A Bike For All Ages

In the town of Panville, there lived a young boy named Skylar.  He was no ordinary boy…he was a PAPERBOY!

You’re thinking, “What’s so great about that?!”  Well, it’s not the fact that he was a paperboy that was so amazing, but HOW he delivered the newspapers.

The whole neighborhood would watch and wait for Skylar to ride by on his “Commodore” bike.

You could tell the bike was old. Rust spots here and there, chipped paint, dings and dents were the things that gave Commodore character.  And when Skylar rode it, they moved as one.  It was pure magic.

Skylar could do things on his bike that others only dreamed of.  He was able to jump over tall fences, spin in mid-air and move around obstacles with ease.  When delivering newspapers, people would watch and be amazed at his spectacular riding performance.

The people on his route would always marvel at his feats.

Mrs. Smith enjoyed when Skylar hopped on one wheel over her rose garden and throw the paper right on her doorstep.

Mr. Payne clapped loudly whenever Skylar did a somersault over his fish pond and handed him the paper.

Little Suzie would cheer every time Skylar soared over her like a bird.

There was nothing that Skylar and his Commodore bike couldn’t do.

One day while on his route, he noticed a new family moving into his neighborhood.  As the people unloaded their things, he saw a boy off to the side unpacking a long rectangular box with the name Quicksilver on it.

This caught Skylar’s attention, so he continued to watch the boy.

Out of the box came a shiny silver bike.  The boy hopped on it and took off down the street.  He whizzed by Skylar so fast that he was almost a blur.  Skylar was truly impressed.

A few seconds later, the boy returned and skidded to a stop next to Skylar.

“Hi, I’m Frankie.  What’s yours?” said the new boy.

“Skylar.”

Skylar stared at Frankie’s Quicksilver and then looked at his Commodore bike; he felt embarrassed.

Frankie asked “Hey, wanna race?”

Knowing how fast Frankie could ride, Skylar declined.

“Then how’s about we play follow the leader?” said Frankie.

Skylar thought that was something he could easily do.  “Sure why not” he replied.

“Great, I’ll go first.  Follow me” said Frankie.

The two boys took off with Frankie in the lead.

Up one street, down another.  Around one block, then another and another.  Skylar pedaled hard and fast but was not able to keep up with Frankie’s Quicksilver.

Frankie was so far ahead that Skylar simply gave up.

Skylar looked at his Commodore, “Why can’t you be fast like that!  You’re old, I need a new bike.  Maybe a new one like Quicksilver.”  With that, he rode home.

Bright and early the next morning, Skylar leaped out of bed and made dash for his piggy bank.  Just then, Skylar’s mom popped her head into his room, “What’re you doing?”

“I’m going to buy a new bike.”

“What’s wrong with the one you have now?” asked his mom.

Skylar answered firmly, “It’s not a Quicksilver.”

“Do you have enough saved up?” asked his mom.

“YES!” Skylar exclaimed.

“Okay then, I’ll take you down to the bike shop.”

“Thanks” said Skylar who was busy counting his money.

A few hours later, Skylar came down the street on his brand new Quicksilver.  He saw Frankie and rode up to him.

“Hey, you got a bike just like mine” said Frankie.

“Yeah, isn’t that great!  Now I can go just as fast as you.  Wanna play follow the leader?” Skylar said in eagerness.

“Sure” responded Frankie.

“Okay, but this time…I’ll lead” Skylar extolled.

The two boys took off down the street and up another.  Around one block, then another and another.

Skylar could not believe the speed of Quicksilver.  He was truly excited.  After a fun-filled day of follow the leader, Skylar went home.

He pulled into his garage and parked Quicksilver next to Commodore.  He patted Quicksilver’s seat and said, “Boy, I’m glad I got you.  You’re fast, can’t wait to use you on my route tomorrow.”

As night fell, the two bikes came alive.

Commodore moved closer to Quicksilver.  “Hi I’m Commodore, what’s your name?”

Quicksilver moved away and answered in a fast paced tone.  “Be careful…vroom, vroom, vroom…I don’t want any dirt on my new paint.”

“You sure move fast” Commodore noted.

