Lead Belly

Below is the fourth story in my short story collection, Tales From the Lost Highway for your reading pleasure. Before you read that though I would like to let you know a little bit about what is going on with my writing. I am almost finished with the rough draft of my science fiction novel the Galactic War which will be the fourth book in my Space Corps Chronicles series. I am also working on another science fiction book titled Tribes. I am trying to build my author email list and I will be sending out a monthly newsletter. For subscribing to my monthly newsletter, I will send you a free eBook. The book I will send you is Tale Spinner. I enjoyed writing it and I think you’ll enjoy reading it, Also if you would like to order, Tales from The Lost Highway click the link below the story to check it out Have a wonderful day and happy reading.

Lead Belly

Chico hit the brakes, backed off the throttle and, pulled his Fat Boy off the main road. He turned onto a gravel dirt driveway on the outskirts of Harlem Springs Arizona. Tiny and Dirty Dan followed. They slowed down and pulled up to an old mobile home at the end of the driveway.

Lead Belly took a pull from a bottle of Jack while he sat on the front porch watching them approach. His 1984 Harley Davison Shovelhead set parked next to a beat-up 1968 Ford pickup truck. A halfway grin crossed Lead Belly’s face when he saw them pull up.

“I figured you all would show up this morning. You guys want a drink?” he said standing to his feet. Chico climbed the steps onto the porch; Tiny, and Dirty Dan stepped up behind him.

“You knew we weren’t going to let you go through this alone. We wanted to make sure you’re okay,” Chico said.

They did some hugging and a tear tracked down Lead Belly’s face. “I’m fine bro.”

“You know we’re here for you,” Dirty Dan said.

“I know man. Here, you guys have a shot while I go inside and get a few more chairs,” Lead Belly said, handing them the bottle of Jack. He stepped inside the trailer.

“Do you think he knew?” Tiny asked after Lead Belly went inside.

“What? That Cheri was on the shit? Of course, he knew, with all those trips she was making to Phoenix, he had to know. You can’t get that shit here. There will be no Crystal Meth in Harlem Springs as long as I’m the president of the Road Dogs.”

“The walls of this trailer are paper-thin,” Lead Belly said when he stepped out onto the front porch. He set down three more chairs.

“I’m sorry bro,” Tiny, a massive biker, built like a refrigerator with a long scruffy beard, said. “We didn’t mean anything by it.”

Lead Belly waved them off. “No problem bro. Have a seat.”

They sat down and passed the bottle back and forth. “Yeah, I knew. We fought about it all the time. You know my history. I don’t know how I had the strength to resist. She used to do lines right in front of me on the kitchen table. It was everything I could do, to say no.”

“You should have told us. We could have done something to help,” Chico said.

“I thought that if you knew, you’d kick me out of the club. I thought you’d think I was back on the shit again.”

“No, if you were back on the shit, I’d know, but we could have done something about Cheri. We could have forced her to go to rehab or something,” Chico said.

“She wouldn’t have gone. I should have cut her loose a long time ago, but I was afraid too,” Lead Belly said.

“You loved her man. That would have been a hard thing to do,” Dirty Dan, a short grubby-looking biker with a gray beard said.

“Yeah, well it’s too late now. She’s dead,” Lead Belly said.

“Don’t worry about the services or anything. The club will cover everything,” Chico said and stood to his feet. “Why don’t you climb on that scooter and ride down to the clubhouse with us. We’ll do some partying. I know there are some women down there that would love to help you keep your mind off your sorrows.”

“There’s never a shortage of women hanging around the clubhouse,” Tiny said.

“There’s that girl Janet from Subway. I swear that girl has a thing for you,” Dirty Dan said.

Lead Belly laughed. “No, you guys go. I don’t feel up to it.”

Chico stood on the front porch with his right hand in his pants pocket. A concerned look crossed his face. “All right bro, don’t do anything stupid.”

Lead Belly waved goodbye and watched his club brothers climb on their scooters and ride away. Once they pulled onto the main road and roared away, he pulled a 38 caliber revolver from his vest. He took a bullet from the box that next to his chair. He popped out the revolving cylinder and put a bullet into it. He popped the cylinder closed and then gave it a spin. Putting the barrel of the weapon up against his temple, he cocked the hammer and pulled the trigger.

After leaving Lead Belly’s mobile home, Chico and his bros headed to the main road. They turned left and headed toward town. An older ratty-looking Pan Head passed them by going the opposite direction. The rider, an older bearded dude wearing worn-out jeans and a scruffy denim vest waved as he went by. Chico glanced in his rearview mirror looking at the patch on the guy’s back. Hitting his brake, Chico turned into a Seven-Eleven and pulled into a parking space. Tiny and Dirty Dan pulled in next to him. They killed the motors and climbed off the bikes.

“Who was that guy? He looked familiar. Is he one of ours?” Dirty Dan asked.

“I never, seen him, but I saw his picture. This is some strange shit man, but he looked like someone from the Book of The Dead,” Tiny said.

“It looked like he was heading toward Lead Belly’s place. Did you see that box of bullets under Lead Belly’s chair? He’s gonna eat his piece. We’d better go back,” Dirty Dan said.

Chico let out a sigh. “You’re right. This is some strange shit. I’ve seen that guy before and I saw that patch under his bottom rocker. It’s the Halo patch. Remember that time when we had that trouble with the Hell-Raisers in The Devil’s Punch Bowl? That guy showed up then.”

“That’s right. I remember now. I must have blocked that shit out, and remember when Sonny passed? We were outside of the clubhouse talking. He and Sonny appeared out of nowhere on their scooters like a couple of ghosts. This is some weird shit man,” Tiny said.

“That guy’s name is Cave Man. He died back in sixty-eight. If he’s here, then he’s here for a reason,” Chico said.

“Yeah, I remember him. He and Big Mike used to be tight. Big Mike was down in Florida visiting his mom when Cave Man died. We’d better go back man,” Dirty Dan said.

Chico lit a smoke. “If Lead Belly wants to take himself out there’s no way we could talk him out of it. I hope that dude can. Let’s ride.” He tossed his smoke to the ground, climbed back onto his bike, fired it up, and hit the highway. Tiny and Dirty Dan pulled in behind him and they roared down the highway heading to the Road Dogs clubhouse.

***

I touched down on the highway one hundred miles West of Harlem Springs Arizona. My radiant steed of dazzling light shimmered when I touched the ground. It lost its brilliance. It changed into an older Pan Head Harley Davidson Motorcycle. My name is John Brown, but my bros call me Cave Man and I’m a troubleshooter from beyond. When they told me in Biker Heaven that one of the bros was in trouble and needed a little help, I volunteered for the job. Whenever I get the chance to come back and be mortal for a while, I take it, but it was more than that. When they patched me into the club, when I was still alive, I swore an oath: Road Dogs in life and Road Dogs in death. I take my word seriously and when a bro’s in trouble, I’ll do whatever I can to help.

I rolled past the old oak tree that I hit at over one hundred and ten miles an hour, back in 1968 after a zombie bit me. That crash bought me a one-way ticket to Biker Heaven. I partied for what seemed like an eternity. The folks in charge asked me to join up with a group of troubleshooters that wear the Halo patch. Whenever there is trouble in the biker world and they need help from the other side, they send us. Cranking the throttle, I headed east passing a dirt trail leading back to an old cabin that Sonny used to own. Sonny, a former chapter president, is now living it up in Biker Heaven after cancer took him out. Sonny left the cabin to the club after he passed and the bros still partied there sometimes. It felt good to feel the breeze blowing through my hair and the wind in my face. I motored down a lonely desert highway heading toward Harlem Springs.

When I hit the edge of town, I passed the Road Dogs clubhouse, a bar known as the High Noon Saloon, and continued east. The bros were at the clubhouse like usual, but my mission wasn’t there, I needed to talk with Lead Belly. A feeling of nostalgia shot through me when I passed Honey Suckle Court, the street where I grew up. I turned right onto an outlying road and headed south. Three motorcycles passed going in the opposite direction. I recognized Chico and a couple of the bros. I grinned and waved, knowing that there’d be talk in the clubhouse tonight if they recognized me. It ain’t every day that you see a biker from the great beyond rumbling down the road on his Harley. In my rearview, I watched them turn into a Seven-Eleven parking lot and park their scooters. I turned off onto a dirt driveway leading to an older run-down mobile home sitting off by itself. I pulled up to the trailer, killed the motor on the Pan Head, and climbed off. Lead Belly’s eyes went wide when he saw me. He was sitting on the front porch with a gun in his hand with the barrel up to his temple when I rode up. When he saw me, he lowered the piece to his lap. Two evil demons wearing filthy black robes stood on both sides of him hissing in his ear. “Do it, one more time,” one of them said. Green slime covered the demon’s face, he had warts all over his skin and I saw pieces of decayed flesh on its evil cheek. They both reeked like three-day-old road kill.

“You have no business here!” the larger of the two evil sons of bitches said turning toward me, but Lead Belly couldn’t hear them or see them. He had his eyes glued on me. I drew my hand back as if throwing a softball and a ball of blue light shot out of my palm hitting the evil SOB in the chest. He flew backward and both of the Devil’s imps disappeared into a flash of white light. Lead Belly jumped to his feet and the pistol fell to the deck of his front porch. He stuck his hands out in front of him to stop me.

“Hold it right there! I know who you are! You’re dead! I saw your picture! You’re in the book of the dead! If you’re here, that either means that I’m dead too, that I ate my piece and you’re here to take me away and I’m not sure I wanna go! If I’m not dead, I’m startin’ to lose it and I’m seeing things! Either way, I don’t want what you’re sellin’!”

I raised my hands into the air. “Calm down bro. I want to talk. You’re up there on that porch playing Russian roulette. You’re thinkin’ about killing yourself. You can forget about Biker Heaven if you do that. You’ll wind up on the Lost Highway, and that’s not a place you want to be.”

Lead Belly fell back to his chair and motioned to another chair. “Sure. Let’s talk. It’s probably the whiskey-making me see you anyway. You want a shot?”

A grin crossed my face when I climbed up onto the porch. “We’ll have some of mine,” I said, pulling a bottle from my vest pocket. “It’s a hell of a lot better than the stuff you can get here on Earth.” I took a hit, sat down in the chair facing Lead Belly, and handed him the bottle. He took a shot and a smile crossed his face. “Hell yeah. That has to be the best Jack I’ve ever tasted.”

“And it doesn’t give you a hangover in the morning,” I said and took back the bottle.

“What do you want to talk about?” Lead Belly asked.

“I’d like to talk about, could of, should of, and would of,” I said.

Lead Belly let out a snort. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“We’re gonna talk about what could have happened if your old lady, Cheri hadn’t overdosed. What should happen, and most likely will happen, if you kill yourself. We’re gonna talk about what could happen, and most likely will happen if you don’t,” I said and handed him back the bottle. “The funny thing about this bottle of Jack is that it never runs dry.”

Lead Belly smiled, feeling the fire in his belly after he took a hit, and said, “Okay, so talk.”

“You’ve seen that old Christmas movie, called the Christmas Carol, right?” I asked.

“Don’t tell me. I’m gonna meet the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future?” Lead Belly said and grinned. He took another hit from the bottle and handed it back to me.

“Something like that,” I said waving my hand toward where my bike set parked in front of the mobile home. My spirit bike changed into its true self. Its colors magnified and its brilliance radiated light. Another spirit bike, like mine, materialized out of thin air.

“Holy shit! I ain’t never seen a scooter like that!” Lead Belly exclaimed jumping to his feet. “What kind of bike is that? It looks like my dream bike, only ten times better than I could even imagine!”

“It’s a spirit, bike. It’s yours on, loan while I’m here. Let’s ride,” I said standing to my feet.

We climbed on the scooters and motored down the road. “These bikes don’t feel that much different! Where we goin’?” Lead Belly asked.

“We haven’t opened them up yet. Believe me; they’re out of this world. We’re gonna take a trip through space and time,” I yelled, over the sound of the engines. When we reached the paved road, we turned left. “Goose the throttle and pull back the bars!” I yelled and shot up through the atmosphere to the stars. Lead Belly shot up after me.

“Hot damn! I never owned a bike that could fl- before!” Lead Belly said. The silly grin on his face made me laugh. He gazed about at the vastness of space and the Earth-orbiting below us. “How can we breathe up here?”

“We’re not actually in our physical bodies. Let’s head back,” I said and descended through the atmosphere. We touched down on the same old dirt driveway leading to Lead Belly’s mobile home. This time things looked different. Trash littered the ground, old car parts lay scattered about and Lead Belly’s Harley lay in pieces on the ground. It looked like a basket case. Yelling and screaming along with children crying emanated from the house.

“Who lives here now?” Lead Belly asked. “I never kept the yard like this.”

“You do. This is three years down the road. This is what your life would have been like if Cheri hadn’t overdosed.”

We climbed off the scooters and climbed up onto the porch. Lead Belly paused next to the steps to listen to the noise coming from inside. “That sounds like Cheri yelling, but she never used to be that bad.”

“This is what it would have progressed to if she had lived. Let’s go inside. They won’t see or hear us,” I said.

“What do you mean they?”

“You’re going to see an older version of yourself. It might freak you out a little,” I said.

“You better give me another shot of that Jack,” he said gripping my arm.

I grinned. “A shot of Jack never hurt a damned thing,” I said and we stepped through the front door. Standing in the living room of his small mobile home, Lead Belly’s mouth dropped open in shock. Trash littered the floor. Two small, filthy little boys wearing dirty diapers played amongst the squallier. Lead Belly glanced at the older version of himself. He sat in his lazy boy wearing a dirty Harley Davidson tee-shirt with the sleeves cut off.

“God, look how skinny I am, and dirty,” Lead Belly said.

“You’re back on the shit,” I said. “Watch.”

The older version of Lead Belly leaned over a coffee table. He took a baggie from his pants pocket and snorted a line of speed.

One of the little boys toddled up to him with his arms raised and said, “Daddy.”

The older version of Lead Belly backhanded the kid and yelled, “God Cheri. Can’t you get a handle on these brats? While you’re at it clean up this place!”

Cheri came out of the kitchen wearing a dirty pair of white shorts and a white wife-beater tee shirt. She looked skeletal and had a residue of white powder on her nose.

“If you’d get a job, they wouldn’t bother you so much,” she said and hustled the kids away.

“Look at their arms. See the burn marks? Cheri gets her kicks out of burning them with cigarettes when you’re not here.”

“God she looks bad. I never thought about having kids, but if I did, I wouldn’t treat them like this. I wouldn’t make them live like this.”

“That’s what Crystal Meth does. It makes it where it’s the only thing you care about and it takes you to where you don’t want to go,” I said.

“This ain’t real. What you’re saying is that if Cheri had lived, this is what would have happened?”

“Most likely. You are better off without her,” I said. We heard the sound of motorcycles and I glanced at the door. Two Harleys pulled up out front followed by a pickup truck. A door slammed and we heard three men climb the steps up onto the porch.

“Oh shit!” the older version of Lead Belly said and tucked the bag of dope into his back pocket. Someone on the front porch banged on the front door. It wasn’t a pleasant knock. It was more like a knock that a cop might make, or someone who was, pissed off at the person inside. The older version of Lead Belly jumped up and opened the door. Chico, Tiny, and Dirty Dan stormed inside.

“Hey, bro,” the older version of Lead Belly said and tried to hug Chico, but Chico shoved him across the room.

“You ain’t my bro. You stopped being my bro when you went back on the shit, you damned tweaker,” Chico said.

“It’s like that then?” the older version of Lead Belly said.

“Yeah. It’s like that. We’re here for your patch. Get your cut.”

The older version of Lead Belly let out a sigh and went to a closet. He came back a few seconds later and handed Chico his club vest.

“Look at the kid. Look at his arm,” Tiny said.

Chico crossed the room and bent down to one of Lead Belly’s boys. He took hold of his arm and examined the cigarette burns. Chico ruffled the hair on the boy’s head and then stood up. He motioned to the older version of Lead Belly and nodded at Dirty Dan. “Set him down at the kitchen table.”

“That wasn’t me. I swear,” the older version of Lead Belly said. “It was Cheri.”

“I guess you’re going to pay for your old lady’s sins,” Chico said. Tiny and Dirty Dan man handled Lead Belly into the kitchen and threw him down in a kitchen chair at the table. Chico turned on a burner on the stove. He took a butter knife from the cluttered kitchen sink and heated it over the open flame. Once the blade turned red hot, he stepped to the table. “Hold his arm out.”

“No please!” the older version of Lead Belly screamed.

While Dirty Dan and Tiny held him down, Chico burned off the Road Dogs tattoo on his forearm. He had to make several trips back to the stove to reheat the blade before he finished the job. The stench of burning flesh and Lead Belly’s screams filled the room. Cheri made herself scarce and didn’t interfere. Finished with their grizzly deed, Chico, Tiny and Dirty Dan took Lead Belly’s cut. They loaded his bike onto the bed of the pickup truck. The older version of Lead Belly stood on the front porch cradling his arm. Tears streamed down his face. “This ain’t right man,” he said.

“This bike was on loan from the club. We’re taking it back,” Chico said.

“Have you seen enough?” I asked the younger version of Lead Belly, the one standing next to me.

“Hell yeah. It’s damned depressing.”

“Then let’s take a trip forward a few years,” I said.

The air around us rippled, reality shimmered and we stood on Lead Belly’s front porch. A stench of rotten meat emanated from inside the trailer. An ambulance pulled up out front. We followed the ambulance attendant inside. The attendants couldn’t see us. Lead Belly lay sprawled on his Lazy Boy, dead as a can of corn beef. A needle hung from his right arm. Trash and other debris littered the floor.

“Where’s Cheri?” the Lead Belly standing next to me asked.

“She’s in the bedroom. She’s dead too. You both went out together.”

“What about the boys?” Lead Belly asked.

“The state took them a year ago.”

We watched the attendants remove the bodies.

“What’s next?” Lead Belly asked.

Reality shimmered once again and we stood at the back of the chapel in the Walker Brothers Funeral Home. A small crowd gathered in the front near the two coffins.

“Good Lord, I thought more people would have shown up. At least a few more of the Road Dogs,” Lead Belly said.

“If you’ll look upfront, Chico’s there. He’s the only one, though. Look at his face. Notice the tears in his eyes.”

“By the way, he acted; you would have thought he hated me,” Lead Belly said.

“He hated what you had become. As far as he’s concerned, he failed you. He thinks it was his fault.”

“Where’s Dirty Dan? We were tight once?” Lead Belly asked.

I shrugged. “He died out on the highway. He was riding alone and crashed his bike. There was no one there to call 911. You would have been with him, but by that time you were strung out on speed and you were no longer in the club.”

“Let’s get out of here. I’ve had enough of this shit,” Lead Belly said.

Once more reality shimmered and we found ourselves on Lead Belly’s front porch.

“None of that shit happened,” Lead Belly said.

“In some other reality, it did. That’s what would have happened if Cheri had lived.

“What now?” Lead Belly asked.

“Let’s see what happens if you do kill yourself,” I said. “Let’s ride.”

Climbing onto the spirit bikes, we headed down the driveway. We took Main Street through town and rode about a mile and a half down the highway. I pulled over to the side of the road near a curve and we climbed off the bikes. “We’ve traveled about four years into the future,” I said.

“What are we doing? Why are we here?” Lead Belly asked.

“Watch.”

A few minutes later, we heard the rumble of a motorcycle. Dirty Dan came round the curve. His back tire hit gravel and slid out. The sound of scraping metal filled the air as Dirty Dan slid across the highway. His head bounced off the pavement and he slid into a ditch. Blood pooled up under his unconscious body. I ambled over and Lead Belly followed.

“Oh God, man. Can’t we do something?” Lead Belly said. We knelt next to the dying biker.

“No, we’re spectators right now. He’s gonna lay there for another two hours before he dies.”

“Why are you showing me this if I can’t do anything about it?” Lead Belly asked.

“Because, if you wouldn’t have killed yourself, Dirty Dan wouldn’t have been alone. You two would have been riding together on your way out to the clubhouse. You would have called the medics and he would have lived.”

Lead Belly turned away from the downed biker. “All right. I’ve seen enough.”

“Let’s get back on the scoots and head down to the clubhouse,” I said.

We climbed back onto our scooters and rumbled on down the road. We pulled into the gravel parking lot of the High Noon Saloon. “We’ve gone back in time, from when Dirty Dan crashed. We’re back to the day after you commit suicide,” I said. We climbed off the bikes, stepped up onto the boardwalk, and entered the biker bar. The music was off, and a somber crowd gathered at the bar. Chico held up a glass of beer.

“Let’s drink one for Lead Belly,” he said. The prospects tending bar poured everyone a drink.

“God, why’d he have to do it?” Dirty Dan said. He was barely able to keep his voice from cracking.

A tear rolled down Chico’s face. “I don’t know man. It was that Cheri. I guess he couldn’t live without her.”

“Listen to the pain in their voices. You can see it in their eyes. They love you man,” I said.

“Yeah, yeah,” Lead Belly said, but I heard a catch in his voice.

“Check out the old ladies. See that young girl with dark hair? The one crying her eyes out. That older woman is trying to console her.”

“Yeah. That’s Janet from Subway. She’s a hang around.”

“She hangs around this place because of you. She’s crying for you, bro,” I said.

“She’ll be all right,” Lead Belly said.

“Yeah, maybe.”

Once more reality shimmered. We found ourselves out front of the Walker Brothers Funeral Home. Motorcycles lined the curb. We stepped inside and stood at the back of the chapel watching the services. Tears filled everyone’s eyes while the minister spoke the eulogy. He went on about God giving and God taking away.

“He’s wrong about that, this time,” I said. “God didn’t have anything to do with it. You did. You caused all this pain because of your selfishness.”

“Lighten up man. This hasn’t even happened yet,” Lead Belly said.

“But it will if you don’t man up and go on with your life,” I said.

We watched the rest of the services. When people headed down to the coffin to pay their last respects, Janet, the girl from the Subway broke down. She burst into a sobbing fit. “She loved you, man,” I said.

“Yeah, yeah. Okay. Let’s get out of here,” Lead Belly said.

We sauntered out the back door; I climbed onto my scooter and said, “Let’s Roll.”

“Where to now?”

“We’re gonna take another little trip into the future,” I said.

Time rippled. The scenery flashed by for several seconds as if we were traveling over a thousand miles an hour. Things returned to normal a few seconds later. We pulled up in front of a small blue house in a rundown neighborhood.

“Where are we at now?” Lead Belly asked.

“We’re on Honeysuckle Court. I used to live down the street.”

“Who lives here?” Lead Belly asked.

“Janet, the girl from the Subway.”

We parked the scooters, crossed the lawn, and climbed up onto the front porch. Lead Belly hesitated. I grabbed his arm and we stepped through the door and passed right through without opening it.

“How’d you do that?” Lead Belly asked.

“We’re not part of this reality. The normal laws of physics don’t apply right now.”

Lead Belly looked about, taking in the middle-aged woman sitting on the couch knitting a shawl. A fat, baldheaded man in a dirty white shirt sat in a Lazy Boy watching TV. Two chubby little boys played with toy cars on the floor and a thin girl sat next to the woman coloring in a color book.

“They can’t see us can they?” Lead Belly asked.

“No, and they can’t hear us either.”

“God is that Janet?” Lead Belly said, gazing at the woman. “She’s had to have put on at least a hundred pounds. She looks old. How long’s it been?” Lead Belly asked. “And that fat bastard. I recognize him. He’s the guy who used to manage the Subway where she worked.”

“He still does. It’s been ten years since you killed yourself.’

“Ten years? She looks like she’s aged at least twenty-five years or more.”

“That’s what happens when you live a life filled with depression.”

“Why is she depressed?” Lead Belly asked. “She has a nice house, three kids, and a man to take care of her.”

“A man she doesn’t love. She settled for second best. The man she loved killed himself ten years ago. Look at the sadness behind her eyes, and the bruise. You can see it under her make-up.”

“The fat bastard beats her? Why I ought to knock the shit out of him right now!”

I laughed. “If you tried, your hand would pass right through his head and he wouldn’t even know it. He only hits her now and then, and then he acts like a whipped dog begging for her forgiveness. He loves her, in his, own selfish kind of way. He knows that she doesn’t love him. That’s why he drinks. He settled for the wrong woman too. She was his eye candy, his dream girl. All the while, working right in the same store was a sweet girl who would have made him happy. She carried a few more pounds on her than Janet. If you wouldn’t have killed yourself, you and Janet might have got together and they’d of had a chance.”

“Honey why don’t you slice up that pie and dish us up a bowl of ice cream,” the fat man on the Lazy Boy said to his wife. Janet smiled, put her knitting aside, and went into the kitchen.

“It’s the only pleasure she gets out of life; eating, and her knitting,” I said.

“So what happens to them?” Lead Belly asked.

“They grow old; the kids go off to college. She gets a heart condition and dies. He lasts for a few more years and then his liver fails.”

“This place is depressing. Let’s get out of here,” Lead Belly said.

We stepped through the door, climbed back on our scooters, and headed up the road. The air around us shimmered. Reality rippled and once more, we sat on our motor scooters in front of Lead Belly’s Mobile home.

We climbed off the motorcycles and stepped up onto his front porch. Lead Belly took a seat and I sat down across from him. I pulled a bottle of Jack from my vest pocket and handed it to him. He took a shot.

“Are we back in my place and time now?” Lead Belly asked.

“We’re back in your place and time. I wouldn’t try walking through no walls or doors like, we did earlier. You might get a knot on your head.” An evil demon in a dark robe tried to crawl up on the porch, but I pulled my 357. A pulse of blue light shot from the barrel and the Devil’s imp disappeared in a flash of blue light.

“What was that?” Lead Belly asked, in shock.

I tucked my 357 back in my waistband. “That was one of the Devil’s miss guided children. He wants your soul.”

“All that stuff I saw. It wasn’t real, was it?”

I shrugged. “It’s what could have happened; what most likely would have happened. The future is an open book. It’s like an unwritten page. We control our destiny by the decisions we make, and the deeds we do,” I said.

“Janet doesn’t have to marry that fat bastard?”

“No, life is about choices. Sometimes you make the right ones, and sometimes you make the wrong ones.” I picked up his 38 and put it in his lap. “It’s like this choice you’re thinking about. With one pull of the trigger, you’ll change not only your life but the lives of everyone around you.”

Lead Belly sat the revolver down next to his chair. “Let’s say I don’t kill myself? What happens then?”

I grinned. “That all depends on you and the choices you make, but let’s see what might happen if you don’t bite the bullet. Let’s take another ride.”

We headed down the driveway, took a left, and headed down Main Street.

“Where are we going?” Lead Belly yelled.

“I thought we’d head down to the clubhouse,” I yelled back, so he could hear me over the sound of the rushing wind.

We motored through town, took the two-lane highway heading toward Phoenix. Five miles west of town, we pulled into the gravel parking lot of the High Noon Saloon. Motorcycles, cars trucks, and vehicles of every description filled the parking lot. Loud rock and roll music resonated from the bar. A couple of prospects sat out front guarding the motorcycles.

“What’s going on here?” Lead Belly asked.

“Why don’t we go inside and find out?” I said.

We followed one of the club members inside, moving through the crowded barroom. Lead Belly stopped in the center of the room gazing about. Someone had decorated the room for a wedding. Presents were stacked on one of the tables. A large wedding cake formed to look like a motorcycle wheel, set on another table. The small bride and groom on top of the cake had been custom painted to look like a biker and his old lady.

“Who’s getting married?” Lead Belly asked.

I laughed. “You are. Let’s go up front so we can take in all the action.”

We elbowed our way through the crowd of onlookers, even though they couldn’t see us or feel us pass by. We stepped up next to the bride and groom. Chico stood next to another, older-looking version of Lead Belly. Janet, the girl from Subway, stood next to Lead Belly. Her smile radiated happiness. The minister, one of the bros who served as the chapter’s Chaplin, stood up to perform the wedding. The band quit playing. The Chaplin, an older bro with a long beard looked up and smiled.

“Let’s start this shindig. Do you, David Henderson, AKA Lead Belly promise to torment only Janet Knight for the rest of your life? Will you treat her at least as good as you do your Harley?”

“I do,” the older version of Lead Belly said. The crowd cheered.

“Do you, Janet Knight, promise to torture and torment only Lead Belly for the rest of your life? Do you promise to put up with his shit to the best of your ability? Only then resorting to fetching him upside the head with a frying pan?”

“I do,” Janet said.

“I now pronounce you man and wife. Kiss her already so we can get on with the party.”

The crowd cheered, and the older version of Lead Belly put her in a lip lock bending her over backward. I slapped the younger-looking version of Lead Belly, standing next to me on the back. “Let’s go over to the bar and have a drink,” I said.

“I thought they couldn’t see or hear us? How are we gonna order a drink?”

I laughed. “When I come back on these missions, I have certain abilities,” I said and we headed to the bar. I found us two empty bar stools and we sat down. “Hey! Prospect! Give me a Jack and Coke and get my bro, here a beer!” I yelled, projecting my voice.

“Yeah, yeah, keep your shirt on,” the prospect tending bar, whose back, was to us said.

The prospect turned around and set the Jack and Coke down on the bar, along with a beer. “All right. Who’s fucking with me? Who ordered these drinks?” the prospect said, but a bro-down the bar called for a beer and he headed down that way. I handed Lead Belly his beer and picked up my Jack and Coke. When the glass touched our hands, they disappeared.

“You look like you enjoyed that,” Lead Belly said.

“Yeah, I always did enjoy fuckin’ with the prospects.” We finished our drinks. I ordered two more, causing the prospect some more grief. Then we watched the happy couple hit the dance floor.

“They look happy, or I should say we look happy,” Lead Belly said.

“Yeah, but remember. This ain’t real. It’s what could happen, what most likely will happen if you don’t kill yourself, but in the end, it’s all up to you. Life is about choices. Are you ready to ride?” I asked.

“Where to now?” Lead Belly asked.

“Oh, we’re gonna fast forward a few years to the future,” I said.

“Why not? It ain’t like I got anything better to do,” Lead Belly said and we headed to the door, passing through the crowded barroom. Outside, in the parking lot, we climbed onto our scooters and fired them up.” Where are we going?” Lead Belly yelled, over the noise of the engines.

“You’ll see. Let’s roll,” I said and cranked the throttle. I crossed the parking lot and headed east toward town. Lead Belly followed. Around us the air shimmered, I breathed in the scent of burning ozone and reality shifted once again. We hit, town, headed down Main Street passing a hardware store and a bank. When we passed the town graveyard, I glanced over. I saw several sets of evil-looking red eyes that looked as if they were peering at us from the pits of hell. I guess the Devil’s imps are out in force tonight, I thought. I turned left onto Baker Street and pulled into the parking lot of Saint Ann’s Hospital. We parked our scooters and headed over to the main entrance.

“What are we doing here? Are you showing me how I’m gonna die?” Lead Belly asked.

“No, you’ll see. Let’s take a walk,” I said and climbed off the bike.

When we reached the front entrance of the hospital, a band of five to six little evil demons blocked the door. They wore black robes, smelled like road kill, and warts covered their faces. I saw a few horns protruding through the hoods of their robes. Their evil red beady eyes peered at us from the darkness. Lead Belly jumped back.

“Whoa, man. What’s this?”

“Oh, these guys ain’t nothing. They’re some of the Devil’s soldiers on the scout for souls. They hang around hospitals and funeral homes. When a person dies, they’re vulnerable. That’s why the powers that be on the other side usually send someone back to escort the person home. They want to make sure they wind up in the right place. Don’t worry about these guys,” I said pulling my arm back. I flung it forward as if I was throwing a softball. A ball of blue light shot out of my hand, hitting the Devil’s boys and they exploded into a blue fireball.

“How’d you do that?” Lead Belly asked.

“It’s one of the perks you get when you wear the halo patch. You have certain powers when you come back on a mission.” We passed through the front door of the hospital without opening it.

“What is the older version of me dying? Did he crack up on his scooter? Where are we going here?”

