“Hey, kid, what are you looking at?” one of the high school boys yelled at me. He and two others had taken a bike that I knew wasn’t theirs from the school bike rack. It belonged to a girl in my grade, Kinsie, and she just got it for her birthday a little while ago.
I scuffed my feet in the gravel and looked down, shoving my hands in my pockets. “Oh, nothing.” I walked away from them, but as soon as I got around the corner of the school, I hid and peeked back to watch them.
My name’s Riel and I’m nearly nine years old. Kinsie is my friend and I didn’t want those big boys to steal her bike, so I decided to help. The boys walked out of the school yard carrying their skateboards and wheeling the bike. They were laughing and acting like they were so proud of themselves. I scowled and clenched my fists, fuming. They weren’t going to get away with it! Scurrying from bush to tree to car, I hid as I followed them. They crossed College street at the light. I had to wait for the next light, and by then they were way ahead of me, and I was getting worried because my Mom didn’t like me crossing College on my own yet, even though I’m practically grown up.
On the other side of the street, there were lots of people walking so I caught up to those boys and they still didn’t notice me. A block later, they turned onto a side street and into a house. I had to hide again, but once they were in the back yard, I crept closer. They left the bike in the front yard! How dumb was that? I grabbed the bike and hopped on it, and rode it back to the school as fast as I could.
I was puffing when I got there, and Kinsie was in the school yard, crying.
“Kinsie, I got your bike!” I yelled across the field. She looked up and ran towards me.
“Why did you take my bike, Riel?” she shouted. She was angry! Wow, this wasn’t going the way I expected at all! A teacher was with her, too and they both looked pretty mad.
“Whoa, guys, I didn’t steal it. Three big high school boys took it. I followed them, across College, and they left it in the front yard, so I took it and brought it back to you.”
They glared at me suspiciously. “Really?” said Kinsie, drawing it out , her arms folded in front of her like she didn’t believe me. I was shocked and hurt.
“You’re my friend, Kinsie. I’d never take your bike. And anyway, what boy would want a pink bike? Here you go.” She snatched the bike from me and turned away.
“Wait a minute, Kinsie,” said the teacher. “Riel, did you recognize the boys who took the bike? And could you show us where they took it?”
“Sure,” I said. “You know those three guys that smoke whenever they cross our schoolyard, and are always teasing the little kids? They carry their skateboards all the time?”
The teacher nodded her head. “Kinsie, I think Riel is telling the truth. He just did you a big favour, and you should thank him.”
Relief flooded through me.
“Thanks, Riel,” said Kinsie.
“You’re welcome, Kinsie.”
Then I went home.
I wrote this flash fiction for one of my grandchildren. I'm not normally into C/YA fiction but hey, there's a first time for everything!