“You bet…vroom, vroom, vroom.”

“Guess that’s why Skylar likes you.  Can you do any tricks?” inquired Commodore.

“Who needs to do trick when you can move like me…vroom, vroom, vroom said Quicksilver.

“I guess you’ll be able to help Skylar finish his paper route in no time.  No wonder he wanted you” Commodore said in a sad tone.

“Yep…vroom, vroom, vroom…I was built for speed.  Now if you don’t mind I need my rest so I can have energy to go fast tomorrow.”

“Oh okay.  Good night” and with that a depressed Commodore moved back to his spot.

The next day came and Skylar burst into the garage with a bag full of newspapers.  He carefully got onto Quicksilver, making sure not to scratch the paint.

“All right, I’ll finish my route in no time.  This’ll be great!”

With that, off he went.  VROOM, VROOM, VROOM, SWOOSH.  Wind blowing in his face, hair flapping wildly about.  Skylar liked the feeling of going fast.

The neighborhood knew it was time and waited anxiously for Skylar’s arrival.

SWOOSH! Skylar came charging down the street and readied the papers for his neighbors.  Along the way, he noticed something different but couldn’t quite figure out what it was.

As he approached Mrs. Smith’s house, he tried to leap over her rose garden but Quicksilver would not budge.

CRUNCH!  Quicksilver travelled so fast that it flattened Mrs. Smith’s rose garden and caused Skylar to send her newspaper crashing through her window.

Mrs. Smith was shocked, “OH NO! MY PRECIOUS FLOWERS!”

Skylar was moving so fast that he could not stop to apologize.

He sped onto his next destination: Mr. Payne.

Vroom, vroom, vroom” was the only sound coming from Quicksilver.

“Something’s wrong” noted Skylar as he drew closer to Mr. Payne’s fish pond.

“Time to do our somersault over the fish pond” thought Skylar, “Don’t mess up.”

No good.  SPLASH! Skylar and Quicksilver went through the fish pond, dowsing Mr. Payne with water and hitting him in the head with the paper in the process.

Mr. Payne rubbed his bruised head and in shock ran towards his pond, “OH NO! MY POOR FISH!”

Skylar was too far away and moving way too fast to say sorry.

Skylar soon thought to himself, “This is not going well.  I’d better stop and walk the rest of my route before I wreck something else.”

He applied the brakes but Quicksilver would not stop.  He tried again and again and again but nothing happened.  It’s as if Quicksilver had a mind of its own.

“Why won’t you stop?!” wondered Skylar.

The only sound coming from Quicksilver was “Vroom, vroom, vroom!”

Skylar and Quicksilver sped down the street and was soon coming upon little Suzie’s house.

Suzie was waving at Skylar in total excitement, “Yea, Skylar’s coming! Yea!”

“Holy cow!” exclaimed a worried Skylar.  He frantically pressed on the brake REAL HARD but nothing happened.

Quicksilver raced towards little Suzie.

Vroom, vroom, vroom!”

He motioned to Suzie and yelled “GET OUT OF THE WAY!” but she was too busy cheering to hear.  She was in real danger.

As he fast approached little Suzie, Skylar needed to take action.  His eyes scanned the area for an answer to his problem.

“THAT’S IT!” Skylar barely managed to avoid hitting little Suzie by veering into a small stone wall.

VROOM, VROOM, VROOM!”

As the wall fast approached, Skylar held onto the bike’s handle bars and propped his on the seat.  He readied himself for impact.

“Get ready, five…four…three…two…one…” he leaped off.  KA-BLAM! Quicksilver crashed into the wall as Skylar soared into the air like a bird.

KER-PLASH! He landed square into a neighbor’s swimming pool.

Little Suzie ran and peered over the wall, “WOW, THAT WAS NEAT!  DO IT AGAIN!  DO IT AGAIN!”

“No thanks, once was enough for me” sighed a drenched Skylar.  He hopped over the wall and took in the sight of his once brand new Quicksilver bike.

Pieces of it lay all over.  One tire here, another tire there, handle bar bent, pedals broken off, bike chain lodged in crack of the wall and seat hanging on a nearby shrub.

