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My latest from the weekly Flash! Friday flash fiction contest. The element to use in this week’s story of no more than 210 words was the setting “beach” in response to the above photo by Giorgio Grande.

They said I was crazy.

I am.

To be conscious, to have any sort of synapses still firing away in the cranium, was to, in some way, be crazy. After all, to be conscious is to realize with every inhale of breath and every fortunate exhale of breath, that at some point, we will cease to be.

To be.

To be this amalgam of dandelion petals captured in a moment of chaos into something that loves, breaks love, feels fear, gets angry and yes, eventually, blows apart again.

That’s why I pedaled faster, despite my heart’s insistence that my peddling days were far behind me.

You have to understand. I spent most of my years in Stalin’s Soviet Union. Brutish, rough winters that forged my skin into rawhide. Yeah, yeah, we heard talks of summers in America, of these expansive beaches as far as the eye could see where women and men wore nothing and fornicated in the bluest of waters, waters filled with money and gold.

We had our myths, too. To be is to mythologize. Or better, to be is to cope.

I guess my family would say I’m coping now, pedaling as hard as I could to a myth with death and the wind at my back.

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