Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hole 11: Let's Go, Silver

Hole 11: Let’s Go, Silver
Contrary to the bike’s name, it was not silver. It was, Bertie the Kid would have said, more of a dull, glinty grey than a brilliant, silver color. But that did not matter much to Bertie the Kid as he admired the bicycle in the morning light angling in from the open garage door. Silver’s name was just as much a part of its heritage as the curved frame bars that waterslided from the crescent handlebars to pedals and then up to the tanned-leather seat. His grandpa simply called the bike “Silver” when he gave it to Bertie with the charge to take good care of the family machine.

Bertie the Kid mounted Silver, his hands forming into the tan handles capping the end of the handlebars in familiar comfort. The faded colors on Silver meshed easily with Bertie’s worn baseball cap and sneakers. The lack of modern day gadgets--a gear shifter, handlebar brakes, flashy accessories--harmonized with the simplicity of Bertie the Kid. Besides his dull-green t-shirt and hand-me-down jeans, he only toted an empty shoulder bag with him.

In a moment, Silver’s kickstand nestled up to the frame, and Bertie set his foot onto the pedal as if it were an extension to his body.

“First day on the job, Silver,” Bertie the Kid whispered, “Let’s go.”

The two forayed out of the garage into a deserted street. Bertie the Kid angled Silver uphill, heading for the Burnt Creek Golf Course. The course location was not difficult to identify considering the hacienda-styled country clubhouse resting on top of the foothill nearest his neighborhood. From the clubhouse the golf course rolled out above and to the side in vast patches of emerald green intermingling with threaded lines of trees, all underneath the paternal gaze of the local mountain range.

The bike ride did not seem historic, but it was. As the only pre-teen to attain and--on this day--carry through with the title of “creekboy,” this trip up to the golf course was more than a routine jaunt through the neighborhood for Bertie the Kid.

When compared to the intense proceedings of the Back Nine Rush, however, Bertie the Kid held no apprehensions about the day, in spite of its historical precedent, only excitement. His enthusiasm showed with every pump to Silver’s pedals as he worked his way to the edge of the residential neighborhood. Before too long the bike and rider pair reached the dry, mounded prairie in-between the last house and the golf course--the deep green of Burnt Creek contrasting starkly with the pale yellow stalks of grass from the field, littered occasionally with sagebrush and open piles of dirt. Appropriately, this empty section was named by the neighborhood kids as the Badlands. Because of its deserted nature, the Badlands were rarely visited, but Bertie the Kid knew them well.

When he first inherited Silver a couple summers ago, Bertie’s tiny body could barely reach the pedals. For this reason, the young aspiring creekboy preferred to avoid the neighborhood eyes while he learned, so he walked his steed to the Badlands. In the lone emptiness, the two became very familiar early on with each other and the unpredictable bumps and dips of the Badlands. After months of practice, he found that Silver’s tires naturally gripped every slope and curve, every mound and sagebrush root. After long enough, Bertie sensed exactly how to react to Silver’s shifting movements, adjusting the handlebars, regulating his pumps, and his balancing his weight just right.

Now, instead of taming a bicycle amongst the pale, dusty slope of the Badlands, Bertie the Kid found himself cutting straight through the less than a quarter of a mile stretch. This meant that Bertie still had some progress to make by the time Silver’s rubber tires left asphalt and joined a skinny dirt path winding up towards the Burnt Creek clubhouse’s perch.

Immediately Bertie, and by consequence, Silver, tensed up. Out of Bertie’s periphery vision on either side of him, he noticed two forms peel away from the housing neighborhood and enter into the chest high foliage of the Badlands. Upon closer inspection, Bertie saw that they were two teenage boys on bikes, flanking him about thirty yards off either side.

Bertie the Kid kicked Silver into higher speed. If it came to a race, Bertie felt that Silver would be capable of out-sprinting anyone. After half a minute, however, Bertie realized that the two were making no attempt to close the gap between themselves and Silver. Instead, the two remained doggedly determined to stick at a consistent distance to the side of him. Bertie could not fathom why they would do this until he crested a mound and saw four more bikes slink out from behind a particularly large stand of sagebrush.

Bertie the Kid had worked himself into a trap.