I chuckled. “No, nothing like that. I thought we’d take a stroll down to the maternity ward.”

When we entered the maternity ward, Lead Belly began to get nervous. I noticed sweat running down his forehead. “Man, I’m not used to this stuff. I hate hospitals.”

I laughed. “Yeah, the older version of you doesn’t like it too much either.”

As we approached the delivery room, we could hear Janet screaming from down the hall.

“God it hurts! What’d you do to me you son of a bitch!” she screamed.

“Do I have to go in there?” Lead Belly asked.

“Yep,” I said and let out a chuckle. When we reached the doorway of the delivery room, I leaned against the doorjamb and held my hand out to the room. “Witness the miracle of life.”

Lead Belly stepped up next to me, a pale look crossed his face and he said, “I’m gonna be sick.”

I snickered. “Yeah, and the older version of yourself ain’t doing so good either.”

The older version of Lead Belly had passed out and the doctor left him lying on the floor.

“I pass out? I can’t believe it.”

“Yeah, but you wake up in time for the main event,” I said.

We watched the delivery for the next twenty minutes. The nurses helped Janet through her contractions. The baby’s head was crowned and he was ready to enter the world. The older version of Lead Belly stirred and climbed to his feet. He took his place next to the doctor and a big grin crossed his face.

“It hurts! It hurts!” Janet screamed.

“You can do it, babe,” the older version of Lead Belly said.

“One more good push should do it,” the gray-headed doctor said. Janet bore down, with the next contraction and the baby entered the world. A look of relief and pure joy crossed Janet’s face and the young couple radiated happiness. The doctor cleared the baby’s airway, cut the umbilical cord, and slapped the baby on the ass.

“Congratulations. You have a fine-looking baby boy,” the doctor said. The doctor carried the baby to a table, cleaned it up, wrapped it in a baby blanket, and handed it to the proud father.

“It sure is something, isn’t it?” I said to Lead Belly.

“What?” Lead Belly asked.

“The love a good man and a woman share. The miracle of life,” I said. “Have you seen enough?”

“Yeah, get me out of here before I hit the deck like my older twin,” Lead Belly said.

I let go with a belly laugh. We headed back out into the hallway, and I said, “You come back here two more times, but I’ll not bother to show you that.” We passed through the glass doors of the main entrance and climbed back onto our scooters.

“Where to now?” Lead Belly asked.

“We’ll take one more little ride into the future,” I said and fired up the scooter. We pulled out of the parking lot, I goosed the throttle and we headed down the road.

Reality shifted. We breathed in the scent of burning ozone and blasted down the highway, heading east. Ten miles outside of town, I turned right onto a long tree-lined dirt driveway and pulled up to an old farmhouse. Lead Belly pulled up next to me.

“Who lives here?” Lead Belly asked.

“You do.”

We climbed off the bikes and approached the house. An elderly couple sat on the porch swing on the front porch, under the awning, enjoying a glass of lemonade. A young boy of no more than fifteen years sat on a stump in the front yard working on an old motorcycle.

“Don’t tell me. That old geezer is me?”

“Yeah, and that’s Janet sitting next to you,” I said.

“Who’s the kid?”

“That’s your grandson. Notice the Road Dogs prospect patch on his denim vest?”

“Yeah.”

“Well son, do you think you can make that old thing run?” the old version of Lead Belly said.

Janet patted the old version of Lead Belly on the leg. “Of course he will, old man. He takes after his grandpa when it comes to mechanics.”

“I know I can make it run Grand Pa. This thing is so cool. It’s one of the old Evolution motors. Harley hasn’t made these things in over twenty years.”

The old man on the front porch smiled. “I’ll tell you what, son. If you can make that old thing run, then you can have it.”

The young man beamed. “Thanks, Grand Pa. Dad will be stoked.”

The older version of Lead Belly smiled. “When you get home tell your pops to stop by. I’ve got a brand new bottle of Jack and some of them fancy cigars that he likes.”

“I will Grand Pa. Are you gonna make the church meeting at the clubhouse this Friday night?”

“I’ll be there, son,” the older version of Lead Belly said.

“And you better go to real church with me this Sunday,” Janet said.

The older version of Lead Belly chuckled. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world, Old Woman.”

I glanced over at Lead Belly. She dies about two years later from cancer. You follow her six months after that. Have you seen enough?”

“Yeah, let’s hit the highway,” Lead Belly said.

We climbed back onto the bikes, headed down the driveway, and headed west. Reality shifted. The scenery around us changed a bit and we rolled back into town and pulled up in front of Lead Belly’s trailer. Everything looked the same as when I first pulled up. We parked the bikes and climbed up onto the front porch. Lead Belly sat down in his chair and I reached down and picked up his 38.

“Are we’re back in my place and time?” Lead Belly asked.

I popped open the revolving cylinder, picked up the box of bullets, and filled all six chambers.

“Yeah, we’re back to your here and now,” I said.

“What happens now?” Lead Belly asked.

“Now you have a decision to make. I’m tired of messin’ around with you, you little pussy. If you want to kill yourself then do it,” I said and handed him the 38. Lead Belly’s jaw dropped open and he stared at the gun in his hand. “What? Are you afraid? You won’t even feel it. Once that bullet splatters your brains across this front porch you’ll be done with this life.”

“No.” Lead Belly said, and laid the gun down next to his chair. “I ain’t afraid. I want to live.”

A smile spread across my face. “Good, then let’s ride.”

“Where to now?” Lead Belly said.

“Let’s head down to the clubhouse. The bros worry about you, and you need to be around people right now.”

“Right here and right now?”

“No better time than the present,” I said.

“Will the bros at the clubhouse be able to see you?”

“Yeah, because that’s the way I want it. I’m in the mood to do some partyin’ before I head home,” I said.

Lead Belly climbed off the front porch. We climbed back on our scooters and motored across town, but this time Lead Belly rode his, own bike. We took the highway west and pulled into the gravel parking lot of the High Noon Saloon a few minutes later. You could have heard a pin drop or a flee fart when we strolled through the front door. The women dancing on the bar stopped. Someone turned off the music. All the bros lining the bar and sitting at the tables watched us cross the barroom to the bar. We bellied up to the bar, all eyes turned toward us. I took a brass coin from my pocket, which had my name engraved on one side and the Road Dogs emblem engraved on the other. I slammed the coin on the bar. “I’m calling the coin!” I said, and several of the bros looked at me.

“Who’s this guy? His face looks familiar, but I don’t remember seeing him before,” a bro, down the bar said.

Tiny and Dirty Dan looked at me and both of their faces went pale. “I’ve seen him before. His face is in the book,” Tiny said.

Chico stepped up next to me and said, “I’ll vouch for him boys. Produce your coins.”

All the bros lining the bar produced their coins. I bought the next round and ordered a Jack and Coke from the prospect tending bar for myself. Lead Belly turned to Dirty Dan and grabbed him up in a bear hug.

“I love you, bro,” Lead Belly said. Then he noticed Janet sitting across the room at one of the tables and headed over. The next thing you know, the band started playing and they were out on the dance floor. I glanced over at them, looked over at Chico, and grinned. We both glanced over at Lead Belly and Janet out on the dance floor and I heard him ask her out for dinner.

“Your boy there is going to be okay now,” I said.

Chico sighed. “I’m glad to hear it. He had me worried. Thanks for your help man.”

“No problem. That’s why I wear the halo patch, to help out when the bros are in trouble. It gives me a chance to come back once in a while and ride my scooter,” I said.

“How are things on the other side?” Chico asked.

“Things are good. That’s why they call it Biker Heaven.”

“How’s Sonny?” Chico asked.

“Sonny’s good. He sends his love.”

“I miss him, ya know,” Chico said and tears welled up in his eyes.

I put my arm around his shoulder. “I know. Sonny misses you too. You’ll see him again, but it’s gonna be a while. The bros down here need you. You’re one of the best presidents that the Road Dogs have ever had. When your time comes, it’s gonna be a hell of a party at Biker Heaven,” I said.

I partied at the clubhouse with the bros for another three hours and then we said our goodbyes. After saying my goodbyes to Chico, Dirty Dan, and Tiny, Lead Belly came over, grabbed me up in a big bear hug. He introduced me to Janet.

“Are we good now?” I asked Lead Belly after we got done huggin’.

Lead Belly smiled, standing there with his arm around Janet. “Yeah, we’re good.”

The bros came outside, I climbed onto my scooter and they waved goodbye as I pulled out of the parking lot. I headed down the highway for about fifty miles enjoying the feel of the wind in my face. Then pulled up on the handlebars and shot up into the heavens passing through the stars.

***

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Bring a Brother Home

Hello. It’s been a while since I have posted anything so I thought that I would post another short story for your reading pleasure. Bring a Brother Home is the third story in my collection titled Tales from the Lost Highway. Leave a comment to let me know what you thing and if you would like to read the entire collection click the link at the bottom of the page. You can read the entire book for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Bring a Brother Home

I backed off the throttle and descended to the ground. My bike changed, from a dazzling steed of light to a 1953 Harley Davidson Pan Head. It looked like it had seen better days. The tires chirped when they touched asphalt. I rode down a lonely desert highway one hundred miles west of, Harlem Springs Arizona. My name is John Brown, but my bros call me Cave Man. I ride with the Road Dogs MC, or at least I did when I was alive, now I wear the halo patch. They came up with the idea for the halo patch at a church meeting in Biker Heaven. The halos are a division of the Road Dogs, only you have to be dead to wear the patch.

Some people might call us angels, but we like to think of ourselves as troubleshooters. Whenever there is trouble in the biker world, they send us. I was traveling alone on this mission; I didn’t expect much trouble, because I came to bring a brother home. A crack of thunder rolled across the night. Lightning flashed in the distance and I felt a raindrop hit my left cheek. The wind felt good to my face and the air held a slight chill. Zipping up my leather jacket, I cranked the throttle and shot down the highway. It felt good to be back. The only thing I missed about being mortal was the feeling of the wind in my face when I rode my scooter. That’s why I always touched down about a hundred miles or so away from where ever I needed to be. It gives me time to put my fist in the throttle and my face in the wind.

I rumbled by an old farmhouse, and a little kid sitting on the front porch looked up. Isn’t it past his bedtime? I thought and shot on down the highway. Backing off on the throttle, I pulled over to the side of the road next to an old oak tree. I heard a branch snap and saw a pair of beady red eyes in the forest. Evil laughter echoed from the woods.

My hand went to the 357 riding in a holster underneath my vest. “Begone, you vile creature, or I’ll send you back to hell where you belong,” I said to the evil fiend, hiding in the woods. I turned my attention back to the tree. The evil laughter stopped.

This old tree had been there for a lot of years. Back in 68, I hit that tree at over one hundred miles an hour and that’s what sent me to Biker Heaven. Up the road, about one hundred yards was a turn-off. A dirt road led back into the hills where the Road Dogs owned a cabin, but that wasn’t where I headed. My mission was in town. I leaned up against the tree, standing in the exact place where I died those long years ago. I pulled a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Old Number Seven from my coat pocket. I took a couple of shots while I leaned against the tree resting my butt. Taking a pack of Lucky Strikes from my pocket, I lit a smoke, breathing in the rich flavorful tobacco. Finished with the cigarette, I took a piss on the tree and climbed into the saddle. The old Pan Head started up on the third kick. I engaged the transmission and took off heading east into the Arizona night.

When I passed the Road Dogs clubhouse, five miles outside of town I noticed a couple of motorcycles setting out front. I didn’t bother pulling in; my mission wasn’t there. Two prospects sat out front in lawn chairs, drinking beer, but neither one of them saw me. One must have heard something because he looked up. By this time I had changed back into my spirit form. I was traveling incognito: invisible to mere mortals. I was only visible to the world when I chose to be. I reached the outskirts of town a few minutes later. A sense of nostalgia passed through me when I passed Honey Suckle Court, the street where I used to live.

Turning left on Main Street I headed down the street. I passed the bank, a hardware store, and the gas station where I used to work. Across the street from the gas station set the town’s graveyard. I noticed the red glow coming off a few sets of demonic eyes peering at me from the darkness. I guess the Devil’s boys are out tonight, I thought. On Baker Street, I turned right. I went through two stoplights and started to pull into the parking lot of, Saint Ann’s hospital, but I stopped short. A band of evil little demons blocked my path. They wore little black filthy robes and they looked like they had bathed in pond scum. I noticed warts covering their faces along with legions of decayed flesh that oozed puss. The repugnant smell of their breath wafted on the wind. The smell reminded me of a skunk that had been lying dead on the road for five days. When they saw me, the evil little shits hissed and raised their claws. They were here to collect souls, and I guess somehow, they knew I was coming.

I pulled forward, and they were on me climbing all over the bike, gouging at my face and one went for my throat. I threw them off, pulled my 357 and my knife. My 357 shot out beams of ultra-blue light. When I hit one of the little SOBs, he disintegrated disappearing from this plane of existence. I slashed with my knife, piercing the brain of another one of the bastards, and then gunned the throttle.

Several motorcycles set parked out front when I parked the Pan Head. It was now invisible like myself. I strolled up to the main entrance of the hospital. Two more of the evil little shits stood blocking the doorway. I pulled my hand back as if I was tossing a softball. A ball of blue lightning shot out of my palm and hit the little fellow in the chest. He exploded into a cloud of smoke. The other one jumped for my throat, but I grabbed him by his grubby little hands and tossed him out into the parking lot. When he hit the ground, he disappeared in a blinding white flash that only I could see.

I sauntered through the glass doors not bothering to open them. A few more of the Devil’s imps lingered in the corridor, but they backed away when they saw me coming. I guess their brothers outside told them to watch out. They have some sort of telepathy thing going on. A group of hardcore bikers sat on a bench leaning up against the wall in the waiting room. They looked devastated. One, a sandy blond-headed young man tried to comfort a middle-aged woman. She clung to him with tears rolling down her cheeks.

“I went in to check on him, and he’d slipped into a coma. Thanks for coming. After I called nine-one-one the only thing I could think of, was to call you. He’d want his brothers around him when the time comes,” the woman said.

“How long did it take the ambulance to get there?” the sandy blond-headed young man said.

“About twenty minutes. Chico, this past year has been terrible. What with the chemo and everything. I don’t know what I’m gonna do without him.”

“Don’t give up hope,” Chico said, a tear rolling down his face. “He could still beat this thing.”

 I stepped up to the woman, put my hand on her shoulder, and said, “Be at peace, sister.” Although she neither heard nor saw me, she quit crying. I moved my hand to Chico’s shoulder. He shivered and looked up at me. My eyes widened and I thought at first that he saw me, but then I realized that he just sensed something. A shudder passed through him. “Be at peace, my brother. The bros need you,” I said.

“You know, Regina, ever since the officers voted me in as president of the club Sonny has had my back. If there’s anything, anything at all that you need, let me know,” Chico said.

“You and the rest of the guys have been a Godsend. The Road Dogs motorcycle club was his life. I appreciate everything you guys have done.”

A tall, dark-haired man wearing green hospital scrubs stepped up. Regina and the Road Dogs stood to their feet.

“I’m sorry Mrs. Taylor, but it’s getting close to the end,” the doctor said.

Regina started crying again. “How long does he have?” she asked.

The doctor shrugged. “He could go in a few hours, or he could linger on for a couple of days.”

“Will he come out of the coma before he passes?” Chico asked.

The doctor paused. “He could, but I doubt it.”

“Can we go in and see him?” Regina asked.

“Yes, but let’s make it two at a time and limit the visit to no more than ten minutes. He needs to rest,” the doctor said.

Chico took Regina’s arm and followed the doctor to Sonny’s room. I followed along behind them. The rest of the Road Dogs sat back down to wait their turn for a last, visit with one of their brothers. When I entered the room behind Chico and Regina, Sonny sat up in bed. A scowl crossed his face, though no one but me saw this. It was Sonny’s spirit projecting itself outward, getting ready for the end. I looked over in the corner and saw a dark hooded figure dressed in black. He held a sickle with a long handle and he looked like the Grim Reaper himself. I pulled my vest back and put my hand on the butt of my 357. “Easy partner. This one doesn’t belong to you,” I said. The evil demon peered out of his hood with flaming red eyes, but then nodded and passed through the wall.

“What was that? I saw a flash of something dark in the corner of my eye,” Sonny said.

“Oh, it’s nothing you need to concern yourself with right now,” I said.

“What are you doing here anyway?” Sonny asked.

“I’m here for you, bro. I’m here to bring a brother home. The bros up at Biker Heaven got a big bash waiting for you.”

“What was that? I saw his eyes flicker,” Regina said.

“That happens with comatose patients,” the doctor said.

“I thought I saw his lips moving,” Chico said.

“Even though he’s in a coma, there is still some brain activity.”

“I ain’t ready. Biker Heaven can wait,” Sonny said.

I reached out and took hold of Sonny’s hand. His spirit rose out of his body, he stood beside me and looked down at his emaciated body, now wasted away by cancer.

“Look at you,” I said. “That damned cancer has eaten you up. It’s time to go.”

“But I ain’t ready. Regina needs me. The bros in the club need me. I still have things to do,” Sonny said.

“Regina will be fine and Chico will hold things together in the club. Let’s go,” I said.

“Go? Go where? I don’t want to go anywhere,” Sonny said.

“Look, bro. The doctors will keep your body alive with these damned machines for a few days. I got some things I need to show you. There’s a scooter out front waiting for you. After that, if you want you can get back in your body and try to tough it out, but it’s a lost cause. It’s your time,” I said.

“You brought my scooter?” Sonny said.

“No, not that old rust bucket. I brought your spirit bike; it’s waiting outside.”

“Spirit bike? What’s that?” Sonny asked.

“Imagine your dream bike and then multiply that by ten. You ain’t gonna believe it, bro. Let’s ride.”

Sonny shrugged and said, “Why not?”

When we stepped out the door, Sonny’s appearance changed. His body looked young and healthy. Instead of the hospital gown, he wore jeans, a black t-shirt, and his club vest. We sauntered through the wall and into the lobby. A few of the Devil’s miss guided children lingered in the hallway. One of them lunged at Sonny, but I pulled my 357 and blew its ass away with a beam of bluish-green light.”

“Holy shit! What was that?” Sonny said, jumping back.

“Oh, that’ one of the Devil’s munchkins trying to steal your soul. Forget about it,” I said.

“I want to say goodbye to the bros,” he said, stopping at the group of Road Dogs sitting in the lobby.

“Don’t worry about them. You’ll get your chance to say your goodbyes later,” I said. We crossed the lobby and passed through the glass doors at the entrance without opening them. We stepped out into the parking lot. Sonny’s jaw fell open when he saw his spirit bike parked next to mine. Earlier, when I mentioned the bike to him, sending the thought caused the bike to materialize next to mine. Both bikes were invisible to human eyes. Off in the darkness, I saw several sets of demonic eyes watching us.

“Damn! I ain’t ever seen a bike like that!” Sonny exclaimed.

“Yeah, they’re cool. These bikes don’t leak oil, and you never have to put gas in them. Let’s roll,” I said. I climbed in the saddle and fired up the motor. It put out a throaty growl that sounded like your typical Harley. Sonny climbed on his bike, jumped up, and kicked it over. He gunned the throttle and grinned. “When you put it in gear, pull up on the bars when you give it throttle. Follow me,” I said. I hit the throttle, pulled up on the bars leaning back in the saddle and the bike soared into the sky. Once the bikes left the ground, they turned into their true selves. They radiated light and fire shot out of the tailpipes. Sonny let out a wild whoop and followed me. For a while, he had trouble controlling his bike. He went flying off in a different direction, but he gained control and pulled up next to me. A big grin spread across his face.

“These things are a kick! Where are we going?” Sonny yelled over to me.

“We’re taking a little trip up to Biker Heaven. They gave you a visitor pass,” I said and cranked the throttle shooting up toward the stars.

Passing through the heavens, we continued to climb. The stars surrounded us like a warm blanket. Sonny rode beside me, his eyes wide in awe. Above us, the darkness gave way to a lustrous light. A sense of joy and love radiated down on us. We passed through a cloudbank, I backed off the throttle and we touched down on a long street paved in pure gold. We traveled through a field of emerald green grass. Rugged-looking mountains loomed in the distance. Across the meadow stood a grove of trees that seemed to reach for the heavens. The sky above us was a deep ocean blue and down the road, laid the emerald city shimmering in its glory. The noise coming from the pipes on our scooters seemed louder somehow and almost musical.

Sonny pulled up next to me. “I’ve never seen anything like this. The colors are so vivid.”

“Yeah, it’s something to see the first time,” I said.

“What’s that place up ahead?” Sonny asked.

“That’s the welcome center, but we’re pulling off before we get there. Biker Heaven is on the outskirts.” We motored on down the road for what seemed like about an hour and pulled off into a rough gravel parking lot. A rectangular-shaped cabin, hewn from rough wooden logs set off by itself. A wooden boardwalk fronted the building and a couple of wooden rocking chairs were set out front. It looked like any rustic log cabin you might see on Earth. Motorcycles of every size and description set parked next to the boardwalk. We killed the motors on our scooters and climbed off.1

“That’s it? That little cabin? That’s Biker Heaven?” Sonny asked in shock.

I smiled. “Looks are deceiving.”

Taking Sonny by the arm, I led him across the parking lot and up onto the boardwalk. Loud rock and roll music emanated from the building. The hinges on the log door squeaked when I opened it and we stepped into the barroom. A crowd of well-wishers greeted us when we stepped inside. Sonny stood in the middle of the room with his hands on his hips and his jaw hanging open. He gazed about in wonder. The polished oak bar seemed to go on forever. Masses of bikers lined the bar drinking beer and whiskey while others sat at tables. Looking down the length of the room it seemed as if it went on for miles. Bikers of every description partied hard while women danced topless and naked on the bar.

“What the? How can this place be so big? It looked little on the outside!” Sonny said. He had to shout over the noise.

“I told you that looks can be deceiving. It’s bigger on the inside than on the outside,” I said. A crowd of bikers came up, showing Sonny respect.

“Join the party! We’ve got a cabin out back picked out for you to stay in when you come back! You’ll love it here! It’s on President’s Row!” Little Danny Boy, a former Road Dogs chapter president said. He gave Sonny a big hug and a slap on the back.

“Damn it’s good to see you, man!” Sonny said. He looked around seeing several people that he knew, that had passed over.

After Little Danny Boy went back to the bar, Sonny said, “Little Danny Boy died in Nam.”

“Yeah, I was there,” I said.

“There’s Thumper, Old School, Chops and there’s old Teddy bear. I know half the people here,” Sonny said.

“Yeah, you’ve got lots of friends here,” I said.

“I see some guys from some of the clubs that we don’t get along with here. Why’s that?” Sonny asked.

“Once you cross over, all those old rivalries are no more. We all get along here. There are no rival clubs. We work with some of the other clubs sometimes to try and keep things copasetic on Earth,” I said.

“How long can I stay?” Sonny asked.

“As long as you want! Time is different here! I’ll let you know when we need to head back; don’t worry about that now! Let’s party!”

Sonny mingled with the bros, while I found a seat at the bar next to my pops. Sonny came by, joined us a while later and my pops bought the drinks. Sonny and my pops did some hugging and back-slapping. They went way back.

“This place is unbelievable!” Sonny said his eyes wide in wonder. Up on stage, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and Buddy Holly blasted out an old rock and roll tune. “I can’t believe it! Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and Buddy Holly! Talk about some good old rock and roll!”

“Yeah, those old boys can play! They’re on tour right now!” I yelled over the noise.

“I could stay here forever!” Sonny yelled.

Pops laughed. “I went hog wild when I first showed up!”

“If you want to hook up with one of the women there are cabins out back!” I said.

“I can’t! I’m married, but they sure are good-looking!” Sonny said.

“It’s okay! You can if you want! Everything’s okay here and all the women are good-looking!” I yelled. We partied for what seemed like an eternity and then I laid a friendly hand on Sonny’s shoulder. “We’d best ride! You have some unfinished business back at the hospital in Harlem Springs!”

Sonny sighed and we headed for the door.

***

We touched down on the highway three miles outside of town. Our spirit bikes changed. They went from radiant steeds of light back to old Harley Davidson motorcycles. We motored into town and when we pulled into the hospital parking lot, we turned invisible once more. I fought another battle with the evil little vermin in the black robes. Most of them ran after I threw a ball of blue lightning into their midst.

“Why can’t I do that?” Sonny asked.

“All in due time, bro. You haven’t crossed over yet. You’re still between.”

Sonny and I stepped through the front door, not bothering to open it, and headed down to Sonny’s room. Sonny’s wife Regina and a group of Road Dogs gathered around the bed.

“How much time has passed since we left?” Sonny asked. The humans still in their physical bodies couldn’t hear us.

“It’s been three days. It’s time, Bro,” I said.

Sonny looked down at his emancipated body. “What if I don’t want to?”

I shrugged. “It’s your choice. You have to go back into your body. You can give up the fight, and we’ll move on, or you can keep fighting and last another month or two, but look at your body. You’re not gonna beat this thing.”

Sonny sighed and entered his physical body. Regina kissed his cheek, Chico took his hand and a few of the bros gathered around talking to him. The heart machine beeped and then flat lined. The breathing machine stopped and Sonny’s body died. Regina began to cry and Chico put his arm around her.

“It’s better this way. At least he’s not suffering anymore,” Chico said.

Sonny’s spirit rose out of his body and stood next to me. “What now?”

“Go comfort your wife. She won’t be able to hear you or feel your touch, but in her spirit, she’ll know your there.”

Sonny moved across the room and stood next to Regina on the other side of Chico. He put his arms around her. I moved around touching each one of the Road Dogs gathered around the bed.

“Be at peace, brother,” I said to each one when I touched them. When I got to Chico, I said, “Be strong bro. She’s gonna need you.”

“I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ve never had to plan a funeral before,” Regina said.

“Don’t worry about that. I’ll handle it for you. You need to go home and get some rest. Tomorrow, I’ll take you over to the funeral home,” Chico said.

The doctor came in and shooed everyone out after Regina and the Road Dogs said their goodbyes. They wheeled Sonny’s body out of the room, covered up with a sheet. Sonny stood in the hallway watching them wheel his remains away.

“Don’t worry about that,” I said.

“What do we do now?” Sonny asked.

“We need to hang around for a while. You’ve got a funeral to go to,” I said.

“You mean I’m gonna attend my, own funeral?” Sonny asked.

“Of course. Everyone does,” I said.

Chico and the bros took Regina home and we followed along behind on our scooters, all though they couldn’t see us. I glanced over my shoulder and saw a few of the little demons in the black robes scampering along behind us. When they arrived at Sonny’s place, the bros parked their scooters on the street. Chico escorted Regina to the front door. Before he stepped inside, Chico glanced out at the street.

“What?” a young prospect asked.

“I don’t know man. I couldn’t see anybody, but it felt like someone was following us. Like right now, I feel eyes on me but no one’s there,” Chico said.

“It’s Sonny passing and all. It’s got you rattled. We’re all in shock right now,” the prospect said.

“Yeah, you’ right,” Chico said and stepped into the house.

“What now?” Sonny asked when we stepped up on the porch.

“Chico and the bros will take care of her for now. They’ll spend the night to be sure she’s okay. Why don’t we sit out here on the porch, have a few beers, and enjoy the evening?”

Sonny sat down on a plastic chair and I sat down next to him.

“Where are we supposed to get the beer?” Sonny asked.

I glanced down and a six-pack of Bud Light set at my feet. “Imagine that,” I said and took one out of the six-pack. I handed it to Sonny and took one for myself. A few of the little demons showed up out front and one of them tried to come into the front yard. “No, you little shit. Back on out of here before I send you back to hell where you belong,” I said pulling my 357. They retreated to the sidewalk and a few of them climbed up on the picket fence. I shot one of them off the fence, sending it back to the pits of hell.

“How’d you do that?” Sonny asked.

“Do what?”

“How do you make blue lighting come out of your piece like that and how did you make that beer appear out of thin air?” Sonny asked.

I laughed. “It’s one of the perks you get when you cross over. It takes concentration. You’ll learn.” We killed our first beer, I handed Sonny another and took a bottle of Old Number Seven out of my vest pocket.

Sonny took a pull from his beer and gazed out at the night. “This is the last time I’ll ever sit on my front porch and have a beer,” he said.

“Oh, I don’t know about that. This is the second time I’ve been back to Harlem Springs since I died in sixty-eight. When you get to Biker Heaven you might decide to join the Halos. Then you’ll get to come back once in a while when you’re needed.”

Sonny’s eyes widen. “I remember now. You came back and helped us with the Hell-Raisers that time. I must have blocked that out of my memory somehow.”

“Yeah, those boys were a bad bunch, and their helpers were worse. That was a dangerous time.” Sonny and I sat on the front porch for the rest of the night drinking beer and watching the sunrise in the morning.

***

We headed back into the house around nine that morning. We passed right through the front door without opening it. People tend to get upset when their front door opens and closes by itself. Chico and the bros sat on the couch, while Regina puttered around in the kitchen making breakfast.

“Regina, you don’t need to fix us anything. We’ll grab a bite to eat in town,” Chico said.

“That’s all right. It gives me something to keep my mind off things. I can’t believe he’s gone,” she said.

“I almost feel like he’s still here with us,” Chico said.

Sonny, sitting on the couch next to him grinned. I laughed.

Regina passed around plates loaded down with scrambled eggs, bacon, and hash browns. Then she passed out cups of coffee.

“That woman always did like to cook,” Sonny said.

“Don’t I know it? I remember those times you invited me and some of the bros over for dinner. I love that woman’s cooking,” I said.

The others engaged in conversation while they ate. They neither heard nor saw Sonny and me.

After everyone finished eating, Regina said, “I don’t know how I’m gonna pay for the funeral. Johnny had a life insurance policy, but I don’t know where it is.”

“You don’t need to worry about that. The club will cover everything,” Chico said.

Sonny jumped to his feet. “I know where that life insurance policy is. It’s in that closet right over there, up, on the top shelf in a shoebox along with some other papers.”

I stood up next to Sonny and gripped his arm. “Here’s your chance to start usin’ some of the powers that you’ll have when you cross over. Open that closet door.” Sonny started to cross the room, but I stopped him. “You can’t do it with your hand like when you were alive. Your hand would pass right through the doorknob. Use your mind. Sometimes it helps if you extend your hand with your palm open.” Sonny extended his hand. “Concentrate.”

“This is hard,” Sonny said.

“Focus,” I said.

Sweat beaded up on Sonny’s forehead, but the door squeaked open. The Road Dogs, sitting on the couch, jumped looking up in shock. Sonny crossed the room to the open door of the closet and extended his hand to the shoebox on the top shelf. The shoebox fell to the floor spilling the papers inside.

Regina let out a started cry and Chico jumped to his feet.

“That almost scared the shit out of me,” Chico said and crossed the room to the spilled papers. He looked through the papers for a few seconds then picked up some of them. “Here are those insurance papers. I told you it felt as if Sonny was still here.” He handed Regina the insurance papers.

Regina looked about the room. “Sonny, if you’re here, I love you and I’m gonna miss you,” she said to the room.

“I’m gonna miss you too darlin’,” Sonny said and a tear tracked down his face.

I put my arm around his shoulders and said, “She’s gonna be fine.”

A half-hour later, Chico rode with Regina in her station wagon. The bros followed along behind them as they headed down to the funeral home. Sonny and I brought up the rear on our spirit bikes. After taking some turns on a few back streets, Chico pulled up in front of the Walker Brothers Funeral Home. The Road dogs parked their scooters behind Regina’s station wagon. Chico climbed out, went around to the passenger side, and helped Regina out of the wagon. They headed up the walkway to the front entrance. The Road Dogs stepped along behind them. Sonny and I brought up the rear. Another gaggle of little demons in their black robes tried to grab Sonny at the door. I tossed a ball of blue lightning in their mist and they scattered. One of them had Sonny by the arm, trying to drag him down to hell. I pulled my knife and stabbed him in the top of his slimy little head. He disappeared with a flash of white light followed by a cloud of black smoke.

