Friday Write alternates with Friday Click & Run and Friday Review to help get Indie authors noticed. All you have to do is add a link to your own short story (up to 2000 words please and nothing too explicit) or a poem. If you do add your story/poem, please read and comment on at least one other.

Below I’ve added my own short story based on observations from a few cycle rides I took around my local area during Lockdown.

The More Things Change, by Stevie Turner.

Twenty five thousand deaths and rising…

Pedal on past dog walkers chatting whilst they observe social distancing. 

The aroma of cut grass is attacked by an easterly wind that knocks my hat off once again just as it always does by the entrance to Cedars Farm; a green tractor in the yard obscured by an ambulance.  Twenty five thousand and one?

Drainage ditches either side of the road are full from a recent downpour.  Swerve left in preparation to avoid the usual pothole. Billy Moore steps back over a stile while I cycle by.

Stand up on the pedals to negotiate a hill over a transverse section of road crossing forty acres of sprouting wheat on one side, and yellow flowers of oil seed rape stretching into the distance on the other.  At the corner of Fletcher Road where it meets the road with no name, Millie’s Café window sports a ‘closed’ sign, whilst empty cycle racks outside tell their own sad story.

Freewheel past the timber yard, and overtake a long line of vans awaiting their turn. Micky Evans guards the gate; one in and one out.  Micky waves, just as he always does. 

Easy ride along the home straight with views to the horizon; no mountains or hills to fence me in. Chiaroscuro along the Avenue of Sycamores.  Another locked-down morning in the Land of Skies.

Twenty six thousand deaths and rising…

Pedal on past the man with seven golden retrievers, each one on a lead.  Dried grass on the road outside Cedars Farm, and a green tractor in the yard with its engine running.  Off comes the hat as an easterly breeze whips around the barn.  Billy Moore kicks grass into the ditches, then steps back onto the verge to let me pass. 

Stand up on the pedals and steer the tyres through puddles from yesterday’s rain. Sun is high in the sky over the forty acres of sprouting wheat on one side and eighty acres of rape on the other.  Millie’s Café is still closed; a new notice ‘Coronavirus: What You Should Know’ in the window in bold red lettering. 

Micky Evans smokes a cigarette and opens the gate.  A lorry piled high with timber trundles out and waits for me to speed past in freewheel mode.  Look Mum, no hands.

I wave to Billy and touch the handlebars on the gravel path, while dappled sunbeams filter through the trees down The Avenue of Sycamores. 

Twenty eight thousand deaths and rising…

One of the golden retrievers slips his lead and runs after me.  Brake and chat to its owner, but keep a safe distance.  No hat to chase in the overcast morning.  Billy Moore shouts out that Lock-down might soon be over and how Micky Evans is now self-isolating. Freewheel past the timber yard, wave to Bob Frost, then down a darkened Avenue of Sycamores to home.  The Land of Skies is now the Land of Clouds.  The more things change, the more they remain the same.