Friday Fictioneers: the curious incident of the bicycle in the woods

Friday Fictioneers 7/19/2013

Writing a short piece in only 100 words is always challenging, and although no one minds that you go over or under by a word or two, I find that I do.

So thank you Rochelle for pushing us each week to crank up our creativity and get something written.  I enjoy the challenge, and even though I can’t always get a story to come out of the prompts, I nevertheless enjoy everyone else’s contributions!

This weeks challenge photo is from Anelephantcant

anelephantcantCopyright –Anelephantcant

Maren leaned her bicycle against the tree in front of the police station.   Earlier, she’d found a rusted, two-wheeler almost completely swallowed by a large tree.  Her imagination in overdrive, she’d wondered how the child’s bike got so far into the woods, how many years had it been there, and what had happened to the poor child?  Imagining foul play she went inside to make a report.

Thirty years previous…

Eric propped the bike against the tree, wondering,  “How long will it take for the tree to swallow it?

Then, as children often do, he forgot about his experiment.

Story:  exactly 100 words

Additional inspiration sparked from this photograph.  😉

49 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: the curious incident of the bicycle in the woods

  1. barbsburnttree says:

    I would like to apologize if I have reblogged any of your articles without permission….I’m new to blogging and not much of a writer and I thought that it was a compliment to the author to reblog a well written story..I wasn’t aware that I needed to ask permission. Sorry.

    • Lynda says:

      I used to think that too, until I realized that a couple of the bloggers, who were reblogging me regularly, never wrote a single post of their own.

      Then I wondered why they had a blog at all if everything on their site was someone else’s work. What was their point? 😉

      To be honest, I also found out the hard way that many people consider their work proprietary and don’t want it spread about without their permission. I understood their point and took it down immediately. I rarely share a reblog of anyone’s work now, unless it applies to me personally, and then only when I have received their permission.

      Barb, thank you for your comment, and for respecting my notice in the sideline! I wish everyone would be so kind. 🙂

      • barbsburnttree says:

        You are welcome Lynda and I do respect your viewpoint….it makes perfect sense. My goal is to write more posts in the future…I wanted to give myself some time to get a feel for what blogging is all about and what kinds of things people share…I am really GREEN! Thanks for your reply Linda…I appreciate it.


  2. Kathee says:

    When I was little my dance teacher and her husband planted a tree in front of their studio and left a garden glove where the young trunk branched off. I still remember seeing the fingers from that glove poking out from that tree years later after it had started to swallow the glove.

    About reblogging, is that the same as sharing a link to your blog so people can find you? I’ve done that a couple times. Oops. Also, did you get the lollipops we sent you for the 4th of July?

    • Lynda says:

      I have often seen things that were left to be swallowed by a tree, and sadly, it is most often the wire they used to hold the tree up! Growing trees are so malleable in growth, and yet so sturdy you would never imagine them able to engulf and swallow an inanimate object, be it boulders, curbs, or in this case a young boy’s bicycle!

      Kathee, reblogging is taking someone else’s post and posting it part and parcel (so to speak) to your own blog page. WordPress has a key in the header of our pages which allows you to do this. WordPress at least had the decency to make the post link back to the original author, and it says “Reblogged from ___ ” at the beginning. However, there are some people out there who never write an original word of their own and simply paste everything they find to their own blog page, thus leaving many of us to ask:

      What is your point?

      That was the long answer to “No leaving your link so others can find you is not the same thing.” I feel very strongly about this topic, yes? 😉

      • Lynda says:

        Kathee, I forgot to answer your other question, sorry! I thought I had sent you a message on FB thanking you for the candies. Or maybe I was thinking about it so hard that I imagined I had already done it. Embarrassing! So, with no further adieu, Thank you!

        BTW, Tucker would have liked to have been thanking you too, but we caught him before he had chewed through the cardboard box!!! 😯

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you Gabriella! In real life that innocent experiment would have taken 50 years to realize, and I believe that Eric would have given up long before that. 😉

  3. shoreacres says:

    Perspective is everything, isn’t it? We’re always interpreting what we see around us. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we don’t. And sometimes, there’s no way for anyone to figure out who left the bike by the tree, or why!

