Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hangover Friday

The promenade glistens, awash with rain that has fallen under cover of darkness. The drunks and the punters have weaved their way out of their Friday night gamble - some loving their luck and finding their beds; others lucky in love and waking in sheets that belong to a stranger. The beach is empty, the surf pounded flat by a storm that had swept in from the north. A hint of light seeps through a heavy night blanket of grey, hoisting the dawn upwards toward the heavens like a cabaret curtain on opening night. The day lies in wait, full of promise and great expectation. 

This morning the water is too cold for surfers. Even the diehards wont venture out at this hour. The summer walkers that paced themselves by the sea every day have dwindled away, no longer pounding the fear of an early death from their bodies, preferring instead the prescriptive warmth of their beds. 

A girl on a bicycle appears as a small dollop of light in the grey morning hour. Her bicycle lamp weaves about on the road and she hunkers over the handlebars, protecting her face from the bitter cold.  She misses the blurry black streak of a cat that flashes before her front tyre. But she feels the thud as the tyre bounces, throwing her balance and shooting her into the air. The animal screams but escapes unscathed and it zigs and zags in a frantic fashion, disappearing beneath a hedge in somebody’s yard. 

The girl, not so lucky, lies bleeding and bruised on the road, the tyres of her bike feet away are still spinning. She pushes herself up, dabs at a knee – at the mash of skin and bright oozing blood that appears through the hole in her lycra skin. She climbs back on the bike, and is grateful the road is deserted. No one has seen her fall. She wobbles a little and building momentum, she cycles away as the cat emerges from under the bush, and cleans itself as though nothing has happened. It watches the girl disappear down the street. Her run of bad luck has only begun.

1 comment:

Lea said...

Wonderful story - Enjoyed it immensely. Especially knowing the words I gave you to start with.