Part One

It was a dark and stormy night. Well, that’s not wholly true and hopefully I’m not that cliche. It was raining and it was getting dark. I was on my bike headed hoe from work. I had stayed late at the Waddling Duck Cafe grading papers.
So, in case you had grand ideas after that first epic “It was a dark and stormy night,” you now know that it really wasn’t stormy, it was only kinda sorta dark and that I am some sort of teacher. And hey, remember that bike I am riding? It ain’t no harley, but it does have twelve speeds.
But don’t forget Indiana Jones was an educator.
Anyway, I’m pedaling my lame and boring self back home, its a ride I know well and have selected because it has a bike lane all the way to my house. Today I can hardly see, squinting my eyes against the not stormy rain and the almost dark makes the lines hard to see. Sill I’ve made the same ride countess times and in these conditions half a hundred times.
Then the sky flashed a bright red.
I could feel my insides being to heat up as if someone had reached inside me and turned the knob to up to broil. Looking up into the sky I saw a huge ball of, well, red. I would say fire but it didn’t appear to be burning, but it was obviously moving because of the glowing trail of red that was left behind it, sort of like waving a sparkler through the air on the Fourth of July, but much much bigger.
My body continued to heat up until I could hear the rain sizzle and evaporate on my skin. Then it stopped, I felt cool but I tingled all over as if my whole body had fallen asleep instead of just a leg or a foot. Everything in me felt disconnected and far away.
The light from, what I suppose was some kind of comet began to die away and then was barley visible behind the cloud cover.
I had just been sitting too long, I told myself, the sudden activity caused the burning feeling in me and the red ball, comet, thing was a symptom of increased blood flow to the head. Reading the same damn history report two hundred times will cause a lack of brain activity for anyone.
Thats when I heard the horn.
How long had I been staring up into the sky?
Too long. The maroon minivan, god ugly as it was, was bearing down on me. My body seemed to spaz and snap on the inside as everything reconnected again. For a split second I was whole again, but the maroon minivan had other plans.
I stared down the headlights racing toward me from my right. Well, I thought to myself, the kids didn’t kill me after all.
Then that knob was turned up again, I heated up, faster this time, the van was mere feet away when I leaped up from the pedals, kicked off the seat of my bike and watched wide eyed and dismayed as my bike was smashed to bits below me.
It was no harley, but I really liked it. It had twelve speeds.
There was a horrible crashing sound and the squeal of breaks seemed to finally reach my mind though they had long since found my ears. Time slowed down for me, as time seems to do every so often, as I watched the sudden and rapid dismantling of my beloved twelve speeder from ten feet in the air.
The minivan went by and I dropped from my apex along with the rain, splashing down in a shallow puddle. My body temperature was still high but it was bearable, like a low simmer rather than a rolling boil.
I stood up looking around, trying to get my bearings. Tall tress, a wholesome dark green were thick on either side of the intersection, the traffic light above me changed color, first yellow, then red reflected in the ever growing puddles all around me.
The only car in sight was the minivan, now stopped cockeyed on the far end of the intersection. No driver had yet emerged. Probably sitting there preparing for the carnage outside, or perhaps this wasn’t their first run in with a cyclist and they were already on the phone with 911.
Should I Call 911? I thought to myself reaching into my pocket and pulling out my phone. Eight fifteen read the digital display.
The door to the minivan opened and out stepped a woman. SHe had vlonde hair and must have been in her mid to late twenties, but it was hard to tell with all the mascara running down from her eyes. I could hear here sobs over the soft pattering of rain.
She stood there staring at me sobbing. The puddles changed from red to green to yellow and back to red before she spoke.
“Did I hit you?”
“Yeah, but I’m pretty sure it was my fault.”
She looked as if she tried to smile but instead croaked out another sob. “Are you hurt?”
“No.” I answered.
We still stood on opposite sides of the intersection, I think she thought I was a ghost.
“I don’t really know how, I jumped, but I don’t know how. Here, let me give you my information.” I said reaching into my back pocket.
She let out the loudest cry yet, “No, No!” she said fleeing back to her damaged van and driving away. Reversing out of the wreckage that was my bike.
I stood unmoving. The puddles began their color cycle again but this time I saw something different. In between the red, yellow, and green I could see myself and I was glowing, it was faint, but I was glowing.
I picked up the now zero speed remains of my bike. It was a crumpled wreck of aluminum with one wheel hanging loose and the other nowhere to be seen.
The walk home was long and wet I was soaked through by the early spring showers, but never once was I cold. I had watched the faint flow emanating from me die away as I walked but the heat never left.
As soon as I got home I striped off my wet clothes and went straight to bed.


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