The 1st WillCycle Community Story

This will be a community-written story, and we will have 31 days to complete it. Here’s how it works: I’ve written a short bit, to get the story started. YOUR job is to write the next part of the story, and add that as a comment. At the end of each day, or possibly very early the next morning, I will select my favourite continuation from the comments, and paste it below (I won’t be publishing the comments themselves). You are then free to write another continuation, and add that as a comment. You can write as much, or as little as you feel like, and you can contribute daily, or even multiple times per day. Unless you explicitly ask me to keep your contribution anonymous, I will credit you openly in the story, so please tell me what name you’d like me to use for that?

Please keep it sensible? No talking Jaffa cakes, and no extreme content of any kind. Oh, and we’re writing a short story, not a script for a porn film. Remember, I’ve no idea of the ages of people visiting my site, so let’s keep this child-friendly. The snippet I wrote starts off fairly serious. It doesn’t have to remain that way, and from here on it can become a comedy, a love story, a murder mystery, a horror, or a combination of all that and more. It’s entirely up to you! Surprises are fine, but please keep it relevant. As Monty Python said, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, but given that this story patently obviously is NOT set during the time of the Spanish Inquisition, unless you’re referring to people dressed for a fancy-dress party, nobody will expect the Spanish Inquisition in this story, which has a working title of Killer Hill.
Happy writing!!


Killer  Hill

Kathy (with a K, she’s quick to tell you) was labouring up the hill, her breath coming fast, in ragged gulps, as her muscles were screaming for more oxygen. “Bastard hill, I will conquer you!” she gasped between gritted teeth. Kathy didn’t need reminding that it isn’t a particularly steep, or big hill, though up till now it’s proven to be her nemesis. She certainly didn’t need the shouts of “Lard-ass!”, plus some more unintelligible words that came from the mouth of a passenger in a van that passed her earlier, nor did the roadie who absolutely hammered it past her, up that same hill, do her any favours. Still, her determination remains: she will manage to cycle up what she’s come to think of as “Killer Hill” without stopping once.

Cycling’s been a godsend to her really, ever since her life imploded, leaving her on her own. Oh sure, she (and all her friends) have said the usual “better off without the cheating bastard” phrases, but there’s a huge difference between saying that, and the hurt going away. At the time, she felt utterly rejected, and basically her coping strategy boiled down to comfort-eating, or doing something different. Kathy’s always turned to comfort eating, and when Rog told that she was now free to comfort-eat all she wanted to, it cut her deep. It also made her determined to not comfort eat, and when a friend offered her a bicycle, she jumped at the chance. Now, she was using that hurt in her leg muscles to slowly overcome the hurt in her heart, and it seemed to be working. It certainly was something different!

Just then, a voice shook here from here reverie: “Kathy? Kathy, it’s you! How are you?” She looked up to see

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(story continued from here by Betsy Gamerat)

Milo – of Phantom Tollbooth fame – reading on the shoulder, his green bike standing nearby.

Kathy didn’t need a shoulder to cry on, she finished crying ages ago and was looking forward. She was glad to see Milo, who she last saw at the Pub Library. As you might expect, the Pub Library is a welcoming place where people can share books and beverages. Kathy and Milo enjoyed reading and chatting of adventures.

“Milo! How nice to see you!” Kathy replied, “are you okay?” “Oh yes, it’s a flat road” answered Milo.

Kathy, perplexed, asked, “what?” Milo put the book down and pointed at the front wheel. “It’s a flat road, the tire is flat.”

Kathy rolled her eyes and said, “don’t you have any patches, tubes or tools?”

Gleefully seizing the pun, Milo responded, “to be or not to be”, then sheepishly continued, “no, I only have a picnic, would you like a sandwich?”

(story continued by Gazza_d)
Once Milo and Katie had eaten the sandwiches, Milo surprised Kathy by whipping out his box of Jaffa cakes.
Kathy’s eyes widened as she stared at Milo’s bounty. ‘ Oh let me feast on your magnificent present’ she said whilst drooling”
Once Milo and Kathy had demolished the pile of delicious Jaffa cakes thoughts turned to the punctured tyre.
Luckily Kathy had a spare inner tube and a pump. Milo was able to prise open the very tight QR lever.
“They’re not wheel nuts Kathy” explained Milo, “this type of lever only need to be tight enough for some slight resistance as you close it.”
Once the wheel was out, Milo sighed with relief as he realised it wasn’t a damn Schwalbe Marathon Plus, and he was able to remove it using a couple of fifty pence coins.

(story continued by NickyA)
“I’m quite aware they’re not wheelnuts” muttered Kathy under her breathe. The ire at being mansplained by a bloke who hadn’t got a spare tube, or a puncture kit being only slightly mitigated by having a belly full of Jaffa Cakes.

But then she watched in disbelief at he took chunks out of his rims with coins… Apparently her tyre levers were the wrong sort. Biting her tongue she did her best to smile sweetly and offered him a pump as he didn’t have one of those either…

After 5 minutes of watching him struggle she couldn’t take it any longer and said ‘Let me’ in the tone of voice you didn’t mess with. Milo looked sheepish again and handed the pump over…
All those sessions in the gym pumping iron and hitting punch bags whilst imagining Roger the Dodgers face had paid off. She had muscles like Popeye unlike Milo whose arms looked like anaemic pipe cleaners.

