"How can I help ya Charlie ?" ( Sticks knew all the kids names by heart ) , he asked as Charlie walked in.
" I need a better bike Mr. Sticks.... Uhh, a fast bike...... I have almost two dollars and my sisters old bike , some comic books , and I'll do any work around the shop you need. Mowing , anything sir "
Mr. Sticks just grinned. " When's the race Charlie? "
Charlie just stared , as if Mr Sticks was a mind reader, silent.
" Id say it involves Mill street hill, a pretty girl , and a challenge to a race ... If I had to guess.... " Sticks continued.
Charlie stood in amazement. HOW could he know this? ( Truth was Sticks raced the same hill , and his dad , and probably his dad's dad. And he was old enough to know that it almost always involved a girl... )
"I like the fact that your willing to work for what you need kid , and I think I've got juuuust the right thing for you. I'll be right back ".
Charlies heart pounded as Stick rummaged through the back of the shop out of sight, then sank as he carried over an old green bike that looked worse than any that Charlie had ever seen. He carefully placed it on the work stand and stood back staring at it as he talked.
"This is Bullet ... I saved for a year and dad ordered her new to the shop for me in '53... Schwinn Varsity ...undefeated on Mill street hill for 2 years straight... You heard about Bullet before ?..."
"Yes sir.... I have ... My uncle told me about a bike that nobody could beat , a green Schwinn named bullet.... But .... Well.... No offence sir but she is in awefully bad shape right ?" Charlie said