Short Story: Racing the Pack
Riding our bicycles a quarter mile to our grandparents' house was as far as mom would let us ride unsupervised. Any excuse to pedal my metallic, purple bike with the white banana seat was welcome. The summer days were long and hot, and the heat from the black asphalt radiated upward. The faster we pedaled down the road, the cooler the breeze felt.
"I'll race you!" I called back to my little sister.
We turned the corner from our dirt driveway onto the sweltering country road. We didn't worry about cars. We lived on a dead end road with no houses between our house and our grandparents' house. Our little wood-frame house was the last stop on the road before the circle drive that acted as a make shift cul-de-sac. Dense forest surrounded the sides of the road. We were in the middle of nowhere, and the trees whispered a calming chant as the wind gently swayed them side to side.
I wasn't going to let my baby sister beat me to our grandparents' house. My reputation was at stake, and the audience of birds and insects cheered in unison as we zoomed past. I increased my speed and stood up on the pedals. The beads on my bicycle spokes sounded like an out of tune wind chime playing faster and faster with each turn of the wheel. I looked back over my shoulder and Rachel was closing the gap. As we drew near my grandparents' driveway, the trees gave way to the cleared field on their property. It was hotter there. The tall pines trapped the humidity but provided a little shade along the short journey.
Our destination was cut short. The gate permitting entry to their driveway was locked. That only meant one thing. My grandparents were not home. If we could not retreat to their air conditioned home, then we would return to our house. It was too hot to play outside on the road. We turned our bikes toward home, and my sister and I rode side by side.
Just past the dirt cul-de-sac the tall brush gave out a terrifying sound. Wild dogs were barking, and the sound was getting closer.
Rachel and I pedaled a little faster. Three wild dogs emerged from the thick brush onto the dirt circle. Half way between my sister and I and the dogs was our driveway. The dogs spotted us and began running straight for us. It was a race; a race we had to win. The dogs growled and barked as they ran. They were large and could easily rip us from our bicycles.
I looked at Rachel, and we instantly stood up to pedal as hard as we could. I screamed, "Mama, help!"
Rachel was smaller than me. She couldn't ride as fast. I didn't know whether to go ahead or stay behind with her. I kept looking over my shoulder and then back at the on coming pack of dogs. I pedaled harder urging my sister to go faster. I couldn't defend her against the dogs. We needed mom.
My screams became more panicked, "Mama, help! Wild dogs! Mama! Mama!"
The dogs were getting close to our driveway. We turned in without allowing our feet to stop turning the gears. Rachel was right behind me.
Mom opened the garage door. The dogs charged down the dirt driveway growling ferociously. Rachel pulled in beside me and mom slammed the garage door closed. The dogs slid to a stop just before reaching the door.
We were safe. Mom heard my cries. She knew we didn't have time to get off our bikes and run for the safety awaiting us inside the front door. Mom saved us.
That summer day two little girls out raced a pack of wild dogs.
Do you think this story is based off a true story or not? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the story. Thank you for reading and sharing.