It came as a very little surprise that one of the boys on the bikes in front of him was James Woodson. A second later, he recognized an even taller, more intimidating boy on a bike next to him: Jesse. So connected were the two brothers, that the neighborhood kids found themselves referring to the duo as the “Jesse James brothers”--as if they were a single entity. Bertie the Kid skidded to a stop.

For a moment everyone stood, one leg out, the other on a single bike pedal, saying nothing. It seemed clear to Bertie the Kid that the Jesse James brothers waited for Bertie to say something. He gave them no such satisfaction. Instead, he simply gazed with an unexpectant look in his eyes, betraying nothing of his interior squirmings.

Eventually James shifted, looked to Jesse, and finally called across the divide, “You’re not going today.” If James hoped that his statement would put an end to the awkward silence, he was disappointed. Bertie the Kid said nothing.

“I know you cheated in the Back Nine Rush yesterday. I should have won, so I’m going.”

So many things Bertie could have said to that: “I didn’t cheat, and you know it,” or “You’re the cheater, and I’ve got witnesses to prove it,” or “Mr. Cassidy would never let you work for him.” All of these would be legitimate responses, but Bertie could tell that James itched for an argument. So Bertie the Kid ignored the prodding and sat unmoved.

“Besides, a little squirt like you doesn’t belong at Burnt Creek,” James squinted, “We had to wait for our turn to be old enough to be a creekboy. There’s no way we’re going to let a ten-year-old stroll onto that course before we do.”

Again, so many possible replies: “That Back Nine Rush has no age limit,” or “That’s just another way of saying that you’re a poor loser,” or “You don’t decide who strolls onto the course, Mr. Cassidy does.” But Bertie the Kid maintained his silence, which seemed to successfully disconcert the antsy James Woodson.

“Go back now, before we make you go back.”

Bertie maintained silence, but he could swear that Silver felt the tension and had be be held back from action.

“Fine,” said James, “Have it your way. We’ll just teach you a lesson to get it into your head, I guess.” Waiting for one last moment to get a reaction, but receiving none, James nodded to the two boys flanking Bertie’s sides. Soon, both closed in on him. In front, Jesse started inching forward, inciting James and the others to do the same to complete the snare.

Bertie the Kid knew that if he turned Silver around, he would have a good chance of escaping the way he came. He also knew that if he did that, then he would essentially give up on his hard-earned position as creekboy. Silver was ready when Bertie responded. A tail of soft earth flew up behind Silver’s back wheel and Bertie shot forward, not backward.

The very idea of Bertie the Kid flying towards the four boys in front of him instead of running away brought them to a confused halt.

Just as Silver seemed about to collide into the bikes facing them, Bertie the Kid swerved Silver away, shooting out of the crowd between the stupefied flanker and his four cohorts. While this move put him out of the Jesse James brothers’ immediate trap, Bertie the Kid could by no means consider himself in the clear. Because the posse placed themselves directly in the path to the Burnt Creek clubhouse, swerving to the side of them meant they could still recover and cut him off before he made it to the golf course. So instead of even trying to head east at all, he shot southwards.

“After him!” came the redundant cry from James--they all instinctively chased him anyway.

For as dull conversationalists as the Jesse James brothers might have been, they could at least make a strategy on the fly. Knowing that Bertie the Kid’s ultimate goal lay to the east, the golf course, the two angled that direction to cut off the obvious route. Then Jesse motioned for the other two boys to follow Bertie the Kid straight from behind while James ordered the two flankers to cut off retreat to the west. All this deft maneuvering left nothing but the southern route open--and that route, the brothers knew, would soon end.

As the Jesse James brothers pumped the pedals to their husky bikes, they noted that Bertie the Kid must have recognized their new scheme because he slowed his bike to a canter as he considered his next move.

By watching Bertie so intently, the Jesse James brothers nearly tumbled into their own trap. The Burnt Creek was so slender that the mar it made in the ground blended in with the landscape until you were almost on top of it. The only real warning it gave from a distance was a scattering of trees, sparsely lined up along its tumbling route, something the rest of the Badlands sorely lacked.

As invisible as it might have been coming up to it, there was no mistaking it once there. The cut in the land may have been even, but it was also relatively deep, dropping about six feet or so from the top of the bank to the water below. And, while the Burnt Creek may not have been the size of a great river, the ravine it created spanned too far for a bicycle jump, reaching a little over twenty feet from bank edge to bank edge, where the Jesse James brothers sat. Any plans for fording the water below would have been checked by the steep banks and the boulder-littered thoroughfare that the creek waters weaved in and out of.