    Now, for a real grin, take a look at this! I never would have imagined!

    • Lynda says:

      You are correct, Linda! There are actually several tales on the internet regarding the picture I linked to. Only one of them do I believe to be true as it was in the Vashon Island’s local paper. Basically, the bike had been donated (along with many other needed items) after a fire took everything. The young boy left the bike in the woods because it was a girls bike and he was embarrassed to be seen riding it. 😉

    • Lynda says:

      I’m glad you and many others have liked it so well, Diana. The funny thing is that I really didn’t think it was all so good when I hit the post key. Now I am glad that I did! Thank you!

    • Lynda says:

      Lori, it is a sickness this perfection of mine. As for the picture prompts, well, I am not always successful. With some of them my mind becomes a desert and the only thing that comes through are tumbleweeds and dust. 😉

  4. wildninja says:

    That’s so funny that you just mentioned this. I just had a relative spend some time on nearby Vashon Island and they told me about a bike that a tree had grown through like this. The bike is way up in the tree now. Have you ever been to Vashon Island?!! (WA)

    • Lynda says:

      Hello Wildninja! No, I haven’t ever been there. I had seen the photograph a few years back and it just popped into my mind when I saw Anelephantcant’s picture. 🙂

  5. Helena Hann-Basquiat says:

    Clever tale, well written. I see you are another stickler for the 100 words rule. It’s not easy — that’s why it’s a challenge!

    • Lynda says:

      And the challenge is what keeps my interest! Thank you, Helena.

      BTW, I have seen you around for months now and finally caught on to your moniker’s meaning. Very clever!

  6. sustainabilitea says:

    Lynda, lots of us start with one story in mind and find we’ve written something altogether different. That’s part of what makes it enjoyable. I like the 100-word limit (which I also stick to each week) because it means I have to choose words carefully and use them just right, not that I always succeed, but it’s a great goal. I enjoyed your story and your title as well.

    As for reblogging, I’ve had a few posts reblogged, which I took as a compliment, but asking permission would be better. Along the same lines, I reblogged (my first reblog and with permission), a post I think you’d really enjoy and identify with. It’s here if you want to take a look: Sometimes there no point in rewriting something already well-written. The internet has made it much to easy to grab all sorts of things that belong to someone else and never ask or give attribution.


    • Lynda says:

      Yes, being concise is the challenge of telling a story in only 100 words. It certainly does keep you focused on the essence of what you are trying to convey in your writing.

      So you know Lisa too! She is a wonderful person and I really enjoy her work.

      In the end, it is about respect. We all come to the internet for many reasons, the main one being to share what we know, and who, or what we are about. We share because we like to. I suppose a more tangible way to think about it would be to imagine your friend asking to borrow something precious from you. If they ask, you will more than likely say, “Sure!”

      However, if they don’t ask and just take the item then they are no longer a friend. They have simply crossed the line of propriety.

      LOL, this reminded me of a time when I was very small and was visiting an aunt I had never met before. On her dining room table she had a huge bowl of fruit and I took a banana and began eating it. She came around the corner and found me. I looked at her, held the half eaten banana up and said, “Can I have this?” Her icy reply was, “You might as well, as you have already eaten most of it!” Even at that young age her sarcasm was not lost on me. 😉

      I agree with you, Janet, that it is a compliment, but as you also said, it is always best to ask first.

  7. LB says:

    Lynda, I loved this. It made me think, and it also took me from childhood whimsy (how long will it take for the tree to swallow the bike) to adult worry (what foul play became of this child). Nicely done!
    I took a photo of a tree in a state park that had grown around the large cable wire used to demarcate the parking lot. In a State Park!!! Ugh! (If I knew how to add links to photos, I’d share it but alas …).

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you for visiting and for your comments, Troy.

      Eric was just that kind of a child. He was always wondering about the answers to life, the universe and everything. By his 17th birthday he was already showing the early signs of schizophrenia, and as an adult his paranoia had alienated him from everyone who loved him.

      In a kinder version of his life I would like to think that, yes, he would have remembered, gone back and been amazed by what he saw.

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