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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

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