THE BICYCLE GHOSTS

This is a tale that should begin – once upon a time.  For this is a tale of mystery, magic and the unknown.

It was the bewitching hour.  Not quite day.  Not quite night.   Walking our country road I caught a glimpse of something lying on the verge.  A worn, sad looking bicycle.  Cast aside to rust away into the past.  I picked it up and carried it home

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Painted white and graced with a chic seat cover I imagined myself sailing down the road on the way to a great adventure.  But no matter how I tried I could not get the wheels to move or the brakes to unlock.

 Late that night when the moon was a silver thought high in the sky I heard the sound of bicycle wheels moving swiftly down the driveway and disappearing into the dark.  Morning came and the wayward bicycle was back outside my window.

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In the basket I found a neatly folded Paris newspaper.  The date October 31, 1939.   That night I again heard the whisper of wheels fading into the night. In the morning my mysterious bicycle was again outside the window.

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There was a rose in the basket.  It’s petals still fragrant and fresh with dew.  Beside the rose a ticket to the Louvre.  Two people had met.   Admiring the same painting.  Then lingering long –  reluctant to part.  He had given her a rose.

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And so it went.  Night after night there would be a whisper of wheels and each morning the bicycle would return and I would find  something from the past in my basket.

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A wine stained menu.  Hands reaching across the table.  Fingers touching.  Heads close together sharing whispered  thoughts and future secrets.

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She read to him from small, leather bound books found in old bookstores .  He loved the sound of her voice.    She would read until the darkness closed the words and disappeared into the night.

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Around her slender neck he fastened the velvet ribbon with a tiny cameo. A remembrance of a rainy day spent exploring the flea markets.

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 They listened to the medieval tale of tragic love as the music of Tristen and Isolde filled the Palis Garnier.    They lived in the moment.  They did not talk about the future.  They did not talk about the war.

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The morning I found the glasses and the empty wine bottle there was an air of finality about the contents of the basket.

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The next day a faded blue silk rose was fastened to the bicycle.  I knew the story was ending.

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There was a scrap of paper in the bottom of the basket. I read the words.

Au revoir mon ami.

Au revoir mon ami.

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Writers note:  Dear friends, There is a back story to this blog. The lovers really existed.  I was fortunate to have met them and asked that vital question “what did you do during the war?”.  You’ll find bits of their story in the comment section.

THE MAGIC BICYCLE

 

Twilight.

Not quite night.  Not quite day.

A time for magic.

The last light caught the gleam of handlebars.

A bicycle tossed away.

 

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Painted white, adorned with flowers and tassels,  it stands outside my bedroom window.

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I rode it once.

Only the once.

Now  the wheels refuse to move.

Late that night when the moon was a silver goblet I heard the sound of bicycle wheels spinning swiftly down the drive-way.

 

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Morning.

I discovered it had returned.

An old newspaper lay discarded in the basket.

Perfumed with the aroma of coffee and croissants.

The following night the sound of wheels slipping away into the darkness awoke me.

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In the morning the basket contained a rose and a discarded ticket.

They had met at the Louvre.

He had given her a rose.

And, so it went.

Night after the whisper of wheels.

Each morning I would find a remembrance  in the basket.

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An envelope used to scratch a note.

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A crumpled menu.

Hands reaching across the table.

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She read to him until the darkness closed the words.

 

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Around her neck he fastened the velvet ribbon.

Her face as lovely as the cameo she wore.

 

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The music – their glorious music of  love.

Tristan and Isolde  – a medieval romantic tale of  love – tragic love.

 

 

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This morning a blue rose was fastened to the white bicycle.

An empty bottle of wine and two glasses filled the basket.

 

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That night I had a dream

Of two people in love.

In the morning the basket held a   scrap of paper with four words.

Au revoir mon ami.

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Attached to note was a tiny heart.

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When I turned to look the bicycle was gone.