Chapter Six: Headrush

481 49 22

If he told Bernie about this, he’d be dead; if he told Derek, he’d be locked up in a truck, off for the winter season.

The night air whipped into his open visor on his helmet, forcing his eyes to water. Fortunately, he’d remembered to keep the bandage on otherwise the elements would've made the raw skin sting.

The only things he’d be able to see her in here would be his wing mirrors, and there was no sign in either of them. He knew she was here though, somewhere inside his head. He stood atop the hill, his thrumming bike warm and trembling between his legs. It was the biggest comfort to him, more than any warm bed or blanket. He never would’ve thought a teenage hobby would turn into a career.

Ash flicked the visor down and revved the motor. The engine roared in response. “Hold on,” he said to his companion. Hoping she had heard, he launched off the precipice and onto the makeshift trodden path, the adrenaline surging as the wheel slammed on the dirt. The voice made a noise that could only be discerned as a gasp as his muscle memory took over, working in synergy with his hormones. There was nothing better than this.

He charged down the hill, grinning, twisting and turning the handlebars, and it all came back to him. It was as if he'd never been injured. Kal would never usurp him, never.

The front wheel screeched against the dirt and pebbles at the bottom and Ash stopped. That was...easy. Far too easy. As he breathed to calm himself he misted up his visor so he pulled it off. The night air was still again, and the waxing moon was bright despite the fact it was only half size. Her figure was looking up at it.

Ash stopped breathing. There was no mirror here, yet there she was, right before him. He reached out to touch her, but he stopped himself. Her head looked down, but he couldn’t tell if she was looking at him or not.

*****

It seemed they were getting stronger the longer they were in this world, as Splitface was looking right at them. Surely he could see them, as his eyes were focused. If they had a heart it would have been beating wildly. That rush! Hurtling down the hill like there was no death, it filled them with something indistinguishable but gloriously addictive. They wanted more. They held up a hand and inspected the grey, translucent mass that made it up, inspecting the delicate fingers devoid of fingernails or any features at all really.

*****

She was holding up her hand. He wanted to see her face again, so badly. But what had caused her to appear before his eyes like this? He studied her, squinting as if that might help distinguish something he knew wasn’t there.

He blinked and breathed as the electric wore off and normality began to return to his system. She began to fade before his eyes but didn’t appear to have noticed yet. “Hey -” he said, and he thought she turned to him but she was gone. Probably still there but invisible to him now. Ash grabbed his wing mirror and angled it that way but it was too late, she was gone for the foreseeable future. He sighed.

*****

Back in his apartment, Ash washed off the dirt and smell of the outdoors from his skin. His washer dryer clanged away even over the noise of the shower. By any measure, Derek would be tap dancing on the table if he knew what Ash had just done. Even Ash was surprised at what he’d just pulled off: his lightning quick reactions, he didn’t even have to think as he had hurtled down the slope. Was it because of her? He swept back his hair and caught a look at himself in the mirror that had yet to steam over.

Her figure was standing at the side of the shower.

“Geez!” On instinct at being caught naked he stuttered. A full body spasm that sent his hands into a frenzy at whether to cover himself or rub the water out of his eyes. Why here, right at this moment? His heart spiked and a flash of features was on her face, including that ugly scar just like his. It stung in the heated water.

“What are you doing here? Get out!” He gesticulated wildly, sending droplets everywhere about the cubicle. She stayed put, possibly folding her arms. “Come on, cut me some slack, I’m trying to take a shower,” he said, sighing, blinking the water out of his eyes.

It was useless, she wouldn’t budge. He turned away, trying to finish quickly. Knowing she was there was driving him mad.

*****

They had never seen a human body in such detail before, it was deeply fascinating. There was a surge of that delicious energy when Splitface looked at them, and it was tempting to try and get him to do it again. Unfortunately, they couldn’t really interact with anything in this world: even their feet hovered slightly above the floor. Their body seemed happy to follow the rules of this world, so there was no flying off into the atmosphere or anything like that. But for now, they didn’t have the physicality to interact with anything other than Splitface. They reached through the shower door and flicked his right ear. They wanted him to know they were content.

*****

The telltale sting behind his right ear, a confirmation that she was happy at least. He switched off the water and reached for his towel, ruffling his hair dry.

“At least you're good company. I’m bored stiff basically being under house arrest.” Another flick and a yawning noise, contented hopefully. He wanted to go back outside, to sneak out of his window and unchain his bike in the garage. That rush over again. In the mirror, there was a flicker of her features flashing by.

Inverted (COMPLETE)Where stories live. Discover now