Thanks to a gratuitous northward bend in the creek, the Jesse James brothers arrived before and to the east of their prey, allowing them to witness Bertie’s pursuers nearly touching his tires from behind. To the west, the other two blocked off any movement in that direction. Once Bertie the Kid reached the edge of the Burnt Creek, the brothers noted with satisfaction, he would be trapped for good.

While Bertie the Kid’s pace slowed as he gathered in his surroundings, on the final stretch to the creek, Bertie and his bike accelerated. The brothers looked at each other, confused. Bertie had nothing to gain by flying headlong into the creek. Jesse’s eyes anticipated Bertie’s trajectory and saw that he aimed for a large ash tree jutting out from the bank of the creek.

With a breath of realization Jesse exclaimed, “He’s heading for the ash tree’s rope swing!”

James shared this dawning moment with his brother as both of their eyes cued in on the faded tan rope that hung down from a bridging branch into the creek’s gulf. The rope swing on the ash tree was an oft-frequented attraction for the neighborhood boys; and now the Jesse James brothers recognized that Bertie the Kid likely hoped to abandon his bike at the ledge and make an attempted swing across before his pursuers could nab him.

“He won’t get there in time,” James assured more himself than his older brother as the scene played out below them. “Our boys are too close behind him. By the time he stops to get off his bike, they’ll grab him before he can reach the rope.”

Jesse nodded in agreement. Certainly the Jesse James brothers’ prediction would have been correct had Bertie stopped to get off his bike. But Bertie the Kid was determined not to leave his bike behind.

This single fact caused the Jesse James brothers to watch in awe as Bertie and bike careened up an incline toward the creek ledge. Then--defying all common sense--he accelerated past the point of no return, gained the lip of the embankment next to the ash’s trunk, and lifted his bike into a magnificent leap.

The brothers and pursuers all tracked the scene as if it had been drawn out into minutes instead of seconds. They observed the airborne bike and rider duo start to descend well short of the opposite bank and saw Bertie the Kid’s feet leave the bike pedals to entangle themselves securely on either side of the bike frame. Then they witnessed--stunned--as Bertie’s hands left the handlebars, snatched the swiftly approaching rope, and then swing with body and bike in tow until reaching an apex. There, Bertie the Kid neatly released the rope, re-gripped the handlebars while his feet migrated back to their familiar position on the pedals. All of this led to him gracefully touching the ground on the other side of the embankment, smoothly guiding his bike’s wheels into a decelerating trot.

The Jesse James brothers and their posse sat paralyzed after this scene. None of them had ever witnessed anything like it before. Even more incredible, however, was Bertie the Kid’s indifference to his last, acrobatic maneuver. The creekboy never paused, and even now, as he pointed his bike in the direction of the Burnt Creek Golf Course, he did not once look back to even acknowledge his pursuers.

Jesse spat onto the ground. “Guess the slippery little rodent will be going to the golf course today after all.”

James nearly growled in frustration while narrowing his eyelids. “Yeah, but he’s also got to come back from the golf course sometime today. And we’ll be ready.”


Hole 11 bordered the outside edge of the Burnt Creek Golf Course, much the same as its predecessor, Hole 10. With the help of the Jesse James brothers careful corralling, they basically led Bertie the Kid straight to his destination anyway. Because the previous day’s Rush cleared out most of Hole 10 in only an hour’s time, Bertie the Kid would start his first day on the job at Hole 11. He considered going to check in with Mr. Cassidy, but it seemed odd for him to see Mr. Cassidy without golf balls to turn in, so if Mr. Cassidy had anything to tell him, it could be after a morning of work.

Because the bush from Hole 11 bordered the edge of the Badlands, plenty of spliced drives from frustrated golfers left ample golf balls for Bertie and Silver to herd. Unlike the Rush, Bertie had a bit more time to be thorough in his searching. Spending the morning hours of each day clearing out every golf ball would span most of a week before he would move on to the next hole. After the morning burned away and the early afternoon approached, Bertie noticed more and more golfers showing up. Once again, the restraints of the Rush did not apply to Bertie now as a creekboy, which meant that being seen by golfers was not a big deal. Still, though, the creekboys tended to avoid being on the course during busy client times--more for their own sake of privacy than for the sake of the golfers.

