Updated date:

The Folly of Miss Einstein: Flash Fiction


Lori has been writing fiction since she first caught the writing bug at age nine.

I am taking a writing class at the local community college just for fun. We committed to writing 250 words per day for the first week, separate from any books we might be writing. This is my first attempt. I will admit some of this story actually happened to me, however, I added and changed a lot of things. Hope you enjoy it.

The Folly of Miss Einstein

The wind rushed over Lily’s face, eyes closed tight, head tilted back, arms stretched as wide as they would go. She coasted at high speed down the center of Cypress Heights Road, a quiet residential street. If her mother knew that her dad had taught her how to ride her bike with no hands she’d have a conniption, that and not wearing a helmet. She hated wearing one due to its constrictive feel. But nothing else in life made her feel so free and exuberant. She shouted her thanks to Einstein for his theory of relativity and the space-time continuum, which she’d just written a report on for her fifth-grade honors science class. She failed to see Mr. Mike, the crusty neighborhood curmudgeon who was out spraying his roses in the front yard. Nor did she hear him bellow his disgust.

“Einstein was a lunatic. Should've put him away in the looney bin,” he said, sending a spray her way.

She was now in the next stratosphere, soaring through the heavens, going where no eleven year old had ever ventured before.

WHAM! Lily struck the parked car so hard she could smell and taste the force of it, like burning metal. She lie twisted on the concrete stunned senseless. The stars she saw were not of the outer space variety. The adrenaline whizzing through her body had thus far kept the pain at bay. Her only concern was if someone had seen her. She lifted her head and looked around. She saw no one in obvious sight, so she scanned windows in the houses surrounding her. Man, she felt stupid, but at least no one had seen her.

Lily tried to stand up but she became dizzy. Her legs were wobbly, awkward and could barely hold her weight. She leaned on the car to let the wooziness settle. Her head started pounding like a hammer on an anvil. She felt something streaming down her forehead into her left eye. She put her hand on the wound and watched blood drip down her arm. Her mouth began to throb violently and she gagged on the blood that filled it.

“Oh no, I lost a tooth.”

She took off her new teal sweater her mom had just bought her from Penny’s and tried to stanch the flow of the crimson river pouring from her forehead and mouth. One sleeve for her noggin and one for her mouth. At the sight of the rapid saturation of blood through her sweater, the world went black.

“Serves ya right, little Einstein. What kind of imbecile speeds down the street on a bicycle with their eyes closed and no hands on the handlebars and no helmet?”

The voice was familiar but Lily couldn’t quite place it. She felt her body being carried and warm puffs of breath on her face. She squinted up into the face of Mr. Mike. His yellow plaid shirt and overalls were stained with her blood.

“Where are you taking me? Don’t tell my mom.”

“Young lady, God help us all if you ever get behind the wheel of a car.”

“Where’s my bike?”

“You’re in a lot worse shape than the bike.”

“What about the car?”

“A small dent, but all the Masterson’s care about is your well-being. You crazy girl, what were you thinking?”

Lily’s strength drained and she passed out again. When she awoke next, she was lying in an ambulance, Mr. Mike at her side.

“Where’s Mom?” she cried.

“She’s going to meet us at the E.R. You silly, silly girl. What were you thinking?”

This time his voice was not chiding but concerned. He took her hand while the medics tended to her injuries.

“God gave you a brain, Miss Einstein. Use it.”

A week later Lily stepped out the back door for the first time since her accident. Her white Schwinn stood on its kickstand on the patio, good as new. She found a note attached to the handlebars with electrical tape.

“Einstein, keep your eyes open and your hands on the bars and wear a helmet. Love, Mr. Mike.”

© 2019 Lori Colbo


Lori Colbo (author) from United States on January 18, 2020:

Thanks Umesh.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 18, 2020:

Interesting and captivating story. Nice reading.

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on November 28, 2019:

Thank you Nikki for your thoughtful comments.

Nikki Khan from London on November 28, 2019:

Well, this is a nice story. I loved it. It brought a smile on my lips. Childish memories huddled in like forming mists. Thanks Lori darling for sharing such an exceptional story.

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on November 11, 2019:

Oh my, Lawrence. I'm glad we survived intact.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on November 11, 2019:


This brought a smile to my face, I've used similar braking methods myself as a kid, mine was a drystone wall!

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on October 14, 2019:

Thank you Dora.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 14, 2019:

Lori, good story-telling. I can see why the class is just for fun. Enjoy it while you entertain your readers.

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on October 12, 2019:

Ruby Jean, it is always such a pleasure to hear from you. Thanks for your encouraging words.

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on October 12, 2019:

Billybuc, I have avoided flash fiction for a long time. This class has pushed me. I am a long winded writer and it is very difficult to write short pieces. The most important thing is we write, right?

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on October 12, 2019:

Bill, these are exercises for the class at home. They won't be graded but we can share them if we like. Hope you have a wonderful week with your wife. Happy Anniversary.

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on October 12, 2019:

Dear Pamela, thanks for your encouraging words.

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on October 12, 2019:

Dear Eric, I think kids need to hear more stories like this because it is very plausible. Thanks for stopping by.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on October 12, 2019:

I must say this is an excellent flash fiction, so many events happening and written in a few words. I love to write flash fiction, it's been awhile. BTW I love happy endings. Bravo!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 12, 2019:

I have never written a flash fiction and there's a reason for that....I consider them to be too difficult. You do it well and I admire that.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on October 12, 2019:

Excellent! Excellent! Excellent! I hope your professor thinks the same thing.It's a good thing the car didn't have an alarm. The whole neighborhood would have known. Keep up the good writing, Lieutenant!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 12, 2019:

I liked this story and I thought your description were excellent.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 12, 2019:

FAnastic! I can never be accused of such, except for maybe that time and maybe that time....

This is really good. It is now on Gabe's reading list for many reasons. And it is wrong to say a shed a tear over the story line.

Lori Colbo (author) from United States on October 11, 2019:

Thanks John.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on October 11, 2019:

What a nice story, Lori. I enjoyed it.

Related Articles