Since I hate being told what to do, and people kept telling me I had to learn to drive, and get a driver’s license, and so on, I refused, getting around by foot or bicycle, instead . . . or even hitchhiking . . . until age 20. It wasn’t unusual, therefore, as a teenager, for me to bounce out of the house, ready to jump on my blue ten-speed, and take off for my high-school weekend-job. What was unusual was to find, in mid-bounce, a different ten-speed, this one red, just where I had left my blue ten-speed the night before.
“What the #@&%? Did someone sneak into the carport and PAINT my bicycle?”
No, fool. I’m your bike now. Your old bike’s gone, man.
Clearly, it seemed, some all-too-human prankster was at work. I circled the house. I looked on the roof. I checked the storage building, and under the house. I found no one. Apparently, what seemed to be a bicycle talking to me was, well, exactly that.
You’re gonna be late for work, dummy. I told you, your bike got stolen — by my old, ungrateful human. He left me here. Let’s go!
Because you’re going to be late, dumb&%#! Are you trying to get fired?
Annoyed that this replacement-bicycle had a point, I jumped on the seat and took off, dodging the numerous potholes which have been considered as unofficial Arkansas State Monuments, and which I got to see more clearly than all those (ugh) car drivers out there.
Hey, jerk, my best friend is a car!
“A telepathic bicycle? You’re actually reading my mind? Someone had access to a telepathic bicycle, and abandoned that kind of power for my crappy old ten-speed? You’ve gotta be kidding!”
We were passing a female jogger at that moment. My mind was on keeping control of the bicycle, in order to stay out of traffic, while carefully not hitting her. My new “telebike,” however, had a different agenda, and “mind-shouted” at the jogger — with me able to hear it.
Hey! WOO! Great #@#! When I come back, ya wanna get together and $#@%#& the old %$#%@ &*%$#@$?
The understandably-irate jogger thought that was me, not the bike, threw an ink pen at me, and hit me in the head. “Drop dead, &%$#$#@!”
Clearly, having a telepathic bicycle just wasn’t worth the trouble involved.
After a turn (to get out of direct view of the offended jogger), I knew this street would go over a short bridge over a very deep drainage ditch, not far from here — one lined with large boulders, placed there by the city. By the time I got there, I was heading for the drainage ditch at top speed, and jumped off into some soft grass just before this crazy red ten-speed went airborne, screaming in my mind until crunching into the boulders at the bottom of the ditch, at which point “psycho-bike” fell silent. I, however, had a bit more to say, so I dusted myself off, and walked to the short bridge.
Looking over, into the drainage ditch, I surveyed the bicycle-wreckage, and said, “I’m gonna be out $100 or so to replace my old bike with another bike that doesn’t talk, and I’ll be late for work today, too . . . but at least I’ve gotten rid of my primary problem today, and that’s YOU!”
With that said, I walked to work. I was late, but did not get fired, and I never saw either the red, nor the blue, bicycle again.
[Note: the central event here — a bike being stolen, and replaced by the thief with another one — actually happened to me. So is the fact, and the reasons given, that I did not start driving until age twenty. Most of the rest of this is pure fiction. This was written as an assignment for a class I am taking which focuses on creativity, with the writing prompt being to “carry on a conversation with [my] childhood bicycle,” and I decided to post it here, as well.]