Sticking to golf cart paths and the infinite trails of the bush, Bertie the Kid placed a final golf ball in his bag and guided Silver effortlessly into Hole 10 territory, across the golf cart bridge over the Burnt Creek, and through the familiar brush of Hole 10. From there, Silver jaunted up the slope to the plateau where the back of the clubhouse surveyed the Back Nine below.

Once at the clubhouse, Bertie the Kid parked Silver on the patio and entered the glass doors of the lower floor of the clubhouse. The cool air conditioning from the Burnt Creek Café greeted him as he navigated between the scattered tables and chairs. Then Bertie stopped at the back door to Mr. Cassidy’s office. The ten-year-old shifted the weight of his golf ball laden bag, then pushed open the door.

“Bertie the Kid,” Mr. Cassidy’s grinning face peered out from underneath a brilliant white, visor cap as he put down some documents with tiny print plastered all over them. “It’s great to see our newest creekboy reporting in!”

Bertie the Kid allowed himself a self-effacing tweak of the lips that might almost be construed as a smile. Mr. Cassidy recognized it and moved on. “Hole 11 this week?”

Bertie nodded, handing over his bag. Mr. Cassidy took it and dumped the corralled balls into a bucket sitting on a scale, with considerably less ceremony than his individual counting of the balls at the Back Nine Rush. The golf course manager measured the amount, dug into his pocket, fished out several crisp dollar bills, and handed them over to Bertie.

“You’re off to a great start, creekboy.”

“Thanks,” Bertie said in a low but sincere voice before silently exiting out the way he came. He did not see--nor would Mr. Cassidy want to embarrass him by allowing him to see--the man’s endearing smile as he watched the short youth close the door on his way out.

As Bertie the Kid mounted Silver on the back patio, Kid Carson sallied his own bike smoothly onto the scene.

“How was the first day?” Carson queried.

Bertie paused for a moment before nodding. “Good,” he said. The pause said a lot more than the word.

“Of course,” Kid Carson responded, “you’re a natural.”

Bertie let slip an easy smile, “You should know. You’re one yourself.”

Kid Carson nodded. “I guess there’s a reason we’ve both got ‘kid’ nicknames … we were born for this stuff.”

A comfortable pause lingered between the two before Kid Carson’s smile drifted off. His feet drew back to his bike’s pedals. “Jesse and James are waiting for you. I guess you gave them the slip this morning?”

Bertie nodded, though his eyebrows furrowed.

Kid Carson answered, “News travels fast on the course. From all accounts, it was pretty brilliant. They’re not giving up yet, though. They’ve got a posse waiting for you in the Badlands.”

Bertie the Kid squinted out in that direction. He might have nodded, but it was hard to say.

“I’m guessing they’ll be far more prepared than they were this morning. Thought you might want to know.” Before Bertie could respond, Kid Carson set off on a canter. He swung his handlebars towards the Front Nine, his day apparently not finished.

Bertie the Kid sat for a moment, an impatient Silver below him. He knew he could circumvent the whole Badlands area and take the windy asphalt road used by the golfers to drive their cars to the course. But that route was out of the way, and Bertie knew that if he went that way, the Jesse James brothers would wait for him the next morning, or afternoon, and the ones following that. They would not give up until they had another legitimate shot at snatching him.

For that reason, Bertie the Kid realized that he needed to ride out and meet them. The only way they would leave him alone is if he could outride them again, this time so definitively that they would have no choice but to recognize his earned spot as a creekboy.

Bertie the Kid surveyed the Badlands sloping down before him. The same clump of sagebrush certainly hid at least part of the gang. He recognized that it was a good central location. The others in the gang could be anywhere in the vast nothingness before him, and Bertie could not figure out how they planned on trapping him. “We’ll just have to ride in a way that no one could prepare for, Silver,” Bertie the Kid patted his mount while still gazing out in front of him.

As if waiting for that word of permission, Silver took off in a flash. Liberated from the kickstand and with a generous downhill slope, Silver’s wheels whirred underneath his frame as if they had a life of their own. As soon as Silver transitioned from the green grass of the course to the dirt of the Badlands, the resilient bike barely even slowed down. In fact, at that point Bertie the Kid charged some vigorous pumps of the pedals and Silver managed to accelerate.

