Nether Street

My bike disappears into the dark, plummeting with the postman and the dog chasing him. There’s a black hole where the street should be. My new paper route is complicated. I let go at the right time.

Sophie’s house is opposite me. I know her from school. She drinks apple juice from decayed lava lamps.
“Mum says we need to recycle,” she told me once, her teeth tanned with sugar.
“You have it easy though, you can throw it all out of your window and it won’t be seen again.”

Her street owes me a new bike. She’s off-loading training bras out of her bedroom.
“OI!” I yelp.
“What?! I’m too old for them now.” She double takes. “Oh hi! How are you?”
“My bike’s gone.”
“So, today will take you a while.”
“Can I have it back?”
“Ask the government!” She slingshots a frilly, baby-blue breast nest into the void.
“But, I need it today.”
“We’ve wanted new tarmac for years… says Mum. It’s got worse.”
“How do you even get to school?”
She giggles. “I climb along all these buildings. Free running, woo! I want Mr Sanders to add it to the P.E curriculum.”
I look into the swirling street. The bras are drifting down, atoms replaced by nothing. Fibres erase to naked. The postman’s scream didn’t have a chance to materialize. My bike is vanishing with all of our shared years of BMX ramps and WD40, the scuffs and mud slides. I still have scars from the blackberry bush we head butted.
“They won’t disappear…” I mutter to myself.
“Why are you delivering on a Saturday?” Sophie’s voice leaps at me.
“I thought I’d have more time… Take the new route slower, get to know it…”
“Ah. Well, you’ll need a better plan for this street!” She laughs and disappears from the window for a moment. She then springs up and launches a rope made from her remaining training bras. The end lands by my feet at the edge of the curb, before the colour becomes a downward drain. “Do you wanna come up and hang?”
I look at my bag full of papers, at the Mayor’s stupid smiling face on the front page, all pumpkin-grin and fake tanned. I grab the bra-rope. “Why not? It’s recycling right?”
Sophie tugs on the rope and begins pulling me into her room. “I’ll teach you free running. And I bet you can’t wait to see the black hole in my room!”

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