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"Holy cornflakes!" exclaimed Fred. "Andrea, get over here and look at this. Where'd you get that bike?"
Harley gleamed in the light, just begging to be appreciated. "I built him," said Arrowsmith.
Fred's eyes were shining. "Man, that thing looks like he'd eat a tractor trailer for breakfast."
Arrowsmith knew where this was heading, and he wasn't surprised when Fred hauled out a camera. He got onto the bike and posed obligingly for the photo. Then he said goodbye to both of them. Fred and Andrea watched as he started the huge bike, slowly turning it towards the road. He paused to look for anything behind himself coming forward, then pulled out of the little lot.
They hadn't heard the car coming over the roar of Harley's engine. Even if they had, there was no way they could have known it was on the wrong side of the road because of the obscuring cliff wall. It was a large, blue vehicle, and it was there so suddenly there was scarcely any time to react. The driver, upon seeing the motorcycle, didn't go back his own lane. Instead he panicked and tried to go around the bike to avoid hitting it.
Arrowsmith saw what he was doing at the last second and managed to avoid him, but he was forced straight into the path of the truck that the blue car had just passed. There was nowhere to go but forward. The truck just grazed the back tire, but it was enough to fling the bike off of the narrow shoulder of the road.
Fred and Andrea watched in horror as the bike vanished over the cliff. They heard the truck scream to a halt, but the blue car kept going. The driver leapt out of his vehicle and ran to the side of the road where the bike had gone off. He stopped and peereddown, then looked over his shoulder at the couple.
"Did I hit him?"
Andrea crossed the road to stand by the driver. She could only nod. She looked over the edge, down at the writhing force of the river. There was nothing there. Not a scrap of leather, not a glint of gold.
"He must have gone straight into the river," the man said. "In those clothes with that current, he would have been sucked right down." He stared for a moment longer, then ran back to his truck to call the police.
Arrowsmith saw the river appear beneath him, and knew he was going to die. He had absolutely no say in the matter, and as a result, he felt only an odd curiosity. He wondered if he would know he was dead. Then he closed his eyes.
He struck something, but it wasn't water. It wasn't even cold; it was repulsively warm and extremely thick. It caught him gently, and he felt himself begin to sink into it. He clawed and struggled to get out of the mucus, feeling himself beginning to smother in the goo. An overwhelming panic gripped him as he writhed and fought like a netted fish. It was one thing to die suddenly. It was quite another to slowly choke in this strange matter. There seemed to be no escaping it, no matter how hard he fought. He was just sinking further into it. It filled his nose and throat, strangling him. Gradually his struggles slowed. The world became vague, then all went black.
Posted July 1, 2013
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