Chapter 7:

Chapter 7

Bike Hero Volume 1

Warning: Gross stuff ahoy! If you are sensitive to this topic, please refrain from reading any further. Bookmark here

Weeks had passed.Bookmark here

I woke up, barely feeling sluggish.Bookmark here

A beam of light from the sun flashed before my eyes.Bookmark here

My eyes stung, narrowing them to suppress the discomfort.Bookmark here

I moved my right arm to cover my face from it.Bookmark here

I yawned and stretched, rubbing my eyes afterward.Bookmark here

I had been lying down outside near Twinkle's faulty house throughout the night, having to sleep with a stained pillow which definitely grossed me out.Bookmark here

I hadn't gotten a good sleep since I got kicked out of my grandparent's house.Bookmark here

And boy, it was very uncomfortable. Bookmark here

Thank goodness it wasn't raining as it could've been worse, and I would've vented my frustration on Twinkle for having me live in such poor housing.Bookmark here

Over and above that, I wasn't used to sleeping outside compared to sleeping indoors.Bookmark here

The green blades of grass on one side and the chocolate-colored dirt on the other side covered the scene around me.Bookmark here

I got up, brushing off the muck from my clothes.Bookmark here

As stated before, I wasn't pleased and not used to living in a condition like this.Bookmark here

I then felt something holding around my waist, looking down to see what it was.Bookmark here

Oh yeah, my belt.Bookmark here

I forgot that I was wearing the green belt, which was the Jade Belt or the Emerald Belt, as Twinkle would refer it to.Bookmark here

To be frank, having to wear something like this was a parlous idea.Bookmark here

What did I mean by that?Bookmark here

I would've expected to come this far.Bookmark here

And coming that far might've been aberrant from what I had been coping with.Bookmark here

It had gotten weirder than that.Bookmark here

I stumbled a little, feeling my foot hit on a rock as I wasn't paying attention while making a move.Bookmark here

Clumsy me.Bookmark here

In a trice, I smelled something pleasant.Bookmark here

It was food, but I didn't know what it was.Bookmark here

It smelled like chicken, but I could be mistaken.Bookmark here

Could it be that Twinkle was cooking breakfast?Bookmark here

Maybe if I went there to find out, I might eat something.Bookmark here

And besides, I hadn't eaten anything for a while, so I needed something to put in my stomach.Bookmark here

I made my way to the scent's direction, seeing smoke rising in the air.Bookmark here

So my assumption might be correct?Bookmark here

I proceeded further, eventually putting an end to my suspense.Bookmark here

There, I could see Twinkle using a bonfire, flame glowing before my eyes.Bookmark here

No, it was more like a campfire than a bonfire, but it was more than the same.Bookmark here

Below the flame, I saw chunks of wood getting turned into black from it.Bookmark here

Twinkle then saw me, feeling content toward me: "Buenos días, George. You're awake. Did you sleep well?"Bookmark here

Did she say good morning to me?Bookmark here

Still, I could barely understand Spanish, so I wasn't familiar with these phrases.Bookmark here

Oh, and French too.Bookmark here

Intrigued, I asked: "Are you cooking breakfast, Twinkle?"Bookmark here

She replied: "Yes, I am. Why? Are you hungry? If you're hungry, then feel free to eat something. I know you haven't eaten anything in a while since you decided to come with me, so that's why I'm asking."Bookmark here

I hesitated: "Uh, well..."Bookmark here

She tilted her head in concern: "Is there something wrong, George? You don't have to eat anything if you want to."Bookmark here

I thought of a question for her: "May I ask how did you build a campfire or whatever that thing is over there?"Bookmark here

She jolted in realization, then pointed at the one that I was referring to: "Oh, you mean that thing over there? I found some logs and matches to prepare breakfast while you were asleep. I found them lying at the junkyard. I don't know why they left them there, but who knows. Then I used them to build a bonfire to cook something with. Smart idea, huh?"Bookmark here

I knew she was up to something innovative.Bookmark here

I replied: "Yeah, I guess..."Bookmark here

Our stomach growled, showing that we hadn't eaten anything at all.Bookmark here

At least for a while.Bookmark here

How did we find something to eat for the past few weeks? Bookmark here

During these past weeks, Twinkle and I worked at a homeless shelter to support homeless individuals and families.Bookmark here

