Trifecta: Hits the Sky

My entry for week 85 of the Trifecta Writing Challenge.

Hits the Sky

Somewhere around three a.m. Mobes decides that a bike ride is in order. Fizz is half asleep, his cigarette dripping sparky ash down the front of his Radiohead tee, but he raises an eyebrow at the word bike and mumbles, “Dude. Yeah.”

Apparently I’m the only one who thinks this is a shit idea. I start to say so, but it’s the first time Mobes has let me stay the night at his place since Mum and Dad kicked him out, and I don’t want him to think I’m still a baby, so I slap on my “hey, cool” face and grab my helmet. They both laugh at me, but I fasten the helmet strap anyway.

The roads are ours, all the sane people home in bed, sleeping, reading, screwing. Mobes and Fizz whoop and howl as they fly past me, circle back and pass me again. Streetlight, starlight, houses, trees, everything blurring into a smeary Van Gogh night, reforming into reality at the touch of the brakes.

We hit Oak Street, and Mobes and Fizz sail into the descent like downhill skiers. They smoke a joint at the bottom as I dismount and walk my bike down.

“Weiner,” says Mobes.

“Shithead.” Fizz punches Mobes in the arm and smiles at me. “Ignore him, kid. Your brother wussed out his first time, too. C’mon, Mobes. Let’s go again.”

I finish the the joint while they zig and zag back up the hill, disappearing into the darkness. All I can hear is the distant hum of traffic and some machinery down by the water, and I think maybe they’ve taken off until Mobes’s hyena shriek bursts out of the shadows and they’re rocketing down the street again.

I see the van before they do, but even as I open my mouth to shout, Mobes is in the air, impossibly high, arms flapping like he’s trying to swim to heaven, a wingless angel. Or a shooting star.

His bike hits the ground before he does. 

(333 words)


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  1. #1 by Jo-Anne Teal (@jtvancouver) on July 10, 2013 - 6:48 am

    Kallan Annie, any story that incorporates “Dude” into one of the first sentences, is a story that captures my attention. I felt like I was right there, in the middle of the night watching these characters. That second to last paragraph shattered me. Amazing, gritty, real writing.

    • #2 by kallanannie on July 14, 2013 - 3:10 am

      🙂 I’m so pleased that you liked the story, Jo-Anne. This is such a lovely comment–thank you so much.

  2. #3 by Gabriella on July 10, 2013 - 7:07 am

    Excellent story with a lot of atmosphere!

  3. #5 by LaTonya M. Baldwin on July 10, 2013 - 9:24 am

    The ending rushed so easily, effortlessly that I almost missed it and then instantly it hit me and I was devasted. Solid, solid writing.

    • #6 by kallanannie on July 14, 2013 - 3:12 am

      I had to do a fare bit of paring to get the story down to 333 words, and I worried that I might have to water the ending down. Sometimes, I guess, less is more. Thanks, LaTonya.

  4. #7 by Suzanne on July 10, 2013 - 8:18 pm

    Wow. This is beautifully written and so intense! Great job with the characters and their dialogue – it felt really natural. Those last two paragraphs are as gorgeous as they are tragic.

    • #8 by kallanannie on July 14, 2013 - 3:13 am

      Thank you, Suzanne. I always look forward to your thoughtful comments.

  5. #9 by Cobbie's World on July 11, 2013 - 3:21 am

    This reminds me so much of The Outsiders. Very well-crafted scene. Love the smeary starry night line. On a different but, related note, on my school website here is a scrolling banner across the top of the homepage. I’ve only ever had one message scrolling by all these years and it is, “Immerse yourself in Love.” No parent or student has ever come up to me and said that they got the Radiohead reference so, I still feel like they, meaning Radiohead, are not as mainstream as recent pop songs references make them out to be. “Street Spirit” remains one of my favourite songs of all time and, if a genie granted me three selfish wishes, I’d use one of them to be able to sing that song as well as Thom Yorke does. So, thank you for the Radiohead reference off of the top of your story and for all of the wonderful lines all throughout your whole story. Excellent work!

    • #10 by kallanannie on July 14, 2013 - 3:16 am

      I agree that Radiohead aren’t as mainstream as pop culture would, apparently, like them to be–how sad is that? Maybe we just need to keep referencing them until everyone gets curious about what they’ve missed? I hope that genie grants your wishes! Thank you for this lovely comment.

  6. #11 by Björn Rudberg (brudberg) on July 11, 2013 - 11:24 am

    What can I say, a great dialogue, characters that seem realistic… and unfortunately a proof that Darwin had a point. The line about Van Gogh is just awesome.

    • #12 by kallanannie on July 14, 2013 - 3:18 am

      Ha! Darwin did indeed have a point. Although, you do sometimes have to wonder how so many people ever make it to the other side of adolescence and youth. Sometimes it seems to be random luck rather than survival of the fittest.

  7. #13 by KymmInBarcelona on July 11, 2013 - 1:42 pm

    everything blurring into a smeary Van Gogh night
    Love that line, how it completes the scene, how it lets you know things are not gonna be alright.
    Terrific story, simply gorgeous ending.

    • #14 by kallanannie on July 14, 2013 - 3:22 am

      You know, Kymm, I hadn’t thought about the line that way. It came out during the editing process, as these lines often do, and the undertone it conveys didn’t occur to me until your comment–but I love your interpretation.
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment.

  8. #15 by Christina on July 11, 2013 - 2:33 pm

    oh no. I wasn’t expecting the end.
    great storytelling. great voice. would love to read more

    • #16 by kallanannie on July 14, 2013 - 3:24 am

      Thank you, Christina. Not sure I want to dive back into that poor character’s head after this, but that’s just cowardice on my part, and cowardice and writing are incompatible. 🙂

  9. #17 by jannatwrites on July 11, 2013 - 4:58 pm

    Tragic ending, but a well-written story. The reference to Van Gogh’s Starry Night was great!

    • #18 by kallanannie on July 14, 2013 - 3:24 am

      Thank you, Janna. Really appreciate you stopping by and reading.

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