With his eye firmly on the sagebrush community before him, Bertie the Kid knew that his onrush was having an effect. Along the fringes of the screen of shrubs, he saw movement, the unrest of indecision. Silver’s mad dash gave those waiting for him little time to figure out which side of the sagebrush Bertie the Kid would shoot for. But Silver did not move one way or the other--instead he simply hurtled recklessly in a straight line for the very center of the stand of sagebrush. Amidst the gaps in the shrubs, which neared the height of an adult at their apex, Bertie the Kid saw considerable jitters in the bikes peeking out from behind.

While the charge seemed chaotic from an outsider’s perspective, the fact that Bertie and Silver had spent so much time among these dirt mounds and sagebrush meant that they were right at home. In fact, Silver’s tires had traversed this specific trail enough to know about the abrupt mound that popped up right before the fanning sagebrush.

The last ten yards to the obstacle raced away in an instant and Silver found his launching pad. The front tire blazed the way into a generous leap, and the rest of Silver’s frame followed with enthusiastic momentum. Silver’s speed preceding the jump qualified for sufficient height to clear the thick bottom of the sagebrush clump, making it so the slender branches rising from below gave way before Silver’s majestic form.

As Silver crescendoed his leap and cleared through the mammoth sagebrush, Bertie the Kid saw the gaping mouths of the Jesse James brothers, who both sat on opposite ends of the fan of sagebrush branches, allowing them to be evenly split by the flying bike and rider. Silver’s back wheel slid a bit on renewed contact with the earth, but otherwise he shot forward still. Before the bike and rider cleared the small hill following the stand of sagebrush, however, Bertie heard the pedals of the boys behind him clank in a delayed reaction.

While Bertie the Kid knew they would not catch him from behind, the very fact that they made an attempt to pursue told him that the rest of the posse must lay in wait somewhere before him. As if in answer, two more bikes shot out at him from the north side, careening out of a depression in the ground. Silver swerved south to avoid confrontation, heading once more towards the Burnt Creek.

Bertie the Kid’s next move seemed obvious. Too obvious, in fact, which made Bertie think back to what Kid Carson had warned earlier: the Jesse James brothers would be far more prepared this time. Bertie saw how his change in direction had been managed by the posse and realized that they were driving him, not just to the creek, but straight for the ash.

With already limited options, Bertie the Kid retraced his path to the tree swing, fully aware of what to expect. As he went he tried to formulate a desperate back-up plan. Before he knew it, Silver slid to a stop at the edge where he previously leaped over the gap of the Burnt Creek. As anticipated, the rope had been conspicuously tied out of reach.

In a hardly surprising completion of the trap, the last two posse members pedalled onto the scene from the east. Now with the Jesse James brothers at his back, posse members east and west, and the creek without a crossing directly in front of him, Bertie the Kid and Silver sat at the mercy of their pursuers.

The band of boys skidded to a halt, arrogant smirks celebrating their victory. Bertie the Kid silently reminded himself of his earlier assertion: We’ll just have to ride in a way that no one could prepare for. He looked down at Silver, tires and frame caked with dust from the recent escapade, yet as he shifted in his seat, the sun seemed to reflect off the gray steel of Silver in a confident wink. If the steed was willing, then so, too, was Bertie the Kid.

After grinning dumbly at his brother, who smiled back wickedly, James was about to taunt. The gloating was there, on the cusp of his lips, but at the last moment, he was robbed of his opportunity.

No longer reined in by Bertie the Kid, Silver launched forward, his tires spinning in the air as he left the security of the ground and dropped down the chasm forged by the sputtering Burnt Creek. In shocking disbelief the posse witnessed the descent, which culminated in a frothy splash.

The Burnt Creek was not deep--shin deep in most spots--but an outcropping by the ash tree caused a pool that swallowed Silver up to the seat. For a moment there was silence, save for the incessant trickle of the creek, then--incredibly--Bertie the Kid not only emerged from the pool, but he came up riding.

Silver could not grip the ground like on land, his tires spinning on wet rocks, bouncing off others, dropping into pools and avoiding boulders, but with noble effort the two plunged forward anyway. The ride was a chaotic, splashing mess, but as long as Silver’s tires kept moving forward, Bertie the Kid managed enough control to vaguely steer the duo downstream and fend off complete crashes by dropping his feet down at the right times. Due to the steep bank walls on either side, Bertie did not have a lot of room for error. Stopping on the unstable terrain seemed to invite only crashing, nor was Bertie sure if he could keep up the riding if he lost his momentum. So the two continued onward down the Burnt Creek’s wobbly path towards the exit of the Badlands.