Daily, if we worked hard enough, they would give us food for free despite our effort.Bookmark here

Unfortunately, we weren't being given hard cash, however.Bookmark here

The food there was incredible and appetizing.Bookmark here

One time, I ate Italian bread, and it tasted perfect as it was cooked rather thoroughly, causing me to eat quickly because of it.Bookmark here

I hadn't eaten anything this adequate in my life.Bookmark here

Even Twinkle probably felt the same way.Bookmark here

If we were to eat out of scraps and garbage, then we would've felt unwell if we had no other choice.Bookmark here

Even worse, we would have starved to death after weeks had passed.Bookmark here

Not that we hadn't thought about taking it easy anyway.Bookmark here

It would've been terrible if we did.Bookmark here

My time, no, our time there went well as planned.Bookmark here

A hero had to do good deeds, right?Bookmark here

Our teamwork paid off.Bookmark here

But last week, we had to leave the homeless shelter as we did our part.Bookmark here

The staff and homeless people there gave us their thanks for our hard work.Bookmark here

Hearing that made us very happy.Bookmark here

Except for Twinkle, who didn't smile as much, but on the inside, she was. Bookmark here

Well, that was what happened before then.Bookmark here

Returning to the present day, Twinkle oddly cooked breakfast as she thought of that idea.Bookmark here

She said something to me, snapping out of my reverie: "Well? Have you decided yet? Or are you going to just stand there for a little longer?"Bookmark here

Jeez, I needed to eat something at least.Bookmark here

If I were to skip this occasion, then my rashness would be to blame.Bookmark here

Refusing someone's mellow offer could be both uncivil and a bad idea.Bookmark here

I must reconsider that opportunity if I want to see myself as affable.Bookmark here

You know what, I didn't see why not.Bookmark here

I might as well check the food out.Bookmark here

Bullishly, I wouldn't find it to be nauseating there whenever it was done cooking.Bookmark here

I said: "You know what, I don't see why not. I can't say no to that one. I need to eat something every once in a while anyway."Bookmark here

She replied, inclining her head in discernment and beaming: "Understood, George. Breakfast will be made very soon. I'll let you know when it's ready, okay?"Bookmark here

I nodded and replied: "Yeah, uh, of course."Bookmark here

And with it, that was my decision, and I waited.Bookmark here

A few minutes had passed, meaning that the food should be done.Bookmark here

Twinkle managed to put out the fire with two large fans, tattered that was.Bookmark here

Once she did that, she held a rectangular wooden plate, looking to be a little unsanitary, but it was mostly cleansed.Bookmark here

On top, what I saw was a roasted chicken, giving off steam.Bookmark here

Or what I assumed it was.Bookmark here

The reason I assumed that was because it was common for the chicken's head to be chopped off, so that was how I knew.Bookmark here

She said: "Let's dig in, George."Bookmark here

Perplexed, I said: "Uh, okay then..."Bookmark here

Additionally, she reminded me: "Don't worry, the plate is clean. I just washed it with a reused soap and aseptic water from the well while you were sleeping. You won't get sick from it. I promise, George."Bookmark here

I believed her bluntness, nodding.Bookmark here

I said: "Uh, yeah, I figured..."Bookmark here

I went speechless, not knowing what I was about to eat.Bookmark here

And to be frank, I had nothing more to say about it.Bookmark here

Mentally that was.Bookmark here

All I could do was to take a bite and see if I liked it or not.Bookmark here

There was nothing wrong with trying to see what it was, right?Bookmark here

And with that in mind, I just had to give it a try.Bookmark here

Not choosing to eat anything at all, I could have returned to the homeless shelter to eat there, but I wouldn't want to cause trouble if it had nothing to do with work.Bookmark here

I didn't want that.Bookmark here

So, I slowly pulled one of the chicken legs, with juices dripping little by little.Bookmark here

I didn't know why I kept referring to them as chicken when I had no idea it was yet.Bookmark here

