Treasures from the Past #flashfiction
for In Other Words – Prompt: “Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.” ~Charles M. Schulz
Treasures from the Past
“What ya got there, Remmie?”
“I don’t know. I found it in that heap of junk over there,” Remmie said as he pointed to a large pile of rusted debris.
Curly squatted down and looked at the strange device. He reached over, touched the rusted bar and flicked the metal grip. It made a clicking noise, but didn’t move anything. He stood up, turned the contraption over and spun one of the black wheels.
“Maybe Grandpa will know what it is,” Curly suggested.
“That old timer does know a lot. Help me carry it home.”
With their hoverboards tucked under their arms, the boys each grabbed a part of the device and carried it back through the abandoned alley.
The trip home took longer than usual. They were unaccustomed to walking on the littered, cracked sidewalks. They reached the white domed encasing that housed their modest dwelling, showed their ids to the guard and entered the gate.
As they road along the runway, people stopped whatever they were doing and stared at them. By the time they reached their box-house, a group of curious kids had followed them. Their grandpa sat outside on a large plastic bench.
“Hey, Grandpa. Look what Remmie found,” Curly said with a bright smile on his face. He and Remmie sat the contraption down on the ground.
“Well, I’ll be!” Grandpa yelled as he stood up and approached the device. He turned it upright, lifted a leg over it, and straddle it.
“What is it, Grandpa?” Remmie asked.
Grandpa laughed and walk-road the contraption around the runway in a circle. “This my young scavengers is a bicycle. But not just an ordinary one. It’s a ten-speed.”
The boys looked at one another and then back at Grandpa with a curious look upon their faces. “What do you do with it?” Curly inquired.
Grandpa hopped off of the bicycle and flipped the kickstand. It sat upright on its own. “Boys, back in the day, long before those hoverboards of yours came along, this is how kids got around.”
“It doesn’t look very efficient, Grandpa. Not if you have to walk it like you did,” Remmie laughed and hopped on his hoverboard. He zipped around his grandpa a few times before setting back down on the runway.
“No, no. It is missing the seat and a chain for the wheels. Why, if I could find other parts, I could rebuild it!”
Remmie and Curly shook their heads as they looked at the glean in their Grandpa’s eyes. They’d seen that look before. The summer before, they’d found another strange device that Grandpa had called a computer. They were still looking for parts to make it run. Grandpa added the bicycle to his other treasures, as he called them.
“Draw us the parts, Grandpa. We’ll look for them,” Curly shouted as the boys hopped on their hoverboards and headed out of the dome.
They zipped along the abandoned city streets. Buzzed down dingy alleyways. Soared in and out of old warehouses. They stopped upon a decrepit bridge and looked out at the landscape.
“You think we’ll find what he needs?” Curly asked.
“I doubt it,” Remmie whispered as he watched the large bulldozers move stacks of rusted metal into a large incinerator. Soon, there would be no signs of what once was.
©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.