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September 18 - October 18, 2015

Bicycle Stories

artspace and Richmond Young Writers

Plant Zero Project Space Hallway Galleries

Marceline Habonimana, Age 14
"Raven and Speed the Bike"
illustrated by JARAZ JENKINS

Ravenís mom bought her a bike for her thirteenth birthday. Though Raven hadnít asked for one, so she didnít ride it. Also, she didnít know how to ride, so she lied to her mom and told her that she was having fun. Raven hated lying, so she started practicing how to ride at night. One night, she fell down for the tenth time and bruised her leg. Though in the silence of the night, a voice spoke.
"Dear child," the voice said. "You are too hasty. Riding a bike takes time."
"Whoís there?" Raven asked wiping her tears.
"I am the bicycle you are trying to ride. Here now. Get up."
The voice was so kind. Raven obeyed and stood up. Her kneecaps shone brightly in the moonlight.
"Why can you talk?" Raven asked.
"I just can," the voice said. "Everything in this world has life. But in order to control most things, you need more. I will teach you how to ride. First, give me a name."
"Alright, Miss Raven. Speed shall be my name. Now, hop onto me. Gently and patiently."
"Okay." Raven got onto the bike keeping her balance.
"Very good," the bike said. "I will teach you everything there is to know about riding."
Raven felt a burst of courage now. For the next two months, Raven and Speed practiced biking. When they felt that they were done, Raven realized how precious now Speed was to her. He was her friend.
"Raven," her mom said one day. "Iím going to give your bike to someone else. Since you canít ride."
"What!?" Raven shrieked. "Mom! No!"
"You canít keep a bike that you donít know how to ride, dear," her mom said. "Itís better to give it to someone who can."
"No! I absolutely do not approve!"
"Mom, Speed is my bike. I can ride the bike. I really can. He taught me so much. Heís my friend!"
"Raven, the bike doesnít have a soul," her mom said. "You donít know how to ride a bike. Itís better to give it to someone who can."
"I can too ride a bike! Speed taught me!"
"If you can, show me that you can. I will then let you. But dear, the bike isnít a person!"
And so, that afternoon, Raven and her mom brought out their bikes to the driveway.
"Alright. Show me dear."
Raven did what Speed had told her. At first, she failed and fell off. She felt like crying. If she could ride Speed, she could keep him. If she couldnítÖ she teared up as she got back onto the bike.
"Raven, thatís enough. Please stop."
"No!" Raven screamed. She started crying. She stared a the bike. She had to do it.
Then she remembered Speedís words: "Be calm. Do not force it. Be steady."
She sighed and calmed herself. She then placed a foot on the pedal and pushed the bike forwards. Ravenís face broke into a huge excited grin.
"Congratulations, Miss Raven." Raven continued to smile.
When she got back, her mom smiled and nodded. Ravenís bike was hers to keep.
"I did it, Speed!"
"Yeah. You did."
Ravenís mom smiled and left. Raven continued to ride Speed. Speed suggested traveling through time.
"Okay," Raven said.

"Raven, weíll be together forever, right?"
"Of course." Together, Raven and Speed won many awards and stayed best riding partners.

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