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A Bike For Lucy

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Twenty different pairs of eyes turned to the front glass door as someone slammed through. A burly, hooded figure stood there, avoiding anyone’s glance. The figure quickly stalked past the toy train track and the candy showcase, past the scared-looking kids and straight to the collections of bikes. His hood fell back to reveal a shiny bald head and a harsh face. Must get it. She needs it. He repeated the sentences over and over in his mind until he reached his destination. He started mumbling to himself, sticking his hands in his jeans’ pockets as he scanned the bicycle selection. He was in a world of his own, ignoring the countless stares and obvious frowns. Although, he did notice one mother talking to her daughter, “Please stay away from him, Lucy.” He looked to the little girl full of hope that was quickly smashed when he saw it wasn’t who he thought it might be.
He tapped on his front tooth before deciding on a pink-and-white bicycle with a bell on the front handle. Perfect. He reached for it but was just an inch too short. Grunts and angry sighs filled the aisle as the pasty man jumped up and down, reached as far as he could, anything to reach that bike. The man was still trying when an employee cautiously approached him.


“Sir? Excuse me, sir?” She quietly attempted to get the man’s attention, but to no avail. She continued, speaking up, “Sir, please calm down. I can get the bike down for you.” The man immediately faced the employee, a quiet fire burning in his eyes. He tapped on his front tooth for about the third time in the last minute.


“I need this bike. I need it.” He sternly said in cold voice. Why doesn’t this woman get it? He thought. He quickly switched his attention back to reaching for the bike. The employee started reaching up towards the bike but her hand was quickly swatted away by the man. “I need to get it.”


The man shed his sweatshirt to expose an oversized orange t-shirt with large sweat stains and a name tag reading Howard. He needed motivation. He thought over again why he was doing this. A dark, eerie night filled his mind. Approaching headlights spotlighted on a tiny girl riding a pink-and-white bicycle. Those lights kept getting closer and then vanished. After that all that could be seen was the faint outline of a girl lying in the street, a puddle forming around her. There was no sound except his own heartbeat, and only his heartbeat. The memory gave him shivers but restored his determination. Lucy’s bike was destroyed in the accident so Howard was going to surprise her with this new bike on her upcoming birthday. Then she’ll be able to bicycle with the angels.

After one more reach-out of a hand he stomped off. The employee started to let out a sigh of relief but Howard returned back to the bicycle aisle as little as a few seconds later. He held a tiny child’s stool under his arm. Setting it down below the bike he longed for, he started to step onto it but was stopped by the employee.


She grabbed onto his bicep, “Sir, there is no way that little stool can support your weight.” Her arm was swatted a second time. He stared at her with such a longing and intensity she instinctively backed off. Click click click, there he went tapping his teeth again. He continued to step up onto the stool. The legs wobbled and Howard gripped onto the shelves to support himself. He gripped his hands onto the bike and started tugging at it. He finally released the bike from the display and pulled back. The stool started wobbling again but this time the bicycle occupied his hands, leaving him unable to grab onto anything.


In a quick swoosh the stool’s fragile legs collapsed, causing the heavy man to land with a large thud, buried under the bike. Sharp intakes of breath filled the aisle, from both the man and the employee. Lucy, he thought, don’t worry, I haven’t given up. Then pain overwhelmed his body. The employee slowly stepped up to the man and crouched down.


Her hand, covered in goose bumps, cautiously reached out to his body. Just an inch away from touching him, his hand flew up, roughly gripping onto her wrist. His eyes popped open and focused on her with an inexplicable glare. “Lucy. I need this bike for Lucy.” The words were barely above a whisper, spoken through clamped teeth.


The terrified employee swiftly pulled her hand away from him. She pushed herself up and headed for the manager. Yelling into the walkie talkie she got that morning she scampered towards the back of the store; away from the bike aisle and away from that man. She was barely a few aisles down when she heard the faint sound of pedals. A rush of wind blew her blonde curls into her eyes when Howard raced past her, obviously unhurt. He was pedaling on that little pink bike down the aisles, through the mobs of surprised kids straight to the glass door. Holding his front hand in front of him to open the door he never slowed a bit. He was visible through the glass as everyone in the store gaped at the huge man riding that tiny bike down the street





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