For a moment the spectators sat motionless on their steeds, stunned, unsure of whether they would play witness to a damaging accident or end up as the fools. By the time Bertie the Kid disappeared behind a slight bend, it was clear that they had been out-maneuvered for a second time, and in perhaps even more impressive fashion than the first.

“Come on! He’s got to come out somewhere … when he does, he’ll have to get off his bike. And we’ll be ready.” James’s voice was supposed to sound confident, but it dripped of desperation more than anything. Nobody moved. When James finally started pedalling downstream, hoping his action would trigger the others, it was only after a pleading look towards his older brother that he managed a single follower. The rest of the posse watched the two disappear and then, one at a time, they quietly dispersed.

With narrow and high banks running all the way to the residential neighborhood, the Jesse James brothers knew that Bertie the Kid would wait for a more convenient location to exit the creek. Jesse voiced their shared thought: “He’ll be coming out at the edge of ole man Gracer’s backyard.”

Bypassing the path along the creek once they reached the bridge that marked the end of the Badlands and the beginning of civilization, the Jesse James brothers sped through the streets to Mr. Gracer’s home, a well-kept brick house with a stately willow out front. They used the drooping willow branches as cover while they surfeited to the backyard. There, the creek gave a sharp, nearly 90˚ angle turn as it frolicked through the neighborhood’s backyards. Mr. Gracer had used that turning point to create some carefully landscaped stone steps leading down to the creek below. There, the Jesse James brothers parked themselves, fully expecting Bertie the Kid to round the corner at any second.

In the last windstorm to sweep through the area, a towering cottonwood toppled into the creek from a neighboring yard. That was the first thing an exhausted Bertie the Kid noticed as he and Silver, still navigating the creek’s slick rocks and rapids, rounded the bend towards Mr. Gracer’s convenient exit. Just before the tree, Bertie saw the steep steps and a split second after that, he saw the Jesse James brothers.

Part of Bertie the Kid deflated. As if to match Bertie’s lowering spirits, Silver waded into a waist-deep pool created by the downed cottonwood, slowing the bike and rider’s momentum just before arriving at the juncture. Still, the Jesse James brothers had followed him and found the one spot where he would have to dismount to climb up the creek side and guide Silver awkwardly up the steps to flat ground. Their determination, he grudgingly admitted, was impressive.

After a couple of hard pedals through the deep water, a rock below the surface jolted him out of his thoughts. Another bump followed by another indicated the pool’s depth lessened with each pump. This caused a resurgence of energy from the faithful steed, and Bertie took the message: Ours is more impressive. Sucking in a lungful of air, Bertie the Kid slammed down on the pedals and urged on his steed, “Let’s go, Silver!”

Silver immediately kicked up a spray of water and surged forward. Gaining momentum and avoiding the stairs, Silver veered with Bertie towards the submerged trunk of the cottonwood. Avoiding the clinging branches, Bertie managed to pop Silver’s front tire up, successfully mounting the trunk. Once on this precarious balancing beam, Silver and Bertie the Kid accelerated up the trunk’s spine while water coursed in streamlets off bike frame and pant legs. Then, upon leveling with the bank above, they hopped onto solid ground again.

There, they paused in front of the Jesse James brothers, who seemed to have run out of the ability to be astonished anymore. Bertie the Kid and Silver waited just long enough to see the defeat seeping from their faces. Then Silver trotted forward, passed straight between the two brothers and their previously proud mounts, and left them with their faces still forward, abnormally quiet.

Kids played in their yards, cars wandered the streets, but Bertie the Kid noticed none of them as this creek-soaked pants cycled up and down, his deft hands guiding Silver back to Bertie’s modest home.

The southward facing, open garage door allowed Bertie, exhausted and ready for a change of clothes, to ride straight in and park Silver next to his dad’s workbench. Just as he reached for the doorknob of the side door to the house, Bertie the Kid took a glance back at his steed. Because of the gleaming water still clinging to the frame, Silver’s dull gray paint job now glimmered off the reflection of the sun peering into the garage opening--a glimmering that gave the bike a very distinct sheen of silver.

©2013 Marty Reeder