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I exited the brick school building among the other kids, who were talking and laughing and genuinely glad to be out of the school. The medium sized school was to big for the small town, it held all grades above 6th grade, the elementary school across the road held the rest. The sun was shining down on the still-soaked ground. The three straight days of constant downpour had flooded all the low areas of town and some of the country roads.
I made my way over to the rusty, dented, bike rack, pulling my key chain from my bag. It only had two keys on it, house and bike lock. I unlocked the dull colored chain from around my bike and wrapped it around the handle bars, locking it again. I slid my bike out of it’s small slot and ignored the other kids. Buckley was real big on cross country running and bike-riding. Everyone had a bike, not everyone was a perfect rider, but most kids were on the bike team.
I rode my bike slowly up the sidewalk and down the side street, heading for the intersection that led out to the country roads where the three story farmhouse my mother had bought 3 years ago stood solemnly surrounded by young elm trees.
I crossed the road quickly, no cars were present. Rarely did a car drive past me on my way home, so I was free to enjoy my bike ride.
I loved riding my bike. It was a nice bike, well built , yet light and easily mobile. I was good at riding my bike, the pain my legs got when I went up a hill only made me push harder, and the feel of the wind whipping through my hair made me forget all the aches my body held. I never joined the bike team, I didn’t want to see the other kids who were better than me, faster than me. I liked to imagine myself as the best bike rider in all of Buckley, and that was easy to do on my bike rides home.
A noise behind me caught my attention and black car sped up, driving around me and pulling to a hard stop about 100 feet in front of me. Slowing down, I pedalled cautiously towards it, wondering if I should hurry up and go around, or turn and leave quickly. A man got out of the passenger door, and kidnapping prevention techniques ran through my head.
He turned to face me, and from what I could see of his face, he looked pretty neglected. His hair hung in ratty strings to his shoulders, his eyes were puffy red, but not like he had been crying. His tattered tan coat was out of place for the warm day. Rarely was Buckley not covered with gray depressing clouds. The blue sky was vibrant and beautiful, a pleasant change. The man’s eyes stared at me and his left hand reached across his body, to his pocket. My heart sped up and it felt like slow motion took place around me. I quickly turned around, pedaling with such might it surprised me, glancing back at the insane man, he pointed the shining silver pistol at me.
I spun back around, urging myself on, my life on the line now. I thought about jumping off into the ditch, then running away into the woods, but the ditches were filled with murky greenish-brown water and I might not have the time.
Suddenly, pain seared through my stomach, making me fall from my bike. I hit the pavement, hard. Laying there, I felt as if fire was raging across my back and inside my stomach. I squeezed my eyes shut, terrified of what I would see. The burning turned to a equally as painful numbness. Trying to escape had already escaped my head. I felt dizzy and sweaty and I was shaking uncontrollably.
Suddenly, I was flipped on my back, bringing a new wave of pain over my nerves and blackness edged my vision as I looked up into the eyes of the man who held the pistol. He gave an evil smirk that made me want to vomit and I glanced down at the dark red mess around me and the blackness closed in a little. As the man dragged me across the hot asphalt, I stared at the rare blue sky. I wouldn’t get to enjoy much more of it, not if I didn’t get to a hospital. The man rolled me over into the ditch and I sunk to the bottom of the 3-feet-deep hole, the murky water sending dull strikes of pain into my wound.
If the loss of blood didn’t kill me, I would drown in the nasty ditch water. I squeezed my eyes shut, praying for it to be over.