Just a little idea I had in the wee hours of the morning. :) The Motorcycle Boy, as he goes to the river that last night. Why he died smiling.

My first attempt at a S.E Hinton fanfiction, so hope it turned out all right.

I heard the warning shot. I'd heard everything. It was one of those weird times you get where everything's really wild, like a hurricane, and you're in the calm center. I could hear everything. I heard Rusty-James' pleas for me to leave the pet shop. I heard the animals mewling and hissing and growling as I freed every last one of them. I heard the water sloshing as I picked up those rumble fish. Their long tail fins sort of swished in the waves as I began to run. I pretended I could hear that too. Take advantage of the sounds while I can, isn't that the way it goes?

But I heard the warning shot. Why are they even bothering? It's not important. They're shooting at me because I let the animals go and I'm running with the creatures. Are they so mad about freedom? Freedom's good. Especially if you've been cooped up in a cage for who-knows-how-long.

It was still that 'eye of the storm' feeling. I was at the top of the world. Nothing could hurt me, even as I ran for my life. It was all perfectly calm. Just a jog in the park with my fish- something that could be taken as normal for the 'Motorcycle Boy'. Am I even a boy anymore? Rusty-James should still be a boy. I think it's been forced away from him, though.

The sound of the second shot doesn't register before the dull thud in my back. They got me. It doesn't matter. The fish still matter more. The fish! The impact has sent me sprawling. The fish have been released from their tanks too early and they lay flopping on the ground around me. There's the river, just out of reach. Too far away for me to save their tiny lives. All lives are meaningful. Did I destroy theirs in my attempt to save?

One tank didn't spill its contents entirely. The tiny, angry rumble fish barely floats in the thin layer of water remaining. I lift my cheek from the cool dirt, prop myself on my trembling elbows, and lift the fishbowl up. One last chance.

It takes everything out of me. As I send the bowl flying low across the few meters of earth between the fish and the river, the pain hits. There was a sort of ache in my side before, but it erupts into agony now. I collapse back to the ground just as the fishbowl tips over the bank of the river.

One life saved, but at the cost of how many others?

Something clicks in my mind as the cold begins to creep into my feet. I curl up around the gunshot as the memories flow back across the landscape of my bare thoughts.

She left. She took me and then she left. And before that she left Dad and Rusty-James. She left us all.

And now I'm leaving them all. The pain throbs through my body and the warmth of blood seeps up against my skin and clothes. I wonder if it matches the color of mine and Rusty-James' hair, in the shadowy night. I won't ever be able to see, but I can guess. Red always has a sort of special shade of gray.

Leaving hurts. I never wanted to leave, not really. I physically left, sure, lots of times, but then I always could come back. I was always tethered to that place, with my brother. But now I won't ever be returning. There's just one motorcycle ride left, and I have no idea where it will take me.

I force my eyes open for one last glimpse of the world. One last memory to bring with me.

I can see the fish. In real, bright colors. The shimmering scales in violets and aquamarines and scarlets.

I can see the colors. As I lay here dying, something in my head clicked back into place and I can see the colors.

I breathe. It hurts.

I smile.

I die.

Please leave a review to tell me your thoughts! Praise, criticism, etc. Thank you for reading. :)