“Those little suckers don’t give up, do they?” Sonny asked.

“No, they’ll pester us until we head out to Biker Heaven. Don’t worry, I’ll deal with them.”

Chico and Regina went inside and the bros followed them. The prospect, the last one in the door, slammed it in my face, so Sonny and I passed through.

A tall dark-complexioned man in a black suit stood in the center of the reception area. Several oak coffins were set up against the wall and white shag carpet covered the floor. Chico led Regina over to the man. They conversed in low tones and then the man said, “Let me show you what we have.” He led them over to what had to be the most expensive coffin in the room. “Now this is our super deluxe model. With its gold trim, its gold handles, and its silk lining, you would be doing your husband proud, Mrs. Taylor.”

“Check out this asshole,” I said.

Sonny saw red. “I know. If I was still alive, I’d kick his ass right now.”

“I don’t think gold trim or gold handles are necessary,” Chico said.

“What did you say your name was?” the man asked.

“My bros call me Chico.”

“Well, Mr. Chico. My name is Tom Walker. I own one-third of this funeral home and I’ve been doing this for over twenty years. I’m more qualified than you to make that decision, but why don’t we let the widow decide?” he said.

“I don’t know,” Regina said. A tear tracked down her cheek and a trimmer passed through her.

“I’ll tell you what, Mrs. Taylor. Why don’t we step into my office and I’ll let you check out some of our brochures?” Walker said.

Walker took Regina’s arm and led her away. Chico followed them with a scowl on his face. I noticed his fists ball up at his side. The Road Dogs stepped outside for a smoke. Sonny and I stepped through the wall joining Chico and Regina in the office with Tom Walker. Tom sat behind a large wooden desk while Chico and Regina sat down across from him.

Walker handed Regina a brochure. “I recommend our super deluxe model. If that’s too expensive and you don’t mind something less fashionable, you could go without the deluxe model. It’s two hundred dollars less.”

Chico jumped to his feet. “Mr. Walker. Could I speak with you outside please?”

“I don’t see what-”

“Now, please!” Chico said.

“Excuse me, Mrs. Taylor,” Tom Walker said and stood to his feet. He stepped out of the office and Chico followed him. Sonny and I passed through the wall to watch the show. Out in the hallway, Chico grabbed Tom Walker by the throat and slammed him up against the wall.

“Listen, asshole! She doesn’t need your super deluxe model or your deluxe model. She needs a standard coffin to bury her husband in!”

“I,-but-” A spot of urine appeared at the crotch of Walker’s pants.

“You know, you’re right,” Chico said interrupting him. “Let’s go with the super deluxe model. We’ll take the most expensive service you’ve got. You’re gonna give her that super deluxe coffin at the same price as you would a pine box! As for the services, you’ll give her that for free! You’ll do the whole deal for two thousand dollars. If you don’t the bros and I are gonna come back here tonight and burn this place to the ground! Are we clear?” Chico turned loose of Walker’s throat.

“Yes, perfectly, clear,” Tom Walker said and they stepped back into the office.

I laughed. “I like the new pres. I knew he had the makings the first time we came back and mixed it up with them Hell-Raisers at the Devil’s Punch Bowl.”

Sonny grinned. “Yeah, Chico can be a bit intense when he gets riled. He reminds me of you when you were young.”

I laughed and we passed back through the wall to watch Regina sign the papers. A grin crossed her face when Tom Walker told her the price that he was charging her.

Sonny laughed and said, “That old boy looked like he swallowed a turd.”

“I know. I thought he was going to choke when he told her the price,” I said and let out a giggle. Chico looked up with a weird expression on his face. For a moment, I thought he saw me, but then his eyes dropped back down to the papers Regina was signing. Finished with the papers, Chico took Regina’s arm. He led her out of the office and stormed out of the funeral home as if his tail was on fire.

***

Three days later, we gathered in the chapel at the funeral home. The minister from the Baptist church, where Regina attended preached his eulogy. Cars filled the parking lot. Motorcycles lined the curb and I saw a few of the little demons out front, but they were afraid to go inside the chapel. The Grim Reaper stood peaking around a corner holding his sickle over his shoulder.

“Damn, the Devil and his boys don’t give up do they? Will we be safe inside?” Sonny asked.

“They won’t step foot in there. It’s holy ground,” I said and we stepped inside. About fifty members of the Road Dogs lined the back three pews. There were several members from other motorcycle clubs there to pay their respects. Friends and family plus people from the church occupied the rest of the chapel. Sonny and I stood unnoticed by the back door watching the proceedings.

Pastor Blackwood from the church stepped up on the platform. Tom Walker, from the funeral home, stayed in the background.

“It tickled me to see all these motorcycles pull up out front,” Blackwood said. “One thing James Taylor, Sonny to his club brothers, liked was riding his motorcycle. Now he’s gonna ride it up in heaven. If Jesus were walking the Earth today, he might ride a Harley.” A loud cheer rose from the back of the room. The preacher continued, preaching a good sermon. When he finished he let others speak sharing their thoughts about Sonny. When they finished, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

After the service when the people in the audience filed out, Sonny stood next to Regina. He took one last look at his body before they closed the casket.

“Damn, bro. That doesn’t even look like me,” Sonny said.

“It’s not. It’s a hunk of rotting meat,” I said.

We followed the funeral procession, riding at the back of the pack as they rode over to the graveyard. When we headed out to the gravesite, Sonny and I followed along behind the crowd. A couple of prospects, one from the Road Dogs and another from another club, strolled along in front of us.

“Hey man, this is gonna sound weird, but I was ridin’ at the back of the pack. I kept hearing what sounded like a couple of scooters behind me. I was ridin’ tail-end Charley,” a prospect from another club said.

The Road Dog prospect he was talking to nodded. “Yeah, I almost thought I saw Sonny’s bike parked out front. I did a double-take, but nothing was there. Things like that creep me out, man.”

They had a canopy set up where they were holding the graveside service. Sonny and I followed the crowd when the Grim Reaper stepped out from behind a tree. He tried to lead Sonny away. I pulled my 357, stepped up behind the old boy, and slammed the butt of my gat into the back of his head.

“Ouch!” the Grim Reaper said and let go of Sonny’s arm.

“I told you, this one doesn’t belong to you,” I said and pulled Sonny away.

We headed over to where they were holding the services and stood at the back of the crowd listening to the sermon. Sonny leaned up against a tree and I stood next to him with my arms crossed in front of me. “Well, what’d you think?” I asked.

“I didn’t realize I had so many friends. I almost got choked up there for a moment when the preacher was talking about me.”

I slapped him on the shoulder. “You lived a good life, bro.”

“I hope that Regina will be okay,” Sonny said.

“She’ll be fine. The bros from the club will get her through this. Chico’s adopted her.”

“Yeah, she thinks the world of that kid. His mother died a few years ago,” Sonny said.

We headed back to the scooters and rode back to Sonny’s house, but for once, the Devil’s imps left us alone. People from the church, along with friends and family gathered in the living room. The bikers hung around outside drinking beer. Sonny and I sat on the front porch knocking back a few, while the bros gathered in the yard. I reached my hand through the lid of an ice chest, grabbed two beers, and handed one to Sonny. When the bottles touched my hands, they disappeared.

“How do you do that?” Sonny asked. “I reached into that chest and tried to grab a bottle, but my hand passed right through the bottle. I couldn’t pick it up.”

“It takes concentration. You’ll get it after a while,” I said.

A prospect opened the ice chest a few seconds later. His eyes widened. “Damn. We’re going through a lot of beer. We’ll have to make a run.”

Sonny and I laughed.

***

The following Saturday, the Road Dogs held a party in Sonny’s honor at the clubhouse. They started at noon, tapping a few kegs of beer. The booze flowed, the music cranked and the bros were ready to party. Regina showed up about two PM, in time for a ceremony inside the bar where they retired Sonny’s colors. They put them in a display case with a few other vests from fallen brothers and put his picture in the book of the dead. Regina only stayed for a couple of hours and then went home.

The old ladies got loose, took off their tops, and danced on the bar. Prospects worked the bar handing out drinks. As the party continued, a few of the bros who couldn’t hold their liquor held a puke fest in the parking lot. A few more passed out, one laying on the floor next to the bar and another on the pool table.

“Watch this?” I said to Sonny, nodding at the prospect’s back tending the bar. “Hey, prospect! Give me a Jack and Coke and bring my bro here a beer!” I yelled above the noise.

“Keep your shirt on!” The prospect said. When he turned around and placed the drinks on the bar a strange look crossed his face. “Okay, who’s the wise-ass? Who ordered these drinks?” No one responded so he headed down the bar to take another order. I grabbed my Jack and Coke and handed Sonny his beer. When my hands touched the glass tumbler, it disappeared. When I handed Sonny his beer, it disappeared when the bottle touched his hand.

“How did you do that?” Sonny asked.

“What?”

“Make him hear you like that,” Sonny said.

“You have to concentrate and project your voice.”

The women not dancing on the bar-headed over to the stage and put on a wet t-shirt contest. The bros gathered around watching the show. Finished with my Jack and Coke I ordered another. I ordered Sonny another beer while the prospect his back to us. When he turned around and set the drinks on the bar, he looked as if he’d swallowed a prune.

“Whoever ordered these drinks better quit fucking with me,” he said. I waited until he turned back around and we took our drinks.

Sonny laughed. “Why are you messin’ with that kid?”

“Because it’s fun,” I said. I glanced at the bar and noticed a beer setting at the end of the bar that no one was drinking. “You know, they put that beer down there on the bar for you, in your honor. Why don’t you go down there and drink it?”

A grin crossed Sonny’s face. He climbed out of his chair, ambled down the bar, and downed the drink. “How long do you think it’ll take them to realize it’s gone?” I shrugged.

“Okay, who’s the clown that drank Sonny’s beer?” Chico yelled a few minutes later. The bar dropped into silence for a few minutes, but no one copped to the deed.

“Maybe Sonny drank it,” a prospect said.

Chico scowled and then said, “Yeah, maybe he did.” The party resumed.

About six in the evening, I noticed Chico head outside with a couple of the chapter officers. I slapped Sonny on the back and said, “This has been fun, but we need to get on the road. We got another party up in Biker Heaven waitin’ on us.”

Sonny nodded, gave the bar one last look and we headed for the door. Outside Sonny and I climbed onto our spirit bikes and pulled out into the street. A band of the greasy little bastards in the black robes attacked us. I spent a few minutes slashing with my knife and shooting the little SOBs with my 357. One tried to climb on Sonny’s back, but I grabbed him by the back of his hood, threw him to the ground, and stomped him with my boot. The rest took off down the street.

“I won’t miss those little guys,” Sonny said catching his breath.

“They won’t bother us once we hit the road. We’ll do about fifty miles on the highway before we head home. Whenever I get the chance to come back, I like to do a little ridin’. There’s nothing like feeling the wind in your face when you’re in solid form.”

“Yeah, I could go for that,” Sonny said. “But I thought we were spirits?”

Focus when I tell you and you’ll be able to make the change,” I said, “but there’s something we need to do first.”

“What’s that?” Sonny asked.

“We need to let Chico and those two officers see us.”

“How do I do that?” Sonny asked.

“Close your eyes and concentrate. Then open your eyes and let it happen.”

We solidified in the middle of the street. Sonny and I glanced over at Chico and the two chapter officers. A grin spread across Chico’s face and the two officers’ mouths fell open. Sonny and I waved. Chico and the two bros standing next to him waved back, and I dropped the transmission into first gear. Sonny and I headed down the highway and became one with the wind.

***

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The Devil’s Punchbowl

For your reading pleasure, check out my short story the Devil’s Punchbowl, below. It is the second story in my collection known as Tales from the Lost Highway. To read the entire series click the link below to buy the eBook at Amazon.com. Let me know what you think of the story. I love hearing from my readers. Until next time peace out!

The Devil’s Punchbowl

Lightning flashed and thunder rolled. I materialized on a lonely desert highway, along with six of my bros. Our scooters faded from their majestic dazzling colors and chrome and changed into ordinary, older worn-out looking Harley Davidson motorcycles as we touched down on the highway. My name is John Brown, but my bros call me Cave Man. Back in sixty-eight, I rode with the Road Dogs. The world went through a change and I wound up hitting an oak tree at one hundred and ten miles per hour. That sent me to Biker Heaven, along with my bro, Old School. Now we ride with a band of troubleshooters and wear the halo patch. Whenever there’s trouble in the biker world and the bros need a little help from the other side, they send us. Some people might call us angels, but don’t get confused. We’re not Hell’s Angels; we ride for the other side.

It felt good to be mortal once more and feel the wind in my face, even though it was only temporary. We rolled down the highway with Little Danny Boy, our road captain, leading the pack. Hector, Hondo, Iron Man, Thumper, and Old School formed up behind Little Danny Boy. They were riding in a staggered formation. I rode in the tail gunner spot at the rear. We rolled around a bend, one hundred fifty miles out of Harlem Springs Arizona. The moon was full on a warm summer night. Little Danny Boy pulled over to the side of the road next to a battered old oak tree. He parked his scooter, stepped over to the tree and the rest of us pulled over behind him. Old School and I sauntered up next to Little Danny Boy and I felt a cold chill run down my spine.

“You remember this place?” Little Danny Boy asked. but I shrugged, pulling a bottle of Old Number Seven from my vest pocket, and downed a shot. A cold wind caused a chill to run down my spine so I zipped up my leather jacket.

“How could I forget? This is where I died,” I said, and then Old School and I knelt to examine the tree.

“Look you can still see the scars. There’s a dent where my head smashed against the trunk,” Old School said.

“Are we going to stop at the cabin?” I asked, but Little Danny boy shook his head.

“No. They’re back in town now. It’s been thirty-two years. The world’s moved on. Things are back to normal now. The government finally got a handle on the flesh-eaters in the late eighties. The ones we’ll be fighting now will be much harder to kill than those zombie sons of bitches.”

“What about Teddy, Bear, and Chops? I thought they’d want in on this deal,” I asked.

“They’ll come if we need them. Even your pops said something about joining us if things get hairy,” Little Danny Boy said. That brought a smile to my face.

“It’ll feel good to ride with the old man again,” I said. “I only see him at church. The rest of the time he’s busy going hog wild in Biker Heaven.”

Little Danny Boy stepped over to his old Pan Head and said, “Let’s ride. There’s a storm coming, and it’s coming straight from hell. If we don’t do something, the Road Dogs won’t stand a chance.” We fired up the scooters. Little Danny Boy pulled onto the highway. We rolled on through the night toward Harlem Springs Arizona.

***

On another lonely desert highway, Joker and Cowboy had their fist in the throttle. They were heading toward town. A full moon looked down from above. A cool breeze tickled their checks and Cowboy felt a chill shoot down his spine. He heard the rumble of motorcycles coming up behind them. Glancing in his rearview mirror, Cowboy’s eyes widened. He saw the headlights of over thirty motorcycles coming up on their tail at a high rate of speed. It looked as if they had a pickup truck traveling behind the pack as a chase vehicle.

Behind the motorcycle riders, an evil multitude of demonic entities thundered forward. The leader rode a two-headed beast that looked like a cross between a rhinoceros and an elephant. He wore a golden spiked helmet and carried a flaming sword forged by the Devil himself. The evil beast snorted fire. It let out an evil hiss and they thundered down the road following their human disciples. When they passed by a ranch house that set off the road, the man of the house woke up in a cold sweat. He felt an urgent need to pray and fell to his knees at his bedside. Down the hallway, his six-year-old daughter screamed in the night in the thralls of a nightmare. Outside their German shepherd dog howled, cowering in his doghouse.

Thunder cracked and lightning pierced the night when the leader of the evil host blew his horn. On the ground, the Hell-Raisers, the motorcycle gang in pursuit of Cowboy and Joker, pulled up next to them. Their leader, known as Hell Boy, lowered a double-barreled sawed-off shotgun. He let go with both barrels blowing Cowboy out of the saddle. Cowboy’s bike swerved sideways, high-sided, and tumbled down the road. Joker locked up his brakes and went down near the centerline. When he stopped sliding, coming to rest on his back, Hell Boy parked his custom chopper on the side of the road. He swaggered over to where Joker lay.

“Please. Mercy,” Joker pleaded and raised a bloody hand.

Hell Boy laughed and said, “Sorry. I’m fresh out.” The rest of the pack parked their motorcycles on the edge of the road. Grim Reaper, their road captain stepped up to Hell Boy.

“You want me to do it?” Grim Reaper asked, shaking a one-gallon gas can.

“No. This one’s mine,” Hell Boy said.

“Please no. Shoot me, man,” Joker said trying to stand on his busted leg.

Hell Boy laughed, kicked him back to the pavement, poured gasoline over Joker’s body, and smiled. “I’ll see ya in hell,” he said pulling a Zippo from his pants pocket. Making flame, he set off the gasoline and while Joker screamed in agony. Hell Boy whistled a tune and ambled over to Cowboy’s body. After pouring gasoline over Cowboy’s remains, he lit him up and turned to his club brothers. “That’s two. We’ll hit their clubhouse in Tortilla Flats and head east.”

“We’ll need a little help with those old boys,” Grim Reaper said.

“Our bros from up north are going to meet us across the border at Parker. When we hit those trailer trash white boys in Harlem Springs, we’ll be over a hundred strong. Let’s ride.”

The Hell-Raisers roared down the highway. The moon reflected off the black and white patches on their backs. It revealed the Hell-Raiser patch along with their top and bottom rocker. The main patch depicted the evil skeletal demon riding a chrome horse. The stench of burning flesh wafted on the wind. Behind them, unseen to the human eye, the leader of the demonic crew let out a war cry. He urged on his fiends from hell and collected two more souls.

The Hell-Raisers hit the Road Dog clubhouse in Tortilla Flats hard and fast. They rolled up on the Thunder Dome and gunned down the two prospects guarding the bikes in the parking lot. When the bros inside the clubhouse heard gunfire, they rushed outside into a wall of lead. The survivors of the initial onslaught retreated into the clubhouse. They returned fire after busting out a few windows at the front of the building.

Hell Boy motioned to Grim Reaper and said, “Send half the boys to the rear to make sure they don’t come out the back. Send Spike to get a crowbar to bar the front doors. Get the gas cans.” Dodging bullets coming from the clubhouse, Grim Reaper ran forward carrying the crowbar. Spike followed along behind carrying two five-gallon gas cans. Grim Reaper barred the front door. Spike poured gasoline all over the front boardwalk and the front of the building. The tempo of the gunfire increased. Ignoring the gunfire, Hell Boy stepped up to the boardwalk with a cocky grin on his face. He pulled his Zippo from his pocket and lighted a cigarette. Then he tossed the burning lighter onto the boardwalk. The Thunder Dome burst into flames. Hell Boy laughed. Ignoring the blood-curdling screams of the bikers trapped inside the burning clubhouse. He turned to his motorcycle and climbed in the saddle. “We’ll leave five guys here. I’ll call some of our chapters from up north and have them send some guys down. Have the guys we leave here find another bar to establish our presence. Check out that place on the other side of town we saw coming in here. Within a month, we’ll own this town,” Hell Boy said to his Road Captain. While Grim Reaper picked out the five guys to stay behind, the rest fired up their motorcycles. They headed for the Arizona border. Behind them, hovering above the ground, the leader of the demonic swarm opened up a ceramic urn. Moonlight flashed off the jewels and diamonds embedded in the urn and he collected the souls.

***

We rolled into Harlem Springs at six in the morning and stopped in at the diner. Being mortal again required food and rest. After breakfast, we holed up in a motel and rolled out to the High Noon Saloon about six PM that evening. Pulling up next to the boardwalk, we parked the bikes in the gravel parking lot and stepped up on the boardwalk. The two prospects guarding the motorcycles out front gave us the once over. The Road Dogs ran an open clubhouse. Anyone could come and drink at the bar, as long as they behaved. If they caused trouble, the bros would toss them out on their ears. It was mostly club members that evening and the party was in full swing. The large speakers behind the bar blasted a ZZ Top tune and two young ladies danced on of the bar topless. They looked like hang around’s, not old ladies. A woolly bear of a man danced with another, big-breasted blonde on the dance floor. Several people sat at tables throughout the room and bikers lined the bar.

We stood in the center of the bar room, taking in the scene. All eyes turned to us acknowledging our presence. Then the bar’s patrons went about their business.

“There’s a lot of new faces here,” Little Danny Boy said.

“What do you expect? It’s been over thirty years. Like, you said, the world’s moved on,” I said noticing a familiar face sitting at the bar. His hair had gone gray. His beard had turned white and his face looked more weather-beaten. I would recognize Sonny anywhere. “There’s Sonny,” I said, a smile crossing my face. I headed over to the bar while Little Danny Boy and the rest of our crew found a table. Elbowing my way between Sonny and a young Road Dog with curly blond hair, I pulled a copper coin out of my vest pocket. Engraved on one side of the coin, was our club patch and the words Road Dogs. On the other side of the coin was my name: Cave Man. I slapped the coin down on the bar.

“I’m calling the coin,” I said. It was a tradition. When someone called the coin, the club member unable to produce his coin bought a round of beers. All eyes at the bar turned to me and Sonny’s eyes widened.

“What chapter are you from brother? I’ve seen your face somewhere, but I don’t remember,” the young curly blond-headed biker said.

“I’m from this chapter. The name’s Cave Man,” I said and turned the coin over showing my name engraved on the back. Sonny’s eyes widened and his jaw dropped.

“I knew Cave Man. You look a lot like him, or like he did before he died back in sixty-eight. Where’d you get that coin?” Sonny asked.

“You gave it to me, Sonny. At the ceremony when you patched me in,” I said.

“I’ll be right back,” the young blond-headed biker said and disappeared into a back room.

“Who’s the young blood?” I asked.

“That our president. We call him Chico.”

“Why aren’t you still president?” I asked.

Sonny pulled a pack of smokes from his vest pocket and lit one up. “I ran my course. It was time for the young folks to take over.”

Chico came back carrying a leather-bound book and his face looked ashen. “He’s in the book,” Chico whispered to Sonny. “I knew I’d seen his face somewhere. So are those dudes sitting over at that table with that halo patch on the back of their vests. It’s below the bottom rocker. They’re all in the book of the dead,” Chico said and handed the book to Sonny. The book of the dead was a leather-bound photo album with pictures of all our fallen brothers. You had to be dead, to be in the book.

“If you’re Cave Man prove it. Show me the tat we gave you the day you patched in,” Sonny said, so I pulled up my shirt and showed him my tattoos.

“Anybody can get a tat. Tell me the last thing you said to me the day you died. Tell me how you went out.”

I sighed. “The very last thing I said to you was that after we died for you guys to have a party for Old School and me. Then I said goodbye to that young girl Cynthia, I climbed on the bike, looked at Old School, and said, “Let’s ride.”

“Old School. Is he here too?” Sonny asked.

“He’s right there at that table,” I said.

“Who’s Old School?” Chico asked.

“He was before your time. He’s in the book. Little Danny Boy was president before me. He died in Vietnam. How’d you guys go out?” Sonny said.

“Me and Old School both got bit by zombies. We plowed into that old oak tree down the road from the dirt road leading back to the cabin. We hit the tree at over one hundred miles an hour,” I said.

“Is he telling you the truth?” Chico asked.

“I know it sounds crazy, but yeah he is. He’s Cave Man. It happed as he said.”

“What’s with the halo patch?” Chico asked.

“I’ll let Little Danny Boy tell you about that,” I said and motioned for him and the bros from the other side to come over. They bellied up to the bar and a few nervous hellos came from the Road Dogs lining the bar. It’s not every day that a band of bikers comes back from the dead and swagger into a bar. “Meet Chico. He’s the new president. He wants to know about the halo patch,” I said. Chico and Little Danny Boy shook his hand.

“He doesn’t feel like no ghost,” Chico said and let out a nervous laugh.

“The Halos are a group of troubleshooters. We’re an auxiliary branch of the Road Dogs,” Little Danny Boy said.

“Why ain’t we heard of them?” Chico asked.

“Because you have to be dead to sign up. We started the group in a church meeting in Biker Heaven,” Little Danny Boy said. You could have heard a pin drop or a fly fart.

“Are you guys like angels?” Chico asked.

“Sort of, but not quite. They gave us certain powers that we can use while we’re here to help us complete our mission,” Little Danny Boy said.

“Why are you here? Why’d you come back?” Sonny asked.

“Because there’s a storm coming and they’re called the Hell-Raisers. They already wiped out the chapter in Tortilla Flats. They burned their clubhouse to the ground and they’re coming here next. This is the mother chapter. If this chapter falls, the Road Dogs fall.” Chico franticly pulled something out of his pocket and put it up to his ear. It reminded me of Captain Kirk’s communicator on Star Trek.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“It’s called a cell phone. It’s a telephone, but there are no wires,” Sonny said. Chico held a brief conversation over the phone. His eyes widened, he cut the connection and put the phone in his pocket.

“He’s telling the truth. They hit the clubhouse in Tortilla Flats last night. They set the building on fire and burned everyone alive that was inside,” Chico said.

“Why would the powers that be in Biker Heaven, if there is such a place, care about a biker war going on here on Earth?” Sonny asked.

“Because there’s more to it than a couple of bike clubs going to war. It’s a war over souls and they have help. Someone unleashed the Devil’s imps, but we’ll deal with them. You know, Harlem Springs used to be a nice place to live for the citizens as well as for us,” Little Danny Boy said.

“It still is. We keep the drug dealers and scum out. Oh there are a few people who sell weed, but they don’t cause trouble,” Chico said.

“If the Hell-Raisers take over, that will change. They’ll bring in crystal meth, heroin, you name it. This town will be in a world of shit.”

“What are we supposed to do? How much time do we have?” Chico asked.

“We’ll get into that, but first I called the coin. Produce your coins brothers,” I said. Everyone lining the bar produced their coin, so I had to buy the next round. “Make mine a Jack and Coke,” I said to the prospect working the bar and put my coin back in my pocket.

“How much time do we have?” Chico asked. Little Danny Boy shrugged, the prospect passed out the drinks and I took a drink from my Jack and Coke.

“A day or two at the most. We need to be ready.”

A couple of the bros started a pool game, the prospect turned down the music and we put our heads together to talk.

“We’ve got enough arms and ammunition to hold off a small army,” Sonny said.

“That won’t work,” I said and shook my head. “They’d burn this place to the ground with you inside. That’s what they did in California. We need to lure them away. We need to trap them in an ambush somewhere.”

“Yeah, but where?” Chico asked.

A memory flashed through my brain, penetrating the Jack Daniels fog. That’s another thing I’ll have to get used to, I thought: hangovers. “What about that place east of here where we used to party at, back in the day? We called it, the Devil’s Punch Bowl,” I said.

“It’s still there. The dirt road going in is a little rough, but it’s still there. The lake’s dried up though,” Sonny said.

Little Danny Boy grinned. “That’s perfect. This will all go down at the Devil’s Punch Bowl. This is what we’ll do,” Little Danny Boy said while I sat back drinking my Jack and Coke and listened.

***

The Hell-Raisers gathered in Parker Arizona. For two days, they partied and planned their attack. Their brothers rode in from the north and northeast. Others came up from Mexico converging on the small desert town on the bank of the Colorado River. It seemed as if a dark cloud hung over the city. The animals howled at night. The ministers in the local churches called special prayer meetings.

The Hell-Raisers kept a low profile. They didn’t want to draw attention from the local law enforcement. Even so, the police had their hands full with the local criminal element. By the time they rolled out on a Wednesday evening, they were over one hundred strong. They took Interstate 10, east to Apache Junction, and headed east on Highway 60. From highway sixty, they headed south on Highway 177. They crossed one of the more desolate sections of Arizona heading toward Harlem Springs. The night wore on. A full moon rose into the sky. When the Hell Raisers rolled into the parking lot of the High Noon Saloon they ran right into a deadly crossfire.

The Hell-Raisers pulled into the parking lot. The Road Dogs opened up, on them from behind concealed positions. One group of Road Dogs fired from a clump of trees by the road. Another group opened up on them from behind several parked cars and trucks in the parking lot thaty they used for cover. The bulk of the Road dogs fired at them from the clubhouse itself. Muzzle flashes lit up the night. The initial onslaught cut down a third of the Hell-Raisers. The attack put the rest of the outlaw bikers in a state of disarray.

“Regroup! Back to the highway!” Hell Boy yelled trying to rally his forces.

With their enemy in a state of confusion, Chico gave the order to abandon the clubhouse. The group of Road Dogs firing from the tree line ran to their motorcycles. The ones firing at the Hell-Raisers from behind the parked vehicles did the same. The Road Dogs firing from the clubhouse fired a few more rounds. They wanted to give their brothers a chance to get away before they made their escape. On the highway, three hundred yards up the road from where Hell Boy struggled to regroup. The Road Dogs formed up with Chico and Little Danny Boy at the head of the pack.

“We need someone to stall them for a few minutes while we get away, and I don’t mean those old boys on scooters. I mean their help,” Little Danny Boy said.

Chico gave him a confused look, and said, “What help?”

“Never mind. I’ll handle it,” I said.

“We’ll meet you at the Punch Bowl,” Little Danny Boy said.

“I’ll stay with Cave Man,” Old School said. Chico and Little Danny Boy nodded and the Road Dogs roared down the highway. We sat parked in the middle of the highway facing west. I watched the Hell-Raisers form up. Above them, clouds covered the sky and the demonic forces gathered.

“It’s like old times, huh?” Old School said.

“Yeah, we died together the last time, so we might as well fight this evil vermin together too. Road Dogs to the end,” I said. I took a bottle of Jack from my vest pocket and took a pull. I handed the bottle to Old School; he took a drink and handed the bottle back to me.

“That’s right. Road Dogs in life, Road Dogs in death,” Old School said.

The Hell-Raisers roared down the road toward us. Above them, hovering over the ground, the leader of the demonic crew blew his horn and followed. Breathing in the smell of brimstone, I held up my hand and blue lightning fired from my fingertips. In the sky above the road, the blue light flashed engulfing the imps from hell. The impact sent them flying in all directions. Their leader pointed his sword sending a bolt of fire onto the road. Sparks flew into the air. Old School brought his hand over his shoulder as if tossing a softball. He sent a ball of fire down the road at the approaching riders. Tires squealed, ten bikes went down and metal scraped against the asphalt.

“That should hold them for a little while,” I said to Old School feeling breathless from the loss of energy.

“Yeah-Let’s get out of here. That one took a lot out of me,” Old School said. We whirled around. Our bikes changed into radiant steeds of light and chrome. We headed east flying above the highway.

“These motor scooters sure are cool,” I said to Old School. He nodded and a big grin crossed his face.

We came in low flying over the Devil’s Punch Bowl and touched ground facing north. When we landed on the dry lakebed, our scooters changed, their radiance fading. They turned back into older worn-out Harley Davidson motorcycles. I saw something shimmer in the air next to me. Three more motorcycles, plus their riders appeared out of thin air. Once they solidified, I recognized Chops, Teddy Bear, and my father, John Brown senior. He looked more alive and vibrant than he ever did in life.

My pops gave me a cocky grin and said, “You didn’t think I was going to let you have all the fun did you?”

I let out a barrel laugh, handed him the bottle of Jack, and said, “No Pops, I didn’t figure you would.” Little Danny Boy and the rest of the halo crew nodded at the new arrivals. A line of Road Dogs sat on their motorcycle behind us. They watched the dirt road leading into the small valley. The rest of the bros wearing the halo patch pulled their scooters up next to us. Chico stepped up to where I sat talking to my pops.

“If I wouldn’t have seen that with mine own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it. What kind of scoots are those anyway? I’ve never seen a motorcycle that can fly,” Chico said.

“They’re spirit bikes. You get them when you cross over,” I said and grinned.

“Yeah, whatever. I’ve got some bros hiding in that big clump of rocks to our left, and another group up on that embankment to our right. When these sons of bitches cross the lake bed, we’ll get them in a crossfire,” Chico said.