In the middle of all this mess, lay a scratched up and warped frame.

Skylar shakes his head and gathers up what was once Quicksilver.  He trudges back home.

“What a day, I’m beat.”  Tired from a long day of chaos, Skylar tosses Quicksilver’s parts into the garage next to Commodore and goes into the house.

Commodore beheld this sight “OH NO, WHAT HAPPENED?!”

“I just wanted to go fast but Skylar wanted me to do things that I didn’t want to do.  Like hop over a garden or somersault in the air or even jump high up” said a weary Quicksilver.

“I wasn’t meant to do that” Quicksilver said.

“But those are some of the best things and most exciting things to do” replied Commodore.

“Not for me it isn’t” said Quicksilver, “my biking days are through, I had enough excitement for one day.”

The next day came and Skylar appeared in the garage with his sack of newspapers.  He took a moment to look at what was left of Quicksilver.

“Man, I only had you for a day and now you’re all busted and broken.  I could go fast with you but I don’t know why I couldn’t do anything else.  Where’s the fun in that?!”

Skylar then took a long hard look at Commodore.  “I had you for years and years and was able to do a lot of tricks.  You made my paper route fun.  I knew what I could do with you, guess I should’ve stuck with you all along.  I’ll never make that same mistake again.”

And with that, Skylar and Commodore ventured out of the garage ready to perform their acrobatic routine for the neighbors once again.

If you can say it, then you can write it

There’s this misconception amongst some people that they’re not good writers; that they can’t write at all.  They feel that in order to be a skilled scribe, their vocabulary must rival that of a person with an I.Q. of 130 or above.

 These people feel that they can’t string together the correct words and phrases to convey their thoughts, ideas, instructions, stories or feelings.  These individuals see writers as a special breed of people that sequester themselves to a room and sit in front of a typewriter or computer for days on end frenziedly pounding on the keys of their devices creating their masterpiece.

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 I, for one, felt that way; I perceived writers as these “gifted beings” that could poignantly craft a sentence, paragraph or story into a work of art.  Their use of words and grammar were flawless; it’s as if everything they inscribed on paper immediately became canon.

 Every time I had to write a paper for school, I’d have anxiety because I was cognizant of the fact that I was NOT one of these “gifted beings” that could put my words into writing and effectively communicate my thoughts.

 These shortcomings, and the fact that I dreamed of being a writer, drove me to improve myself in both words and sentence structures.  I was obligated to become a master of my craft and not do a disservice to writers all over the world.

I enrolled in many writing classes, read many books, wrote many things ranging from short stories, children stories, poems, screenplays, business writing and reports.  I voraciously wrote every day and even composed sentences in my head to sharpen my skills.

In all those years of writing I found one thing to be true…all of our writing, words, feelings, stories and ideas come from within. 

 Storytellers of old used to pass down their history, urban legends or culture orally from one generation to the next.  One day someone had the solution to record them on paper; that paper soon was passed on and improved on by later generations.

 Now if they could communicate effectively to another, they could surely write it down.  The whole point of writing is basically recording down on paper what’s inside of us.  If we could tell another person our idea then we could surely write it exactly as how we expressed it.

 One’s writing doesn’t have to be eloquent with long words and grammatically correct, it just needs to get our point across to the reader.  When we tell our story or idea, whether it be in a sentence, paragraph, page, or novel, as long as we’re able to get across what we need to say then we’ve accomplished what writing is all about. 

 If you have to compose a letter, report or story or dream of becoming a writer just always remember that it doesn’t take much.  Just remind yourself of the fact that “if you can say it, then you can write it.”  Speak out loud and then just write down what you’ve said on paper…that’s it.  You’ve just take the first steps to writing.

 Forget all that hogwash about long words and correct grammar; you’ll become efficient in that over time.  You just need to WRITE!  The whole point of writing is expressing yourself through your OWN choice of words; you’ll eventually develop a composition style that’s uniquely you.

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 We all talk, we do it every day.  It’s something that is inherently in us.  So go forth and write to your heart’s content.  AND remember…you don’t need a high I.Q. or a vast vocabulary to write; as long as you can speak your thoughts then you can surely write it.

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