Michael Gray



#12 Flashback

    Roger left his garage and went out onto the lawn. The sun was shining bright and the morning dew spread out along the grassy lawn in sparkling specks. He looked up. The sky looked like a diamond with a light blue background. Each cloud looked like a diamond's sparks of white light. The 15 year old boy drifted over to the road at the end of the driveway. His eyes focused on a small lizard warming on the edge of the road. Roger had always thought lizards were ugly, gross creatures, but this one interested him. It had a turquoise backbone that almost glowed and yellow tail. Each eye was red with a vertical pitch-black line running through it. As Roger watched it, the lizard twitched its head and stared straight into his eyes. It yawned. Roger took a slow step forward. Immediately the lizard sprung to shelter as if it had disappeared like a lightning bolt disappears after striking the earth. There was a rumbling of cars coming from the direction of town. Roger thought, "That's funny. Why would cars come from town this early and on so quiet a road?" These thoughts ended when he heard the breakfast bell ringing from his house. Roger went back to his house for Sunday breakfast.

    For breakfast Roger had four scrambled eggs with cheese, three pieces of toast and a handful of bacon. His mom, who sat across from him, kept trying to stuff him full of food. Finally, Roger felt as full as a goose and rinsed off his plate.

    This time he went to the garage and got his bike. He hopped on and sped away. He turned past people, trees, and other bikers. Occasionally he turned onto park sidewalks that turned aimlessly back and forth. After peddling up a steep, high, hill, he turned and blasted back down. Out of the corner of his eye he saw some ducks waddling along the edge of the road. He swerved towards the ducks and skid in front of them. One of the ducks almost got ran over. It walked towards Roger unexpectedly. As he braked, the duck, after realizing the need to get out of the way, scrambled (half flew) out of the way.

    Roger had always acted as if they were his pets. The ducks pretended not to know him, but Roger had known they did. He looked for them every day at different times. Sometimes he would find them in the park. Sometimes next to the Colorado River near his house. He would even find them lost. Roger loved ducks. Especially fat, noisy ones.

    After stopping the bike, Roger got off it and reached in his pocket. His face shrugged. Then he remembered, thinking, "Oh no. The bread went through the hole in my pocket." Since he couldn't feed them, he patted each on the head in turn. Then, he sat down on a bench and watched them. There were seven ducks. Five of them looked at him as if the duck population was supreme and the other two rummaged through the grass. Eventually, each one of them looked up into his face and showed signs of remembering yesterdays handout. Then they waddled over to him as if they loved there "new" friend. Roger said to himself out loud, "How typical. Every one of you try to trick me into thinking you donít remember me." Then he hopped on his bike for home.



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    He went back a different way. This time he went along the main roads. Even though they were main roads he didn't see one car. Normally it was like that. The trip was all downhill. Roger blasted. He stopped peddling and coasted. It was beautiful. The sun was still shining bright and he could get a panorama over the Colorado River. There were now no clouds. Roger let go of one handlebar.

    There was a crash. Roger had fallen asleep at the wheel. He opened his eyes very surprised but he was unhurt. After looking around, he realized he hit the tree at the exit to his driveway. He got up, picked up his bike, and entered his house.

    "Surpriiise. Happy birthday." his dad, mom, and friends yelled.

    Roger grew a big smile and said dumbly, "Wow, thank you."

    The room was filled with his friends. All of them were trying to do everything at once. As the confusion ended he suggested eating lunch.

    That lunch was extremely satisfying for him. His dad and mom, named Mark and Judy, brought out pizza, salad, green beans, and giant chocolate milkshakes. When lunch was finished, Mark asked when Roger wanted to go go-carting. Roger said, "How about now. Everyone ready?"

    The teen surveyed the track. It was wide, clean, and smooth. Each turn was different. Roger walked over to the helmet rack. He put on one of them and found it too loose so then went for a smaller size. That one fit. He started to think, "These carts are fast. The owner said max 55 miles per hour. Amazing. I wonder how it would feel being so close to the ground at those speeds." A yell restrained his thoughts. His friends were ready.

    First the owner told the drivers how to use the carts, then showed them a few hand signals. Also he made sure they new the first lap was a warm up lap. They sped off. Roger went through the curves slowly at first to get used to driving and warm his tires. All the carts stopped at the end of the lap. Now it was time to race. This time the carts blasted off. Roger got to the first turn. It was a hairpin. He braked, turned, then put the accelerator down hard. The next turn wasn't so smooth. He braked to little, turned too much, and almost skid totally out. As he got up too speed a slow decreasing radius turn met him. On this one he managed two get in second place. The first place cart reached the fourth curve with Roger close behind. It slowed. Roger slowed. Because Roger was straight behind the first place cart, he slowed down to the same speed as him. Both carts got past by two other carts. Roger was now in fourth place.

    On the second lap, he past cart number one. Now he had gained third place. Then, on the third lap he squeezed into second. Only a few more turns till the finish line. He reached the inside lane, turned and got level with the leading cart. If they finished like this it would be a tie. Roger had perfect concentration. No sound. No distractions. He braked, turned, accelerated, and broke into the lead. Only a wheel ahead, Roger finished in victory.

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