“You guys will have to deal with the ones on the ground. We’ll take care of their demonic friends,” Little Danny Boy said.

“Yeah, don’t worry about what you see in the sky above you, it’ll be like the fourth of July,” I said.

“I still can’t believe this angel and demon shit,” Chico said.

“Don’t worry about that. Worry about those assholes when they come across the lake bed. We’ll take care of the rest,” I said.

“Yeah right,” Chico said and headed back to join the bros lining up behind us. I took the bottle of Old Number Seven from my pops. It was a bottle from the clubhouse, not the good stuff we get in Biker Heaven. I tossed back a shot, and handed it to Old School. He took a shot and handed the bottle back to me. I handed it to Little Danny Boy, who killed the rest of the bottle and tossed it to the ground. I saw lights coming down the dirt road approaching the lakebed. Above the ground, I saw what looked like a dark cloud covering the valley.

“It’s a good thing you only have to die once,” I said to Little Danny Boy.

“Yeah, but when those lightning bolts hit, it almost makes you feel like you’re gonna die.”

“You know what they said before we left. If we take too many hits and lose our energy, we’ll vanish from this plane of existence and wind up back home,” I said.

“I know, but we can’t let these evil SOBs win. Let’s do this thing,” Little Danny Boy said giving us a nod. I looked up, watching the Hell-Raisers coming across the lakebed. Above them, I saw the evil imps from hell. Gunning the throttle on my Pan Head, I let out the clutch and we took flight. Light radiated from the scooter. Fire belched from its tailpipe. It changed and we gained altitude advancing on the demonic horde. Old School and Iron Man rode to my left. Little Danny Boy and Thumper rode to my right, and my pops, along with Chops and Teddy Bear brought up the rear.

We slammed into the dark cloud from hell at full speed causing explosions of lustrous light. Below us, the Road Dogs opened up on the Hell-Raisers. Muzzle flashes blossomed, lightning bolts, and balls of blue light filled the sky. We collided with the demonic host with such force that the impact sent us spinning across the valley. Cranking my throttle, I spun around and hovered over the valley. I slashed with my blade and fired my 357 at the evil vermin when they flew by. Lightning bolts shot out the barrel of my 357 every time I fired it, and blue fire shot from the blade of my knife. An evil two-headed demon came at me, I sliced my blade through his skull and he exploded into a cloud of dust. Old School took a lightning bolt in the chest that sent him spinning across the valley.

My pops slammed into an evil creature trying to crawl on my back. He knocked him to the ground where the vile creature exploded.

“I sent that one back to hell where he belongs,” Pops said and laughed.

We fought the fiends of hell above the ground. Our brothers dealt with the Hell-Raisers on the lakebed. Teddy Bear took a ball of red light to the chest. He dissipated, fading from this plane of existence. Thumper caught a lightning bolt in the center of his forehead. He exploded into nothingness. Iron Man went down in flames. He disintegrated when three evil demons stabbed him with their swords. Then the battle turned, both on the ground and above it. In the dry lakebed, the Road Dogs were sshooting the shit out of the Hell-Raisers. They cut them down like rabid dogs.

In the air, above them, the imps from hell flew in disarray. They fled over the hillside to the north heading back to the pits of hell, from whence they came. Noticing their leader on his two-headed beast, I gunned the throttle and caught up with him. Diving through the air, I slammed into him. I grabbed the ceramic urn he was carrying and drove my blade through the top of his golden helmet. He disappeared in a blinding flash of light. My old Pan Head, now my spirit bike, came to me, I climbed into the saddle and we floated back down to the ground.

The Road Dogs gathered around five figures sitting on their knees in the middle of the lakebed. Hell Boy and four other Hell-Raisers looked beat up and bloody. They stared into the hard face of Chico, president of the Road Dogs. Several more Road Dogs gathered around them with guns to their heads.

“I ought to kill you all, but we’re not gonna,” Chico said.

“What are we gonna do with them?” Sonny asked.

“Cut off their patches, and then let’s brand them,” Chico said. “We own you bitches.” He glanced at a prospect and said, “Build a fire.” A half-hour later, with the sky turning purple in the east, the remaining Hell-Raisers rode away. The back of their vests were bare and the letters, RD was branded on their biceps. They left in shame. A loud cheer rose from the lakebed. Several Road Dogs shouted curses urging the remnants of the Hell-Raisers on.

“We’re not done yet. There’s one more thing we need to do,” I said to Chico.

“What’s that?”

“We need to set the captives free,” I said, climbing off my scooter and I opened the ceramic urn. The gemstones embedded around its mouth reflected beams of light into the air. We stood back in awe, watching soul after soul, ascend heading to their heavenly reward.

“If I wouldn’t have seen that, I wouldn’t believe it,” Chico said. We watched what looked like blue streaks of light shoot up into the sky.

“I guess we’re done here,” I said to Little Danny Boy.

He shrugged and said, “No, we’ll give it another day or two and then head home.”

We climbed back onto our scooters and headed to the highway. Those of us with the halo patch took up the rear following the Road Dogs back to Harlem Springs. We partied hard at the clubhouse for the next three days, but all good things come to an end and we needed to get back. Gathering out by the road on a Saturday evening, we did some backslapping. The entire Harlem Springs chapter was there to see us off.

“I’m gonna miss you, bro,” Sonny said, hugging me. He passed me a bottle of Jack, so I took a pull.

“We’ll see each other again,” I said.

“Thanks for your help,” Chico said.

I put my arm around the young man’s shoulder and said, “You’re gonna make a good president. You’ll take the Road Dogs to new heights. In fact, from what I hear, the folk upstairs think you’ll be the best one yet. Keep the faith. Road Dogs forever, bro.”

“Let’s mount up!” Little Danny Boy yelled. Those of us with the halo patch on our back formed up on the road and my pops pulled up next to me on his old Knuckle Head.

“It’ll feel good to ride next to you for a while. It’s been a long time,” my pops said.

“I know. I talked Little Danny Boy into letting us do about a hundred miles or so before we head home.”

“Yeah, Biker Heaven can wait. I want to feel the wind in my face, but when we get back home, I’ll buy the first round,” Pops said. Little Danny Boy fired up his scooter. We did the same. I took a bottle of Old Number Seven from my vest, took a pull from the bottle, and handed it to my pops. He took a swallow, handed it back and I tucked it back into my vest pocket. Little Danny Boy pulled away, the pack followed, but for a moment my pops and I sat there. He looked at me, a big grin crossed his face and he said, “I’ll beat you to the top of the hill.” With that, he smoked his tires and peeled out burning rubber down the highway. I laughed, gunned the throttle, and spun my tires taking off after him.

****

https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Lost-Highway-David-Donaghe-ebook/dp/B00BMQ7JGO/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=David+Donaghe&qid=1637607074&qsid=143-9042707-0272623&sr=8-7&sres=B085PRF6X7%2CB086HZNM67%2CB005XJ0U30%2CB08NW88H1P%2CB00BO6CNJK%2CB08PC9WYP4%2CB00BMQ7JGO%2CB086B7HBB3%2CB086BF5D3C%2CB087CGK5NJ%2CB08686JWS6%2CB0065PGQCU%2CB008CV389O%2CB006K6QTQM%2CB00DTKE9TQ%2CB007Y509UU

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Biker Heaven

First i would like to let everyone know what is going on with my writing. I am working on two novels. The first one is the Galactic War. It is the fourth book of my Space Corps Chronicles. I am about one hundred and four pages into the rough draft. The second novel I am working on is also a science fiction novel titled Tribes. It is about an alien invasion and alien abductions. Below for your reading pleasure is my short story Bike Heaven. Biker Heave is the first story in a collection know as Tales From the Lost Highway. To all my author friends if you would like to post a short story on my blog send me an email. It would be way cool it you would sign up for my Newsletter. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of Biker Heaven. Enjoy the read.

Biker Heaven

The year was 1968, LBJ was president and the world was in turmoil. War raged in Southeast Asia and civil unrest raged in the streets of America. The entire planet seemed to be holding its breath. When the one-two punch came, the world went down for the count and the dead rose from their graves. I was three years back from Vietnam, but all I cared about was drinking, hanging with my bros, and riding my scooter. My name is John Brown, but my bros call me Cave Man. I grew up in the biker culture with my dad being one of the founding members of the Road Dogs. The Road Dogs is a local bike club in Harlem Springs Arizona that started in the early fifties. My pops bought me my first bike, a Triumph Bonneville 650 when I was sixteen. I scrimped, saved, and a year later, I bought an old Pan Head. When I turned eighteen, I prospected into the club and I haven’t looked back since. I took a short detour to Vietnam in 1965 to do my patriotic bit. When I came home, old Bud Hodgkin offered me my job back at the Glen Co station. I fell back into the lifestyle, riding with the club and hanging with my bros. Finished putting a set of tires on Mr. Peterson’s Dodge, I was sitting in the office eating my lunch. The news report came on the radio.

“We interrupt this broadcast for a special news bulletin. We are getting reports from a small town in Iowa. As strange as it may seem, they are saying that the dead are rising from their graves. They are attacking the population. They have a lust for human flesh. Several people are dead, but after they pass, they rise, up and join the ranks of the undead. There are reports of survivors hiding in a farmhouse on the outskirts of town. There are reports of similar incidents occurring across the county. The authorities caution not to panic. They are stressing that the population should stay in their homes. The military and police are on high alert and will respond to any zombie outbreak.”

“Zombies. Yeah right.” A chill shot through me when I remembered the graveyard across the street. The front window to the office shattered showering me with minute pieces of broken glass. Looking up, I stared into the cold dead eyes of a walking corpse. I reached into the bottom desk drawer where I kept my Smith and Wesson 357 Magnum. My heartbeat the shit out of my ribcage and I almost dropped a load in my pants when I realized the gun wasn’t there. “Damn. I left my piece in my locker in the back,” I said jumping to my feet. I looked past the flesh-eating zombie trying to come through the window. I saw them coming out of the graveyard in droves. Their wild feral growls echoed down the street. They dispersed heading toward different parts of the city. A large group crossed the road and milled about in the station’s parking lot. I stepped into the mechanic’s bay only to find, it filled with slow-moving zombies. They moved toward me with their arms raised looking like shit warmed over. Several had maggots crawling underneath their skin. The smell was almost enough to gag a skunk. They had my way blocked both to the roll-up door to the outside and the back room at the rear of the station. That’s where my locker was.

Slamming my fist into the face of the nearest zombie, I charged through the undead crowd. I grabbed a tire iron from a workbench. Pulling a knife, I slashed with the knife and swung the tire iron fighting my way toward the back room. Stabbing one zombie in the eye with my knife, I pulled the eye out of its socket on the tip of my blade. I drove the tire iron into the skull of another. Blood splattered over my clothes and I let out a few curses fighting my way toward the back of the station.

I reached the door to the backroom when one of the bastards bit me on my right arm. Searing hot pain shot through my arm making me feel like it was on fire. I let out a scream, drove my blade through the undead thing’s face, and watched it fall to the ground. Fumbling with my keys, I dropped them to the ground and let out another curse. After scooping up my keys, I unlocked the door and ran into the back room. I felt the sharp nails of a zombie on my back. I slammed the door and then locked it.

With shaky hands, I unlocked my locker, grabbed my 357, and tucked it into the waistband of my jeans. Then I grabbed the bottle of Jack Daniels I kept on the top shelf. Taking a pull on the whiskey bottle, I let out a sputter and then poured half the bottle onto the zombie bite.

“Damn that hurts!” I yelled. Looking down at my arm, I noticed that the zombie had bitten me where my tattoo of a skeletal biker on a chopper was on my arm. The bite took a chunk of meat from my arm taking away the biker’s skull. Blood flowed from my arm and pooled up on the floor. Taking off my outer shirt, I wrapped it around my bloody arm binding it up as best I could. “Oh, God! Oh, shit! I’m fucked!” I yelled. Then the thought hit me, I’m trapped in here, but then I remembered the back window. Stacking up some boxes of auto parts, I climbed onto them. I busted out the back window and looked out into the back alley. The alley looked clear, so I climbed out the window, jumped to the ground, and ran to the front of the station.

Zombies filled the area around the gas pumps, but they were slow movers. I made it to the Pan Head before they noticed me. Jumping up into the air, I came down on the kick starter, but the bike wouldn’t start.

“Son of a bitch!” I yelled. I gave the kicker another try. The old Harley rumbled to life. I put it in gear and goosed the throttle heading straight through the pack of hungry flesh-eaters.

***

Pulling my 357, I popped a cap through the brainpans of two of them. I pistol-whipped another and ran over another one before I broke free. Rolling down Main Street, I dodged groups of the undead trying to feed on the town’s population. I noticed a woman sprawled on the ground. An ugly zombie in a tattered black suit knelt over her body pulling intestines from her belly. Blood and gore covered the street. Her dying screams echoed off the surrounding buildings.

Another zombie, this one a little girl, shuffled down the street snacking on a severed human arm. When I passed the town’s roller rink, I saw a mob of teenagers come running outside. Several of them had zombie bites. They were trying to escape a mob of decaying flesh-eaters lumbering along behind them. Noticing a blonde-headed young girl in a cheerleader’s uniform, I hit the brakes. I pulled over to the sidewalk smoking my tires.

“Johnny! Help me!” she screamed.

“Hurry up! Climb on!” The girl sprinted across the road, jumped onto the back, threw her arms around me. I gunned the throttle leaving a patch of rubber on the road.

“Oh, God! It’s terrible! Those things are killing everyone!” she screamed.

My arm felt like liquid fire, the skin around the bite was starting to decay and I felt as if I had hot coals in my belly. Swerving past a gaggle of the undead, we roared down Main Street. I turned on Birch and took a quick turn onto Honeysuckle Court. Sliding to a stop in front of my small run-down two-bedroom home, I killed the motor and set the bike on the side stand.

“Check on your folks. If you need me yell,” I said climbing off the bike. She darted across the street, ran across her front lawn, and went inside her family home. My fat next store neighbor backed a 1958 Chevy station wagon out of his driveway. He slammed on his brakes giving me a wild terrifying look.

“Those things! They attacked my wife and kids. We were sitting down to dinner, but I was in the bathroom. There was nothing I could do.”

“You might have tried fighting the sons of bitches. Don’t you have a gun in the house or a baseball bat?”

“Norman! Please help! They’re killing us!” his wife screamed from the house. She let out a blood-curdling scream, but then the screaming stopped.

“It’s too late. Once they bite you, you’re a goner. I’m leaving town.”

You spineless bastard, I thought and then ran into my own house. Inside, I poured some Jack Daniels on my wound and then drank the rest of the bottle. I grabbed my jacket, another bottle of Jack, and three boxes of ammo. I ran back outside. Sliding to a stop, I bent over and threw up about half a quart of blood. I noticed small pieces of flesh mixed in with the blood, and the stench was enough to make me throw up again.

Cynthia, the girl from across the street, ran over and took my arm.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m dandy.” Opening another bottle of Jack, I took a pull from the bottle. I let the numbing whiskey soothe my stomach. “How are things at your house?”

“I don’t know for sure. There was blood everywhere. I think my parents turned into one of those things.”

“Let’s go,” I said.

“Where will we go?”

“We’ll head to the clubhouse. Sonny must have put the word out. We’ll head to the cabin or fort up at the clubhouse. We’ve got enough guns and ammo there to fight off an army of these suckers, plus, we have food and water.”

She stopped putting her hands on her pretty little hips.

“You’ve got bit. You’ll turn into one of those things.”

“Yeah, but I’m okay for now. Here,” I said handing her my K-Bar knife. “If turn, stab me in the eye. Shove it, in hard enough to penetrate the brain.” A roar came from the house next store and five of the walking dead lumbered onto the front lawn. Bits and pieces of decayed flesh fell from their skin. Maggots crawled out of their eyes, but the smell; the smell was enough to make a buzzard puke. “Let’s go! Run!” I yelled sprinting to the bike. Diving into the saddle, I jumped into the air and came down on the kick starter. The Pan Head came to life on the third kick. Cynthia climbed onto the back and I goosed the throttle roaring down the street.

***

I turned onto Main Street, headed west weaving through a pack of bloody zombies. Noticing a female on the sidewalk, bent over and ripping the guts out of a small child, I pulled my 357. I put a round through her brainpan. At the end of the street, I turned left onto a two-lane highway. I increased speed, but so far, the zombies hadn’t made it out to the highway. Five miles outside of town, I pulled into the gravel parking lot of the High Noon Saloon. The High Noon was the unofficial clubhouse of the Road Dogs motorcycle club. It was a rustic-looking bar owned by our club president.

Scores of motorcycles and other vehicles filled the parking lot. People carried supplies back and forth from the vehicles to the clubhouse. Cynthia and I climbed off the bike and headed toward the bar. My stomach felt sick, my legs seemed disjointed and I felt light-headed. Noticing my discomfort, Cynthia put her arm around me and helped me into the bar. Several of my bros stood in the bar wearing their club vests. What was, left of their heir families and a few friends of the club were there too. All eyes turned to me, tracking my movements across the bar to the back room where we held church.

Our club president, James Taylor, or Sonny as we called him, stood at the bar drinking a Rum and Coke. He was talking to our VP, Big Dog. Stumbling up to the bar, I showed Sonny my arm.

“I got bit.”

He let out a low whistle.

“That sucks Cave Man. We’ve got three others in the same shape.”

“You know they’ll turn into one of those things. We can’t take the chance. We’ve got to leave them here or take them out,” Big Dog said.

“They’re our brothers. We can’t shoot them down,” Sonny said.

Laying the pistol down on the bar, I spread my arms apart and put my head down.

“Do me if you have to bro. I’d rather have one of my brothers put one through my brainpan than turn into one of those things.”

“Put your gun away. If it comes to that, we’ll do what we have to,” Sonny said.

Tucking my gun into the waistband of my pants, I looked at the prospect behind the bar.

“Give me a Jack and Coke.” The prospect fetched my drink and I glanced at Sonny. “Are we heading out to your cabin?”

Sonny shrugged. “It’s about the safest place, I’d say.”

“I have a suggestion. I’m dead already. You said the zombies bit three other guys. Let us ride in front. If we run into any of that undead trash, we’ll deal with them while you get everyone else to safety.”

“That sounds like a plan, bro.”

“When do we leave?” I asked.

“As soon as we get packed. It’s starting to get dark now. We’ll have to camp in the woods tonight, but we need to leave before those things find us.” As if on cue, I heard someone scream and a snarl came from out front.

“They found us!” someone yelled and then I heard the sound of automatic weapons fire. Sonny turned and ran to the storeroom with me shuffling along behind him. He tossed me an AR-15. I hobbled toward the front of the bar, busted out the front window and we gazed out at the zombies in the parking lot. Shoulder to shoulder, Sonny and I opened up on the undead fiends with automatic weapons. The zombies banged into each other and fell to the ground under our deadly fire.

When the last one fell, Sonny looked at me and said, “Let’s get packed.”

After packing what gear I had onto the bike, I headed to the bathroom to take a piss. I pissed out what looked like syrupy blood. The stench made me gag. I threw up on the floor. Coagulated blood, chunks of red meat that stunk of decay, and stomach bile gushed out of me. Glancing in the mirror, terror shot through me. I realized that I didn’t look much better than those we’d been shooting in the parking lot. My skin had turned pale, legions formed on my face, and small pieces of skin were starting to flake off. The virus was starting to take control and I already felt like one of the undead. A hunger consumed me; when I stepped out of the bathroom, I saw Cynthia and a powerful carving hit me. Visions of me ripping her throat out with my teeth filled my brain. She came up to me and I could see by the look on her face that I scared her.

“We’re about ready to leave. You ride in one of the cars,” I said.

“I’d rather ride with you.”

“It’s not safe. Me and the other guys that got bit plan to lead the caravan and deal with the zombies. Whatever happens, stick with the club. They’ll keep you safe.”

Lumbering along to the front door, Cynthia held onto me trying to keep me from falling. I felt like cold shit on a hot bun, but I figured that once I made it to my bike, I’d be all right. We pulled out heading west on the highway, with us four dead men leading the caravan. Blood dripped from the corner of my mouth. Cold chills racked my body. My vision faded and my arms felt numb, but I kept my fist in the throttle and rolled down the highway.

Ten miles outside of town, we pulled up to a country store at a crossroads. The undead sons of bitches milled about in the parking lot and blocked the road. I saw a female zombie ripping the throat out of a poor elderly woman lying on the ground near the gas pumps. The zombie wore no shirt and her putrid decaying flesh sagged down. The four of us zombie bikers gunned our throttles. We plowed into the hoard blocking the road and tried to clear a path.

We hit the brakes coming to a stop and had a rumble with the undead. Pulling my 357, I sat on my bike with my pistol in one hand and my knife in the other. All four of us sat on our scooters slashing and shooting while the rest of the convoy escaped. Every time one of the undead things got too close, I would kick him away with my boot and either stab or shoot him. The sound of their wild growling along with the gunshots echoed down the highway.

“Let’s go!” I yelled once the convoy made it clear of the undead mob on the highway. Doing a burnout, I rolled over a zombie wearing a tattered cowboy hat and gunned the throttle. Sweat dripped out of my pores and ran like a river down my side. Chills racked my body, and I felt feverish, but I managed to keep the bike under control. Spitting out a mouthful of blood and a chunk of my stomach lining, I pulled a bottle of Jack from the pocket of my club vest. Chugalugging the potent brew, I wondered how long I had until death came knocking. Weaving back and forth, I looked into my rearview mirror and almost fell out of the saddle. I looked like a three-day-old corpse on a motorcycle.

My cheeks had turned hollow, lost all their color and I noticed pieces of dead flesh flaking off. Glancing down at my arm, I saw open sores exposing bone, and the stench was enough to make a maggot shit. I thought about my brothers up ahead in the convoy and wondered What if I turn? I don’t want to hurt one of my bros. Glancing over at my four dead brothers riding along with me I felt shocked to see that they looked worse than me. They looked like exactly what they were: dead men on motor scooters, but they didn’t know it yet. I remembered that verse in the Bible about the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

The sun had gone down when my brother Chops, started losing control of his bike. His head dropped to his chest and then popped up. A wild crazy look crossed his face, foam came from his mouth and he let out a tortured growl. His bike went sideways and then high-sided launching him onto the pavement. I swerved to the right. The two other remaining zombie bikers swerved left. A pack of motorcycles swarmed around him. The first four-wheeled vehicle in the convoy rolled over him. The bike slid to the edge of the road. Chops jumped up and lumbered off into the forest dragging his broken undead body along with him.

After the convoy passed, I whirled the Pan Head around. I rode back to where Chops disappeared into the forest. Parking alongside the road, I pulled my 357 and peered out into the woods. I heard him growling. Then he turned coming from the forest and approached me with his arms outstretched. He had a hungry feral look in his eyes that I sympathized with. The lust for human flesh filled my innermost being as well. Visions of torn throats and butchered bodies filled my brain. Chops let out a hungry cry, struggling up an embankment with his arms stretched out. He was ready to bite and tear with his teeth.

“I’m sorry bro. I can’t leave you like this,” I said and then shot him in the forehead with my 357. The sound of the gunshot echoed through the trees. His body tumbled down the embankment, dead for good this time. Leaning over, I puked up blood mixed with bits of meat and then spun the bike around. I headed down the highway. Pulling my bottle of Jack from my coat pocket, I downed half the bottle in one shot. The bike weaved back and forth. I didn’t know if it was because of my weakened condition, or the fact that I was drunk on Old Number 7.

We rolled on through the night. We passed through a pine forest without seeing any more of the undead and I had a hard time staying awake. My head throbbed, my arms felt numb and my vision turned fuzzy. My belly felt as if it was on fire, and to top it off, I ran out of Old Number 7. Around midnight, Sonny flashed his lights. The convoy pulled off the road into a small clearing. The drivers of the four-wheeled vehicles formed a circle. They had their headlights facing inward. The bros pulled their bikes into the center of the circle. It reminded me of the pioneer days when they would circle the wagons.

I parked my bike, put down the kickstand, and fell to the ground. Struggling to my feet, I puked up blood trying to ignore a hunger that burned inside me. Images of me ripping the flesh off my brothers flashed through my brain. Feeling my stomach churn, I ran into the forest, pulled down my pants, and let go with a gush that was more blood than shit. Ignoring the stench, I pulled up my pants and stumbled back into the clearing. The other two zombie bikers looked in no better shape than me. Sonny stepped up to us.

“Hey bro. You look like shit.”

“I feel like shit. I feel like ten pounds of dog shit in a five-pound bag.”

“We should reach the cabin before noon tomorrow. Do you think you could hold on that long?”

“You saw what happened to Chops. We don’t have much time left.”

“Is there anything I can do for you bro? I hate seeing you like this.”

“Tie us up to one of these trees,” I said. “If we die during the night, we won’t be able to hurt anyone.”

“We’ll do that. I’m sorry, bro. I wish there was more we could do.”

“Get me another bottle of Old Number 7. Sonny, if I turn into one of those things, put me down like a rabid dog,” I said seeing the reflection of tears in Sonny’s eyes.

“You know I will bro. I won’t leave you like that.”

After they tied us to three stout trees outside the camp, I poured some Jack Daniels onto my wound. Flinching from the sting, I let out a curse. My brother, leaning against the tree next to me noticed my 357 tucked into the waistband of my jeans.

“Hey bro. If I die during the night and turn into one of those zombies, splatter my brains with that hog leg.”

“Sure thing, Old School. I’ll set the piece between us. If I turn, you to do the same.”

“Don’t forget about me, Cave Man. I don’t feel so good, bro. I don’t think I got much time left,” a brother sitting next to Old School said.

“Sure thing, Teddy Bear. I’ll do the right thing,” I said.

A few minutes later, Cynthia knelt next to me with the pale moonlight reflecting off her pretty face.

“Oh, Johnny. I’m so sorry for what happened. Thank you for taking me with you.” I gazed at the tender flesh of her neck, the soft curve of her breasts, and felt the hunger.

“Cynthia, you need to back away. The virus is changing me. Believe me, baby; when I say this, I’m not being a dirty old man. I feel like eating you up. I mean it in the most literal sense. I feel a pang of hunger that I can’t fill.”

“You could never hurt me,” she whispered.

“C. When we get to the cabin, you’ll be safe. After a while, things will calm down. When things are normal, find yourself a nice young dude and settle down. Live your life and sometimes, toss back a beer for the old Cave Man.”

She leaned forward, ignoring the stench of my decaying flesh, and kissed me.

“I love you, Johnny. I know I’m too young for you, but I don’t care. I love you anyway,” she whispered. Taking a pull from the bottle of Old Number 7, I ignored the hunger and watched her run back to camp.

A wild snarl and people yelling woke me from a vicious nightmare. It involved the ripping and tearing of flesh. To my right, Teddy Bear struggled against the ropes binding him to the tree. He snapped with his teeth, clawed with his hands trying to get at Old School and me. Frothy foam and blood dripped from his mouth. Sometime during the night, his body gave up the fight and he joined the ranks of the undead. Old School leaned away from him trying to keep from getting bit.

“Shoot him! Man Shoot him!” Old School yelled.

Grabbing the 357, I leaned across Old School’s lap and stuck the barrel against the side of Teddy Bear’s head.

“I’m sorry, bro,” I said and then pulled the trigger splattering Teddy Bear’s brain onto the forest floor. Sonny and several other bros came running up, Sonny knelt next to me and I saw tears in his eyes.

“He’s in a better place, now bro. You need to get some brothers and bury him,” I said.

“We’ll take care of it brother. You two hold on,” Sonny said and then leaned forward, ignoring the stench, and gave us both a quick hug. Old School and I sat tied to the tree and watched them drag Teddy Bear’s remains away for burial.

“I don’t want to go out like that,” Old School said after the excitement was over.

“I don’t either, bro. I’d rather go out like a biker, on the road. We’ve got to hang in until we reach the cabin. Then you and I will head out on our own. We’ll let the road take us.” We sat passing the bottle of Old Number 7 back and forth for about a half-hour. Then we both drifted off into a pitiful tortured sleep.

***

The sound of doors slamming woke me a few hours later from another violent nightmare. Chills racked my body, my head felt hot, clammy and sweat rolled down the side of my face. My vision was fuzzy and my stomach lurched. Warm fingers of sunlight stabbed across the land and the smell of cooking food drifted on the wind.

Sonny brought Old School and me a plate loaded down with scrambled eggs, bacon, and fried potatoes.

“I don’t know if I can eat that bro,” I said.

“You need to keep your strength up,” Sonny said.

“Why. You know we ain’t getting any better.”

“I know bro. We’ll pull out of here in an hour or so. We should make it to the cabin by noon. I’m hoping you guys will make it that far at least.”

“We’ll try, bro, but promise me. If we turn into one of those things, put us down quick.”

“You know, I will,” Sonny said.

I ate my breakfast and threw up on my boots. A stinky mixture of, blood, stomach bile, and undigested eggs shot out of me and covered the forest floor. Old School only took a couple of bits of his food, but he didn’t have any better luck keeping it down than I did. We broke camp at 08:00 AM that morning. I noticed our bros giving us sideways glances. They kept their hands close to the handguns riding on their hips. Old School and I lumbered over to our motorcycles, stumbling along on legs that didn’t want to move right. The hunger burned inside of us like a raging inferno. Old School noticed one of our old ladies climbing into a station wagon.

“You know, she’s got a nice ass, but right now I’d rather rip off her arms and gnaw on her bones,” Old School said.

“I know. It’s the disease. When Cynthia came over to talk with me last night it was all I could do to keep from ripping her throat out. We’ve got to hang in until we reach the cabin.”

We climbed onto our motorcycles and rumbled down the highway. I glanced in my rearview, my eyes widened and my jaw dropped. My face looked skeletal. My flesh had turned purple, puss oozed from legions on my cheek and I noticed a maggot crawl out of one of the sores. Pieces of decaying flesh flaked off my face exposing my skull. God. No wonder the bros were looking at me weird, I thought. Old School and I weaved back and forth trying to maintain control. Four hours later, we pulled off the highway onto the dirt road leading to the cabin. Before turning off the main road, I noticed a large oak tree next to the highway a hundred yards west of the turn-off.

The road headed through the trees, passing through a dense forest, and then snaked its way uphill. Topping out the hill, the road descended into a small valley. The cabin was set in the center of the valley in the middle of a grassy meadow. An old barn and a couple of outbuildings set off the left. Behind the cabin, a stream meandered across the valley.

The convoy pulled up to the cabin and everyone began to unload equipment. Sonny assigned work details. He stationed people with guns at various points acting as security. Old School and I lumbered over to the barn trying to get away from the bright sunlight.

“Did you see that oak tree down the road from the turn-off?” I asked Old School.

“Yeah,” he said and then bent over throwing up blood.

“If we hit that tree at about a hundred miles an hour and we don’t wear a helmet, it should splatter our heads like a couple of ripe Honeydew melons.”

“That should do it. We’d best get it done while we still have time.”

Sonny ambled into the barn.

“How are you guys feeling?”

“Like shit warmed over. We’re gonna pull out of here. We plan to let the road take us and die like, bikers should. We don’t want to turn into one of those zombie sons of bitches.”

Sonny had tears in his eyes and when he spoke, there was a catch in his voice.

“Okay. I’ll gather the crew. We’ll send you off.”

Fifteen minutes later, the sound of Harleys rumbled through the forest. We headed back to the highway. Cynthia came running out when we were about to leave and insisted on coming with us. She jumped onto the back of my bike and wrapped her arms around me. The Road Dogs lined up on the road. Old School and I parked our bikes in front of the pack facing west and then climbed off our scooters to say goodbye. Cynthia clung to my arm with tears running down her face. Even though we smelled like five, day-old, roadkill, our brothers grabbed us each up in a bear hug. We did some back-slapping.

“I wish there was something we could do bro,” Sonny said wiping tears from his eyes.

“If this doesn’t work, put us down before we become one of those things, and once in a while hold a party for Old School and me.”

