The high school was still there, as I rode down the block past it, though the parking lot was empty and barren. Of course, it had gone from bright day to storm in a few minutes and storm to full night in the blinking on an eye (though I confess I have no way to tell how precisely long that particular blink was, and the jolt fried my heart-rate monitor), so something as small as an empty parking lot was just a minor detail; I dismissed it for the moment,
Though there was no traffic, I still pulled my bike up on the curb to switch on my running lights, which is more of a laborious task than you might think unless you've seen my bike. (I told you I'd been t-boned by a car, and sincewhen I'd set every inch of my frame alight; no, that's not an exaggeration. Set them all to quick-twitch-flicker, and I'm a seizure waiting to happen.)
As I stood up on the grass above the curb turning on the spinning wheel lights, I started to hear noises approaching. Not that I hadn't heard noises after the transition (at least, once my ears had stopped ringing), but until now, I was riding away from them at least as quickly as they were approaching, if not faster. It was the click-click of bones on bones and the twanging of a bowstring, and I dove to the ground on the other side of my bicycle.
An arrow struck the ground where I'd been standing, and I looked up into the eyes of a boxy skeleton archer approaching from the other side of the road.
He was watching me curiously with no apparent hate, but still started drawing another arrow anyway, and I jumped on my bicycle before he could fire again, pressing myself away. In my haste, my kickstand hadn't fully retracted, and I could hear my left pedal chinking it on every revolution.
Once I built up some speed, I stopped pedaling long enough to kick it back up completely. As I did so, I took a look behind me, and immediately regretted it.
Two green monsters were following quietly, looking sad that I was outpacing them, as if they only wanted to be friends. I didn't slow, suspecting what would happen if or when they caught up.
Next - All Parts of Only Sweeter