Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2195095-Crocodiles-Ride-Bicycles
by Paul
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2195095
He’d never seen a tailless crocodile riding a bicycle.
A contest entry, the prompt was the picture.

I’ve been alone for 6 years and I walk because there are few other things I can do. Walking keeps me alive, but I’m beginning to think it’s not worth the effort any more.

Yesterday an accident I saw held me up.

“Yes officer, the blue Chevy was tailgating the white Toyota. I slowed and he accelerated, pulling out in front of the Audi—.“ The driver took exception to my version and a screaming deluge of expletives with suggestions of what I should do to myself started. When he took a step toward me 2 policemen grabbed his arms.

“Sir, you’ll have to calm down or we’ll cuff you and put you in a car.”

“JUST TRY IT, BITCH,” was the wrong response.

“Gerry, cuff him and put him in my car. I want the pleasure of booking him.”

“Yes, mam.” He looked much worse for wear when the 3 male cops got him confined. It did mute his outbursts, but none of his suggestions were anatomically possible anyway. It took a couple hours so I was late starting my walk which changed my life.

It’s an old bicycle trail, 4 miles of cracked, crumbling blacktop with black-holes that could swallow me, my walker and planet earth so I walk on the weed verge. I’m crippled with 12 of the 24 bones in my spine fused and use a 3-wheeled walker with 14 inch bicycle wheels.

It’ll go anywhere, but rocks bigger than baseballs and sand are difficult. Try riding a bicycle in a rock quarry or on a beach and you’ll understand. It’s wide so maneuvering around the pot holes is impossible. A mile in I heard a bicycle bell and glancing back I saw it.

I can’t recall ever having seen a crocodile riding a bicycle before. I didn’t know they rode. But, there it was, what looked like 6 feet of green croc calmly peddling along weaving around the dark pits with a soccer ball on a carrier over the rear wheel. I didn’t know they played soccer either. Another thing I didn’t know was there are tailless crocks.

“Hi, I’m Ian and I don’t think I’ve ever met a crocodile on a bicycle before.”

It stopped and from the black mesh under the upper jaw came, “Hi, I’m Aaron and I’ve never met a walking question mark.” Some crocks don’t have lower jaws either. The voice was not a male voice and when I looked again I could see hints of a female anatomy standing out. I’m usually more observant than that, but it was a weird situation. Erin instead.

When she pulled the head off an attractive 45 or so year old face surrounded by short blonde hair showing a big smile appeared and said, “I’m Erin McNally, I ride here 5 days a week after work, the suit helps my attitude. I don’t recall ever seeing you.”

“Nice to meet you, I’m Ian McRae and I usually walk here 7 days a week a couple hours earlier. Why the soccer ball? Do crocodiles play?”

“This one does. How about you?”

“Uhhh, with my spine bent like it is it’s not possible.”

“Horse shit! There’s a field up ahead, wanna’ try?”

I fell a couple times and she gently helped me up, “Easy, Ian, you try to hard. I’m a rehab doctor, let me show you.” She did and by god I did it. It was an incredible feeling, I hadn’t kicked anything in 22 years. We played for an hour and parted exchanging phone numbers.

At 8 the phone rang. “Hello?”

“Hi, Ian, how about some prime rib in an hour? My treat and I’ll drive.” We had dinner at a club and when the music started she showed me I could do something else.

“Not like that. Hold me this way.”

“Like this?”

“You’re a good dancer.”

My life changed then.
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