Friday evening, Hilda rode to Brandywine Drive. The flowers and bright green leaves were reaching their peak in the heat of the late spring. Soon, just crossing town like this would be a sweaty affair, even with the shady tree cover of the Greenbrier neighborhood. Continue reading
Hilda switched on Channel 29 News while the coffeemaker gurgled on the counter top. She didn’t watch much TV, but she would rather let Dave Rogers tell her what the weather would be than look it up on her computer. She assembled a three-egg omelette as the commercials droned on. She was not really paying attention, but she noticed that the commercial had been interrupted for breaking news. Continue reading
“It’s just above freezing, Emily. I can drive you to school.” The kitchen was bright with the sunlight reflecting from the winter wonderland in the back yard.
“I’ll ride the long way around, Mom. It’s clear all the way, and there is plenty of room on Rio Road and the John Warner Parkway to avoid any frozen puddles.” Emily finished her breakfast and started clearing the table. Continue reading
Emily carried her cleated racing shoes into the kitchen. She had her long-sleeved winter racing kit on, with a bright orange microfiber buff around her neck. Katherine motioned to the table and set out bacon and eggs. Emily put the bread in the toaster. Continue reading
“Enough slack, you two,” Emily shouted and grinned. “Race me home!” Emily opened up on them until she was a small dot in the distance. Mark and Katherine were already drenched with sweat, but the effort was keeping them warm on a freezing day. Fortunately, it had not rained or snowed since they arrived in Lancaster, Virginia, but this was the first day of a long cold snap. Continue reading
Emily wrapped her scarf twice around her neck and stuffed it snugly in her jacket before starting down 12th Street again. The snow had come suddenly – it had been sunny and pleasant on the way to school. By the time she turned north into her neighbourhood, the white stuff was beginning to stick, in that dangerous phase where the road is most slippery. Fortunately, she did not have any turns or hills ahead, and her Schwalbe Marathoner tires were reliable going straight. Continue reading
Emily grit her teeth and pushed. Her legs were burning from her hips to her ankles, and her toes might be numb or in pain – she couldn’t tell anymore. She couldn’t get enough air, either. Up ahead, she could make out the top of the St. Francis Medical Center, poking up behind the 7000-foot contour line. She had a line of sweat running down each lens of her sunglasses, but there was nothing she could do about it. Continue reading