A place for thought.

A Summer Day

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Sunshine, at last, the office forgotten, I peddle just fast enough to create a cool breeze. Cars doing forty-five or sixty-five pass a foot to my left, I trust their drivers completely and expect to die at any moment but that’s life in a nutshell. The road inclines slightly, not something that can be seen but I feel it instantly as the pedals push harder on the bottoms of my sneakered feet. A residential street offers itself and I accept its offer. The traffic now is almost non-existent and its speed is reduced but parked cars hiding dogs and children keep me alert. My foe appears; a black and white border collie. I can see his wet black nose poking out from behind a parked car two hundred feet ahead. He thinks he hides from me but he forgets his legs show beneath the car and, obviously, he has no idea how long is nose is. I shift a gear and put more weight on the highest pedal. The bike picks up speed. Another gear and I stand on the pedals leaning over the handlebars. The wind roars in my ears as I pass the border collie. He leaps at my back tire and misses. Most days he breaks off his pursuit and walks back to his home, shamed, but not today. I watch in my small rear view mirror as he puts both rear feet together and pushes off the black top road. He makes my capture his only goal. I push the bike to our extreme but he gains. He comes inches closer in each leap until he reaches my back tire. I imagine his teeth in my exposed ankle and push the bicycle harder. He does not bite. I consider that I am not his prey but a challenge and my fear is relaxed. Without the push of survival my speed slacks and the collie passes me. And then the herding instinct that has been bred into the dog kicks in. He crosses in front of the bike intending to head me in another direction but my reflexes are slower than his. I hit him dead center. The bike stops but I do not. My gloved hands leave the handlebars and I fly like superman with my arms outstretched. Unlike superman, I hit the ground hands first but my hands cannot break my fall. I feel the road dig into my forearms. I lie in the road and think of better times, of sunshine on beaches and sand castles. The skin of my arms is more a part of the road than of me. I turn to look back at the pile of bike and dog. The dog looks dead. I push myself up with hands protected by gloves no longer considered expensive and walk toward the body of the border collie and my bike. The dog’s head moves. He’s eyes are dull at first but then he focuses. He focuses on me. Fear overcomes him and he runs with no destination in mind. His only goal is to run from me. At top speed he hits a chain link fence and falls to his side, only for an instance, he regroups, and runs along the fence line until he disappears from my vision. Water and blood flow from my arms as I peddle my way home and to rest. Early the next morning I peddle down the residential road, watching for dogs and children. The border collie stands on the grass near his home. I prepare to increase my speed. One hundred feet, fifty feet, at twenty feet the dog starts to make his move and then recognition fills his eyes. He runs, but not toward me, he runs away. dog Photo by Matt Teare


Author: assumptionisfaith

david blankenship is the author of three books "Randolph W. Owens, missing on Bright Island" (a science fiction novel), "Herb" (a children's book), "Jack's second Life" (contemporary fiction) and several short stories. The books are for sale on Amazon's Kindle and published in paperback by Create Space.

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