I'm looking for a short story. I believe I read it in a horror anthology, but it definitely had SF elements.

What I can remember:

It took place in what I recall as a vaguely dystopian society. This kid was riding a bike and either bikes were rare, or not allowed (or maybe he was stealing it).

Somehow, he ends up at a shop that an old couple were running. I can't remember if he worked with them for a while or not. But I think they are trying to steal his bike from him.

Eventually, they trick him into getting inside some sort of machine. The kid doesn't feel well. The machine sends him to a room filled with skeletons and (this part I can't remember for sure) he realizes he can't breathe. He crawls over to a window and looks out it; it's revealed he's looking at earth. Either he dies from suffocation or it is implied he will die of starvation.

I think it cuts back to the old couple having a pile of bicycles and maybe skate boards, too.

This seemed like an older story because I think there were some small black ink illustrations in section breaks. There may have been an illustration of the boy on top of skulls and seperate one of a pile of bicycles, making me believe they were after the material.

I had read this about 5 years ago but i purchase old/used books often. I thought the book was a hardcover and red but the book I own (50 great horror stories) that matches that description does not contain this story.

Let me know if you've know this story, or can point me in the right direction.

  • Welcome to SFF.SE! This is a great start to your question, and someone may be able to find it from this. That said, the more info you provide, the easier it is to find!you may want to look at the answers to How to ask a good story-ID question?, and edit in any additional info you think of. One of the most basic is: do you remember when you read it first? – RDFozz Jan 19 '19 at 2:54

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