement like a buzz-saw, it skipped and jumped around before I ended up, face first, in a puddle of mud.

I had mild abrasions and contusions on my arms and legs; I know what they're called 'cause I watch crime dramas on TV.

Also, my pants were torn and I was missing buttons from my shirt.

The crystal on my Timex Watch was cracked and there was brown water inside and on the watch face; but it was still run-in. I guess the Timex commercials are right, "Timex takes a lick-in and keeps on tick-in."

Luckily there was a pond nearby, so in I went to get the mud off. Holly-molly, that water was colder that a Well-Digger’s Hind-End!

And when I looked at my watch, the water inside wasn’t brown anymore, but the watch had stopped completely.

I went back to get the wheel and chain, I hoped to put the bike back together because it was still a long ways from home.

Well, just as I started to fetch the wheel, which was out in the road, a delivery truck came by and ran right over it; it wasn't good for anything after that.

And where the chain went, I didn't have a clue.

So, as you can imagine, I had to half carry that bike home.

When I got home my Daddy gave me a lick-in for several reasons, mostly for riding down Airplane Hill in the first place. And to be honest, I have to admit that I was warned about that hill many times.

 

After a couple of swats, Paw made me clean every inch of the bike, what was left of it. But then he did something I'll never forget.

My older sister had an old pink bicycle with white tires that she had outgrown. Paw took the rear tire off of it and put it on my bike. So I ended up with a black and white bike with a chrome front wheel and black tire. But on the back the tire was white with a pink rim. Not only that, the white tire was two sizes smaller than the front one; the whole thing looked like a Clown Bike from some circus.

I told Paw that I couldn't ride that thing; all my friends will laugh at me and call me names. And you know what he said? He said, "You mean like you and your friends laugh at Mrs. Terry, and call her names? Maybe your friends will even throw rocks at your Clown Bike too. How would you like that?"

And after that, I was told to ride my Clown Bike to Mrs. Terry’s house to apologize for the way I'd been acting, and to deliver an (I'm Sorry) pie that my Momma had made for our dinner desert; don’t you know, that didn’t make my brothers and sisters very happy.

They say that Time heals all wounds, but whoever said that didn't have to ride my Clown Bike all over town.

I heard every stupid comment people could think of, and it was downright humiliating.

But hay, it was six miles to school and there was no way I was walking all that way. So after awhile people got used to the Clown Bike and stopped making comments; I guess that Time thing is work-in.

***

 

I've been working odd jobs to make enough money to pay for a good used wheel and tire. And you know what? Mrs. Terry even offered to give me jobs.

I've cleaned up her yard, pick up all the rocks, and mowed her grass three times during the summer. 

Billy-Joe Johnson and I painted her porch with some leftover paint my Daddy had from one of his construction jobs.

The porch is now green and refrigerator-white, but it still looks better than it did.

Besides, Mrs. Terry really likes it. She says that it reminds her of her days as a WAC, whatever that means.

Turns out, Mrs. Terry is a real nice lady. Billy-Joe agrees, but I think her killer cookies have something to do with his overall opinion.

 

 

D. Thurmond / JEF

05-09-2018

Rew. 01-2020


© Copyright 2020 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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