Friday, January 15, 2010

Invasion of the Bike Weenies

Eryn and I have been reading a couple of David Lubar's Weenie books, collections of scary stories aimed at children. At the end of "Invasion of the Road Weenies", Eryn asked me what I thought a story about "Invasion of the Bicycle Weenies" would be like, based on Lubar's idea that he might build his next book around that story. I told her this short ad hoc tale while sitting on the couch. If Lubar gives me credit, he's free to steal it. I think it came out sounding very close to one of his stories:

Aaron's mother yelled at him as he walked out the kitchen door leading into the garage, "If you're going to ride your bicycle, remember to put on your helmet!"

"Yeah, Mom," Aaron mumbled.

"I mean it!" she yelled at the closing door. "Helmet!"

Aaron stood in the garage looking at his bicycle and thought about what his mother had said. "Wear your helmet. Wear your helmet! Wear YOUR HELMET!" Always with the helmet. Just once he wanted to go for a ride and feel the breeze on his face. The wind in his hair. The helmet always made him so hot and sweaty. He had no doubt he wouldn't sweat a drop if he went helmetless.

Aaron looked back at the closed door. His mother had been washing dishes and when he had seen her, she'd been only halfway done. If he went now, she wouldn't catch him. Aaron tossed his helmet in the corner and hopped on his bike. He took off, leaving the helmet rattling far behind.

"Your helmet!" his mother yelled from the kitchen window. "Your helmet!" He should have known she'd be watching. But Aaron didn't even look back. He'd had his first taste off the wind and he wasn't turning back.

Faster and faster he biked, flying through town and past his gym coach who was just walking out of the grocery store. "Aaron Teasdale! Where is your helmet?" he yelled as Aaron biked on. "You'll crack your skull!"

But Aaron left Coach Bart in the dust. Flying onward, his hair trailing him like a windsock.

He pedaled past the drugstore and Pastor Janet came running out. "Aaron Teasdale, put on your helmet! You'll get hurt!"

Burt Aaron didn't stop. Pastor Janet would just have to pray for him.

Aaron left town, breaking into the open fields and farmland beyond the buildings and cars. He was exultant. Out here it was so flat he could see for miles. He was safe now. A car couldn't hit him. There were no pedestrians to worry about. A helmet would have been pointless.

Something hit Aaron in the head. Something hard. Aaron saw a pebble fall and bounce off his top tube. He rubbed his head. It must have been kicked up by this tire, he thought, and he surged on. But then there was another knock to his head. And another. Aaron slowed, in case his speed was the reason for the bouncing stones. But the small pebbles kept coming, even when he came to a halt.

Aaron looked around for the tosser, but there was no one. He looked up to find the pebbles were falling from the sky, like hail. One rock hit him in the forehead, and another nearly hit him in the eye. Aaron realized the rocks were coming faster and faster, and the stones were getting larger and larger. There was no where to hide. One particularly large rock nearly knocked him out and, as he spun around, dizzy, a fist-sized boulder fell and dented his down tube. As another large rock hit him just over the eye, Aaron wished he'd worn his safety helmet.

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