By the time she cleared the yard, she was so winded that vomit burbled in her throat. A glance over her shoulder told her the bumpkin bandits were still sniffing their booty on the other side of the house.
But they wouldn’t be long. Where was that kid with the rifle? The dirt bike was probably his.
If I steal his bike, I’m no better than a bandit myself.
She didn’t know exactly where she was, but she had an idea—back roads threading through the sticks, which her parents always avoided and never mentioned. She knew she was too far from home to walk, and doubling back a few times before she got her bearings was certain.
Just as she decided salvation was smarter than conscience, the green and white Suzuki came into sharp focus. “Wait. I know that bike.”
It was Candy Vale’s. She lived on the other end of Forest Lane; their houses snuggled the ridge sparsely, but Candy was only a year older at Andrew Jackson High. The vision of her red hair and yellow leather jacket, on that bike, was etched in April’s brain. A feather keychain dangled from the ignition.
She gripped the handles and ran it to minimum safe distance before she threw a leg over and fired it up in one motion. It choked and thundered, amplified in the silent woods. There was no turning back; her exit was the opposite of sly thievery.
Trees streaked past. An intersection. Not far enough away. She took it anyway. She picked up speed, heedless of downhill curves. Another turn, hairpin. April gasped as brush cleared for sky, a sheer drop of cruel granite to the valley below.
I don’t know these roads.
She rolled to a stop, strained to hear signs of pursuit.
This flash fiction is a part of the Blogging From A to Z (April 2015) Challenge. A new installment arrives every day in April, following the alphabet; check the calendar below to see which letters post on which days. Read more about this blogfest HERE.