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The accident


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My first flash fiction! This happened about two weeks ago...still a little sore, but the ribs are healing.

The Accident

Need to get to work on time... there's a lot of potholes on this alley, but if I ride in the middle of the lanes, there are a few less. Hard to see 'em in the dark and the rain, but I know this alleyway. Keep up my rpm speed and I'll be to work in plenty of time. High gear, and pushing the pedals feels good.

Something looming up straight ahead in the darkness, oh shit! I swerve, but the impact is sudden and devastating. I'm falling and something hits me very hard in the side, on my left. I see a bright flash of white and then I'm lying on the slick, wet blacktop and I can't breathe. My legs are moving all on their own, an attempt to crawl, and my fingers are scrabbling for purchase on the hard roadway. I feel the nail of my little finger on my right hand break. I hear a voice sobbing "Oh, uh, oh," and realize it's my voice. I try to breathe, and pain sears through my chest, sharp and burning, like I'm being stabbed. I take control of my legs, and push myself up to hands and knees, my helmeted head hanging and my breath coming in short, gasping pants.

I push myself to my feet, stand swaying for a moment in the dark and the rain. My glasses have fallen off, and everything is a blur, but a dim glint of light on glass shows me where they are. When I bend to pick them up, my back shrieks in protest and I gasp out "Oh, fuck!" But I have them and I slide them on, essential armor. What happened?

The cyclone fence around the back of the nearby building seems undisturbed by the impact, but my bicycle lies in the middle of the roadway, the front tire crumpled and bent - no longer fast and graceful, but a danger to traffic. I won't be able to push it home. I bend to lift it to the side of the road, but pain stabs through my back again, so I nudge it with my legs, pushing it over to the short wall at the side of the park. I rifle through my pockets, can't find my keys... leave them. I have to go home.

I can't catch my breath, and my steps are short and halting. The walk seems to take forever, but finally I climb the stairs and grasp the polished brass knocker that I had engraved with the address those years ago. I clank it against the plate.

A moment later the door opens. "Oh my god, what happened to you?"

"I crashed on my bike."

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