“You can count on it bro,” Sonny said handing me a bottle of Old Number 7.

I downed half the bottle, handed it to Old School and he gulped down the rest.

Cynthia hugged me and then kissed me on my decaying cheek. “I love you, Johnny,” she whispered. “Thank you for taking me with you.”

“Come on girl. Forget about old Cave Man. Find yourself a good decent young man. You’ll be all right. Stop your crying.”

“I could never forget you, Johnny,” she whispered and stepped back. Sonny put his arm around her trying to comfort the girl. I looked at Old School and nodded my head.

“Let’s ride,” I said and then stumbled to my Harley. Old School staggered to his bike and we climbed into the saddle. Behind us, our brothers fired up their scooters and revved their motors giving us a send-off. Jumping up into the air, I came down on the kick starter. The old Pan Head fired up, and Old School fired up his old Knuckle Head. He pulled his bike up next to mine and stopped. “Let’s do this,” I said glancing down the road. I engaged the transmission, released the clutch, and cranked the throttle. The back tire spun, I shot down the road and kept my fist in the throttle. Glancing in my rearview, I saw Old School on my tail. The needle on the speedometer climbed up to fifty while I shifted through the gears. Once I hit fifth gear, I cranked the throttle wide open. The needle shot up to one hundred and ten miles an hour. I swerved to the side of the road and headed straight for the oak tree. In my rearview, I saw Old School still on my tail. Things happened in a matter of milliseconds. I slammed into the tree with a violent jolt. The impact launched me over the handlebars. Old School plowed into the back of my bike and I caught a flash of his body catapulting over me. My head hit the tree and then the world went white.

***

Old School and I stood up and stepped out onto the side of the road.

“I guess it didn’t work. I guess we turned into one of those zombies anyway,” I said.

“I don’t think so, bro, look,” Old School said turning around and pointing to the shoulder of the road. I saw our mangled bodies among the wreckage of our scooters. Both of our heads looked like smashed watermelons. Glancing up the road, I saw our club brothers rolling toward us.

“I don’t think they can see us,” I said. “What are we, ghost?”

“I don’t feel like no ghost, and we don’t look like ghosts either. Look at your arm where you got bit,” Old School said. I held up my arm and my eyes widened with joy. My skin looked healthy like if I’d stepped from the shower and I felt great.

The pack rumbled down to the crash site and Sonny climbed off his scooter.

“Little Mike. Get a pickup. We’ll take them back and bury them behind the cabin. Have one of the guys bring another truck and pick up their scooters,” Sonny said.

“What do we do now?” Old School asked. We stood watching our brothers, police up our bodies, and load up our mangled motorcycles.

“I don’t know, but it’s a shame we had to wreck our scooters like that. I hope they can fix ‘em.”

“I know what you mean, bro. I hate to see a good scoot go down.”

The sound of loud pipes reverberated off the surrounding forest. The members of the Road Dogs loading up the motorcycles and the bodies seemed not to notice.

“Hey Cave Man. Check this out. Someone’s coming,” Old School said.

I glanced up the road and saw five motorcycles heading our way. They were like no other motorcycles that I had ever seen. They seemed to radiate light. Their colors looked more vivid than anything I’d ever seen and their chrome seemed brighter than the sun. They rumbled up next to us and came to a stop.

“I know these guys,” I said to Old School. “There’s Hondo. He died on I 40 three years ago. There’s Little Danny Boy. He bought it in Vietnam. That’s Hector and Iron Man; they bought the farm that time when that outlaw club jumped us. That other guy’s Thumper. He crashed into a car last year.”

Little Danny Boy, a wiry little guy with a scruffy goatee swaggered over and caught me up in a big bear hug.

“What are you guys doing here?” I asked.

“We’re here to take you home. Check out your new scoots.”

I looked into the road and my bottom jaw dropped. There set two of the most beautiful-looking motorcycles I’d ever seen. They weren’t there before. I knew right away which one was mine. It looked like my dream bike, only ten times better than I could ever imagine. The colors looked more radiant than anything I had ever seen. I could hardly look at the chrome, it was so bright.

“What’s this?” I asked, still not believing.

“Those are your spirit bikes.”

I noticed a shimmering light down the road where the road climbed a steep hill. I saw an emerald city that reminded me of Cibola, the legendary city of gold. The one that the Spanish Conquistadors came searching for back in the day.

“What that place up there?”

“That’s the Emerald City. Biker Heaven is up near there. That’s where we’re going,” Little Danny Boy said.

“It’s not all angels and harps, is it?”

“Hell no, bro I said we’re going to Biker Heaven. It’s a constant party where the brew flows free and the women are loose.”

“Will I still get to ride my scooter?”

“Hell yeah man. You haven’t ridden until you’ve ridden one of these things. What’s cool is that you don’t have to put gas in ‘em and they don’t leak oil. And talk about time. We can ride for eternity if we want to.”

I shook my head in disbelief.

“You know, Danny Boy I’ve lived a wild, life. I always thought I’d go to the other place.”

Old School stepped up next to us listening to our conversation with a big grin on his face.

Little Danny Boy smiled. “Do you remember back in the Nam when you risked your life to save me?”

“Yeah, but you still died.”

“I died, but you saved five other guys and got yourself, shot.”

“I was only doing my duty, trying to save my bros.”

“How about that time you tried to save Hector and Iron Man from that outlaw club? You stood over them fighting like a wild man until help arrived.”

I shrugged. “Yeah, but again, they still died.”

“But you tried man. That’s what counts. You were willing to lay down your life for your bros. What about that young girl Cynthia? If you hadn’t stopped to help her, she’d be one of those undead things right now. You stayed with the club. You saw our brothers to safety, even though the disease made you want to rip their throats out.”

“Yeah, but any one of those guys would have done the same.”

“The good book says that greater love has no man than he lays down his life for his friends. You were willing to do that on many occasions in your lifetime. You’re famous in Biker Heaven. We’re gonna throw you a welcome party like, you’ve never seen. Get on your scoot, Bro. We’re heading home.”

“What about booze? Can we drink up there?”

“Hell yeah! You can drink all you want and you don’t get a hangover in the morning,” Little Danny Boy said. He tossed me a bottle of Jack.

I cracked open the bottle, took a swallow, and enjoyed the feel of liquid fire running down into my belly. It tasted better than anything I’d ever drunk. I handed Old School the bottle; he took a long pull and then grinned.

“Let’s go home, bro,” I said. Old School nodded, seeming too excited to talk. We stepped out into the road and climbed onto our new scooters. Little Danny Boy took up his position in front as road captain. The pack formed up behind him then Old School and I fell in at the rear. Goosing the throttle, I headed down the highway and put my face in the wind.

***

https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Lost-Highway-David-Donaghe-ebook/dp/B00BMQ7JGO/ref=sr_1_21?keywords=David+Donaghe&qid=1636933643&sr=8-21

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Holy Water Smackdown

Hello. Below is my short story Holy Water Smackdown for your enjoyment. It is part of a shot story collection in my book, Monroe’s Paranormal Investigations. Please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email and let me know what you think.

Holy Water Smackdown

We were in Mexico’s one of the best Mexican restaurants in San-Bernardino California. I sat across from Roxy starring at her chest. The woman had perfectly formed breasts. Roxy and I have worked together for a while now. She sat there across from me rattling on about something, but I only half-listened. My eyes took in her pretty face, her high cheekbones, and her long blonde hair. She had a slim waist that tapered down to a pair of round hips and muscular tanned legs. Her only fault is her temper. Hot dames have a short fuse. My damned cell phone rang.

“Don’t answer that. You promised me a night on the town,” Roxy said.

“I got to take it. It could be a case,” I said and then answered the phone. “Monroe’s Paranormal Investigations.”

“Mr. Monroe, this is Officer Daniels in Barstow. I have a situation and I was told you might be able to help,” the man said over the phone.

“What exactly do you have?”

“I am at the scene of a homicide. The body has two puncture wounds on the neck and all of the blood has been drained.”

“We’re on our way,” I said.

“The crime scene is in the parking lot of Paradise Lanes, a local bowling alley.”

“We’ll find it,” I said and then cut the connection.

“What?” Roxy asked.

“We’ve got a vamp working up on the high desert. Finish your meal doll face.” I motioned to the waiter for the check.

“Great,” she said tossing back her golden locks. I waited while she finished eating. The waiter brought my check and I handed him my credit card. They wouldn’t take my card and Roxy had to pay. Boy was she pissed. She stormed out to the car and I followed admiring her shapely ass along the way.

“Take a picture pervert!” she said over her shoulder.

A big grin crossed my face. “I would but I don’t have a camera. Let’s stop at my place for the gear,” I said opening the passenger door.

“Whatever,” She said. She climbed into the passenger side and slammed the door. I climbed behind the wheel of my black 1984 5.0 Mustang. Firing up the beast, I backed out of the parking lot, turned left on Highland Avenue, and mashed my foot down on the accelerator. We took the 215 freeway north. I pulled off the freeway at Devore, a rural community where most of the people owned horses, and headed down the frontage road to the KOA campground. I am a perpetual camper. Sliding to a stop, I parked next to my RV, jumped out of the car, and ran to my motor home.

Inside my RV, Roxy went into my bedroom to change. She left the door open. When she stripped out of her clothes, I looked up in time to see her standing there in nothing but a pair of blue panties. My heart stopped and my bottom jaw sagged.

“You’re such a pervert,” she said cupping her large breast with her hands. That woman drives me crazy, I thought as she slammed the door.

She came out wearing a pair of cargo pants, a black sweater, and a pair of combat boots. Outside, I threw the gear bag into the trunk of the Mustang and we rolled out. Hitting the freeway, we headed north toward the Cajon Pass. After topping out the pass, we rolled through the city of Victorville at over one hundred miles an hour. Thirty-five miles north of Victorville, we pulled into Barstow, the main pit stop on the way to Las Vegas Nevada.

Taking the L Street exit, I turned left and then took a right onto Main Street. We cruised east passing a Chevron station, a Holladay Inn, and a few businesses. The police had the entrance to Paradise Lanes blocked off with crime scene tape. I showed them my ID and they let us through. After parking the Mustang, we jumped out and headed over to where the police knelt over the body.

“Which one of you is Daniels?” I asked.

An older man with gray hair looked up. “That’s me. You’re Monroe?”

“Yeah, I’m Mike Monroe. This is my partner, Roxanne Delaney.” We squatted down to look at the body.

“You do know what we have here, don’t you?” I said to Daniels.

“Yeah. Some nut job that thinks he’s a vampire.”

“Maybe.” I noticed a syringe lying next to the body. The victim had a medical alert bracelet on her wrist. “What’s this poor woman’s name?” I asked.

“Chambers. Mrs. Catherine Chambers,” Daniels said.

“It appears that Mrs. Chambers was a diabetic.”

“What of it?” Daniels asked.

“Have you had any break-ins where medical supplies were stolen?”

The other detective, a younger man with short blond hair, looked up. “We did have that burglary at Croals on William Street last night.”

“What did they take?” I asked.

“A lot of syringes and a shit load of insulin.”

“What are you thinking? That this murder and that break-in are connected?” Daniels asked.

“Maybe,” I said.

“Don’t tell me you believe this vampire shit? This is just some shit bird that thinks he’s a vampire,” Daniels said.

“Maybe, or it could be a sick fucking vampire,” I said.

“You don’t believe that do you?”

“You called me, remember?” Daniels let out a sigh and then lit a cigarette.

“We’ve got the perp on tape. He’s a scary son of a bitch,” Daniels said and then looked at his partner. “Parker. We’re done here. Have the medical people bag her and tag her. Take her to the morgue. I’m going to show Monroe the tape.”

“We’ll know for sure in twenty-four hours. If Mrs. Chambers doesn’t join the ranks of the undead, then you’re right. We have a sick wannabe vampire. If not, then we have a whole different ballgame. We’ll be ready in either case,” I said.

Daniels let out another sigh. “Vampires. What next?”

“If Mr. personality only knew,” Roxy said under her breath.

“Don’t get your panties in a bunch. He’s just doing his job.”

“Yeah, but if he only knew what we’ve seen,” Roxy said.

“That’s the point. He doesn’t know.” My mind flashed back to that time in Haiti in the Tombs of the undead. I’ve been afraid of tunnels ever since. Daniels led us into the manager’s office.

“Show him the tape,” Daniels said to a stocky young man sitting behind a wooden desk. “After that, we’ll need the tape as evidence.”

“It’s your show.” He handed Daniels the security tape and Daniels popped it into a VCR underneath a TV monitor across the room. The image of the parking lot filled the screen. The tape showed a few cars leaving the parking lot and then Mrs. Chambers walking to her Beamer. A black pickup truck that looked like the only thing holding it together was rust and baling wire pulled up behind her.

“What’s that? A forty-eight or forty-nine Ford?” I asked.

“It looks like a forty-eight. My granddaddy had one like that, only his was in better shape,” Roxy said. A figure stepped out of the truck and my blood turned to ice. He looked like a walking corpse. His skin was pasty white; bits and pieces of flesh had peeled away from his face revealing bloody legions of exposed bone. He wore a set of bib overalls and a white tee-shirt. Puss oozed from the open sores covering his face and arms. I saw maggots moving about underneath his skin.

“That dude looks more dead than un, if you know what I mean,” I said. The tall apparition pulled a maggot from the side of his face, tossed it into his mouth, and then attacked the woman. Mrs. Chambers must have heard something because she turned at the last minute and threw up her hands. The vamp threw her up against the car, slammed a fist into her face, and then lowered his gaping maw to her throat. Mrs. Chambers struggled, slamming her fists against the creature’s chest. Her struggles lessened, her feet kicked, and then she went limp. The vampire continued to suck.

“Talk about a hickey,” I said. Roxy elbowed me to the ribs.

“Have a little respect for the deceased,” Daniels said giving me a dirty look. The vamp threw the woman to the ground, rummaged through her car, and then took her purse. He climbed back into his pickup and drove away.

“What do you think?” Daniels asked.

“If we don’t catch this guy, this town is in a world of shit,” I said.

“Tell me about it,” Daniels said.

“You won’t find this guy in town. He’ll be hiding in the outlying areas. Maybe in an abandoned house or warehouse somewhere. He comes into town to feed.”

“That’s great. It’s a big desert out there. There must be a thousand places he could hide. When you consider the surrounding communities of Hinkley, Daggett, and Yermo, there must be hundreds of abandoned houses or trailers.”

“My partner and I will start looking in the morning. Tomorrow I want to talk to the people at the drug store. Maybe they caught this guy on tape there also.”

“You still think that’s connected?”

“Maybe. Call it a hunch,” I said.

“Do you guys have a good hotel in town? I’m beat,” Roxy said and then yawned.

Daniels smiled. “I’d go with the Holliday Inn on West Main Street.”

“Are we through here?” I asked Daniels.

“For tonight. Let me give you a police radio.” He handed me his business card. “That’s got my number at headquarters and my cell phone number.” On the way to the parking lot, Daniels handed me his police radio and showed me which channel to use. I thanked him and then we climbed into the Mustang and headed west on Main Street. Inside the Mustang, I looked at Roxy and rolled my eyes.

“Don’t get any ideas, pervert. When we get to the hotel, I intend to get some sleep.”

“That’s just my luck,” I said and then laughed.

At the Holliday Inn, we piled out of the Mustang and headed to the hotel lobby. Roxy strutted along in front of me her boot heels clicking against the blacktop. My eyes dropped to her shapely ass. The sight reminded me of two alley cats fighting in a gunnysack. I’d like to bite onto one of those honey buns and pray for lockjaw, I thought following along behind her. I heard the squeal of steel wheels and the sound of railroad cars slamming together. The BNSF rail yard lay north of the hotel. I hope these rooms are soundproof, I thought. In the hotel lobby, Roxy strutted up to the counter.

“We need a couple of rooms for the night,” I said.

“We only have one room available. They’re having an off-road race south of town. Everything’s booked up,” a small Asian woman standing behind the counter said.

“I don’t suppose it has two beds?” Roxy asked.

“No just one Queen size,” the woman said.

“We could try somewhere else,” I said.

“No, I’m bushed. You just keep your hands to yourself,” Roxy said and then sighed.

“You know me, the original Boy Scout. I’ll sleep on the floor if you want,” I said.

“No. You need your rest too,” she said, but this time in a much softer tone. She handed me my room key and then headed up to the room. I went back to the car for our gear. After retrieving our gear, I rode the elevator up to the room and let myself in. I heard the shower running. Stripping out of my clothes, I put on a pair of black sweat pants. Roxy came out of the shower wearing a dark blue nightshirt. Her wet hair hung down her back and she smelled of soap. The fabric of her nightshirt clung to her bosom clearly outlining her hard nipples. God, she was a sight.

“Don’t get any ideas, lover boy. I’m going to sleep,” Roxy said.

I pulled the covers aside. “By all means. Don’t let me keep you.”

She crawled in beside me; I pulled the covers over us and turned off the light. We chatted for a few minutes; I rolled onto my side and touched her left breast. After receiving an elbow to my side for my trouble, I rolled over and went to sleep. Sometime during the wee hours of the morning, she woke up pressed her body up against mine, the nightclothes came off and we made love.

***

I woke up the next morning with my arm underneath Roxy’s body and my hand on her breast. Her bottom lay nestled up against me. She opened her eyes, removed my hand, and then jumped out of bed. I watched her nude form as she hurried across the floor to the bathroom and disappeared from view. The water in the shower started to run. She came out of the shower a few minutes later with a towel wrapped around her body and another wrapped around her head.

“About last night,” I said.

“Don’t let it go to your head. Get into the shower. We’ve got work to do,” Roxy said.

I took my turn in the shower and the hot water felt invigorating. Roxy sat on the bed brushing her hair.

“What do you say to breakfast across the street at Bun Boy?” I asked after stepping out of the shower.

“As long as you’re buying.”

I got dressed; we rode the elevator down to the lobby and then crossed the street. After filling up on pancakes, a side of bacon, and several cups of coffee, I called Daniels. He said that the security tape from the break-in at the drugstore was at the police station, so after breakfast, we headed to the cop shop. After viewing, the tape from the break-in, there was no doubt. He reminded me of Uncle Fester from the Adams family.

“What are your plans?” Daniels asked.

“I have some stops to make, but I thought we’d cruise the desert. Maybe we can catch this creep napping,” I said.

“We have sheriff deputies out there now.”

“Like, you said, it’s a big desert. If they find anything call me on my cell,” I said.

We headed to Stator Brothers and I bought a five-pound bag of sugar. From Stators, I headed to the nearest Catholic Church and conned them out of a gallon of holy water. From the church, we crossed town and headed west on old highway 58.

“I got one more stop to make,” I said and then pulled through the chain-link gates and into the parking lot of McCoy’s Feed store.

“What now?” Roxy asked.

“Just something I think we might need,” I said. Back on the road, we headed toward Hinkley, a little town that had a brief moment of fame from a movie called Erin Brockovich. Back in the eighties, the PG&E power company poisoned the groundwater with Chromium-6. Now they wanted to put a waste composting facility out here. These people just can’t win, I thought. Who’d want to live in this shit hole?

When we reached Hinkley Road, I turned left, passed an elementary school, and headed north. Turning left on Burnt Tree Road, we headed out into the desert. We spent most of the day cruising the desert. It was only March, but the weather was already warm and a bit windy. On the high desert of Southern California, there are three seasons: summer, winter, and wind. The wind blows almost every day, but between April and June, it’s like a wind tunnel sometimes.

After cruising the desert but finding no snoozing vampire, we headed east on interstate 15 and searched the desert near Daggett and Yermo. Roxy made me stop to help a desert tortoise across the road. I warned her that I could face a big fine and do jail time for messing with those turtles, but she just told me to blow it out my backside.

When the sun went down, we headed into Barstow. I bought dinner at the Idle Spurs Steak House. After dinning on a juicy steak and a succulent baked potato, we cruised the town waiting for something to happen. I called Daniels to see if any of the sheriff’s deputies had found anything on the desert. He told me that they had moved Mrs. Chambers’ body to the local funeral home. I arranged a meeting at the mortuary at midnight. I asked Daniels to contact the owner so we could view the body.

“Is that necessary?” Daniels asked over the phone.

“We’ll find out later tonight. I think that after that, you’ll be a believer,” I said.

Roxy and I headed back to the hotel and I got our gear ready. At eleven-thirty PM. We rolled out of the Holliday Inn and headed east on Main Street. Turning left on First Street, we passed a doughnut shop and a bar called Who’z, on First. Crossing a metal bridge that spanned the rail yard and then another bridge that crossed the Mojave River, we turned left on Fort Irwin Road. After stopping at a four-way stop and we continued north toward the outskirts of town. The mortuary set on the left side of the road, across the street from the graveyard. Daniels sat in his unmarked blue sedan when we pulled into the parking lot. He climbed out of his car and lit a cigarette.

“Are you sure we need to do this?” he asked.

“We’ll find out in a few minutes,” I said taking a black nylon gym bag from the trunk of the Mustang.

“Let’s just get this shit over with,” Roxy said taking my arm. We ambled across the parking lot to the mortuary. The glass doors opened and a chill went down my spine. I looked into the chalky white face of a tall man wearing a black suit. I thought it was our vamp. The funeral director was a scary dude who looked like Vincent Price.

“This is highly irregular,” the funeral director said.

“Humor us, Mr. Kramer. We’ll be out of your hair in no time,” Daniels said.

Kramer shrugged. “Let’s get this nonsense over with then.” He retreated into the Bowels of the mortuary and we followed along behind. He led us down a hallway and through a side door passing several caskets as we crossed the room. Chills shot down my spine when I passed the coffins. I kept expecting one of them to open. Kramer led us through a door and down another hallway. He opened a door to a back room and stepped inside. I felt a cold chill, this time, from the cold frigid air. Roxy’s nipples pressed against the fabric of her t-shirt. She caught the direction of my glance and gave me the look.

“This is our cold storage. We keep the bodies here until we’re ready to prepare them for burial,” Kramer said. He crossed the room to a row of metal drawers setting against the wall and slid open a drawer revealing a body covered with a thin white sheet. The body of Mrs. Chambers lay on the steel slab. I pulled the sheet away to reveal the face. She looked deader than a can of corn beef cabbage. Pulling a wooden stake and a mallet from the gym bag, I handed them both to Roxy.

“Great. I have to do the dirty work?” she said.

“Just hand them to me when I need them,” I said and then took out a crucifix. I pulled the sheet away from Mrs. Chamber’s chest.

“There’s no need to be crude,” Kramer said.

Placing the crucifix between Mrs. Chambers’ breasts, I watched her skin sizzle and smoke.

“What the hell?” Daniels said stepping back. Mrs. Chambers’ eyes shot open and she let out a shriek. She grabbed my throat and I looked into her dark feral eyes.

“The mallet! Give me the mallet!” I croaked. Mrs. Chambers screamed obstinacies and flung the crucifix across the room. It bounced off the wall.

“Do the bitch!” Roxy yelled tossing me the wooden stake and the mallet. Daniels jumped away from the body. I pushed the late Mrs. Chambers down on the slab and placed the wooden stake between her breasts. She clung to my throat, my vision turned fuzzy, and I brought the hammer down on top of the stake driving it into her heart. Blood, shot out of her chest, splattering against my face, and hit the ceiling. Mrs. Chambers screamed and then died, this time for good. Kramer stood watching.

“It looks like you’ve seen this kind of thing before,” I said to Kramer.

“Once or twice. I prefer it when the bodies stay dead.”

Daniels looked like Casper the Friendly Ghost. “I need a cigarette. Hell. I need a six-pack and a bottle of Jim Beam.”

“The first time is always the worst,” I said to Daniels. Leaving Kramer to clean up the mess, we swaggered out to the parking lot. The radio in Daniels unmarked sedan squawked.

“This is dispatch to car thirty-four. Come in detective Daniels.”

Daniels opened the door and grabbed the radio’s handset. “This is Daniels.”

“There has been another murder. It has the same MO as the one at the bowling alley.” We stepped closer to listen. Roxy crossed her arms underneath her breasts.

“Where at?” Daniels asked.

“At Molly’s Pub on Main Street. The perp was last seen heading west on Main Street in a black forty-eight Ford pickup.”

“I’ll be right there,” Daniels said.

“We’ll be right behind you,” I said.

Daniels climbed into his sedan and Roxy and I headed to my Mustang. I fired up the beast and followed Daniels out of the parking lot. We headed south on Fort Irwin Road, blowing the stop sign at Old Highway 58, and continued south. Daniels had his reds flashing and his siren blaring. I kept the Mustang on his ass. We passed a Mexican restaurant and a low rent apartment complex as the road curved and intersected with First Street. Daniels tapped his brakes and turned right heading into town. We were on the metal bridge spanning the rail yard when an old black Ford pickup truck flew past us heading in the opposite direction.

I had no room to turn around on the metal bridge, but once the Mustang crossed the south side of the bridge, I flipped a bitch and mashed my foot down on the accelerator. Daniels did the same thing. Patrons at the Dell Taco on the east side of the street starred out the window wondering what the commotion was. The pickup had already crossed the bridge and was heading north. The vamp might have been undead, but the engine in his truck was alive and healthy. The Mustang roared and the speedometer shot up to ninety miles an hour.

The vamp slid around the corner onto Fort Irwin Road and we stayed on his ass. He led us back the way we came, passing the mortuary and the graveyard then slammed on his brakes and turned left on a dirt road heading out into the desert. I called Daniels on the radio.

“Where’s he going?” I asked.

“He’s heading toward an area known as Copper City!” Daniels said.

“What’s there?” I asked as we bounced over the dirt road.

“A few people outlive there! It’s mostly abandoned! There are a few abandoned mining claims! Stay on his ass! I got back up on the way!” Daniels yelled over the radio.

“Roger that,” I said tossing the radio into Roxy’s lap. “Take the wheel.” She looked at me like if I was crazy. “Take the wheel!” She crossed over me and I moved underneath her. At one point, her shapely bottom was in my face. The Mustang hit a bump and she fell into my lap. My hand found her right breast.

“Watch it buster!” she said jamming an elbow into my ribcage.

“Sorry,” I said and then slid into the passenger seat. The old Ford pulled away. She mashed her foot down on the accelerator causing the Mustang to lurch forward. Turning around, I pulled my AR-15 from my gear bag. I rolled down the window, leaned out, and fired several rounds into the back of the pickup.

“When in doubt, empty the magazine!” I yelled. Dropping out the empty magazine, I slapped in a fresh one and fired several more rounds into the back of the pickup truck. The truck swerved back and forth and then took a dirt road heading north. The old Ford slid to a stop in front of a stone cabin. I slammed on my brakes. An apparition jumped from the pickup truck and ran across the desert toward the cabin. Daniels car slid to a stop behind mine. I jumped out of the car with my rifle in hand and Daniels jumped out of his sedan with a pump-action shotgun.

“Hold it, boys! Let the testosterone level drop a notch or two! If we go in there like this, we don’t stand a chance,” Roxy said when she climbed out of the Mustang.

I heaved a sigh. “She’s right. We’re dealing with the supernatural. We’ll have a better chance at daybreak.”

“You want us to sit on our hands until sunrise?” Daniels protested.

“When your people get here, set up a perimeter. Daylight is only a few hours away,” I said. The city police and several sheriff deputies arrived a short while later. Roxy and I took a stroll down by the cabin checking for hidden exits. After the Po Pos had the perimeter set up, we headed back to the Mustang.

“Thanks,” I said.

“For what?” Roxy asked.

“For not letting me go off half-cocked.”

“What are partners for?” she said and then leaned over and kissed me. We sat talking until a purple haze appeared in the east and fingers of sunlight stabbed across the Mojave Desert. When we exited the vehicle, Daniels swaggered over.

“Are you ready now?” Daniels asked. “I’ve got SWAT sitting on go.”

I let out another sigh. “This is what you hired us for. If you go in there like gangbusters, you’ll only get a lot of people killed,” I said.

“What are we supposed to do? That son of a bitch killed two citizens!” Daniels protested.

“Let us go in first. It’s what you’re paying us for. If we’re not back in an hour, then bring in your boys.”

Daniels lit a cigarette.

“Those things will kill you,” Roxy said.

“You’ve got one hour.”

I retrieved our gear, handed Roxy a paintball gun, and took one for myself.

“What good are, those things going to do?” Daniels asked. A smirk crossed his face.

“You can’t kill these guys with conventional weapons,” I said.

“You were damned conventional last night with that AR-15.”

I shrugged. “Last night I was shooting at a pickup truck. Today I’m killing a vampire.” Carrying our gear bag, Roxy and I headed toward the stone cabin.

“I’ll take, point,” I said.

“So predictable. Such a macho pig.” Roxy said.

“But you love me anyway,” I said and then kicked the door of the stone cabin. The front door banged open. Dirt and beer cans littered the floor and in the center of the room set a pine box. It looked like the kind the county used to burry people in a paupers grave. Across the room, I saw a wooden door leading to who knows where.

“This boy seems low rent,” I said moving toward the wooden box.

“He’s not as sophisticated as some of the ones we’ve killed,” Roxy said.

I grabbed a wooden stake and the mallet and then opened the pine box. My heart raced and my breathing came in short little gasps. The lid squeaked open. The undead figure lying in his coffin looked more hideous than he did on the security tape. Maggots crawled in and out of the sores on his face. The putrid smell made me gag when I placed the point of the stake on his chest.

The vamp shot out of the coffin knocking me on my ass. He hovered near the ceiling and then descended to the floor. I rose to my feet grabbing my paintball gun.

“What are you gonna do? Paint me to death?” the vamp asked. His voice sounded raspy and his breath came out wheezy.

“Everything is not always as it appears,” I said.

“You call yourself a hunter? I smell fear. It is all over you.”

“There’s no fear here, pops,” I said, even though I felt like I was going to piss my pants. “You don’t smell too good yourself.” The vamp moved toward me. We raised our paintball guns.

“I’ll gut you so you can live long enough for you to watch me drain your woman’s blood. She’ll be mine for eternity.”

“Eternity hell. Bell Lugosi, you’re not. What have you got, aids or something?”I asked.

The vamp crept closer. “Some time ago, I got hold of some bad blood.”

“Enough of this. Your breath smells like dog shit,” I said.

“I’ll kill you slowly, then rape your woman before I bleed her.” The vamp said.

“Oh shut up. What are you going to do, Mike? Talk him to death?” Roxy asked.

“What we are about to have here, is a holy water smackdown,” I said and then we opened up with our paintball guns. I had drained the paint out of the paintballs earlier and filled them with holy water. When the plastic balls filled with holy water hit the vamp’s skin, they burned through to the bone. His skin sizzled and smoke rose from a dozen places. The smelly vampire bounced around the room like a chimpanzee on crack. He shot up to the ceiling and bounced off the walls trying to stay out of the line of fire. He let out a hiss and a foul-smelling odor filled the room. We stood with our paintball guns pointed at the creature clinging to the ceiling. The vampire landed on Roxy knocking her to the ground. He clawed at her shirt ripping it to shreds. She let out a scream as the vamp lowered his mouth to her throat. I lunged forward and grabbed the vamp by the hair on the back of his head.

“Take this you shit bag!” I yelled and slammed a crucifix to the side of his neck. The skin under the crucifix sizzled and maggots jumped off his neck. He knocked me over backward and then crashed through the wooden door to the left of the coffin. Roxy stumbled to her feet oblivious to the fact that her breasts were bare. Oblivious that is until she caught me staring.

“God Mike, you’re such a pig,” she said.

“Let’s go,” I said diverting my eyes. We moved to the wooden door and I flung it open. The door led to what I thought was a cellar, but when we reached the bottom of a set of stone steps, I looked down a long tunnel. A tunnel. Why does it have to be a tunnel? I thought.

“Are you okay with this?”

I nodded. “Yeah.” Fumbling with my gear bag, I took out a flashlight and tossed it to Roxy. “Let’s get this son of a bitch,” I said taking out another flashlight for myself. When I stepped off into the darkness, a cold breeze blew a foul odor toward us. “He’s down here.”

