This is the night

Short Stories / Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016


The wind howls. It tears at you, at your shirt, whipping its greedy fangs into its sleeves. But you don’t care. You are on the bike, the road is empty, a devoid blackness of infinity stretching away into you, away from you, drawing you, lulling, hypnotizing, seducing. And you turn your palms, a little dew settles on your palm, even as you turn your hands tighter. Behind you, your friend screams. In joy or in terror or perhaps both. 120 the speedometer shows. Your ears pound. Your hair stays glued to you, wet and dripping with sweat. But the night is young. Life is free. And you know that the road is all you have. Away. And into you. Beyond you. For just this moment, it’s just you and yourself alone. And this. This is what youth is you think, even as you turn the corner, avoid another bike, and swerve into the corner. Skidding. The brakes jamming. Your feet are dragged, you try to keep them on the ground, but momentum takes them away. This time the screams are really of terror. But you feel calm. Clear. And even as the bike skids and falls down, you see it in front of you – your life in front of you and no nostalgia kicks you in the gut, no memories haunt you. No. You are glad you are here, and even as you hold your head and kiss the gravel underneath, you think to yourself that this was all worth it. Because for just this moment, you lived.

And your knees are scraping the ground, hands trying desperately to hold on the bike, and then thudding against the concrete, skin kissing it as it leaves your body. And then, and only then your head crashes into the concrete. You recoil from the impact, blood spurts into your mouth, and you are faintly surprised. Your tongue lolls into your throat, and you feel choked; choked despite the exhilaration that your body is still producing, all those endorphins still dancing away, and you gasp. You know you are screaming, but it’s a harsh scream that dies in your throat. You even think where is the pain? You see the ground in front of you – the white of the concrete slowly reddening. You are surprised. Just why you are bleeding? You ask yourself. You think you know the answer, but just like it often does in life, the answer eludes you. Something lands on you heavily, and you realize that it’s your friend. You try to move your right leg, but it’s jammed under the bike. You try to shift your friend away, but the movement makes your jaw scream in pain. You touch your jaw, and watch in more surprise as your hands color themselves red, its sickly sweet smell you inhale. You lay your head down, and find the concrete cooling. It’s hot. It’s cold. Your head spins and then you find the surrounding darkness engulf you, kiss you and then move its lips gently over you as you lie gasping for breath, gasping for life, and then you surrender, for this is a delicious darkness.

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