I rode my bike

The sun was a burst yolk, spreading across the sky.

I rode my bike. Stones crunched beneath my tyres; the chain creaked as I pushed up the hill. Reaching the summit, I freewheeled.

Past hedgerows, rustling and chirping with hidden life. Grassy ditches bounding the road to either side, wetness lurking in their depths. And onwards – between bare fields, shorn of their crops. Insects whirring and clicking among the pale stalks, like things unwinding.

A far-off tractor chugged slowly homeward and, further still, a cluster of houses nestled in the fold of a hill – absurdly small, embedded in distances.

I sped across the threshold of a village, as clouds soaked up the last of the light. I passed a church, pale and gaunt as a hollowed-out bone, and saw leaning gravestones, their exposed surfaces eaten by the weather. A couple talked at the gate, their conversation Doppler-warped as I rode by. I pushed on, towards home.

Crack. A pedal gave way under me, my chain fell to the road. I stopped as darkness gathered.

View this story's 5 comments.