Wreath and bike. Watercolor drawing. Can be used for printing and design

Downhill Rider
by Terez Peipins

On my eighth birthday my uncle gave me a turquoise bicycle brought all the way from Buffalo. I’d been begging for a bike for ages and had given up hope. I examined it in all its shiny glory. It was so tall that I could barely reach the pedals but that didn’t stop me. I immediately got on. We lived on top of a hill in rural Western New York. Gravity did all the work. I picked up speed. My mother shouted, “Turn left. Turn left.” I didn’t know how.

I flew straight down the hill, across the road, and somersaulted into a ditch. I still have the five-inch scar on my leg to remind me. That didn’t stop me from riding. To this day, I still have a bicycle and it provides me with pleasure and freedom. Fortunately, I’ve learned to manoeuvre it much better.

IMAGE: “Wreath and turquoise bike,” waterdolor by juliafast1977, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This is a story that has been waiting to be told. As soon as I saw the prompt I had to tell it.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: The  poetry, fiction, and essays of Terez Peipins have appeared in publications both in the United States and abroad, including Anak Sastra, Barcelona Ink, The Barcelona Review, The Buffalo News,Conte, Hawai’ Pacific Review, Kentucky Review, Melusine, and Pedestal, among many others.  Her newest chapbook, Dance the Truth, is published by Saddle Road Press. Her novel, The Shadow of Silver Birch, is published by Black Rose Writing.