Milo gulped and said…

(story continued by Bernie)
you’d put that Crumlin chap into the middle of next week with those muscles. But seeing the look of disgust on Kathy’s face he gathered up his bike. Swinging his leg over the crossbar he cycled off muttering to himself “You blasted darned idiot, you’ve dug a hole as large as your grave and let your mouth bury you”. Kathy was left on the side of the road staring at his broad back wondering how a man his build had little or no muscles. Sure it’s as her Da predicted that, if she kept doing what was considered to be man’s work by his generation, she’d end up embarrassing a man by her strength. Feck it why couldn’t she have the best of both worlds strength without the hefty muscles. She cycled away laughing to herself loudly. So loud that she scattered the rooks from their nests.

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(story continued by AlWinner)

Milo was ahead of her and she knew she could catch him, but a path to the right caught her eye and Kathy decided to abandon her summit attempt and discover a road she’d never used before. The road had more potholes than the craters on the moon, but she wasn’t in a hurry and the gradient was slightly downhill allowing her legs to rest while she steered along the smoothest sections of road. She rejoiced at the view as the sun broke through the clouds highlighting some of the landscape in the valley below.

She could see farms with sheep in the fields, acres of barley or wheat and on the horizon, twenty or thirty wind turbines spun in the breeze. Kathy slowed at a gate and stopped to photograph the scene.

“What are you doing here?” said a voice before she realised there was a camouflaged man behind the hedge, “didn’t you see the sign? This is private property!”

(story continued by Tony)
She looked on, puzzled, as the chap struggled out of his bivvy bag.
“Can’t even get any peace when you’re trespassing these days!” he grinned “cuppa?”
Despite regarding herself as the sort of person who took whatever opportunities life offered her, and an excellent cup of tea, it was some time before Kathy relaxed, and could properly listen to Justin. After all, the man was sleeping in bushes in the middle of the day.
“It’s the most free you’ll ever be. You know how you feel on a long ride, around the middle, when you can’t be back quickly no matter what you do, so you lean in? I’ve got two weeks of that”
He was a nice guy, a bit small and grizzled, but a welcome change of pace after Milo, and there was a lovely atmosphere. His eyes stayed on hers, and he sat back relaxed, listening, just enjoying a bit of company on his trip. They chatted as he rolled up his sleeping bag and bivvy and stashed them in his panniers, followed by the stove and mugs, and only winced a bit as he swigged the last of the UHT straight from the bottle.
“tastes of beach holidays” he said, apologetically as he caught her eye “sorry, I get used to my own company. Jaffa Cake? I’ve got to get through Andover today”

(story continued again by Betsy Gamrat)

Kathy accepted the Jaffa Cake gratefully, it was just the snack she needed. Rog had also accused her of overtaking everything, so she decided that riding to Andover with Justin sounded like a great idea. The path they were on was ideal for cycling. There were no motor vehicles, it was smooth and the views were beautiful. She and Justin settled in to a comfortable pace, riding quietly. Soon they approached a charming village, and Kathy realized she was was very hungry.

“Shall we stop for food? I’m starved”, she asked. Justin, startled out of deep thoughts, paused before answering, “I suppose, where?”

They approached a nice place on the right, with tables outside and space to secure the bikes. They both went in and ordered, each emerging with a nice meal and beverage. Justin and Kathy were smiling, they had enjoyed the ride, were looking forward to their food and basking in the warm sun. Justin explained he quit a lucrative job in IT because it was mind-numbingly boring. He was rough camping for a month before opening a bike and breakfast. It’s like a bed and breakfast, except focused on people touring on bikes. The lease was signed, furniture and supplies procured, staff chosen and training underway by his trusted business partner Will (of WillCycles).

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As they were eating, Kathy was startled to see Roger stroll past their table.

(story continued by me)
Stumped at first, her instinct was to hide away, and pretend she didn’t see him. Fortunately, Roger either hadn’t seen her, or was pretending that he hadn’t. Justin must’ve noticed her discomfort, as he asked if she was feeling alright. It was a make-or-break moment, Kathy knew, and she deliberately chose to behave in a manner that was different to what she would normally behave. In this case, it meant to be upfront and honest with Justin.

“That’s my ex who just walked past”, she said, then went on to briefly explain how she learned that Rog was cheating on her with his boss, the confrontation that followed, and some of the nasty remarks he’d made to her. Justin was outraged, and understandably so. “What a prick!”, he said, before continuing “Would you rather we leave? Don’t worry about it – we can grab a bite to eat elsewh… Hang on! Is that the woman he was cheating with sat next to him?”

Kathy discretely glanced over, then sullenly nodded, surprised that Jason was suddenly grinning. “Oh, I know her.” This surprised Kathy, but what surprised her even more was what followed: “So you know I said I quit my job in IT? Well, part of the reason for that was that I was bored mindless, but there was something else too – I was getting on well with one of the other guys at work, and he invited me over for a BBQ at his house. Lovely place, and a lovely family. Or so I thought, at first. That was until his wife started getting extremely and uncomfortably friendly with me. I know I’m not the most socially subtle person, but when she suggested I follow her upstairs, while Marc was doing the BBQ and the kids were playing in the inflatable pool, I knew I was in a very bad situation. After that day, I kept making excuses, and never visited their home again.”

“And…?” said Kathy.

“And that woman over there, next to your ex, is Marc’s darling wife, Debbie” said Justin. Kathy was shocked. This was not what she expected. “Oh. Erm.. I don’t know what to say. Her poor husband!” she finally stuttered.

“Yes, indeed. He’s a top bloke, too. Seem the two love rats attracted each other. Tell you what – why don’t you and I finish our meal, and when done, pop over to say hello to them?”
“No!” Kathy’s reply was instant, and – she had to admit – sounded more than a little panicked. “I can’t do that!”

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