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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 18 page 02

fiction

Adversity

by Malcolm MacDonald

Andrew Collingwood raced up the jagged highway, his motorcycle growling speedily, the tailpipe burping exhaust up the concrete trail. Passing the endless stream of iron wreckage in the gutters, he cranked the gear harder, seeing his adversary, Doctor Marigold, seated snugly in his towering, gigantic iron robot.

“What’re you doin’?”

“Kimmy! Shhhh…I’m trying to concentrate.”

“Concentrate on what?”

“I’m writing this story for school. It’s due tomorrow.”

“Oh.”

“Anyway, where was I?”

“Who’s Dr. Marigold?”

“Right, thanks, sis.”

The huge metallic arm of Dr. Marigold’s machine rotated into view, the claw like appendiges snapping shut then open with a whirr and a clank.

“What’s a whirr?”

“Ugh, Jesus Christ, Kimmy, would you just let me do my work?”

“You spelled ‘appendages’ wrong.”

“Shut up!”

“I don’t get it, how is this your homework?”

“I’m supposed to write a story about a person overcoming an adversary.”

“Yeah…and?”

“And Mr. Campbell said we could write on any topic we like. So I’m writing a steampunk story.”

“You were assigned to write a science fiction story for class?”

“It’s not science fiction. I’m not writing about stupid aliens. It’s steampunk. You — never mind, you wouldn’t get it.”

“I don’t know, Geoffrey. My friend Dumas was in Mr. Campbell’s class and she says he lets them write on a wide range of topics.”

“That’s what I said.”

“No, you said you could write on any topic. There’s a big difference between a wide range and anything!”

Ignoring the incensing insects that buzzed past his ears and mushed against his darkly tinted goggles, Collingwood rode on, up the mount, over and past the laying wreckage and festering bodies; Up past the ramps and torn apart barricades, which were stretched apart like thick caramel from a broken chocolate bar.

“You sure use a lot of adjectives.”

“What?”

“A lot adverbs too.”

“Come on, be quiet!”

<CONT...>