It was a slow day in the old town. The sort of day that had stopped moving around mid-morning, leant against a wall, and hadn't really seen any reason to do anything else. Even the wind was slow. All that summer dust, which usually pocked the air like so many sunspots, hung lifeless, swinging listlessly from random points in the air. These were the days, in the old town, that were by far the worst.
Arial swung her big front wheel around the statue easily. She let her feet rest on the pedals, but really it was a cycle-once, spin-forever sort of day. There were hardly any cars on the road, just those few nondescript nose-out chassis you saw everywhere on the main street. She held her chin up to the sun, squinting up her eyes, watching her nose push through some lonely clouds.
Down towards the park, smoke circled its way into the sky. Ghosts of boredom escaping, Arial thought. She let her bike coast back down past the hardware store, empty except for shopping trolleys silently grazing beside an overflowing skip. Home, she thought, was always waiting for her, just fifteen minutes back up the hill. But then, the thought of all that pedalling, of aiming for a destination.
She rode on past the park, down towards the river, dry except for tiny trickles.