The rain slowed and then stopped as I was putting the last horrible pieces of the monster together, but the thunder still crashed overhead. Lightning popped here and there as if to say that the storm wasn’t finished with me yet by a long shot, and pangs still squeezed my heart from time to time with the same intent.
Wheeling the monster outside, I took a deep breath of what I expected to be the clean air of a freshly washed city, but there was an acrid tinge, like a hint of malice. Normally I wouldn’t ride in the wet, but at the moment I hadn’t a care for my clothes or my person, I just wanted to keep myself busy as a preventative measure against tipping over into my own self pity.
I threw a leg over the beast and pedaled about three meters, then immediately crashed into the wet mud of the tiny front yard that lies between the sidewalk and my building. I got up and attempted to brush myself off, but really only smeared the mud clinging to my clothes around. I realized I had failed to properly tighten the stem on the monster’s steerer tube, causing the handlebars to turn without turning the wheel. I corrected this issue, got back on, and then pedaled around a bit more.
Though it was a monster, the bike’s horrific, ungainly presence somehow fit my black mood, and I became bolder. I rolled off the sidewalk and into the street proper, dripping with wet mud and not caring one whit about it.
Just then, a pair of headlights appeared up the street, moving too fast for comfort and heading my way. I had to get out of the road to avoid being struck down like a flamingo before a charging rhino, but in my depressed and lonely state I toyed shortly with the headlights, staying in the middle of the street and testing the depth of my own taste for danger, for harm, for death. In seconds the moment was over, and I knew I had to get out of the road and go on with my life without my beloved, but the handlebars would not turn.
I wrenched at them even harder and they turned slightly, but not enough. The car was upon me, and though it didn’t hit me full force, it struck the monster’s rear wheel, spinning me around and tossing me off the bike into the street. The car’s tires screeched to a halt and the already acrid air in my lungs was joined by hot exhaust. I picked myself up and felt for broken bones, but there were none. Just a few bruises and possibly some road rash.
The monster was in a twisted heap in the gutter, impossibly now uglier even than it was before.
A voice came from the other side of the car.
“Are you ok?” it asked.
“Yes, but I think my bike is..” I began, but then I looked again at the monster and was struck dumb by what I beheld!