The gratifying smell made my mouth salivate.Bookmark here

I hadn't felt anything like this.Bookmark here

When all was said and done, I took an unhurried bite of the chicken leg and let my palate take over my sensibility.Bookmark here

I nodded, confirming to Twinkle that it didn't taste awful.Bookmark here

I was right.Bookmark here

It surely tasted like chicken.Bookmark here

Even so, I felt something hairy on my tongue.Bookmark here

But I preferred to keep that complaint to myself.Bookmark here

I gaily said: "Hey, it doesn't taste bad. It tasted like chicken. What food is this?"Bookmark here

Twinkle sneered and said: "Well, it's roasted possum..."Bookmark here

What now?Bookmark here

Hang on, did she just say a roasted possum!?Bookmark here

Gross!Bookmark here

How should've I known this beforehand!?Bookmark here

I spat out the food that I was eating.Bookmark here

Subsequently, it also made me vomit.Bookmark here

Twinkle looked at me in chagrin, witnessing me getting sick from the food.Bookmark here

How could she cook something so abominable?Bookmark here

I had to say, her culinary skill was ridiculous!Bookmark here

Worried, she asked me: "Uh, are you okay, George?"Bookmark here

Vexed without a second thought, I slapped the food out of the wooden plate.Bookmark here

She jolted when I did it.Bookmark here

It flew in the air and landed within the grass.Bookmark here

She shouted: "Hey! I was going to eat that! Why did you do that?"Bookmark here

I peered at her, catching my breath because of my increasing anger and disgust.Bookmark here

I replied: "What's wrong with you, Twinkle!? Are you trying to kill me!?"Bookmark here

She looked down at the wooden plate, downhearted from my response: "I thought it would be a good idea if I cooked up something delicious for us to survive..."Bookmark here

I retorted: "Well, what you served me is sickening! It literally made me sick in my stomach! I hate it! Will you cook something healthier for once!?"Bookmark here

Wow, I wouldn't think that I would be this enraged.Bookmark here

But I couldn't bear to experience what I had just eaten.Bookmark here

She whispered: "Yeah, I should..."Bookmark here

I was on the verge of departing from her.Bookmark here

I didn't know what I was thinking, but I just felt that way.Bookmark here

Predisposed to leave, I said: "Well, I'm not going to bother with your insane antics! I'm leaving you! I'm no longer interested in your mission! Good luck without me!"Bookmark here

Why was I thinking this?Bookmark here

I couldn't just leave her like that.Bookmark here

How foolish I was.Bookmark here

Abruptly as I was about to take my leave, I heard a squishy sound near my earshot.Bookmark here

I had stepped on something.Bookmark here

I looked down and saw a mud-like substance covering my shoes.Bookmark here

It was dark brown.Bookmark here

It also had a scummy odor.Bookmark here

I confusingly asked: "Huh? Is this mud?"Bookmark here

She bluntly said: "Oh, that's my feces... The chemical toilet was broken, so I couldn't find anywhere else but to defecate there..."Bookmark here

Feces!?Bookmark here

No, her feces!?Bookmark here

So gross!Bookmark here

How would a human being, especially a female, do such a thing!?Bookmark here

I yelped, yanking my feet away from the feces.Bookmark here

I was about to vomit again, but I didn't.Bookmark here

Still, it was more emetic than before.Bookmark here

Despite me not getting along with Twinkle, it was at the point of hitting rock-bottom. Bookmark here

I tried cleaning it off with my hands, but it made the situation worse.Bookmark here

Because of that, it made my hands dirty.Bookmark here

Why did I even do that anyway?Bookmark here

Because I wasn't having a second thought.Bookmark here

She tossed the wooden plate to the side, burdening herself from her lack of making a perfect dish. Bookmark here

She then closed her eyes and sighed, pulling out something from her left pocket: "I need to calm my nerves..."Bookmark here

She wandered away from me, not stopping to look behind me one last time. Bookmark here

I knew I could've gotten the best of controlling my strong emotions if it wasn't for my unwanted paroxysm of anger. Bookmark here

Should I apologize to her?Bookmark here

Well, yes, I did.Bookmark here

So I went after her wherever she was going.Bookmark here

And what I ascertained was far from learning the truth about Twinkle. Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.