a flash-fiction prompt
“Oh, Gerald! Can’t we slow down? I think I’ve swallowed a fly.”
“But Gertie, dearest, the thrill of the enterprise is in the speed! We’ll soon be out of town and into the countryside; then you’ll appreciate it, you’ll see!”
“I fear there will be awful mud, and bottomless potholes, and other horrid things.”
“You just hold on to the bars, dear, and you’ll avoid heading the road – if I have cause to stop rather suddenly!”
In Gertrude’s dreams, she relived the moment when Edward had hinted at wedlock. He’s something in the City now; a financier, a close friend had suggested. He not only owned a new motor car but had a fellow in uniform to drive it. Edward had called one day to speak with her father; but Father had persuaded him against it.
“He’s simply not for the likes of us, my girl,” he’d said when she’d asked afterwards.
“Hold on tight now, Gertie!” Catching sight of a scattering of steaming horse excrement in the road ahead did nothing to kindle her enthusiasm.
A found picture prompt. I read an interesting history on the bicycle (and tricycle) social revolution in Britain around 1900s. Cycling became a very fashionable recreation amongst the upper middle class and the gentry.
The photo came up on my Pinterest suggestions yesterday. I think it shows a man who’s a member of a cycling club – judging by his cap and cap badge – and his lady wife, out on a leisurely day’s outing on what would have been a costly contraption in the day – a tandem tricycle.
“Heading (the road)”, in early cyclist parlance, was the process of going clear over the handlebars when coming to an abrupt halt, according to the book.