The Disappearances in the Suburbs

This is A Picture is worth a Thousand Words contest entry.

The prompt image:

Describe what you see: A kid riding his red tricyckle. | Describe what you feel: I feel unease and dread.

Timmy rode his tricycle, every single day. Timmy rode his tricycle, what else was there to say?

Except... yum...

Timmy was a rambunctious youth of nine years old. He lived in a safe suburb, not unlike those you see in idyllic movies. His family was well off, and his siblings were friendly. Timmy was also smart for his age, this made him a little bit asocial. Maybe that's why his favorite thing in the world was his red tricycle.

Grandpa Nick got it for him a couple of years back. He would never say from where however, all that it was from somewhere overseas. Grandpa Nick was also a mean fellow, mean to the point of being considered diabolical by those closest to him. So this act of kindness came as a shock to the entire family.

Regardless, ever since that faithful day, Timmy has been glued to the seat like a bee to honey. His friends jest that he rides more than he walks, and Timmy would laugh and agree with them.

There was no better feeling than riding your tricycle in the early hours of the morning.

During one fated morning, Timmy was riding through the nearby forest - sticking to the trail, of course - when he heard someone shouting for help. Timmy approached the pleading voice, afraid but determined to help. That is until he saw who it was.

Billy, the neighborhood bully. His legs were trapped in thorns and his whole body was covered in what looked like a barbed wire; he was bleeding. Billy's face was pained and pudgy and crying.

Timmy couldn't help but smile.

Timmy rode his tricycle, through the grassy forest. Timmy rode his tricycle, and he was being honest.

Billy was awful. His father was worse. So Billy did what any angry youth would - he lashed out. Against his friends, against his teachers, against everybody. Most of all against Timmy.

When Billy saw how happy Timmy was riding his new red tricycle, Billy made it his mission to flatten Timmy's tires any chance he could.

The opportunities appeared often.

It wasn't long before people understood that Billy was the culprit. They scolded and chided him, but this only served to make him angrier. Timmy became the focal point of said anger. To say that childish rivalries are not pretty is an understatement, and this would've been the understatement of the understatement - it wasn't pretty.

Timmy's spirit was not disheartened, however. He still rode every chance he'd get. Lately, he started riding earlier and earlier. He likes the serene silence of a world yet to awaken. And, more importantly, there was no Billy around to ruin his exultation.

Billy became wise to this, and so we circle back to that fated morning. Teddy tipped off Billy that Timmy was going to ride his tricycle through the forest very early that day. Why did Teddy do this? Who knows... Children, I've found, rarely think through their actions. And thus, Billy sat out to ruin Timmy's day.

Billy acquired some barbed wire and started to lace the trail with it. Poor Billy wasn't used to waking up so early, as such his footing was unsure. Billy tripped and fell, stumbling down, taking the barbed wire with him. He fell into some thorned bushes that buried themselves deep in his legs. As he struggled, he got more entangled by the wire.

Timmy smiled as he watched the bully squeal. He saw the barbed wire on the trail up ahead. Being the smart kid that he was, he put two and two together. Got back on his tricycle, and paddled back the way he came.

Timmy rode his tricycle, headed straight home. Timmy rode his tricycle, leaving the bully alone.


Timmy never returned home. His brothers found his tricycle abandoned by the side of the road near the forest entrance. A missing person's report was quickly filed - Timmy would never leave his prized paddler like that. The local police department soon issued a search party to scour the forest and surrounding area.

They found Billy. Bloodied and bruised, they barely managed to get him to the hospital in time to save his life. But not his psyche. The youth would be scarred forever, both literally and figuratively.

The search party increased. Dogs, helicopters, neighboring counties. All united to find the young boy lost in the vast wilderness. All to no avail. It was like the boy vanished from this world, taking every trace of himself with him.

Timmy was gone.

The once idyllic suburban area became as quiet as a morgue. People couldn't face the truth of Timmy's disappearance. Little Teddy had it the hardest.

In their grief, the family handed the red tricycle over to Teddy. Who accepted it with a heavy heart. Teddy felt responsible for the whole thing after all. He would grow to cherish the tricycle just as much as Timmy and would ride it every day.

As he did so, he felt like he was honoring his lost friend's legacy. He also felt... like he was being watched... He couldn't explain it. It was just a feeling he always had when he rode the tricycle. He likened it to Timmy watching over him, making sure Teddy took care of his prized possession. Teddy intended to do just that.

Teddy rode his tricycle, always watching his back. Teddy rode his tricycle, with dedication he did not lack.


Obligatory shout-out to the šŸ•PIZZAšŸ• gang, šŸ¤™ gang. šŸ¤™

I took another crack at writing a horror-ish story. Need to practice more but am happy with the way it turned out. šŸ’Ŗ

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Cover image source.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe! šŸ™Œ

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