The Gypsum Paths

Photo by Victor Bezrukov

Photo by Victor Bezrukov

The bike trails made a show of tangling themselves in the forest, but they always led back to the same point.

Hervé wanted to break a new trail this time. He’d spent the whole of August following these gypsum-veined paths, their kid-crazy loops designed like play slides in summer camp. He wanted to skid some down a slope beyond the ones marked out in Geolithic swerves.

The Kevins, Lisa Patrocles, Tennis Janice, Zorb, Erik and Eric—they lacked nerve. They were bike-warriors from their mountain gear to their scuffs and scratches, but they were just doing it for the kicks. There was no sport-passion there, no desire to take a bad tumble for the sake of artfulness. Or in the name of a legacy.

Hervé hadn’t seen his parents for three years, and that made the not-coming-back swings he drew with his wheels seem more serious.

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David Mohan is based in Dublin, and received a PhD in English literature from Trinity College. He came second in the Sean O’Faolain International Short Story Award and won the Hennessy/Sunday Tribune New Irish Writer Award. He has been published in Necessary Fiction, Word Riot, Opium, SmokeLong Quarterly, FRiGG, Contrary, elimae, NANO, Flash International magazine, The Chattahoochee Review, New World Writing and Used Furniture Review. He has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize.

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