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The Bicycle

Jeepers Creepers

By October 31, 2016 No Comments

Whenever I go bike hunting, I think of my brain as an open receptacle. Cruising along at moderate speeds allows me to take in a lot of details and things of interest. But on this day, my attention was fish hooked on something that caused a bit of a stimulus overload.

It was a vintage bicycle in a slow state of decay. This is nothing new in Amsterdam where there a plenty of decrepit bikes. But this time there was something different, something unsettling.

My eyes were fixed on the child seat. It was frail and diminutive by today’s standards. There was a green tinge forming on the fabric, likely as a result of sitting outside in the elements. I tried to imagine a child sitting in this seat, but the only thing that stuck in my mind is the Chucky doll from the Child’s Play horror film series.

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I grazed over the bike at the other details like the bulbous dynamo and the graffiti tagged skirt guard which only helped to build upon its unusual personality. Among the more interesting details was that of personalized badge on the back fender, that read “ANETA” along with an address in Alkmaar, a town one hour outside of Amsterdam.

I lingered onto the road to get one last angle. A quick glance over my shots and I was satisfied with my captures. But it wasn’t later that evening when I was going over my photos on my laptop and noticed something unusual. The photo taken from the road had a dark smear in the upper left corner. It was the last shot I took of the day and I was concerned that there might be a problem with the lens or sensor. But after checking over my camera, I confirmed that there was nothing wrong with it or the lens.

Mysterious smear

Mysterious smear

4 days later, smear still visible

4 days later, smear still visible

While out on another trek four days later, I returned to the scene and took another shot of the bike from the road. This time I didn’t wait to get home and went immediately into playback mode. Again the smear was visible. I skipped back into the same spot and snapped another photo. The blot is still there  I furiously inspected my camera, tossing it around in my hands as if trying to complete a Rubik’s Cube. What the hell was going on here!? Why can’t I take a shot from this angle without some blemish appearing? In the midst of a bout of confusion and madness, I declared to be of supernatural nature and rode away in utter bewilderment.

Four days later, I returned to the scene and took another shot of the bike from the road. This time I didn’t wait to get home and went immediately into playback mode. Again the smear was visible. I skipped back into the same spot and snapped another photo. The blot is still there  I furiously inspected my camera, tossing it around in my hands as if trying to complete a Rubik’s Cube. What the hell was going on here!? In the midst of a bout of confusion and madness, I declared it to be a paranormal activity and rode away in utter bewilderment.

It wasn’t until months later, I discovered a similar smudge in the corner of another photograph, but this time I uncovered the mystery. Taking a shot from the ground level requires me to flip-up my viewfinder. As I look directly down, my hair that covers the edge of my lens.

I never did see this bicycle again. But now I can be rest assured that there was no supernatural phenomenon at work besides my ineptness. A part of me wishes the bike was haunted, but it wasn’t meant to be.

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Dynamo

Aneta Alkmaar

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