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.

Submitted: May 11, 2018

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Submitted: May 11, 2018



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 Tercy 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 Tercy's porch rails when we suddenly realized that Tercy was standing right behind us. We found that out the hard way when she grabbed each of us by an ear and lifted our ears toward the sky. We were hollering and complaining, and dancing around on our tip-toes like a couple of ballerinas.

Suddenly she 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 you, you brats!"

Then she whispered some strange word, Karma, into our ears and let us go.

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.

I sure don't believe in curses, no way, no how, but what happened on the way home scared the be-jiggers out of me.

As soon as that old hag let me go I jumped on my bike and headed for home. I was going to tell my Mama that Old Lady Tercy accosted me.

Moments later I found myself riding down Airplane Hill. I was near the bottom so I must have been going, like, a thousand miles an hour! All of a sudden the back wheel of my bike just came off, chain and all. The wheel rolled right past me just before I ended up face down in a puddle of mud.

I had mild abrasions and contusions on my arms and legs, I knew what they were called because I watched crime dramas and CSI shows on TV, all the time.

My pants were torn and I was missing buttons from my shirt. The crystal on my brand new Timex Watch was cracked and there was brown water inside and on the watch face; but it was still run-in.

Timex takes a Lick-in and keep on tick-in, so the Timex advertisements once said.

Luckily there was a pond nearby, so I was able to get most of the mud off, but by then my 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 two miles home from Airplane Hill.

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 for two miles I mostly dragged that bike home. And when I got home my Daddy gave me a lick-in for several reason, mostly for riding down Airplane Hill in the first place. I can't say I wasn't warned about that hill before.

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 chrome 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. Tercy and call her names? Maybe your friends will even throw rocks at your clown bike too. How would you like that?"

The first place I was told to ride my clown-bike was to Mrs, Tercy's house to apologize for the way I'd been acting.


After that, I rode that stupid bike for months and I heard every stupid comment people could think of; it was down right humiliating. But hay, it is six miles to school and there was no way I was walking all that way.

I worked odd jobs, all the next summer, until I made enough money to pay for a good used wheel and tire.

And you know what? Mrs. Tercy even gave me jobs. I cleaned up her yard, pick up all the rocks, and mowed the grass three times that summer. 

Billy-Joe Johnson and I painted her porch with some leftover paint my Daddy had from one of his construction jobs; it is Marine Corp Green and refrigerator-white, but it still looks better than it did and Mrs. Tercy really likes it.

She says that it reminds her of her days as a WAC, whatever that means.

Turns out, she's a pretty nice lady once you get to know her and Billy-Joe says her cookies are even better than his Mama's cookies; but don't tell his Mama.



D. Thurmond / JEF



© Copyright 2019 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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