Mello closed one eye and spun the spoked wheel. He narrowed in on the slight wobble as the tick, tick, tick slowed. He held the wheel to stop it, his thumb strategically placed.
“What are you doing?”
Mello dug in his pocket for the tiny spanner he found while on their run into the north-east quadrant of the city. “Fine tuning.”
Sierra put her hands in her pockets and looked to the end of the alley. “Please don’t tell me you were dumpster diving again.”
Mello shrugged. “Couldn’t help it.” He slipped the spanner over one of the spokes and twisted. The twang of metal rang out as it gave and turned.
“It’s going to slow us down.”
“It won’t slow us down.” Mello adjusted the spokes on either side, then closed his eye and spun the wheel again. “I can build a trailer. We can get around faster.”
Sierra sighed. “It’s more to worry about. We’ll be a bigger target.”
A shadow passed overhead, near silent, but with the tell-tale scent of ozone. Sierra pushed back against the wall. Only Mello’s eyes moved as he scanned the thin strip of sky above them. When dim light returned, he put the spanner back in his pocket, then stood and flipped the bike upright. “We can carry more. Won’t have to be looking for supplies all the time.”
Sierra crouched down. “We have a good system, Mel. Stay agile. Stay safe.”
Mello smiled as he pulled on the levers and pushed the bike forward and back. “I promise, I’ll dump it the second it causes a problem.”
Sierra lowered her eyes. “I don’t know…”
At the mouth of the alley, a blur of colour flashed past, then another. Soon they heard shouting, and a scream. Sierra hefted a tall backpack from the ground beside her and slipped it over her shoulder. “I guess we’ll have to argue about this later. We need to go.”
Photo by Amy Elting on Unsplash
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