Big Wheel

         Tommy grabbed the PB&J, Cheeto’s Cheese Puffs, and juice box his mother packed for him and ran outside to his Big Wheel sitting in the driveway.  He stuffed his snacks into the lunchbox on the back of his Big Wheel, jumped on and started peddling down the driveway as fast as he could.  The streamers waved goodbye, as he pumped his little legs as hard as possible.

         When he got to the end of the driveway, he turned onto the sidewalk and paused.  Today was the day. 

         Tommy looked ahead to the corner of the block.  There was a long row of tall hedges that ran perpendicular to the sidewalk.  The hedges towered taller than his father, and he had never seen the other side.  Every time he rode his Big Wheel down the sidewalk, he would always stop a few feet before the row and quickly turn around peddle the other away.  Tommy was positive dinosaurs lived on the other side of the hedgerow, and that they ate little kids for breakfast.  Today, he was going to be brave enough to find out.

         Tommy began peddling his Big Wheel down the sidewalk.  A rod-iron fence lined the sidewalk, creating a frame-by-frame effect as he swiftly rode along beside it.  Tommy looked through the fence and at his house in the background.  He could see his mother through the living room window, enjoying tea with one of her friends.  If I don’t make it back mom, please…please, don’t give my toys to my little brother!

         Tommy brought his gaze back to the end of the sidewalk – where the dinosaurs roamed, his heart racing faster than his Big Wheel with anticipation of being eaten alive.  The space between, growing smaller, and smaller and smaller.

         He passed his normal spot where he usually turned his Big Wheel around.  Let’s do this!  he thought to himself.   Tommy tightened the grip on his handlebars, leaned forward, his face flush with determination, his little legs pumping wildly.  20 feet, 15 feet, 10 feet, the other side was fast approaching!

          Right at the last moment, Tommy locked up the front wheel!  His Big Wheel slid to a stop right before the hedgerow, leaving a long, black, skid mark on the sidewalk.

         Tommy sat there.  His heart pumping loudly in his chest.  He thought about his mom, his dad, and his little brother.  This could be the last time they ever saw him again.  He thought about the lunch his mom packed him.  Shoot!  I didn’t have the chance to eat my last meal.  He continued sitting there in contemplation when a car horn startled him out of his frozen state of mind.  He looked over at the car driving by.  It was the neighbors, his friend Billy sat in the back seat with a huge grin on his face, giving Tommy the bird.  Yeah, F’ you too, you little turd, Tommy thought as he waved back to them.

         Tommy turned back around, staring at the hedgerow and what lies beyond it.  He took in a deep breath.  Here goes nothing.  Tommy slowly started peddling his Big Wheel forward, inch by inch, until he finally crossed the threshold to the other side. 

         He sat there, looking forward, frozen.  He gathered up all the courage he had and looked down the hedgerow.

         Holy shit!

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