Author: C.G. Lynn
Disclaimer: Original fiction. Mine all mine.
In the garage of the little house in Philadelphia, Andy reached up and pulled his little brother's Schwin from the peg on the wall and set it on the cement floor.
"Thanks," said Brian as he took custody of the candy apple red bicycle. He put the kickstand down and let it stand on its own. Satisfied it wouldn't topple over, he began to put on his protective padding.
"I figured we'd go down to Pennypack, maybe ride down the creek a bit to the old stables," said Andy as he retrieved his own bike, a dark blue ten-speed that had seen some wear.
Stooping down to tie on his kneepads, Brian looked up at his brother with a thoughtful expression. "Do you believe him?" he asked, curious. "Dad, I mean?"
"You know," said Brian, tying on the second kneepad. "About the way things were when he was a kid. About the creek being full of water and how high the grass would get so you had to cut it every day. And crickets and stuff? Do you believe him?"
Andy shrugged. "Sure, why not. I mean, Dad's pretty old."
Brian nodded. "Almost 35, I think. Isn't that what Mom said?"
"Yeah, about that." Even though he'd started to put on his padding a few minutes behind his brother, Andy was almost finished suiting up for their ride. "Who knows," he shrugged. "Maybe it was like that once. That's what all the history books say."
"But do you believe it?"
"Nahhh." Andy paused in what he was doing and reached out to help his brother. "Here, let me get that," he said and adjusted the straps on Brian's oxygen mask. "There ya go!"
"Thanks," Brian's muffled voice came from behind the face shield.
"Right!" said Andy as he put on his own protective helmet, closing the shield and turning on the micro filter. He straddled his bike and reached over to the button for the garage door. "Let's go, runt!"
The boys pedaled their bicycles out into the murky, dust-filled brown air of summer.