“I hope this tunnel dead-ends soon. If it splits off into different directions, we could lose him,” Roxy whispered. I could tell by the sound of her voice that she was as scared as I was. Her shadow displayed against the sidewall of the tunnel distracted me. Her breasts bounced up and down causing her shadow woman to do the same. Of course, she caught me looking. The tunnel ended two hundred yards in. The vamp lay on a large rock wheezing and coughing. We opened up with the pint ball guns. The vamp let out a shriek attacking Roxy again. It knocked her over backward and clawed at her throat. I grabbed a horse syringe out of the gym bag and then jumped on the vampire’s back. Sticking the needle in the vampire’s neck, I pushed the plunger. He let out a blood-curdling scream, stumbled to his feet, took a few steps, and then collapsed. I helped Roxy up. She stood clinging to my arm.

“What did you give him?” she asked.

“My version of a Beijing Cocktail. He’s diabetic. I filled that syringe with sugar and holy water,” I said. Bending down, I grabbed the mallet and a wooden stake. The vampire’s skin began to smoke.

“So he’s in a diabetic coma? How do you think of these things, Mike?”

“It just comes to me, darling. Most of the time it comes down to the basics,” I said placing the wooden stake against the vampire’s chest.

“Just do it and let’s get out of here,” Roxy said.

“Case closed,” I said and drove the stake through the vampire’s heart.

***

For my author friends if you have a short story that you would like to share, please send it to me. Copy and paste it into an email and I will post it on my blog for a week and give you a shout out. Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Mail to: dhdonaghe@earthlink.net

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Before we get into the free ebook part, I thought I would let you know what’s going on with my writing. I mentioned in a previous post that the rough draft of the fourth book in my science fiction series, Space Corps Chronicles went to computer heaven. The book was titled The Galactic War. Even though I lost the file the story came from my head and its still in there. I am starting from scratch and rewriting it. So far I am on chapter six. I have another science fiction story and a historical fiction story that I am working on.

Now for the free ebook deal. Just click on my author web page link, and sign up for my author newsletter. (Don’t worry I won’t be sending out newsletters every day. More like once a month.) Then go to my Smashwords profile page and check out my books. Send me an email and let me know which book you want and I will send you a coupon code so that you can get the book for free. It would also be real helpful if you would post a review. In the future, when I am ready to publish again, I will need some beta readers. If you volunteer for that, you’ll get to read them first and get the published ebook for free. I am hoping to build up my reader and fan base and I would love it if you would sign up for my news letter. I look forward to hearing from you. I love to hear from my readers. You can also email me. Mail to: dhdonaghe@dhdonaghe

Until next time keep the sunny side up.

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Ghost Rider Travels on the Healing Road: A book review by David Donaghe

Before I get in to the book review let me tell you what has been going on with me. It’s been a while since my last post. During the moth of June I took another cross country motorcycle trip. I traveled from Barstow California to Laughlin Nevada, hooked up with some of my brothers from the motorcycle club and we headed east the next day. Most of the trip was uneventful for the most part with only a few minor issues of the road. When we reached the Mississippi river, we headed south to Tupelo due to the bridge on the forty being closed. At Tupelo the home of Elvis Presley we took some pictures by his statue in the park. From Tupelo we made our way to Nashville. We hung out at Nashville for a couple of days. Outside of Nashville, a couple of my buddies and I went to Sam Davis Home, an old plantation house from the 1800s. The tour was way cool. After we left Nashville we headed down to Alabama and partied with our brothers. I stayed there about five days and then headed north on my own. I headed up to New Hampshire to visit my daughter and grandkids. On the way up there, I took a few scenic rides and had a good time. I visited with my daughter and grandkids for about a week, we went to Laconia Bike Week and I spent father’s day with them. The next day I headed for home. Along the way, I got rained on, met some cool people and broke down in Arkansas. After being stuck in Conway Arkansas for three days, and putting 5,600 miles on the bike, I had to rent a U-Hall truck and trailer to get home. Since I got back I am getting back into the grove and trying to catch up on things. Before I left I was starting to edit the fourth book in my Space Corps Chronicles science fiction series when I hit the wrong key and the entire manuscript went to digital heaven, so I am starting over on that. That’s about it with what’s going on with me.

Ghost Rider Travels on the Healing Road by Neil Peart a true story by the former drummer of the band Rush. After he lost his daughter Selena in a car accident and his wife Jackie to cancer, all within a ten month period, Neil was overwhelmed with sadness and grief. His way to heal the hole in his heart was to hit the road. He traveled across Canada, the United States and Mexico on his BMW motorcycle. He didn’t stop until he reached Belize. In the book he tells the story of his hardships on the road and how he dealt with his grief. I recommend this book to anyone who is grieving. I could relate to it because I have experienced something similar. I am the lone survivor of my immediate family. My mother and father as well as my two brothers have passed away and I remain. When my brother Bill died in a motorcycle crash, it left a deep hole in my heart. It was through riding my motorcycle and joining the motorcycle club that I belong to that I began to heal. Riding my motorcycle brings me peace. So go out an by Neil’s book. Its a great read.

https://www.amazon.com/David-Donaghe/e/B004LIBZ0G/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1https://www.amazon.com/David-Donaghe/e/B004LIBZ0G/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1
https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Rider-Travels-Healing-Road-ebook/dp/B00466HQVA/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Ghost+rider+travels+on+the+Healing+Road.&qid=1627060350&sr=8-1

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Should Have Known by Matthew Harms.

I finished reading Should Have Known by Matthew Harms a few days ago. It was the kind of book that I couldn’t put down. In fact I stayed up late when I reached the end, just to finish it because I had to know how it ended. Should have know is a psychological thriller that keeps you guessing and turning the page. After I finished reading it, as I lay in bed I thought about the story for about a half hour before dropping off to sleep, and yes Matt. You need to write a sequel. In full discloser, I met Matt online when he contacted me on Twitter and asked me to be a guest on his Podcast. If you have not checked out Matthew’s podcast on YouTube, you are missing out. Matt also does ghost writing and author coaching at Pen for Hire. Below is the book’s description on Amazon.

Jason Carpenter and Richard Colt are childhood friends estranged by events that set them on two very different paths. While one climbed the ranks of a Fortune 500 company this is more than meets the eye, the other fell in with a mercurial crime boss intent on growing his empire at all costs. Years go by before the hand of fate thrusts them back into each other’s lives, and putting them to the ultimate test. Jason, once the rock of their relationship, suffers a terrible tragedy at the hands of a fanatical serial killer and Richard mush rise up from his self-made prison to keep his friend from slipping further into madness. They must find a way to face the combined adversity of their own situations while enduring scrutiny from both the police and a career newsman with his own version of events to tell. It will be the hardest test of their friendship to not give into the demons that plague them from within and without. When all the cards are on the table each one will feel like they should have known. . .

In my opinion, this was a great book and you should consider reading it.

If you have Kindle Unlimited you can read the book for free or buy it on Amazon for $2.99

https://www.amazon.com/Should-Have-Known-Matthew-Harms-ebook/dp/B08VS4QJMK/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Should+Have+Known+by+Matthew+Harms&qid=1617901067&sr=8-1
https://www.amazon.com/Should-Have-Known-Matthew-Harms-ebook/dp/B08VS4QJMK/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Should+Have+Known+by+Matthew+Harms&qid=1617901067&sr=8-1

Amazon wouldn’t let me review this book after I read it because they have a policy that you must have purchased at least fifty dollars worth of merchandise at Amazon before you are eligible to post a review. Personally, I think this is a bad policy that hurts authors. If I would have been able to review it on Amazon I would have gave it five stars. So if you are looking for a good book read Should Have Known, or if you are looking for a ghost writer, someone to write your screen play, maybe some author coaching or you are an new author and want to get some exposure, contact Matt and sign up to be a guest on his podcast.

I am currently reading Ghost Rider, Travels on the Healing Road by Neil Peart. When I am finished I will let you know what I think. Until then stay safe and keep reading.

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Happy Easter!

I would like to wish everyone a happy Easter weekend. I have been busy editing a lot of my work and I am getting ready to take another long distance motorcycle trip coming up at the end of May and for the most of June. For the Easter weekend all of my books at Smashwords.com will either be free or over fifty percent off, so check out the link below. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

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My 2019 Grand Motorcycle Adventure part VI Homeward Bound.

When I left my Nephew’s house in Silver City new Mexico, he rode with me for a ways. We headed up highway 180 which would take me up into the mountains. I wanted to go that way, rather than heading west on the I 10 to avoid the summer heat. He rode with me for about ten or fifteen miles, then we pulled off onto a side road lined with trees and parked the motorcycles. He smoked a cigarette and I smoke a cigar. We shot the shit for a while then said our good-byes. He headed home and I headed north on the 180. The 180 took me through some scenic areas, the weather was good, except for a little bit of rain. I stopped at a sporting goods store that my nephew told me about and looked at their wide selection of guns and other manly things and then had lunch. The only memorable thing that happened was when a woman in a truck turned left in front of me. Luckily I wasn’t going too fast, so I avoided a collision. It got my heart rate going and I did say a few cuss words but that was the extent of it. I descended the mountains and headed across some rolling hills and grass land. By this time it was starting to get hot again. It seemed like I could see forever. The scenery was good and I was enjoying the ride. I passed by the Petrified Forest and then cut over to Holbrook Arizona. By this time it was blazing hot, so I pulled into a Derry Queen, had a burger and a milkshake and then hit the I 40 freeway and headed west. I wasn’t in a big hurry to get home so I stopped in Flagstaff, pulled off onto the old route 66 and rented a hotel room for the night

I had dinner in the hotel restaurant and the food was good After that I went up to my room, put on my Tucumcari bathing suit and went down to the hotel’s in door pool and hot tub. When I got down there I went into the pool for a dip. There was a family there with their kids. After taking a dip in the pool, I went over to the spa and sat down in the hot bubbling water. Across from me in the hot tub sat a young pretty collage aged woman, and believe me she knew how to fill out a bathing suit. We had a pleasant conversation. She told me that her name was Sam and that she and her boyfriend were on vacation and that she lived in Kansas. She said that they were going up to see Brice Canyon in Utah. I told her about my trip and carrying the chopper across the country to deliver to my Grand Son. She thought that was cool. I enjoyed our conversation but she decided to call it quits and headed up to her room. I stayed in the hot tub for a little while longer and then called it a night. Later, after I was home from my trip I used this incident in one of my novels, only the main character took things a little further that what we did.

The next morning after breakfast, I loaded up the bike. The young woman from the hot tub came out of her room to put some stuff in her car. She smiled and told me to be safe and I bid her farewell. I never did see the boyfriend. I got back on the I 40 heading west. The wind was blowing hard and I fought the wind all way home. After coming down the mountain I crossed the Colorado River and entered the state of California. Now I had to deal with the heat as well as the wind, but I was getting close to home. I stopped in Ludlow to take one final break and cool down. I only had fifty miles to go. From Ludlow to Barstow, the wind was brutal but I arrived safely. I was running on fumes when I hit town, so I filled up the tank and then headed home. I pulled into my driveway about five minutes later. I had been on the road for a moth to the day and had put almost seven thousand miles on the bike. I went into the house to greet my wife and dogs and it felt good to be home. It was a rough trip, but I enjoyed it. I saw things and did things that I would remember forever. Some might ask if I would do it again? the answer is yes. In fact I plan to go on another cross country trip again in June. I am heading back to Alabama, but this time when I leave Alabama I might cut over to Florida, head up through Georgia, South and North Carolina on my way up to New Hampshire to see my daughter and grandkids. I will probably stop at Gettysburg again on the way home. Maybe I’ll write about that trip as well. I hope you liked my tale. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. If you’d like to check out my books click on one of the links below. Sign up for my news letter or shoot me an email. Until the next time keep the rubber on the road and the shinny side up.

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My 2019 Grand Motorcycle Adventure Part V The Ride Home-New Mexico.

After leaving Gettysburg I headed west on a two lane road. They say, “All roads lead to Gettysburg.” The town is set up like the hub of a wheel with several different roads branching off like the spokes of the wheel. The two lane road I left on took me to the 81 interstate and I headed south. For the first part of my trip the weather was good, but when I got down into Virginia that changed. I saw a massive storm ahead of me and the sky opened up. It was raining so hard that it was unsafe to be on the interstate so I took the first exit that I could find and wouldn’t you know it. I found myself at the exact same spot where I had to pull off on my way up north and took refuge under the awning of a hospital. There I was standing under the same awning watching it rain. I wondered if it just rained every day in this exact same spot. After standing there watching it rain for a while, the storm moved on. I smoked a cigar in the parking lot, climbed back onto the bike and continued south on the 81. At the end of the day, I pulled off the interstate for a break. I had wanted to make maybe fifty more miles that day, but I was tired and it was starting to rain again. I pulled into a cheap motel in the bad part of town, but there was a gas station and a place to eat nearby so I stopped for the night. After I checked into my room, I stepped outside for a smoke. There was a woman outside that was staying in the room next to mine. Sometimes your first impressions of someone is not exactly right. She looked like a tweaker. As I sat on the front porch to smoke we began to talk. She told me about her life. She was going through some hard times and trying to get into an apartment. I asked her if it was a safe place to stay and she said that on the side where my room was that it was okay. It was where people that were traveling through stayed. She said on the back side of the motel was where people lived their full time and that people like to party on that side. She said that she would keep an eye out on my bike. I went off and headed down the street to a pizza place and had dinner and then went to the convenience store and gas station and bought some munchies and beer for the room. After having a beer and enjoying the munchies I watched some TV until bed time. I set my handgun on the nightstand next to my bed and then went to sleep.

The next morning I hit the highway heading south and crossed over the boarder into Tennessee. The weather was good that day. I had to deal with one major traffic tie up where a motorhome caught fire and then I got caught up in rush hour traffic in Knoxville, but I remembered the words of the chapter president of our motorcycle club the last time I went to the National Rally when it was in Alabama, and I kept my head on the swivel. On interstate 40 now I headed west and stopped for the night west of Knoxville. The weather continued to be good, so the next day I motored through Nashville and Memphis, crossed the Mississippi River and entered the state of Arkansas. I stayed the night in Arkansas and headed west the next day. As I passed through Arkansas and across the pan handle of Texas it started getting hot and windy. When I would stop for a break, I would slam a bottle of water, soak my long sleeved white tee shirt in water, then put it on under my vest. By the time I made another fifty miles down the road, my tee shirt would be dry. By the time I crossed into the state of New Mexico I was out of it. I was dehydrated, tied and sleepy. I got hit by a violent gust of wind that felt as if God had just picked up my bike and gave it a violent shake. That woke me up real quick. “Okay I’m awake!” I said and pushed on for another ten miles or so and pulled into the New Mexico welcome center. After drinking two bottles of water, I checked out the little museum, then soaked my shirt in water once more and headed west. I stopped in Tucumcari New Mexico for the night. It had been a long hard day.

Two year prior, I went on another trip. I rode with my club brothers to Alabama, then down to New Orleans and home. On that trip I also stayed at Tucumcari on the way home. I hadn’t brought a bathing suit and it was hot so I headed to a dollar store, bought a bathing suit and went swimming in the motel pool. On this trip, I brought my bathing suit, but I left it hanging in the bathroom of the first motel I stayed in by accident, so on this trip I once again went to the dollar store and bought a bathing suit so I could swim in the pool. This is my second, Tucumcari bathing suit. Back at the motel I went swimming, had my supper and then settled in for the night. The following morning after breakfast, I headed west. At Albuquerque I took the 25 freeway south. If you have ever been on the 25 in New Mexico you know that there are long stretches of desolate road between the cities and towns. It was blazing hot that day and I was starting to get dehydrated. It got so bad that I thought I was going to get heat stroke, so I pulled off the freeway, drank a half a bottle of water and then continued on. Luckily there was a gas station and restaurant about twenty miles down the road. I gassed up the bike, bought two bottles of water and asked the woman behind the counter if I could sit down in the restaurant and cool off for a little while. She said that I could so I drank my water, cooled off under the air conditioning and then headed south. At Hatch New Mexico, famous for their New Mexico Chilis, I headed west on a two lane highway and cut over to Deming New Mexico and then headed up into the mountains to Silver City to visit my nephew Matt and his family. I spent a few days there visiting with my nephew and other family members. We had a barbeque one day and they invited people over, me and Matt sat around a bon fire during the night and sat around the fire smoking and drinking and having a good time. I enjoyed my time there, but I needed to get home. I had been on the road for almost a month. The day I left Matt rode with me part way. To beat the heat, we headed north on the 180, which would head through the mountains. (Keep your eye out for part VI of my 2019 Grand Motorcycle Adventure: Homeward Bound.)

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My 2019 Grand Motorcycle Part IV The Ride Home: Gettysburg.

I said my good byes and left Salisbury New Hampshire heading west on a two lane highway. The weather was a bit chill, but it warmed up and there was no rain. I traveled down a windy road that wove its way through the forest. The scenery was beautiful as I passed through small towns and farms. I rode along the shore of a large lake for a while and crossed over a couple of rivers. I had to take a detour because they were doing some construction on a bridge that crossed a river. On the other side of the river was the state of Vermont. In Vermont I headed south on the 91 Interstate which took me down into Massachusetts and headed west. I passed through the state and entered the state of New York. I stopped for gas and had a shot conversation with a couple that also was from California. They lived in Rancho Cucamonga which is about seventy miles south of Barstow where I live. At the end of the day I stopped at a motel on the outskirts of a good sized town They charged me $129.00 for the room. I was thinking that this was kind of expensive and I mentioned it to another biker while I was having a beer in the motel bar. He said that it actually wasn’t because they were having a little league training camp in town and all the motels would be full or more expensive. I had dinner at a restaurant which in its former life was an old house, then bought some beer and munchies for the room and settled in for the night.

I woke up the following morning had breakfast and headed out. The weather was good. I headed west through the state of New York and then headed south into Pennsylvania. The roads in Pennsylvania sucked. They were full of potholes. I stopped at the welcome center and took a selfie underneath the Welcome to Pennsylvania sign. A lot of people that I know knew that I was in New Hampshire and the accident in the northern part of the state where seven people on motorcycles were killed had made national news, so I posted the pic on Face Book to let them know that I was okay. My destination for the day was Gettysburg and I arrived before the sun went down. If you’ve never been there, what you have read about and what you have seen on TV doesn’t do it justice. The battle took place in the country side surrounding the town as well as in the town itself. There are buildings in the town that still have cannon balls stuck into their walls. There are trees growing in the town that were there when the battle took place. They call them Witness Trees. One of the trees had to be cut down and they found a bunch of mini balls imbedded inside the tree. When I arrived I found a motel, checked in and then went looking for somewhere to eat. When I was done with that I took a walking tour of the town and went on a ghost tour. Gettysburg is supposed to be one of the most haunted cities in the US. The tour guide told of people who have drove through the battle field at night and had the ghost of a Confederate soldier appear in the back seat of their car or have seen ghost walking the streets at night. People have reported hearing cannon fire and gunshots out on the battle field at night. After the ghost tour, it was now getting dark, I walked out to the edge of the battle field and sat down leaning against a tree and smoked a cigar. it was eerily quiet and when I looked out into the dark I saw thousands and thousands of fire flies flying about over the battle field. There are still at least five hundred Confederate soldiers buried where the fell out on the battle field. There are no markers, but the National Park service considers them to be at rest. Seeing those fire flies made me think about the souls of those of those brave men buried in shallow graves so far away from home. Finished with my cigar, I headed back to the motel and called it a night.

The next morning I woke up early and went to a museum that had artifacts from the battle on display. They had a theater that showed a short movie showing how the battle progressed. Finished with that I went up to the visitor center and took a bus tour that took us through town and then out on the battle field. It was a double decker bus with an open top. I rode on the top deck. While we headed through town, the bus driver pointed out things of interest that pertained to the battle and then he headed out onto the battle field itself. He stopped at the various monuments and talked about what happened there. When he stopped at Little Round Top, he let us take a short break and walk up the trail to the top of Little Round Top. During the battle the Union troops occupied Little Round Top. The Confederate lines were in the trees across a field over a mile and a half away. They had to charge across a mile and a half of open ground while under cannon fire as well as gunfire from the Union troops on Little Round Top. They were decimated. This was the site of Pickett’s famous charge. As I stood there looking across that open ground I was in a somber mood, thinking about the terror and brutality those soldiers must have felt, as they tried in vain to take the high ground. When the bus tour was over, I bought a couple of tee shirts at the visitor center, then climbed onto the bike and rolled out leaving Gettysburg behind. The next time I have a chance to go there I plan to stay for a couple of days. I’d like to ride my motorcycle down into the battle field at night. Leaving Gettysburg behind, I was New Mexico bound.

(Keep your eyes out for My 2019 Grand Motorcycle Adventure part five the ride home-New Mexico.)

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My 2019 Grand Motorcycle Adventure part III New Hampshire.

The next morning Jess and I went out for breakfast and then took the Rocket Three over to the Triumph dealership in Concord New Hampshire. I had delivered the toy chopper to my grandson, so that mission was accomplished. I don’t remember if it was that night, or the next evening when I called the dealership and they said that the bike was fixed. They said that my rectifier was bad. Jess’ old man drove me over there, I picked up the bike and followed him to a restaurant and we had something to eat. My grandson Aben went with us. Jess’s two sisters, flew out from California along with one her sisters two kids and old man, so we had a full house. I had planned to go to Laconia Bike week, but after the trouble I had with the bike, I didn’t feel like riding over there, plus I was tired from the long ride. I was having a good time hanging out with my grandsons and grand daughter plus, plus meeting Jess and Nate’s friends. Nate was Jess’ old man. I went with Nate over to one of his friend’s house and we played darts and drank beer. They had friends over and we had a good time. They were cool people. One morning we took a drive over to Maine, went to the beach, went to see a light house and we had lunch at a sea food restaurant. We took a drive down the coast a ways and saw some pretty scenery, plus we saw a turtle crossing the road. It was rainy that day, but I had a good time anyway. One of the reasons I wanted to go to Maine was that I had never seen the Atlantic ocean. In the picture of me below, I am standing on the beach because I wanted to put my foot prints in the sand of the beach on the Atlantic, even though the tide would wash them away I didn’t care. When the day came for me to leave, Jess had Aubrey, my grand daughter make me a sack lunch she wrote me a little note, which I have thumb tacked to my bedroom wall above my computer that said, “Be safe. Have a great ride home! I hope you liked my lunch I made 4 you. Sorry if the sandwich is soggy. Love Aubrey.” She put little hearts on the top and the sides of the note. After saying my good byes, I rolled out heading west on a two lane highway toward Vermont. The road snaked its way through the forest, went by a lake and a river. It was a beautiful ride, but I only made thirty-four miles and the bike quit on me again. There I was stuck on the side of the road once more out in the middle of nowhere. I called the Triumph dealership back in Concord and they sent a tow truck out. When the tow truck driver finally came, I helped him load up the bike and he took me and the bike back to the Triumph dealership. After I delivered the bike to the service area, I went to their waiting room and called Jess. She was busy doing something that day, and right now I don’t remember what it was. She might have been at work, so I sat there in the waiting room for the next couple of hours waiting and eating the lunch that Aubrey made me. Jess finally came and took me back to her house. I called the Triumph Dealership the next morning and they said the bike was fixed. They said that they didn’t get the plug on the rectifier plugged in all the way, so that caused the battery not to charge. Jess took me over there and while I was there, I bought an extra battery to put in my saddle bag for the ride home, just incase. Because of my third breakdown, I staid a few extra days than I was planning to. I went to my grandson Shane’s graduation from eighth grade, and hung out for a couple more days. The night before I was going to leave we had a barbeque at Jess’ house, drank beer and partied with their friends. It was a good time. While I was there sitting on the couch, I went onto Face Book and saw a post about a woman who is part of our motorcycle club. She had rode out from Oregon to the national rally in Alabama and on her way home, she was going through Las Vegas Nevada and crashed. I sent a text to our chapter president asking about what happened. He said that a car slammed on his brakes in front of her and she hit it. She broke her leg and had some other injuries and was in the hospital. This was not something I wanted to hear, especially since I was heading home in the morning and had over three thousand miles to ride, and then in the morning I woke up and checked the news and learned that a guy driving under the influence who was driving under a suspended license crossed the double yellow line, and killed seven people on motorcycles in Northern New Hampshire. This was some very bad MOJO. The night before I find out that my sister in the club crashed and now seven motorcycle riders in the northern part of the state were killed by some reckless driver, but I still had to go home so I figured that the only thing I could do was ride as safe as I possibly could.

(Keep your eye out for part IV of my 2019 Grand Motorcycle Adventure: The ride home.)

Pictures I took in New Hampshire and Maine

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My 2019 Grand Motorcycle Adventure Part II

When you ride a motorcycle all day for several days in a row, you get tired. I was drinking five hour energy drinks all the way across the country. In the morning after a good breakfast, I would feel great, but after about fifty miles down the road I would feel exhausted. The tiredness from the days on the road accumulate, so when I pulled in the the clubhouse where they held the rally in Alabama, I was ready to relax and party. Thursday night we partied at the clubhouse and had a great time. Friday morning we went on a short ride for lunch and ate at a restaurant that was a combination micro brewery and restaurant. After that we went to a park where there was a scenic area where you could stand at the railing and look at a majestic looking water falls that flowed down into a canyon. The scenery was green and pretty. Is was much different than the high desert of Southern California where I am from. It surprised me how many of these big burly bikers, and their wives who were following my post on Face Book that wanted to get their picture taken with me and the toy chopper. Some of them I knew before hand and some of them I was just meeting. After we finished at the park we headed back to the clubhouse and partied. And believe me, the Alabama brothers and their old ladies know how to let their hair down and party. I was having a good time feeling now pain when I turned in that night.

The next morning, it rained and it rained hard. If you’ve ever been to northern Alabama, you know what I am talking about. I learned a valuable lesson. Do not, and I repeat, do not leave your helmet hanging over the mirror on your motorcycle by the strap with the inside facing up. Our ride that morning was delayed by the rain, but it let up a little and we were about to head out. I went our to get on my bike and my helmet was full of water. I emptied the water out of my helmet, took it back into the clubhouse to dry and rode with someone in a cage. Our club has a few chapters in northern Alabama so we spent the day visiting other chapter clubhouses and hand a great time. That night we had the big party and we partied hard. I had a great time and it got pretty wild. Sunday morning everyone started for home. Shaggy and Burnout started west for California and I headed north. Some of the brothers from Alabama rode with me part way and we stopped at a park that had a scenic view point that over looked the Tennessee river. We took some pictures, shot the shit for a while and then said our final good-byes. I headed north and they head back to the clubhouse. For the first part of my trip that day the weather was good. I rode through Chattanooga Tennessee passing through a portion of Georgia then hit Interstate 40 east and then took the 81 north and headed up into Virginia. The rain started up an hindered my progress so I found a motel and spent a night in Virginia. The next morning I headed north once more. In northern Virginia. I stopped in Staunton Virginia for a while and stopped on Donaghe street and took my picture under street street sign bearing by last name. At one point I saw a dark cloud ahead of me and got slammed by rain. It was coming down in buckets. I pulled off the interstate looking for somewhere to get out of the rain and the only place I could find was a hospital. I parked the bike in their parking lot and stood under an awning and watched the rain come down. The storm passed and I headed north once more passing through a portion of West Virginia and then crossed the border into Maryland. For the most part, the weather was good that day. I headed up through Pennsylvania. The roads in Pennsylvania were full of potholes. I had just crossed the border into New York, when the engine on my Triumph Rocket three shut off.

I pulled over to the side of the interstate on the shoulder and turned the ignition off then tried to restart the motor, but the battery was dead. There I was standing on the side of the interstate calling my insurance company to get a tow. They told me that they would call me back. They did and said that the soonest that they could get a tow truck out to pick me and the bike up would be in about four hours. I was on the phone with them when the state police showed up. First it was a woman by herself. I was on the phone with the insurance when she pulled up. I hung up my phone so I could deal with her. They wanted me off the interstate. A short time later another New York State Police car showed up. This one was a man. I told him what my insurance agent had said and he told me that he could have a tow truck there in twenty minutes, so I told him to call them. The woman left and the male state trooper stayed until the tow truck showed up. When the tow truck arrived the State Trooper left. The bed of the flat bed tow truck was covered in oil so we had to be careful pushing my bike onto the bed. The nearest Triumph dealership was in Syracuse New York, about fifty miles north of where I intended to head east. We arrived at the Triumph dealership about a half hour before closing time. They took a quick look at my bike and told me that my battery was toast so I bought a new one. They installed it and said everything checked out fine, so found a motel and checked in. I knew that Syracuse must be close to the Canadian border because the flag pole out front flew both the American flag and the Canadian flag. While I was there I met some people from Canada. One was riding a Can-AM Spider another guy was riding a Triumph and a couple of people were riding Harley’s. I went out side to smoke and found a set of keys on a table. I turned them into the front desk. Later I found out that it belonged to the guy riding the Spider. He was very happy to get them back. I went out for dinner, bought some munchies and beer for the room and then settled in for the night, and of course I took a picture of me and the chopper.

The next morning when I woke up it was raining. After I ate at the motel’s Continental breakfast, I packed up my gear and checked out. When I left the motel it was just drizzling a little bit. I took an alternate route, headed south for a bit and then caught a turnpike heading east. I had no sooner got onto the turnpike when the rain started coming down hard. It was raining so hard that I didn’t feel safe to be on two wheels. There were no underpasses or bridges to get out of the weather so I took the first exit I could find and pulled into a McDonald’s restaurant. I stepped into the McDonald’s, soaking wet, dripping water and feeling like a drowned rat. Sitting at a couple of tables was a group of old men. The youngest must have been in his seventies. They looked like the regular McDonald’s crew. One of them looked up at me and said, “Buy yourself a cup of coffee and pull up a chair.” So I did. I sat there talking with these old guys for about forty five minutes drinking coffee and listening to their stories. I told them about my trip which they thought was cool and they told me stories about what was happening in their lives. Finally the rain stopped, we said our good-byes and I got back on the turnpike heading east. The rain started up again so I pulled under a bridge to get out of it. While I was sitting there under a bridge I took out my cell phone and checked my Doppler Radar App. There was a big storm, but it was moving away from me. I spent most of the morning riding until I hit rain, then waiting for the storm to move on and then riding until I caught up to it again. I stopped at one rest stop and this guy walking toward me asked, “Did you get caught up in that big traffic tie up?”

I said, “No.” He told me that an eighteen wheeler crossed over into the east bound lanes and tipped over. He said that the driver was okay though and no one else got hurt. I guess I had just missed it. As I continued on, the rain stopped but I still had my rain gear on. I was just about to cross into the state of Massachusetts when the gages on the bike started to act up so I pulled off the interstate. I was no longer on a toll rode. On my side of the interstate, was an old abandoned gas station so I pulled in, turned off the bike had a smoke and a butt break then I tried to start the motor, but it wouldn’t start. My brand new battery was dead. Back on the cell phone, I called my roadside assistance and they said that they would call around to see if they could find a tow truck to come get me. They called me back and said that no one wanted to look at the bike. He said that all the shops were swamped with people servicing their bikes for the riding season and the nearest Triumph dealership that would take a look at my bike was down in New York City in Manhattan. That was at least a hundred miles south of where I was going and in the wrong direction. When I had talked to my daughter Jess, after my first break down, she said that if I broke down again, to call her and they would come pick me up and put my bike in the back of her old man’s truck, but they were one hundred and ninety four miles away, so it would be a while for them to get to me. I called her and told her about my second break down and asked if her offer was still on the table. She said it was and that they would come get me. After talking with my daughter, I looked around me taking in my surroundings. Someone had left an old Lazy Boy chair in a grassy area beside the abandoned gas station. I still had my rain gear on and I wouldn’t get my butt wet, so I sat down to wait. I tried to stay positive and not let things get me down. I walked across the bridge over the interstate to a truck stop and gas station that was open and bought some munchies and something to drink and then went back to where I had left my bike and spent the next two or three hours waiting around sitting in my Lazy Boy. Finally, Jess and her old man along with two of my grand kids showed up. We loaded my bike up into the pickup and tied it down. Climbing into the back seat, we hit the interstate heading east. My plan had been to head to Boston and take the 95 north up to New Hampshire, but I was leery of the big city traffic around Boston. Jess’s old man took a different route. I think he took Interstate 91 north off of the Massachusetts turnpike, headed up into Vermont and then took a two lane highway east and crossed into New Hampshire. I figured to take the same route on the way home. We finally arrived at Jess’ place late that night. I was tired and ready for bed, but I had reached my destination. Even if I rode the last one hundred and ninety four miles in the back seat of a truck. (Coming in a couple of days My 2019 Grand Motorcycle Adventure Part III new Hampshire.)

