I don’t remember what is was I was trying to accomplish with this one, though I feel whatever I set out to do, I didn’t quite do it.
It’s based on a terrifying bridge for cyclists (and certainly the cars next to them) here in Toronto that I have to bike across almost daily. It scares me every time.
The day was sunny with a mercifully cool breeze. Sweat wicked off Nichole’s skin. The bike’s power train clicked as she threaded herself between the downtown traffic. Heat erupted from cars that might as well have been stationary, idling in a queue as long as it was stupefying. She headed west to her quiet neighbourhood.
A hill and on the top a light. She pulled forward on the handle bars, standing as cycled. Legs pumping in a perfect time. A passenger yelled something about her body that she couldn’t make out.
Ugh, she grunted.
She slowed as she crested the nap, and her thighs smouldered. The light was red so Nichole held her brakes to keep steady, the discs made a pleasant sound. It changed to green and outpaced the car next to her by a length before it overtook her. One block and then down the other side of the hill. Traffic was so thin up here. She drew a breath in through her nose.
The wind rushed in her ears and made the hair sticking out from under her helmet lap and flutter.
A truck pulled out, too close, too fast.
Her right leg clattered against the vehicle, and she felt an electric ripple surge up her body, goose bumps following it.
And she was upside down and then not. Then again.
Her mind was thrown to the night she was in Scott’s apartment. His mouth searched her neck and his hands searched the rest. She wanted him but he was complicated and attached to too many things. It was her idea to go back there and it was her idea to leave. Her pulse had thumped in her ears.
Her helmet bounced and then ground against the asphalt. Her hand was lying on sun-softened road tar. She let out a ragged breath. Blood tanged in her mouth. At least she had both her kneecaps.
“Holy crow. Are you okay?” asked a sir.
“I feel like I got hit by a truck.” The man laughed at that. “But no, seriously call me an ambulance. I think it’s broken.”