The writer’s group at Sacred Journey Fellowship is starting a continuing story, and I drew the short straw in the first meeting so I get to start the story. Enjoy! As others do their thing with the story I’ll copy and paste their additions in later posts. And when the story is done all the posts will be put together and made into a page. Or maybe not. It depends on what the rest of the group says about it.
Witches used to ride broomsticks in the night. They don’t do that any more because it got to be too dangerous, but they still needed to get around, so “alternatives” were used. One of those alternatives was bicycles, because even when they weren’t being used to fly across the night sky they could be used for more mundane travel.
My name is Gigi, and I’m a witch’s bicycle.
Most bicycles don’t talk, or know how to use computers, or even know they are bicycles for that matter. I didn’t at first. All I knew were light and dark, warm and cold, moving and (mostly) not moving. I almost ended up in a dumpster after my first owner died. I was stripped of most of my parts and put up for sale in A GARAGE SALE, and nobody bought me. Some of my nicer bits sold, but I was unwanted. But someone said “I think I know a guy that could use that” about me and I had a chance at life again. I remember being warm for a long time as things were shoved under, on, into, and behind me, taken off, worked on and shoved back again while I was sat on. That went on what felt like forever as bits were bought, found, and what couldn’t be bought or found was made to fit, sometimes with a great deal of violence and emotion. I began to feel “Somebody loves me,” as I began to become whole again.
I was called the “Grocery Getter” at first, with the constant patter of how I was going to go to the store down the street and come back loaded down with “groceries”. I heard that as “Gross-eries” and thought “I’m going to be made to carry nasty stuff and be ugly”, but that was far from the truth. I was being made beautiful so the master’s wife would not have to walk to the store.
At first I didn’t notice I had become aware, I was unaware of being aware. I did notice that the person working on me was talking to me all the time, sometimes nicely when things went well, and sometimes with an angry tone of voice when things were not going so well. But he always called me the “Grocery Getter” at first, the sometimes later as “The G.G.”
“G.G.,” I thought. “That’s a pretty name, but I want more than that.”
“Hey! big dumb guy messing with my bits!” I thought out loud (or as out loud as a bicycle can think). “I don’t object to being used to get groceries, but that is not my name.”
“Who said that?” asked the big dumb guy.
“I did. I’m the bicycle you’re working on,” I said.
The big dumb guy said “I must be tired, I could have sworn this bicycle is talking to me. Bicycles don’t talk. They might get all eager to go for a ride like a puppy ready to go for a romp, but they don’t talk. And especially they don’t talk while I’m trying to build parts for them!”
“Well I’m talking to you now!” I said. “I don’t want to be called a grocery getter. That’s not who I am. I’m a diva”
“You’re a bicycle, and bicycles aren’t supposed to talk, which makes you a bad bicycle,” said the big dumb guy.
“I am not. I was a good bicycle until I got stuck in the dark place and taken apart,” I replied. “Now, I’m a diva.”
“Do you even know what a diva is?” asked the big, maybe not-so-dumb guy. “What do you think a diva is, and why do you think you’re one?”
“Divas are fussed over and taken care of, and given nice things,” I said. “You fuss over me, and take care of me, and the stuff you put on me so far has been pretty nice, so I must be a diva.”
“I fuss over all the things I build, not just you. The difference with you is I’m just trying to get you functional again, not make you into something else entirely. And I’m not getting you anything special in the way of parts, just stuff I pulled off the side of the roads that other people were throwing away, and a few things that I couldn’t find I bought. What I can’t find or buy I’m having to make from scratch, which requires lots of thought and looking at things and using my imagination to think about what will work and what will work and look nice, and what will work and look nice and be cool.”
“So you’re going to make me look cool?” I asked hopefully.
“Probably not, but I will try to make you as cool as possible within my budget.”
“Budget?” I asked. “What’s a budget?”
“Usually it’s money. I don’t have much money but I do have other things that I can do, and I have parts I can use to make parts for you. And some things I will have to break down and pay money for. You won’t get many of those.”
“But I will get things bought that you can’t find or make, right?” If I had an upper lip it would have trembled at that point.
“Only if I can’t find some other way to make you run.” A pause. “But I will make you run again.”
“OK. But I’m still not a Grocery Getter, I’m a diva. I’m Gigi.”
“OK you’re Gigi, now hush while I finish making your handlebars, or you’ll be a garage queen again.”
“I want to go down that path” I told the big guy for the hundredth time.
One of the barky ones, one of the few that would talk to me, had told me all about it.
The barky one lives down the street with a family of two legged ones like my witch, a family of fluffy tails that live in the roof and a bicycle that is never ridden, poor thing. The barky one is one of the few warm ones that will talk to me other than my witch. Not that all warm ones listen to me but then not all warm ones listen to each other. I know this because the barky one and the fluffy tails both tell the two legged one to make it cooler like he used to, but he never listens.
Anyway the barky one said there are all sorts of neat things to see down the path and I want to see it for myself. He said there were skunks, with bad smells, whatever that is, and creeks with fish and all sorts of places to discover.
“I want to go down that path” I repeated.
“No, you are not a dirt bike,” he said.
“Of course I’m not,” I said. “I’m made of metal, not dirt. And it’s nice metal, mostly the shinny bits.”
“Your shinny bits will not be very shinny is you go there,” he said.
I’ll go down there someday, I thought to myself.
The big guy didn’t often leave me outside by myself but when he did I was always afraid that a fuzzy one would pee on me. It happened more often than I care to think and I hated the indignity.
One day when the big guy was to tired to take me in right away, I saw a big barky one that was always nasty to me, come around the corner all alone. He had threatened to pee on me many times and I just wasn’t in the mood to get peed on.
So I did what any self respecting bicycle would do. I took off. At first it was a little hard pedaling myself. It was hard balancing without my witch on me. I wasn’t as graceful but I after a few feet I got the hang of it and was just as fast as if the big guy was on me. I had problems turning the corner but I did so without falling over but that was when the barky one saw me. I pedaled as fast as I could. The faster I went the easier it was to stay up. I turned corner after corner and finally lost him.
That was when I realized I was lost. I had never been here before. I wondered around for a long time. Finally I found the path that I had always wanted to go down. But it could wait. I needed to find home. I know my way from here. I started for home but the houses weren’t familiar. I headed back to the path and tried again and again the turns in the road were different. That was when I realized it wasn’t the same path. I really was lost.
Might as well make the best of it and investigate the path. It might not be the same path but it might lead to the path I always wanted to go down.