• Naomi Livingston

Yellow.

Hey friends,

So here is my "unsuccessful" Furious Fiction submission from January. I like it. It's not perfect. But I like the imagery, the feeling, the familiarity. I hope you enjoy it.

NM xx

It was a warm sunny yellow. Like an egg yolk. Not like a lemon. Nor a sunflower. Like a freshly cracked egg, warm and glossy, and it made Maeve’s insides tingle. It didn’t have a basket on the front. There was no dip in the centre of the frame. The two black wheels were rounded with deeply ridged tyres. The bar between the seat and handle stretched strong like a bridge strut. The chain below like knuckles of a tightly held fist. Maeve felt her own hands squeeze closed, tight in anticipation. She gazed at the beautiful mountain bike, the rising sun behind making its shadow dance, calling her to ride.

“Well?”

“Really?”

“It’s time, don’t you think?”

“It’s - Can I ride it?”

A bubbling laugh burst out of her mother.

Maeve pulled her eyes away from the yellow bicycle to look into her mother’s eyes. She was still laughing, but tears hovered just above the brim of her bottom eyelashes. Her freckled cheeks puffed high, making her laugh lines near her eyes go deep and wide.

“Your dad wasn’t all that patient either. Go. Get. Just be back in time for school.”

Maeve nodded, a smile growing over her face. A smile that toppled the tears from her mum’s eyes.

“Happy Birthday, Sweetheart.”

Maeve snapped her helmet under her chin and bent over to pull her socks high up her shins. Her signature. She approached the bicycle like it were a nervous puppy, moving with a caution that showed she cared and would treat it well, that they could trust each other. She caressed the leather seat and took hold of the handle bar with her left hand, then in a swift move, took her foot to the pedal and pushed off the ground, swinging her other leg high over the bike.

The gravel crackled beneath her. Kookaburras cackled above her. The warm morning wind blew into her face and opened her lungs. She had forgotten what it was like to breathe deeply. She started to pedal hard, fast, rising up off her seat and lifting her chest to the sky. Her body had forgotten what it was like to ride. To breathe. To live. It was remembering now.

Maeve climbed the hill, watching the crest come closer, pushing her heels down, slower, heavier as she broached the top. She puffed, her heart thumping against her ribs. She reached the top and balanced there.

She could see it all. The town. The creek. The oval. The early risers walking their dogs, the shop owners putting out their signs, people living their usual routines. Normality. Each day seems normal, until it isn’t. That day with her dad, on their bikes, like this, seemed normal. Until it wasn’t.

Maeve balanced there. Tears hovered just above the bottom brim of her lashes. Her mum’s words came back to her.

“It’s time, don’t you think?”

The rising sun made the shadow of her bike dance, asking her to ride on. So she did.


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