roof sprite
by skye b

Rocks scattered under the tires of my bike as I pedaled down the long dirt road. I'd been riding for a number of minutes now, away from my house in a random direction. I had no real plan other than to escape my house for a while, the threat of hours of homework and the noise from house life which overwhelmed my brain so quickly perceived as gone now that I had left physically. My thoughts were scrambled and incomprehensible; random colorful images and speech flashed through my brain at a whirlwind pace. I pushed harder on the pedals even though I was feeling that pain in my ankles again. We'll worry about that later.

Moments passed as I continued down the seemingly endless dirt road, empty and desolate (after all, it was May in 2020). Trees on the side of the road leaned in at me, only stopping when I passed long stretches of corn. Eventually the farmland ended and I came across a square, grey building with no cars parked out in front. It wasn't exactly abandoned, but people clearly hadn't been here in a number of weeks. Something in my mind steered me towards it, and seconds later I was riding into the parking lot

I parked my bike and circled the building before spotting a staircase which led to a door on the second level. Curious, I climbed the staircase and tried the door. Locked. Who could've guessed. I looked about some more and saw that the flat, black roof was low enough that I could climb from the side of the staircase onto the roof if I went through the long-wrecked wooden fencing. After debating it for a few moments, I grabbed the side rail and climbed up onto the roof.

Clearly it was designed to be walked onto, for maintenance purposes presumably, which was marked by the metal ladders going up to each flat level. I explored every inch of the rooftop, traveling up and down and up again with all the different ladders and going behind all the large, loud machines mounted on top. I found very little of actual interest; the best thing was a two liter of unopened sprite coated in dust and baking in the sun, probably left there for months before the lockdown began, which made me laugh a little for some odd reason despite being somewhat dystopic.

Once I had completed my exploration, I slowly climbed down from the roof and mounted my bike once again. The sun was beginning to set, spraying the sky with purples and oranges. I began riding back home slowly, my head now clear from the peaceful exploration of somewhere that felt personal, somewhere that felt mine; perhaps due to its abandonment but perhaps simply due to the fact that I had been there. I had been somewhere that many others hadn't been and likely never would dare to go, even if it wasn't particularly risky or special. Whatever the reason, I left that place feeling more at peace with the world and my surroundings.