The McDonald’s Crew

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My 2019 Grand Motorcycle Adventure.

Hello. My name is David Donaghe and I write short stories and novels. I also ride motorcycles, and practice martial arts, as well as shoot guns, drink Jack Daniels whiskey and other things, but I won’t go into all of that. I am a member of a family oriented motorcycle club. We have chapters in various states across the country as well as a couple in Europe. Other than partying like bikers, our chapter supports our local veteran’s home as well as Toys for Tots and well also help the police and fire department deliver toys to the children of Barstow CA at Christmas. In 2019 our National Rally was held in Alabama. That year, no one but me was planning to ride out. Everyone else had to fly because of work and time restraints, but two members of another chapter, Shaggy and Burn Out (Their Road Names) from a Southern CA chapter were riding so the plan was for them to meet me in Barstow on June 1st. Earlier in the year, my daughter Jess and my Grandson from Salisbury NH flew out to CA and came to visit me. While the were here in CA she bought my grandson, Aben a little toy chopper, but when she left, Aben left in out back by my pool. Aben was about four years old at the time. I called Jess after she made it back home and asked her if she wanted me to mail it back to her, but she said no for me to just bring it with me when I came. My plan was after the National Rally to head up to new Hampshire, so I said okay I’ll do that.

So when June 1st rolled around, before I left home, I took a picture of the toy chopper sitting on my motorcycle and I planned to document its trip across the country posting pictures of it on Face Book. I met Shaggy and Burn Out at Los Domingos restaurant in Barstow CA. If you are ever traveling through Barstow and you like Mexican food, check out Los Domingos. They are the bomb. After we ate breakfast, we headed out on the I 40.and stopped at Ludlow CA to cool down. The temperature on the high desert of Southern California can be brutal. After a short break we rolled on heading east, crossed the Colorado river and entered the state of Arizona. After getting gas, we stopped at Flagstaff for Lunch and then rolled on stopping at Gallup New Mexico for the night and headed out the next morning. The weather continued to be good, all though it was a little windy crossing the pan handle of Texas, and rolled on through to Clinton Oklahoma. So father the scenery was mainly brown desert, but once we entered Oklahoma things started to green up. We spent the night in Clinton and in the morning, while I was waiting for Shaggy and Burn Out to get their gear ready, I was outside smoking a cigar and I stuck up a conversation with a young man who was in the Navy reserves. Come to find out, he lived in Victorville California, thirty five miles south of Bartow. At each stop along the way I took pictures of me and the chopper and posted them on Face Book. So after packing our gear and eating at the motel’s continental we headed east. It had rained during the night, but it wasn’t raining when we left the motel. That soon changed.

When we crossed over into the state of Arkansas, we got hit so hard by rain that it wasn’t safe to be on the interstate on two wheels. We took an off ramp, headed down a frontage road and pulled into a little Baptist church, pulled our motorcycles up onto the front porch under their cover awning and waited out the storm. We spent a good forty five minutes shooting the shit under the awning, while I was smoking cigars and watched it rain. I used this incident in one of my novels later, but I embellished it a little bit. After it quit raining we headed east once more and spent the night near Little Rock Arkansas. That night we had dinner in a barbeque place across the road from the motel and the food was delicious. The following morning we headed east once more. When we got close to Mississippi river, we could see where the interstate had recently flooded. Water had reached the interstate and for a while traffic was at a stand still while they offloaded a truck that had been damaged by the flood. One we were clear of the traffic tie up, we rolled on, crossed the Mississippi river and entered Memphis Tennessee. We continued on and spent the night at a motel just west of Nashville. That night we called Uber and took a ride into down town Nashville and partied on Broadway. If you like live music and you like to drink, you’ll love Broadway in Nashville. The street is nothing but bars, the buildings are three stories tall and their is a bar on each floor playing live music. There is usually people playing music on the sidewalks as well. That night the Country Music award show was in town and they were having big name concerts. The place was packed. We hit the bars, Shaggy got toasted and Burn Out and I had to baby sit him. We were sitting in one bar up by the front where the band was playing when three young women in their early twenties came in. One of them brushed up against me, laid her hand on my shoulder and said, “Hey old man. Show me your moves.” They tried to drag me out on the dance floor, but I refused. I was sixty-two at the time and I was old enough to be these young women’s grandad. I thought about saying yes, but I am a married man. All I needed was for someone to post it on Face Book and I might find the locks changed on the front door when I got home, or maybe get shot lol. We had a great time and all three of us were feeling no pain when we caught the Uber back to our motel that night. The next morning we headed east, took highway twenty four in Nashville and then rolled down toward Alabama. It rained off and on, we pulled into a rest stop and put on our rain gear and pulled into Section Alabama close to noon. I was excited and looking to have a good time with my club brothers at the national rally for the next four days.

(This is becoming a long post so I am going to break it up into a few parts. I will post My 2019 Grand Motorcycle Adventure part two in a few days.)

This is me.

Me and the Chopper.

Shaggy

Burnout.

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Are you looking forward to the New Year?

Are you looking forward to the new year? I know I am. 2020 had its issues, but maybe 2021 will be better. I am also looking forward to my two new novels coming out at the end of January. Blood Bond, book three in the Mike McDonald Action Adventure Saga and Door Number Two book four in the same series. They are both on presale at a discounted rate. I am almost finished with the first draft of the galactic War book five of my series known as the Space Corps Chronicles, and I am working on the second chapter of my new Western novel, The Mojave Kid. I would like to have some people review my books, so if you are interested let me know and I will send you a coupon code so you can download one for free from smashwords.com Also sign up for my email list. Click on the links below to check out my books. They were fun to write and I think that you will enjoy reading them. In June I am planning on going on a motorcycle trip with my club brothers from Barstow California to Alabama. From there I will ride up to New Hampshire to see my daughter and grandkids. As usual it will be a grand adventure and when I get back I will tell you about it. I hope you are having a great new Year. Stay safe.

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I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I just thought I would make a post to let everyone know what is going on with me and my writing. I recently was a guest host on a podcast with Matthew Harms from Pen for Hire where we discussed my writings and books. It will go live on YouTube on Dec 31st. I also recently was invited to post an article on the Author’s Lounge regarding my biker paranormal box set the cave Man Action Adventure Box Set. I have also started a new author face book page as well as a Draft2Digital author page. From now until Jan 1 all of my books at smashwords.com are either free or 50 percent off, but if you are a reviewer and want to review any of my books at smashowords I will send you a coupon code if you chose to read any of the books that are not free. I look forward to hearing from my readers, so check out the links below, sign up for my author news letter on the contact the author form and have a very Happy New Year.

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Door Number Two (book number four in the Mike McDonald Action Adventure Saga) Now on pre sale at Amazon and Smash words.com

Book number four in the Mike McDonald Action Adventure Saga is now available at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com for pre sale. Get it at smashwords for only .99 while on pre sale. Read the first two chapters below.

Chapter 1

Life sucks. That’s the way I felt that morning setting in my shabby little office sweltering in the heat. The overhead fan osculating above me barely put a dent in the one hundred fifteen degree temperature. A bead of sweat tracked down my face. Glancing about I took in my family photos hanging on the wood paneled walls. I took in my faded business license hanging next to a picture of Beth and me. We were smiling in the picture: a remnant of happier times. What do I have to show for myself? I wondered.

I had a used car lot in a desolate town near the California Arizona border that barely made pay roll and a trophy wife that didn’t love me anymore. If the rumors were true, she wasn’t faithful. I tried not to believe the rumors; I just wished she wouldn’t yell so much. We had two grown kids that didn’t come around and a big house with a huge mortgage in the ritzy part of town. It was her house and if it weren’t for her real estate business, we couldn’t afford the payment.

In the service area, a mechanic was using an impact wrench and the noise pounded through my brain making my head throb.

“Fuck it. I’m taking the rest of the day off,” I said. Maybe I’ll call up Ray and we’ll take in a round of golf I thought. Ray was my best buddy from high school. I picked up the phone and dialed the number.

Judy, Ray’s secretary, answered on the third ring. “Cunningham’s Hardware,” she said.

“Judy. This is Bill Caldwell. Is Ray in?” I asked.

She paused and then said, “No Bill. He’s not. He went home early.”

She’s acting wired, I thought.

“I was thinking about doing the same. Maybe I’ll see him on the golf course. Bye now,” I said Hanging up the phone. I punched my secretary’s extension on the intercom.

“What’s up Boss?” Brittney asked, her voice sounding seductive.

“Hey Britt, I’m taking the rest of the day off. It’s too damn hot. Tell the crew that they can have an early quit,” I said.

“They’ll like the sound of that.”

“Tell ’em not to get used to it,” I said then turned off the intercom.

Grabbing my suit coat off the back of my chair, I crossed the room to the door and strolled down a narrow hallway passing between tiny offices with glass windows. Two of my sales people were in one of the offices shooting the shit; one of them laughed.

“Hey Bill. Thanks for the early quit,” a young red headed sales clerk said and waved.

I waved back. At the reception area, I caught a whiff of Brittney’s perfume. She leaned forward offering me a view down the front of her low cut black dress. Her long blonde hair cascading down her back glistened in the sunlight coming through the window. When Brittney first came to the office, she made it obvious that she was available.

“It’s tempting, but I’m married,” I said showing her my wedding ring.

“Nobody’s that married,” she said. The first time Beth came to the office after I hired Brittney, they both took an instant dislike to each other. The hackles on their necks stood up and I thought they were going to have a catfight, so I hustled Beth out as soon as I could.

“You could do better,” Brittney said, after my wife left.

“Don’t work too hard. You can have an early quit too,” I said stepping up to Brittney’s desk. I’ve never cheated on Beth, but Britt sure makes it tempting, I thought.

“I’m going to leave in a few minutes, but if you’re ready to leave that bitch that you live with, and run away with me, I’ll get my purse,” she said then giggled.

“You keep that kind of talk up and you’re gonna get me shot,” I said.

“Go on. Have fun at the golf course. I’ll lock up after everyone leaves,” Brittney said rolling her eyes.

“You’re a jewel, Britt. I don’t know what I’d do without you,” I said.

“How about a raise?” Her bubbling laughter followed me out the door.

The sun hit me like a blowtorch making me sweat. Crossing the parking lot, I headed to my ten year old Cadillac. Its paint was old and faded, but it ran good. It was Beth’s car originally. I take possession of her hand me downs and I drive them until they’re ready for the scrap heap, then give them an overhaul and put them on the lot. A hot breeze bit my face making my eyeballs burn. I tossed my suit coat into the passenger seat, sat down behind the wheel, slammed the door and turned the ignition. The engine turned over slowly but started after a few seconds. This old girl is getting tired, I thought. A knocking sound came from underneath the vehicle when I backed out of the parking space. The old Cadillac belched out a puff of blue smoke from the tailpipe filling the driver’s compartment with the smell of exhaust. I waited for an eighteen wheeler to rumble by and then turned left heading west through down town Tortilla Flats.

Passing a drug store, a gas station, Cunningham’s Hardware, and a Bank, I glanced about at the dilapidated buildings. Every other store building set empty and the occupied buildings had seen better days. Paint on the storefront walls was starting to fade. Some of the bricks on the brick buildings looked chipped and in needed mortar. I passed a boarded up building. The letter Z had been painted in red on one of the boards within a circle and a slash mark across the circle: a remnant from the town’s darker days. The town needed make over.

Turning left on Crestview Lane, I headed south. Shaking my head, I couldn’t believe that I lived in the High Desert Estates. I came from the other side of the tracks. The road curved winding though two to three hundred thousand dollar homes sporting stone pillars and manicured lawns. The people with money liked living here in what people called the Heights, but I hated it. It was one of those “Gated Communities,” where you pay dues to the planning committee and you can’t even fart without asking for permission. I turned onto Jack Rabbit Road heading home.

“Oh shit, she’s home,” I said when I pulled into my driveway and parked next to my wife’s Beamer. Something’s got to be wrong, I thought. Sitting behind the wheel, I stared at my luxurious white stucco two story home and felt nauseous. I wanted to run in, get my golf clubs and head to the golf course without getting into a fight with Beth. Maybe she’s calmed down by now? God I hope she doesn’t start yelling again, I thought. Climbing out of the Cadillac, I hurried across the lawn to the front door. The neighbor’s French Poodle’s barking made my throbbing headache worse. “Come in to my yard, you little shit. I’ll pinch off your head and roll it down the street. God I hate that yappy mutt,” I said to myself. “Honey I’m home!” I said when I stepped inside the front door.

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and for a few seconds, I stood on the piece of Marble tile at the entranceway taking in the room’s essence. Things didn’t feel right. The large wide screen TV blared assaulting my ears, but nobody sat watching it. Beth’s purse set on our leather couch along with a pair of sunglasses: men’s sunglasses. Breathing in the smell of Beth’s perfume, I crossed the beige carpeted living room to the stairs.

My heart jack hammered inside my chest and my breath came out in short little gasps. Grabbing the banister for support, I started up the stairs ignoring the family photos adoring the walls. A moaning sound wafted down the staircase from my bedroom: the bedroom I shared with my wife. A sharp pain shot across my chest and I stopped gripping the banister for support. My knees sagged and I didn’t want to go on. Part of me wanted to turn around and run, but another part of me wanted to see who was up there in my bedroom with my wife. Stumbling along, I continued to the top of the stairs making every step deliberate. Stopping at my bedroom door, I peered into the room. My eyes widened, my bottom jaw dropped, my hands balled into fist at my sides and I felt heat rising in my cheeks.

“Oh, God! Oh Fuck!” my wife squealed. She was in the middle of our California King sized bed on her hands and knees. My best old ex friend Ray stood behind her taking her doggy style from behind. For a fraction of a second, I watched his big hairy ass pumping away and then glanced at Beth. Her belly was turning to fat; her breasts jiggled back and forth reminding me of a Guernsey cow. Breathing in the smell of hot sweaty sex, I thought about crossing the room to my gun cabinet and putting a bullet in both of them. I hadn’t killed anybody in over twenty years, but, but that was back in Nam.

At six PM that evening, I stumbled into The Trail’s End Saloon. After finding my wife, and Ray having sex in our bedroom, I drove around with no destination in mind. The car’s air conditioner barely put a dent in the heat. Sweat beaded up on my forehead and soaked my shirt. Stopping at a Quick Mart, I bought a six pack of Bud and parked by the Little Colorado, a river north of town. I killed the six pack watched the river flow and let the tears stream down my face.

The Trail’s End Saloon was your typical cowboy bar, with sawdust on the floor, antique barstools, old time pictures of various rodeo events, cowboys, horses and pictures of the town dating back to the early twenties. Pictures of an old fire brigades, pictures of the founder’s day parade from 1950 and pictures of the fire that burned the town in 1920 hung on the wall.

Above the mirror, a florescent tube provided a backlight for the area behind the bar. On both sides of the mirror hanging vertically were two Confederate flags. Two sets of crossed swords set on display above the flags. My buddy, Bob Drayton was an old rebel at heart. Stopping to let my eyes grow accustomed to the dimly lit barroom, I breathed in the smell of tobacco smoke and stale alcohol. A few drinkers lined the bar and a few couples sat at the tables throughout the room. A crowd of young people gathered around a dartboard making noise. The Jukebox played George Straight’s, All My Exes Live in Texas. Staggering to the end of the bar, I found a seat and took a pack of Marlboros from my coat pocket. I shook out a cigarette, grabbed a book of matches from the bar and attempted to light the smoke, but I put the wrong end in my mouth trying to light the filter.

Shaking out another cigarette, I managed to put the right end in my mouth this time. Flame from a lighter, flared in my face. Bob Drayton stood behind the bar holding his lighter. After lighting the cigarette, I tossed the matches on the bar. Bob, a tall lanky fellow with premature gray hair and a graveyard complexion, peered into my soul.

“Who pissed on your Corn Flakes?” Bob asked.

I shook my head. “You don’t want to know.”

Bob rubbed his hawk like beak, and then wiped the bar down with a towel. “Let me guess. You found out about your wife and Ray?”

“Jesus H. Christ! Did everyone know but me?” I asked.

Bob took two bottles of Budweiser from below the bar and popped the tops. He set one down in front of me then pulled up a stool. “I think you knew. You just didn’t want to believe it. I never liked Ray Cunningham. Even in school. I never did see what you saw in him. He seemed phony to me.”

“Hey Bob! How about some service down here?” someone yelled.

“Blow it out your ass!” Bob replied. He motioned for a barmaid to see to the customer.

“I would have called you on that, up until a few hours ago when I caught the son of a bitch fucking my wife,” I said and took a pull from the bottle.

Bob paused for a moment. “Did you guys throw down?”

“No. I thought about putting a bullet in both of them, but I backed out of the room. They didn’t know I was there,” I said and then snuffed out my cigarette.

Bob lit a cigarette of his own and tobacco smoke hovered in the air. He brought out two more beers, popped the tops, set them on the bar and leaned back in his chair.

“There is no door number two,” he said.

I took a pull from my beer thinking my friend had lost a few cards from his deck. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“Haven’t you seen them old game shows? Behind door number one is the new car, behind door number two is the vacation to the Bahamas, only you don’t know which door to choose?”

“Yeah, so what?” I said.

“There is no magic door that opens to the perfect woman, the perfect job or the perfect life. Life is what you make it. If your life sucks, change it.”

I thought it over. “What about you? You don’t have a perfect life.”

“No one does, but mine is as close to perfect as I can make it. Do you remember when I worked at the gas station before I bought this place?”

“Yeah. I remember,” I said.

“I hated it. Always getting dirt under my finger nails, but I hung in there and saved my money. When this place came up for sale, I put down every dime I’d saved down for the down payment and I haven’t regretted it since. I love this bar, and I enjoy my life. It’s not perfect, but it’s mine.”

“You’re a rare breed. Most men I know don’t enjoy their work,” I said blowing cigarette smoke across the bar.

“Make your own door number two. Sell that car lot; leave that bitch that you’re married to and get out of this shit bird town. A third of those ritzy houses where you live are empty and another third of them are for sale. Why do you think that is?”

I shrugged. “The town’s in a slump, but it’ll come back.”

“My ass! The town’s dead and it doesn’t know it. Have you noticed all the empty buildings on Main Street? There’s a big world out there and somewhere there’s a woman who will make your sun shine. Somewhere there is a job or business that you will enjoy. Buy that Harley that you always wanted, but Beth wouldn’t let you have. See the country.”

It hit me. Bob is right. I could blow this pop stand. What do I have to lose?

“It’s like when we were kids. It’s a do over. My life’s a do over. I can leave this town and start over somewhere else. Jack Ryan has been trying to buy me out for years.” I started to feel better.

Bob took a pull from his beer, leaned forward placing his elbows on the bar. “Outstanding. Send me a postcard when you find your door number two.”

“I thought you said there was no door number two?” I said laughing.

“There isn’t. You have to make your own. Do me one favor before you leave.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Knock Ray Cunningham on his ass.”

“You can count on it,” I replied.

At nine AM the next morning, I rolled into the parking lot of my used car lot. Sweat beaded up on my forehead and rolled down my face. Other than for a hangover, I didn’t feel too bad. After closing down the bar, I went home and crashed on the couch. Beth had an unwritten rule; when I come home drunk, I sleep on the couch. While Beth was busy getting ready to go in to the real estate office, I pretend to be asleep. When she left, I packed a gym bag filling it with a change of clothes, my shaving kit, my 45 caliber handgun and a box of bullets. After a quick shower and shave, I paused in the front doorway and gave the living room one last look. Breathing in the scent of Beth’s perfume, I closed the door and headed into my used car lot.

In the reception area, Brittney sat at her desk looking as sexy as ever. I looked down at the deep valley of cleavage between her breasts and then into her deep blue eyes breathing in her fresh scent. She gave me a curious look.

“You. In my office,” I said then sauntered down the hallway.

“Yes sir,” Brittney replied, giving me a mock salute. She opened the door and stepped into my office behind me. “What’s up Boss?” she asked.

Turning, I grabbed her by the waist, picked her up and spun her around. She let out a little squeal when I sat her on my desk and kissed her. Her lips tasted like fresh strawberries.

“Don’t tell me. You found out about your wife and Ray?” Brittney said letting out a short gasp.

“It seems I’m the last to know. You’ve been dropping hints since I first hired you. You still interested?”

“Hell yeah,” Brittney replied.

I kissed her again, unbuttoned the front of her red dress and fondled her for a few seconds, enjoying the softness I reached under the hem of her dress, pulled her panties down, dropped my trousers and took care of business.

“Britt. Go out to your desk. Get on the PA and tell everyone that I’m calling a staff meeting in a half hour,” I said after we finished.

“Okay Boss. Can I tell them what it’s about?”

“You’ll all find out in a half hour,” I said.

When Brittney left, I dialed Ryan Motors and an elderly woman answered the phone.

“Hello. This is Ryan Motors, your friendly Ford dealer,” she said.

“Hello, Louise. This is Bill Caldwell. Is Jack in?”

“Hi Bill. I’ll transfer you,” she replied.

Outside, the noise of one of my employees using a sledgehammer reverberated into the open window of my office.

A rough gravelly voice came on the line. “Hello Bill.”

“Jack. Do you still want to buy my place?” I asked.

“Yeah if you’re willin’ to sell. Name your price.”

“How does four hundred thousand sound?” I said.

“That includes your entire inventory?”

“Everything on the property,” I replied.

Jack paused and then said, “That’s a fair price.”

“There’s two things I insist on, or there’s no deal.”

“What’s that?” Jack asked.

“I need the money by five PM, and you keep all of my employees on the payroll. Make it cash.” I listened to a few seconds of silence.

“The part about your employees is a given. You’ve got good people, but I don’t know if I can come up with that much cash so soon. Let me call my accountant. I’ll get back to you.”

“You do that,” I said hanging up the phone. Next, I called my lawyer and arranged for him to meet me in my office at two PM. After that, I called the Gray Hound bus depot. Twenty minutes later, my phone rang. “Caldwell Motors,” I said after picking up the receiver.

“Bill, this is Jack Ryan. You’ve got a deal.”

“Good. I took the liberty of having my lawyer draw up papers. He’s stopping by around two. Does that sound good to you?” I asked.

“That’s gonna be a little tight, but I’m sure we can make it.”

“Good. I’ll look forward to seeing you,” I said then hung up the phone.

My employees filed into my office ten minutes later and I sat on my desk facing them. “There’s no good way to say this, so I’m just gonna come out with it. I’m selling out to Jack Ryan.” There were a few sighs and a few gasped breaths. “The good news is that he is going to keep you all employed. You might even get a raise. They have more capital than we do.”

Brittney looked hurt. “What about you? What are you going to do?” she asked.

“I’m leaving town. Most of you know about what was going on with Beth and Ray Cunningham. I’m done with this town and I’m done with Beth. I’m taking the Gray Hound out at midnight.” My employees looked stunned and I saw tears in a few eyes. Brittney looked ready to ball. “Cheer up. I want you to go back to work. Clean this place up. I want it in tiptop shape when Jack Ryan takes over. He’s a good man. You guys will do fine.”

After my employees left, I tied up some loose ends. Finished with that, I did nothing for a few hours, but play a few computer games. I felt antsy and kept watching the clock, but then my lawyer came in at two PM carrying a leather briefcase. A few minutes later, Jack Ryan and his lawyer strolled into my office. Jack was a massive cowboy sporting a large handle bar mustache with features that looked chiseled from stone. Jack’s lawyer looked over the papers saying that all was satisfactory, so Jack and I signed the papers and then shook hands.

“I’m gonna miss you Bill. I don’t know what I’ll do without a little competition.”

“You’ll do fine. What are your plans for the place?” I asked.

“I want to put my trade ins over here. I might branch out and start selling Chevrolets.”

“Whatever you do, you’ll do all right,” I said.

After Jack Ryan left, my lawyer produced a set of divorce papers. Heaving a sigh, I signed the papers, instructed him to file them in court as soon as possible and signed the deed to my house over to my wife.

“Where can I get hold of you if I need to?” my skinny little lawyer asked.

“Fax anything you need me to sign, to my brother in LA. You filled out those power of attorney forms allowing him to sign on my behalf right?” My lawyer nodded. “You’ve also got my cell phone number if you need to get hold of me directly.” When I shook hands with my attorney, I felt as if someone had punched a hole through my heart. For the rest of the afternoon, I sat at my desk trying to stay busy. I kept second guessing myself, wondering if I was doing the right thing. At four thirty that afternoon, I punched the intercom button between my office and Brittney’s desk. “Hey Britt. Tell the troops to take the rest of the day off,” I said.

“Wahoo. Two early quits in a row,” she said, and then laughed.

Brittney and I stepped out the door together an hour later and we were the last to leave. After locking up, I handed Brittney my keys to the front door.

“Give these to Jack Ryan in the morning,” I said. Brittney nodded and started toward her car looking pissed off. “What’s up with you?” I asked.

She whirled around facing me. “You come in here this morning, fuck me on your desk then out of the blue you say you’re leaving town and I’m not supposed to be pissed?”

 “I’m sorry,” I said raising my hands. “But I got to get out of this shitty town. You could come with me,’ I said.

She paused for a minute thinking. “You know I can’t. If it weren’t for my mother, I might consider it.”

“How is she?” I asked.

“About the same.”

“How about hanging out with me until my bus leaves at midnight?”

Brittney paused and then walked with me to my Cadillac. Opening the passenger door, I leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. “Let’s stop by the Colonel’s and get a bucket of chicken. I thought we could go up to the Little Colorado and have a picnic,” I said and then pulled out of my parking space.

“That sounds nice,” Brittney said.

Turning left on Main Street, I weaved in and out of traffic. Three scruffy looking bikers passed by going the opposite direction. They wore the Road Dogs patch on the back of their vest: one of our local motorcycle clubs. “I need to make a quick stop,” I said and pulled into Cunningham’s Hardware.

“You don’t have to do this,” Brittney said sounding pissed.

“Yeah, I do,” I said pulling into a parking space.

Climbing out of the car, I hurried across the parking lot. Inside the hardware store, I ignored the hustle and bustle making my way to the employee area. Ray’s secretary said something about Ray being busy and not wanting to be disturbed, but I ignored her pushing his office door open. Ray sat in a red patent leather rocker on the other side of his desk with his back toward me. He was talking on the phone and looking out the back window of his office, but then he whirled around looking surprised to see me.

“I’ll have to get back to you,” Ray said to the person on the phone. His face looked as red as his hair and I wondered if he had been talking to my soon to be ex-wife. “Bill what the-”

Crossing the room, I gave him a right fist to his big nose, knocking him over backward. Charging around the desk, I took the sunglasses from my coat pocket and threw them in Ray’s face. “You forgot these the other day when you were at my house fucking my wife!” I yelled.

Ray stumbled to his feet crying that I had broken his nose, and then hollered to his secretary to get him a towel. Blood dripped onto the floor. The secretary stood in shock for a few seconds and then threatened to call the cops.

A shit eating grin crossed my face. “Tell them that I will be down by the Little Colorado,” I said and stormed out the same way I came in.

“Do you feel better now?” Brittney asked when I climbed back into the car.

“Yes much better,” I said and then smiled.

We headed down Main Street, went through the drive through at Colonel Sanders and headed west. A mile outside of town, I turned right onto a dirt road leading north. A warm breeze blew sand against the car and a tumble weed tumbled across the road in front of us. Traveling over a bumpy desert road, I drove through a sea of cactus, sagebrush and Joshua trees until I stopped at our picnic spot in a turn out near the river. Cotton Wood trees lining the riverbank offered shade.

Brittney and I had our picnic on the hood of my Cadillac and the food taste great; I love Colonel Sanders. After we ate, we spent the evening skinny dipping, making love in the back seat of my Cadillac and drinking beer. The water and the beer were cold; a refreshing relief from the day’s heat, and the conversation was good. I liked the smell and feel of the leather on my ass as Brittney rode me like a wild pony. Her breasts bounced up and down in my face threatening to blacken both my eyes. It was the best sex I’d ever had. The cops interrupted our party a while later and I had to explain about my dust up with Ray. They said that Ray hadn’t pressed charges so I was off the hook.

Thank God, we had our clothes on when they showed up, I thought.

“I wish you wouldn’t go,” Brittney said when she dropped me off at the bus stop.

“It’s something I got to do,” I said, breathing in the smell of diesel exhaust. I kissed her long and hard on the mouth. A tear tracked down her cheek. “You can have the car,” I said tossing the keys to the Cadillac.

“Beth will love that,” she said and then laughed.

Fifteen minutes later, wondering what adventures awaited me; I leaned against the window, closed my eyes and the bus rumbled out of Tortilla Flats disappearing into the night.

Chapter 2

Jacksonville Florida

Joe Garcia and Jerry Simpson sat hunched down in the seat of an old blue Chevy sedan watching room fourteen at a rundown motel in a seedy section of Jacksonville Florida. The pealing yellow paint on the motel was starting to fade and potholes filled the parking lot. Across the parking lot set a swimming pool with two feet of stagnant water. Flies and mesquites buzzed the air above the pool. They had been sitting there all morning. Jerry took pictures with a thirty five millimeter camera of a busty blonde entering room fourteen.

“Mother of God, it’s hot,” Jerry, said wiping a bead of sweat from his face. “I’ve taken two rolls of film. Do you think Mike will be satisfied? I want to get out of this heat. The humidity’s got to be over ninety percent.”

“You heard his orders. We stay here until Ramon leaves, then give Mike a call. You know how anal he gets about following instructions.”

“I know, but can you at least turn the engine on and run the air conditioner?”

“That I can do that,” Joe said and started the engine.

“That’s a little better,” Jerry added. “Now if we only had some beer.”

“I wonder why Mike took this case? We’re a long ways from Saint Charles. He usually tries to keep us out of the bigger cities.”

“You know why. When that Spanish chick batted her brown eyes he was hooked.”

“He does have the ladies falling all over him. It’s hard to believe he used to be an insurance salesman in California,” Joe said, glancing in the mirror.

“It’s even harder to believe he used to be a Sunday school teacher.” They both laughed.

“Yeah, I walked in one time and caught him reading his Bible. I asked him how he could justify his lifestyle, with his Christian beliefs. Have you seen him when the shit goes down?”

“I know. He scares me. What’d he say?” Jerry asked and then brushed a strand of sandy blond hair out of his face.

“He said that God uses men as his sword of vengeance.”

“You heard about his wife?”

A sea gull flew over dropping a large glob of bird shit that hit the windshield.

“Shit. Fucking sea gulls,” Joe said. “I think everybody’s heard that story. He and his wife were on vacation on his Gold Wing when they pulled into a bar so she could use the bathroom. Some outlaw bikers jumped them. The bikers beat the shit out of Mike then raped and killed his wife.”

“I heard that after he got out of the hospital, he killed every one of those sons of bitches.” Thunder rolled and Jerry looked into the overcast sky wondering if it was going to rain.

“You know what I find hardest to believe?” Joe asked.

“No what?”

“That Mike used to ride a Honda Gold Wing.” They both laughed.

“Me too. Mike McDonald looks like he was born on a Harley Davidson,” Jerry replied. “How does he keep up with it all? He owns the detective agency, the charter fishing business and the bike shop.”

