Thursday, 16 November 2017
The Bounty Tax of Death (Part 1)
A boy named Seth Grainfield was feeling angry with himself.
"What have I done!" he said to himself.
He turned his bike around and rode along the thin path. He saw a glimpse of the others in the woods further up the hill on their bikes. He heard shouting. He knew that he was way too behind them now and wouldn't be able to keep up. Anyone knew that those lagging were out of the game before the second round. But he heard it, a "thlunk" sound. He saw it. A ball arcing from the trees, and tumbling down the hill. He sped on his bike towards it. Perhaps he was safe in the game afterall. His team mates were emerging from the woods, speeding on their bikes so quickly as they went down the hill. He had to reach the rolling ball before they did.
He got it! Whack! He hit the ball with his booted foot and sent it across the grass. Others turned on their bikes and did wheelies and somersaults in the air that he couldn't do.He had no time now to be amazed at his team mates riding, he had to get the ball; a second kick would keep him safe until the second round. He missed. Someone else kicked the ball, and then another. He couldn't catch it, as the ball was being kicked all over the place, and finally they ended up back in the woods again.
As the ball was being hunted by sporty cyclists during a new game of Bikeball, Seth was overcome by anger when something sharp penetrated the front wheel. It turned as flat as and useless as spaghetti. Before anyone else noticed, as they all rode off chasing the ball, Seth stopped and got off the bike. He inspected the flat wheel, and found a metallic object stuck inside it. He couldn't pull it out. A nail, with Seth's bike's name on waiting for him to come along. Why did it have to be him that gets it? He was annoyed and kicked the bike.
He flung a stone at a tree. Then he sat down, feeling stupid and gutted to be out of the game. It wasn't fair. He wanted that prize. He wanted a better bike. All his friends have motorbikes and chain bikes, his was a cheap bike that was often going flat. It was a rubbish bike. He heard a loud cry of shouts as his team mates found the ball and fought over it.
"Are you tired, lad?" asked an old voice.
Seth spun round to see who was talking. Coming through the trees was a tall man who looked curious. He had a long white beard, he wore a hooded cloak of blue leather. He was holding a walking cane. Seth shrugged. The old man wouldn't understand.
"No, it's the bike" Seth told him.
The old man didn't look surprised. He seemed to look straight at him with such curious looking eyes.
"The bike is just needing a new wheel. You need to learn how to avoid getting your tyres flat during an intense game. Football is it, but with bikes?"
He was clever for an old guy, "How did you know that? We only invented it the other day."
The man smiled.
"My name is Mr Thantos and I'm an official", said the man with the strange pale pale grey eyes.
Seth stood up.
"I've got to be going," he said. "My friends will finish soon". Seth lifted up his bike and started to walk and painfully drag it along by holding the handlebars. The wheel's tyre flip flopped. The man called Mr Thantos spoke behind him.
"I can help you win this game."
Seth looked at him.
"I can teach you how to play better," said Mr Thantos. "Every Friday evenings from 7 o' clock until 10 o' clock, I teach classes in the Obsidion School."
Seth nodded, and turned away, resuming his walk. He quickened his pace, and needed to return to the other players, even if he'd lost the game.... (to be continued)
Story by Rayne Belladonna.
Above image designed by Rayne using Doll Divine