By Michael J. Mayak
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is a prologue of sorts to a novel I was writing (under my pen-name) that I put to the side because it wasn’t working. At one point I thought I might try posting part of a chapter a week, but I lucked out onto the flash fiction thing. The picture put me in mind of James Velez, our main character, and his life before he borrowed a bike and roared off into a very strange place. So here is James in our world before things get very strange. —-jeff b.
“What do you think?” James said, adjusting the dark glasses and pulling up the gloves as he balanced on the silvery motorcycle.
“You look like the Fonz,” Victor said.
“What’s that?” Peralta asked. James rolled his eyes.
“When’s your brother coming back, man?” Victor asked.
“Not ‘till next Thursday,” James said.
“So, the bike’s yours ‘till then?”
“Long as Marc doesn’t find out about it!” James said grinning.
“Or your Mom & Dad,” Victor said.
“Long as I take a shower after the ride, they won’t find out a thing!” James said. “Nice of Marc to trust me with the keys to his garage as well as his apartment.”
Boots, jacket, helmet with visor, leather gloves. James was glad Marc’s things fit him. He checked his watch; 2:30p.m. August. Senior year starts in two weeks. He grinned again and started the bike. He roared out of the driveway and turned onto the alley; no sense taking the chance of being seen if his Mom or Dad were driving around. A quick scoot down the alley and then onto the highway. Up the ramp, onto the bypass, the city spread out to one side, the wind roaring past. If it hadn’t been for the helmet laws, James would have left his (okay, Marc’s) helmet behind and let the wind blow through his hair.
James turned off just past the Brigman Street exit and the stretch of highway was flat and straight just outside of town. He signaled and turned down the dirt road flanked by tall bushes and headed to where he remembered the cabin was. It had been there since the highway was built.
He turned left at the fork in the dirt road, and then the blue swirling miasma of light surged up in front of him, from literally out of nowhere. No time to turn, swerve or brake. James and the bike roared into the light. He held on and felt himself bounced and shaken, air freezing on his exposed wrists, the sound of the motorcycle sounding like it was being played from the wrong end of a telescope. Then the blue swirl was gone, the bike hit the ground like after a bump and James jumped off, glad he knew how to roll. After a moment, he looked up. He could see the sun just over the trees. It looked strange. He looked through the visor; just a glance, his Dad’s warnings about looking directly at the sun playing through his head.
No mistake. There were two of them. Two suns. Smaller than usual, each side by side. James closed his eyes and pulled off the helmet. He shook his head to clear it. He looked around. No sign of the blue swirl in the air. He stood up and then stared at the ground.
One of them was very dim, the other dark and distinct. Two shadows. From two suns. Where the hell am I? he thought.