Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Entry #56

Reversal
by Sean Ferrell


For reasons he couldn't fathom, his motorcycle only moved in reverse. He engaged the engine and lurched backward hard. He called a friend, a gear-head with perpetually dirty nails, asked him to look it over.

His friend looked. "Nothing's wrong. Works fine." His friend climbed aboard and ran it around the barren yard, kicked up pebbles. He left a circle of raw earth behind. "See."

But for him it ran backward. He motored the wrong way, off the yard, into the street.

His friend watched. "God damn."

He trucked it to a repair shop. Two days later they called. "Nothing's wrong with it." He picked it up. In the parking lot he ran it in a lazy circle, backward, watching for cars in his mirrors. He was able to lift his feet and complete the circle.

He practiced riding at night, after his shift, even tired as he was and knew he always would be. At first he stayed in the neighborhood. Dogs barked and filthy kids chased him, laughing. After a week dogs barked but kids didn't chase, or look. He found himself on the highway out of town, the engine's roar in his bones and the wind at his back. He steered by second nature, his eyes on both the horizon and mirrors. He smiled in the dark as the town he had come from faded to a glow outshone by the lights of his machine, its noise the only warning to those behind him that he approached.

17 comments:

Scott said...

That's a very interesting concept, Sean. He has to navigate the world in perpetual reverse. It's a pretty piece, and I find myself re-reading the last line, "...its noise the only warning to those behind him that he approached."

September said...

what an interesting story. Cool.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Reminds me of Italo Calvino's "The Baron In The Trees." Very very creative, yet realistic.

Anonymous said...

Very nice piece. I agree that the last line hangs with you long after reading it.

JaneyV said...

Such a quirky idea Sean. I love that when he couldn't fix he problem, instead of giving up the bike, he adapted and learned to ride backwards. I found this piece strangely heart-warming and uplifting. Wonderful concept - well realised.

klgilbert said...

Creative and well written.

iLL Man said...

Read this with a big grin. Theres a sort of other-worldly feel to it, slightly supernatural..........

Like he could ride backwards forever and never crash.

Nice piece of lateral thinking.

Sarah Hina said...

Great, quirky storytelling. His disability evolved into a unique, even privileged, perspective on the world. The image of his town fading away from him made me smile.

Really enjoyed your approach here. Strong, effective writing, too.

Missy said...

Ha! This is great, like it happens every day - so deal, huh?

Jaye Wells said...

You always have such an interesting take on things, Sean. I really liked this.

Beth said...

Quirky and upbeat. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Dottie said...

The story exposes a great deal in a very nuanced way about your narrator and makes him appealing and quirky. Great job!

Posolxstvo I said...

Unusual approach, pun intended. It was very fun to read.

Linda said...

Great premise and polished prose. I liked it.

laughingwolf said...

i KNOW i posted on this grrrrrr

anyway, great idea executed well

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

A different perspective.

Well done!

jason evans said...

This piece reads like an excellent introduction to a novel. Very creative and quirky. I'd love to read where his reversal takes him. Very well done! Highest marks.

Congratulations on Second Place!!