“He relies on his employees. It’d be too much for me to keep track of,” Joe said.

Joe Garcia and Jerry Simpson watched room fourteen for several more hours. A thunderstorm pelted the land, lasting about twenty minutes, but it left everything hot and sticky. The blonde left, a red head took her place and a younger prettier brunet in turn replaced her.

“Ramon sure has a hard on for the ladies. That’s the third one today,” Jerry said, taking a bite out of an apple.

“They must be doing dope in there.”

A heavyset Hispanic woman dressed in a white cleaning uniform with pink stripes knocked on the door of room fourteen and said, “Housekeeping.”

Jerry laughed. “Lorrie looks different in her fat suit.”

“It’s hard to believe that under all that padding is a fine looking long legged Chicano.”

The door to room fourteen opened and Lorrie stepped inside. A few seconds later, a black Lincoln pulled into the parking lot and Ramon Delgado stepped out of room fourteen. Jerry Garcia took pictures. Lorrie stepped out behind Ramon heading for the washroom. Ramon Delgado, a tall skinny Hispanic with arms filled with prison tattoos, glanced toward the street giving Jerry Simpson and Joe Garcia a cold hard look.

“Damn that guy has a big nose,” Jerry said lowering his camera.

“Oh shit. This doesn’t look good,” Joe replied, ignoring the comment.

“I know man. Those dudes look Columbian.”

Four Latin men climbed out of the car and laid brief cases on the hood. Ramon unconsciously rubbed a thin scar that ran down his right cheek. He said something to the Columbians, and then looked back at the blue sedan parked at the curb. The Columbians followed his gaze.

“We’ve been made,” Joe said.

“Let’s see what he does.”

Ramon’s nostrils flared. He pulled a cell phone from his pocket and dialed a number. After talking on the phone for a few seconds and then he put it away. Ramon gave Jerry and Joe another look and then followed Lorrie into the washroom.

“He’s onto Lorrie! We’ve got to go help her!” Joe yelled, grabbing the door handle. He reached for the 45 ridding in a holster on his hip. Joe’s heart did a drum roll inside his chest.

“I hear you!” Jerry said, grabbing the stub nose in his shoulder holster, and opened the passenger door. A low rider Chevy Impala rumbled down the street behind them. The world erupted into the sound of automatic weapons fire. Bits and pieces of glass and metal flew through the air. Bullets riddled the car.

Joe took a round in the back of the neck, blood spattered against the driver’s side window of the blue sedan and he fell into the front seat of the car. It felt like someone hit him in the back of the neck with a sledgehammer. He sat up and took two more rounds in the chest. Blood soaked his shirt and spewed from the hole in his throat.

Jerry dived out the passenger door, rolling to his feet, and crouched behind the car firing several rounds at the Impala. Lightning struck across the street, the sky opened up and a violent thunderstorm assaulted the land. A Latino wearing dark clothing jumped out of the low rider and opened up with an AR-15, stitching Jerry down the body with bullets. Jerry cried out, falling into the gutter, and his last conscious thought was, Mike is gonna be pissed about this one.

Ramon Delgado strolled from the washroom wiping blood from the blade of a folding knife on his pants. He hurried over to the car that Simpson and Garcia had been sitting in. Pulling a 45, he looked down at Jerry Simpson and fired two rounds into his head. He pointed the handgun at Joe Garcia and fired two more rounds. Empty casings flew into the air and landed on the sidewalk. The rain stopped as quickly as it started washing away the blood in a crimson stream.

Ramon squatted down and stuck his finger into the blood on Jerry Simpson’s chest. He wiped a spot dry on the rear door of the blue sedan and then drew a happy face on the side of the car door. After writing something in blood with his finger above the picture, he stood up and hurried back to the Colombians.

“Let’s do this before the cops get here,” Ramon said. They exchanged brief cases full of money for two brief cases full of cocaine. The Colombians got back into their vehicle and sped away. Ramon jumped into his red Corvette, backed into the street, spinning his tires and then headed west.

Mike McDonald’s phone woke him from a deep slumber. Pulling his arm from beneath a naked blonde’s body, removing his hand from her breast, he reached across her to grab his cell phone from the nightstand next to his bed. The naked red head on the other side of him moaned in her sleep as the cabin cruiser rocked on its moorings. Shivering from the cold, Mike looked at the digital clock setting on the nightstand. It displayed two AM.

Instantly awake, Mike answered the phone. “McDonald’s Detective Agency.” Mike’s heart raced and his stomach churned.

“This is Sergeant Dawson with the Jacksonville PD. Did you have people up here working a case? I found your card in the wallet of a shooting victim,” a gruff voice said after a short pause.

Mike’s breathing accelerated. Oh, God no, Mike thought. “Yes I did. It was a divorce case. They were on a stake out. What happened?”

“They were involved in a gang related hit. They’re dead. I need you to identify the bodies. We have two male victims shot multiple times, plus a female with her throat slit.”

Whoever did this? I’ll kill the bastards! Mike thought. “I’ll be there as soon as I can,” Mike said slamming the cell phone down on the nightstand causing the two naked women in his bed to jump in their sleep. Mike slid from between the two women and sat on the edge of the bed. Goose bumps formed up on his arms and legs. The blonde sat up, the blankets falling away from her chest.

“Mike Honey. Come back to bed.” Her voice sounded sleepy.

“No Baby. I got business. You go back to sleep,” Mike replied.

The blonde lay back on the bed and fell asleep while Mike dialed a number on his cell phone.

“This better be fucking good,” a sleepy voice coming over the phone said.

“Jack. It’s Mike. We got trouble. Get over here. Be ready to ride.”

“What happened?” Jack asked.

“I’ll tell you when you get here,” Mike said. He cut the connection and then dialed another number. Another sleepy voice answered.

“Marshal. This is Mike. Meet me at my boat in fifteen minutes. Be ready to ride.”

“What now?”

“I’ll tell you when you get here. Haul ass,” Mike said.

Mike dialed one last number and a deep gravelly voice answered on the fifth ring.

“Do you know what time it is Chief?”

“Elliot. Get your ass over here. We got trouble. Be ready to ride,” Mike said.

“I’ll be there,” Elliot said, and then hung up the phone.

Stepping over a black and tan German shepherd dog sleeping next to the bed, Mike threw on a pair of jeans, a black tee shirt and his motorcycle boots. Dressed, Mike went into the head and took a piss. He stood looking at himself in the mirror. His features looked haggard and somehow he couldn’t believe that his people were dead.

Finished in the head, Mike went into the galley and started coffee. The dog padded in wagging its tail.

“Good morning, Lucky,” Mike said and then gave the dog a friendly pat on the head. He opened the door leading up to the deck and let the dog out to do his morning business. Lucky scampered up to the main deck and jumped over the gunwale and onto the dock. While the coffee brewed, he went back into the cabin where the girls slept, put on a black skullcap and took his leathers from the closet. For a few seconds, Mike stood looking down at the two naked women sleeping in his bed. They looked peaceful. Lucky jumped back onto the boat and Mike filled his food dish with canned dog food, and watched him chow down.

Twenty minutes later, three Harley Davidson motorcycles rumbled up to the marina. Mike climbed up the steps leading to the main deck and stepped into the low lying fog hanging over the harbor. Three hard looking bikers sauntered up the dock appearing out of the fog and Lucky, now finished with his breakfast rushed up on deck to greet them.

“Come below and have some coffee. It’s colder than a penguin’s ass hole, out here. We’ve got a long ride ahead of us,” Mike said when the men came aboard. The boat rocked with their added weight.

“What’s this all about?” Marshal asked.

Mike passed out cups of scalding hot coffee. He paused, leaning against a wooden cabinet, and looked at three of his best friends. There was Jack Logan, a gray headed rawboned man with a face that looked like saddle leather. There was Marshal Cain, a short stocky blond headed guy in his thirties whose body rippled with muscles. He had a tiny scar on the cleft of his chin and arms filled with tattoos. Mike’s eyes moved to Elliot Coe, a massive Seminole Indian who looked nothing but mean.

“What’s up Mike? You look worried,” Elliot said.

“Our crew working the Delgado case in Jacksonville got hit. I have to identify the bodies,” Mike said.

A second of stunned silence followed.

“What about Lorrie?” Logan asked.

“Her too.”

“Mother fucker!” Elliot said his face turning red with anger.

“My sentiments exactly,” Mike replied.

“Let’s roll,” Marshal Cain said tossing back the rest of his coffee. Lucky looked up at the rough looking bikers wagging his tail.

“No you can’t go, Lucky. You stay here. Guard the girls,” Mike said to the dog. Lucky went back into the bedroom and lay down.

Mike put on his leathers and followed his employees up the dock to the street. He threw his leg over his nineteen eighty four black Harley Davidson shovelhead, turned on the key then jumped up into the air and came down on the kick starter. On the third try, the engine came to life. Mike turned the throttle letting the Thunder Header pipes roar. All four of them wore a motorcycle club vest over their leathers. The top rocker over the main patch said, Green River Boys. The main patch was a picture of a motorcycle parked next to a flowing river. The bottom rocker said Florida. A few years prior, during his war with the Lost Souls motorcycle club who killed his wife, Mike hooked up with the Green River Boys in Wyoming and they helped him with his war against the Lost Souls. Before Mike left Wyoming they made Mike an honorary member of the club. Once Mike settled in Florida he started a chapter in St. Charles with Mike serving as the chapter president, Jack Logan as the VP and Elliot Coe as the sergeant of arms.

They rumbled though the sleepy little village, with Mike leading the pack, and took Highway 64 heading east across Florida. The fog cleared up and the wind felt good against Mike’s face. At Avon Park, they headed north on Highway 27 then took Highway 4 east bypassing Orlando. At Daytona Beach they headed north on Highway 95. The sun came up over the Atlantic and the weather turned warm. It had the makings of another hot and sticky day, but a mist blowing off the ocean provided some relief.

They rolled into Jacksonville at six AM and pulled into a Glencoe station.

“Let’s get some breakfast,” Mike said noticing a Denny’s across the street.

“I could use some grub and about a gallon of coffee,” Jack replied.

“My ass is numb after that long ride on this rigged,” Elliot said.

They motored across the street after paying for their gas and sauntered into the restaurant. Mike led them to the end of the breakfast bar and they climbed up on barstools.

“What can I get you guys?” a waitress asked.

“The food smells delicious. Give me the Grand Slam. I’ll have the eggs over easy, bacon and some hash browns,” Mike said. His stomach growled making the waitress laugh.

“Somebody’s hungry. Would you like toast?”

“Yeah,” Mike replied noticing the cute little dimples that appeared in the waitress’s cheeks when she smiled.

“Whole wheat or white?”

“Make it whole wheat,” Mike replied.

“And to drink?”

“Coffee, and keep it coming,” Mike said shooting the waitress another smile.

The waitress smiled back and then moved down the line taking orders. They talked, smoked and drank coffee while waiting for their breakfast. Mike glanced about the restaurant. It had the typical Denny’s look: trying to put off an image of a fifties diner. Mike’s stomach rumbled when he saw the cute waitress bringing their food. They wolfed down the meal as only hungry men can. Finished with breakfast, they swung their legs over the motorcycles and motored across town to the police station. Sweat beaded up on Mike’s shirt when they marched up the sidewalk and entered the Jacksonville police station. The air conditioner inside the lobby was a welcome relief. Mike stepped up to the counter.

“I want you guys to go over to the site and check things out. Maybe somebody saw something,” Mike said.

“You got it Boss,” Jack replied wiping sweat from his brow.

“If you need me, call me on my cell.”

“Where do you want us to meet up?” Elliot asked.

“I’ll call you when I’m done here.” After his amigos left, Mike presented his credentials to the receptionist. “My name is Mike McDonald. I had some people working a case at the Shady Palms. Someone killed them last night. I’d like to talk to the Detective in charge,” Mike said to the pretty, blonde haired female officer.

“I’m so sorry about what happened to your people. Let me check the log book to see which detective is on the case,” she said pulling a book from under the counter. After finding the case, she dialed a number on her phone and spoke into the receiver. “Robert there is a Mike McDonald here to see you about last night’s shooting. Okay. I’ll send him in.” The receptionist said.

Mike opened a hard wood brown door to his right and stepped into the reception area. The blonde led him down a long narrow hallway. Mike couldn’t help but notice the tight fit of her uniform as her shapely bottom swung back and forth in front of him. The smell of her perfume wafted on the wind. She stopped at an office doorway.

“Officer Robert Gonzales is handling the case,” she said, opening the door.

“Thank you,” Mike said and stepped into the room. A short older Hispanic man wearing a dark brown suit stood up from behind a desk and met Mike halfway across the room. A Cuban cigar set in the ashtray on the desk; smoke rose from the ashtray.

“I’m Detective Gonzales,” the man said extending his hand and they shook.

“I’m Mike McDonald, from McDonald’s Detective Agency.”

“Have a seat,” Gonzales said.

Mike sat.

“This must be hard for you, but could you tell me what your people were doing at the Shady Palms?” Gonzales asked, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his desk.

“They were working a divorce case. I brought the file,” Mike said handing over the case file. The detective scanned the file for a few seconds.

“Ramon Delgado is a cheap thug. He’s into drug dealing, burglary, and auto theft. We think he’s trying to step up to the next level,” Gonzales said.

“What makes you say that?” Mike asked leaning forward.

“Your people took pictures. We have the film. The pictures show what appears to be a drug deal going down. The guys Ramon was buying from looked like Columbians. Delgado realized your people had him under surveillance and called in reinforcements who opened up on your people with automatic weapons.”

“I’d like the pictures.”

“You’ll get them when we’re done with them. I’d like to take you to the morgue to identify the bodies, then we’ll go to the impound lot. Delgado left you a message written in blood on the side of the car. I’d like you to tell me what it means. He might have some sort of grudge against you. Then we’ll go out to the Shady Palms.”

“Let’s roll,” Mike said.

“Would you like one of these?” Gonzales asked picking up his cigar.

“Yeah. I could go for one,” Mike said and then smiled.

Gonzales handed Mike a cigar and Mike followed him out the door to the parking lot. A dog barked down the street and a motorcycle rumbled past. Mike got in on passenger side of a white unmarked police car and Gonzales drove them across town. Mike gazed out the window watching the scenery. They passed a strip mall, several gas stations and a bank. He noticed a bum wearing a green Army jacket standing in front of a liquor store. How can he stand to wear that coat when it’s so hot and sticky outside? Mike wondered when they pulled up to the curb in front of the morgue. Mike gazed up at the white stone building towering above them as Detective Gonzales led him up the steps to the county building that housed the coroner’s office and the morgue. They took the elevator down to the basement. Gonzales led him into the back where the bodies were stored. The odor of formaldehyde and other chemicals permeated the room.

The portly baldheaded coroner’s assistant slid open three steel drawers. Mike looked down at the pasty colored bodies of his former friends and employees.

“The Bastard did her in the washroom,” Gonzales said looking down at Lorrie.

“The son of a bitch better hope I don’t lay my hands on him,” Mike replied letting out a slow angry breath. After identifying the bodies, Gonzales drove Mike to the police impound lot. He showed his police identification to the guard at the gate and drove onto the lot. They pulled up next to the bullet riddled blue Chevy. Mike glanced in the driver’s side window noticing the puddle of dried blood on the front seat. Bits and pieces of glass from the shot out windshield covered the floor. Bullet holes filled every square foot of the car’s body. A half-eaten apple lay in the passenger floorboard.

“What do you think about this?” Gonzales asked pointing to the rear passenger door. Mike knelt down looking at the side of the car. Drawn in Jerry Simpson’s blood was a happy face with the words: Have a nice day, Mikey.

Mike jumped up, his face turning red and he could barely speak. “I guess that’s this asshole’s idea of a joke. He must not like the fact that I’m working for his wife.” For a fraction of a second Mike’s mind flashed back to the past. I should have killed him back then when I had the chance, he thought.

“We’ll catch the Bastard,” Gonzales said.

“Not if I catch him first.”

Finished at the impound lot, Gonzales drove Mike to the Shady Palms motel. Marshal Cain, Jack Logan, and Elliot Coe stood in the parking lot talking to the manager. After getting out of the car, Mike stepped up to Logan.

“What did you find out?” Mike asked.

“Not much. A neighbor saw a red or green low rider cruising down the street, then heard gunfire, but other than that people were closed moth about the situation.”

Mike looked around, trying to visualize the attack. He walked over to the curb noticing pieces of glass and some dried blood that the rain hadn’t washed away on the ground.

“We got the same story,” Gonzales said walking up to Logan. Gonzales looked at Mike and said, “Would you like to see the washroom?”

“Yeah. I would,” Mike said and followed Gonzales across the motel parking lot. Inside the washroom, Mike saw signs of struggle. Clothes lay scattered about, laundry baskets lay in disarray, and blood covered the floor. It wasn’t easy. Lorrie put up a fight, he thought. After taking a tour of the crime scene, Gonzales drove Mike back to the police station. Marshal Cain, Elliot Coe and Jack Logan followed on their Harleys.

“What do we do now?” Marshal asked when Mike stormed out of the police station.

Mike paused, lighted a cigarette, and tried to keep his hands from shaking.

“We head back to Saint Charles, and I’ll make some calls. I’ll have our contacts at the DMV see if they can come up with an address on Delgado.”

“If we catch him?” Elliot asked.

“If I get the son of a bitch in my sights, I’m gonna shoot him,” Mike said.

“I do like the way you think,” Elliot replied.

Mike threw his leg over his motorcycle and started the engine. His shirt was soaked with sweat from the one hundred percent humidity. The sky looked overcast and threatened rain. They hit the interstate heading south: three hard men with blood in their eyes and revenge in their hearts.

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Blood Bond (Book three in the Mike McDonald Acton Adventure Saga) read the first two chapters for free.

Blood Bond book number three in the Mike McDonald Action Adventure Saga are now on pre order at amazon.com and smashwords.com Read the first two chapters here for freee.

Chapter 1

Gavin McMillan turned his, Lincoln Continental Mark II onto Baker Street, in the Bronx at two fifteen AM. A light snow fell from the sky, he had the heater on and he had the collar of his Armani coat buttoned up close to his neck but still he shivered from the cold. Glancing at his face in the rear view mirror, Gavin took in his wrinkled features, his receding hair line and the age spot on his left cheek. His gray eyes looked tired and his face looked haggard, but he didn’t think he looked too bad for sixty five. He puffed on a Luck Strike cigarette, smoke filled the driver’s compartment and he let out a wheezy cough. God I hate coming down to the Bronx at this time of night, he thought. Especially on a night like this. If people would mind their own business, this type of thing wouldn’t be necessary.

Driving through one of the seedy sections of the Bronx, he pulled over to the curb and parked in front of Baker Street Tattoos, which set next to an Irish pub, known as the Paddy Shack. A green neon light in the window flashed an image of a four leaf clover to the outside world. A scrawny red headed young man with a scruffy goatee wearing baggy pants, a worn wool coat and a watch cap stood in front of the tattoo parlor dancing back and forth on the balls of his feet. When he saw McMillan pull up, he stepped off the curb, opened the passenger door, a blast of cold air filled the vehicle, and he sat down in the front seat closing the door behind him.

Rubbing his hands together to keep warm, the scrawny young man said, “It’s a hell of a night to be out and about Mr. McMillan. I trust that you brought the money?”

“Half now and half when the job is done, as agreed,” McMillan said.

“This lad sure must have done something to get under your skin.”

McMillan’s hands gripped the steering wheel tighter. “That’s not you business, O’ Grady. Do what I am paying you to do and don’t ask questions,” McMillan said.

O’ Grady put his hands in the air. “Take it easy Pops. I was just making conversation. When the Baker Boys take on a job, we get it done and we don’t talk about it.”

“Look, Shawn, I also want your boys to trash his house. I want his computer, and any CD ROM disk that you find and any paper files with the firm’s logo on them.”

“We’ll get it done. Tomorrow’s Monday, we should have this wrapped up by Wednesday. I’ll be expecting another envelope filled with cash by Friday,” O’Grady replied.

“Make yourself available next Saturday evening around midnight. We have another shipment coming in. I’ll need three or four of your boys to unload the stuff and then I want your boys to put it out on the street as quick as you can. I want to make a quick turn around on this one so we can all make some fast money.”

“Are we meeting at the usual place?” O’Grady asked.

McMillan paused watching the tiny snowflakes hitting the windshield. “Yeah, and Shawn, if you screw me on either one of these deals, your dead,” McMillan said.

Shawn chuckled. “I told you Pops, when the Baker Boys take on a job, we get it done, but that goes both ways. If you leave us hanging out to dry, it could become a very explosive situation. You know how us Irish lads like things that go boom,” Shawn said and then laughed.

Glancing at the flakes of snow falling off of O’Grady’s body getting the custom leather front seat of his Lincoln wet, anger surged through McMillan. He handed over an envelope filled with cash. “Here’s the first half of your money. You’ll get the rest when the job is done and I have the merchandize that I requested now get the fuck out of my car you’re making a mess.”

Shawn O’Grady took the money and then sighed, not wanting to get out of the warm vehicle. “See you later Pops,” he said and then stepped out to the curb and slammed the door. McMillan pulled away from the curb, caught the nearest onramp to the interstate, his windshield wipers barely clearing away the snow, and headed for his high dollar home on Stanton Island while snow fell onto the streets of New York City.

The beeping sound of the alarm on his cell phone woke John David McDonald from a sound sleep. The first thing he noticed, before he opened his eyes was the tingling sensation in his arm. The second thing he noticed was the pleasant sensation of a female breast in the palm of his right hand. He opened his eyes and smiled, taking in the naked form of Connie Brooks sleeping next to him in his California King sized bed, in the bedroom of his Manhattan apartment. He pulled his arm from underneath her and leaned back taking in her beauty. He admired her shapely back, her long raven dark hair, the swell of her breasts and her tanned muscled yet soft body. He glanced at the small butterfly tattoo on her shoulder. Good Lord am I ever glad that I took Mike’s advice, back when I was helping him out of that bit of trouble in Nebraska and contacted her on the web, he thought. She has been a ray of sunshine ever since she arrived.

His thoughts drifted to his soon to be ex wife Nicole, who was in the process of suing him for divorce along with custody of his two kids and was living in his two story house in Long Island. He had been in a deep funk since Nicole kicked him out of the house and separated him from his kids, but having Connie here had let some happiness back into his life. When he found her on the web and then called her, he didn’t think they would hit it off. Having her come to New York City for a visit had been one of the best decisions that he had made in quite a while. It had taken his attention away from his bitter divorce, as well as the unpleasantness down at the firm. John David sighed. That is something I have to deal with today. I hope it doesn’t get too ugly, he thought. Anger shot through him. Why couldn’t Gavin had just kept things on the up and up? It’s not like we’re not making enough money. Now the firm is in jeopardy. John David slid out of bed, crossed the bedroom in the nude and headed to the bathroom down the hall. Goose bumps formed up on his exposed flesh. He stepped into the shower, turned up the hot water, and let the invigorating water chase the fogginess of sleep from his brain. He had been in the shower for about a minute, when the bathroom door opened. Connie Brooks stepped into the shower with him. She didn’t say a word she just pressed her succulent body up against his and kissed him. Their tongues touched, John David felt himself growing hard and his hand found her left breast. Connie’s nipple hardened under his hand.

They stood there kissing under the hot water prolonging the embrace, and then Connie pulled away. She turned around bent over slightly pressing her ass up against his crotch and said, “Do me in the shower.”

She positioned herself, granting him access; he guided his stiff member into her moist center and did what he was told. Connie Brooks let out a squeal of ecstasy as John David slammed into her from behind bringing her to a quick orgasm. She fell against the shower wall, her legs weak and barely able to stand when they were through. “Thank you Sir. I needed that,” Connie said, and then turned around and kissed him again.

“So did I,” John David said. “You just put a bright spot in what is going to be a very bad day.”

“Why don’t you just call the police?” Connie asked.

John David sighed. “I want to give him a chance to do the right thing. He hired me when I was fresh out of law school and made me his partner. It’s sad that it has come down to this.”

“I am sure that whatever happens, you’ll be able to handle it. You’re strong. When you get home, I’ll put some more sunlight in your day,” she said and then kissed him again.

Finished in the shower, they dried off John David took a blue robe from the hook on the bathroom door and handed it to Connie and took a brown one off the hook for himself. “How do pancakes, fried bacon and eggs sound for breakfast?” he asked.

“It sounds wonderful,” Connie said and put on her rode. “But do you have the time?”

“I’ll take the time,” he said.

Finished in the bathroom, they stepped out into the hallway. “I’m going to go get dressed,” Connie said and retreated into the bedroom.

“I’ll start breakfast,” John David replied. He headed into the kitchen and draped his bathrobe over a barstool at the breakfast bar. He crossed the kitchen, took a white apron from a hook on the door of the broom closet and put it on. Connie came back into the kitchen, catching him bent over with his ass in the air retrieving a flat of eggs from the refrigerator. She let out a giggle, stepped up behind him and gave him a playful slap on the ass. John David stood up, holding a flat of eggs in his hands and turned around facing her. “Have a seat, my dear. Breakfast will be in about ten minutes.”

Connie, now dressed in a pair of tight designer jeans and a gray sweater, sat down at the breakfast bar to watch the show. “I must be special. It’s not every day that I have a naked man serve me breakfast,” she said and laughed.

John David grinned. “I’m not naked. I’m wearing an apron,” he replied.

“Might as well be,” Connie said.

John David took a frying pan from a lower cupboard and went to the refrigerator to retrieve the bacon. Connie admired his bare ass when he bent over to get the frying pan. He started a pot of coffee, poured a pitcher of orange juice and fried the bacon. Soon the smell of frying bacon and fresh brewed coffee filled the kitchen.

“What made you decide to get in contact with me?” Connie asked.

“A few weeks ago I went to Nebraska to help my brother Mike out of a jam. While he was in jail, we talked. He mentioned having lunch with you and your girl friends at Denny’s after he came back from the war. He said that you asked about me and that I should look you up on the web.”

“I remember that day. Sharon was there. After that, they started hanging out and then got married. It’s terrible what happened to them,” Connie said.

“Yeah that really messed Mike up. He’s still not over her,” John David said.

“I remember that he looked real handsome in his uniform.”

“You might not recognize him if you saw him today. He’s changed. Not just his appearance but his personality as well,” he said.

“How so?”

“For one thing, he rides a Harley now. He hangs around with bikers, hell he is a biker. He’s a bit rougher around the edges, a bit more serious.”

“I can understand that. You can’t have something happen to you like what happened to him and Sharon and it not change you. Then there’s what he did afterward,” Connie said.

John David sighed. “Tell me about it. It’s still hard to believe that he took on an entire outlaw motorcycle club pretty much by himself, but what’s hardest for me to believe is that he’s not in prison,” John David said. He finished cooking breakfast, set a plate down in front of Connie, and poured them each a cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice. Taking a stool from her side of the breakfast bar, John David took it around the bar and set it down where he could sit facing her while they ate.

“These eggs are delicious. What happened in Nebraska?” Connie asked.

“They were holding him on a trumped up murder charge. There was this woman, a Mrs. Chandler who owned a ranch. She had a section of land down by a river and this local real estate developer wanted it. She didn’t want to sell, so the guy hired some Irish and Italian gangsters to put some pressure on her to sell. Mike called up his biker buddies and they went to war. Again, I am surprised he didn’t wind up in prison.”

“Mike always had a kind heart. He reminds me of you in that way, but when we were kids it seemed like you were the one always getting into trouble,” Connie said.

“Yeah, until we got older. What Mike did to help that Chandler woman was a good thing. He might be rough, but you are right. He does have a good heart; just don’t try to hurt any of his friends or family. Then he’ll kill you. He has a low tolerance for assholes.”

Connie giggled. “Do you remember that time when we all went skinny dipping at City Creek?”

He laughed and took a bite out of a piece of bacon. “How could I forget? It was one of the highlights of my youth.”

“I had such a big crush on you after that. I am glad you listened to your brother and reached out to me,” Connie said and smiled.

“Me too. These past few days have been outstanding. You’ve put some happiness back into my dreary life.”

Connie reached across the breakfast bar and took his hand. “Your life’s not dreary. You’re a high dollar attorney; you have a nice house and a nice apartment. You’re just going through a rough a patch right now,” she said.

John David sighed. “A nice house that my soon to be ex wife is going to take.”

“So what? Once you get this business settled at the firm and put your nose back to the grindstone, you can buy another house. And now you’ve got me,” Connie said. She leaned across the breakfast bar and kissed him.

Finished with breakfast John David said, “I guess I’d better get these dishes done then head down to the firm.”

Connie stood to her feet. “You go get dressed. I’ll do the dishes.”

He went to the bedroom, picked himself out a blue leisure suit from his closet and then dressed. Stepping back out into the living he waited until Connie had finished the breakfast dishes and said, “I hate leaving you like this, but this is something that can’t wait.”

“I know. You can’t just stop your life because I’m here.”

“While I’m gone you could either watch TV or take a subway down to the village and do some shopping. I’ll be back in a few hours,” John David said.

“I’m a big girl. I can entertain myself. I might head back to the bedroom and finish that romance novel that I was reading. Take all the time you need. I’ll be here when you get back.” John David stepped up to her she kissed him he pulled her close breathing in the smell of her perfume prolonging the kiss. They broke the embrace, said their good-byes and John David stepped out the door.

Heading back into the bedroom, Connie paused looking about the room and noticed John David’s cell phone sitting on the night stand next to his bed. “Shit. He forgot his cell phone. Maybe I can catch him before he gets to the elevator,” she said to herself. She dashed across the room, grabbed the cell phone and ran to the front door. In the hallway of the apartment building, she ran down to the elevator but John David had already taken the elevator down to the parking structure. “Shit,” she said and hit the down button hoping to catch him in the underground parking garage before he left for work. Inside the elevator she breathed in a slight smell of tobacco smoke as the elevator descended to the parking garage.

When John David stepped out of his apartment door, he had some extra pep in his step and a smile on his face. He couldn’t remember when he had felt this happy. I need to call Mike and tell him about this, he thought. He headed to the elevator whistling a snappy tune while he swaggered along. He hit the down button on the side of the wall at the elevators. The elevator doors slid open; he stepped inside and pressed the button for the parking garage and then took a pack of cigarettes from his coat pocket. He took his Zippo from his pants pocket and fired up a smoke. His stomach dropped as the elevator descended to the parking garage. When the elevator reached the bottom, the door slid open and John David stepped out. He crossed the parking garage to his BMW, climbed in the vehicle and started it up. Looking up, he saw Connie step out of the elevator and wave her arms at him to get his attention. John David opened the driver’s side door, climbed out of the vehicle and started over to see what she wanted. He took three steps; the BMW exploded showering the bottom floor of the parking structure with flaming debris. The explosion propelled him forward, he felt a sheering pain shoot through his head, his vision went white and then he slipped into unconsciousness.

Chapter 2

I left Cedar Glen Nebraska with mixed emotions. I left behind some friends, including a woman that wanted more than I was able to give, but I also left a piece of my heart. How could I settle down with a good woman when I was still in love with my dead wife? My wife Sharon and I had lived in Southern California and we were going on our first vacation. We took my Honda Gold Wing and we stopped off at this biker bar on the old route sixty six and got ambushed by an outlaw bike club who called themselves the Lost Souls. They raped and killed Sharon, shot and stabbed me, and left me for dead. That was their mistake. After waking up from coma that I had been in for three months, I regained my strength and went to war. I almost single handedly wiped out an entire motorcycle gang, but in Green River Wyoming, I met the Green River Boys who helped me with my war against the Souls. I now consider the Green River Boys my brothers.

After the dust cleared, I started back to Southern California to rebuild my life, but somewhere on the road, I realized that I had nothing to go back to, so I turned around and headed back to Wyoming. After partying with the Green River Boys for a few weeks, I headed east. I have a brother in New York City that I wanted to see, and there was also some unfinished business with a woman I met while I was in the hospital in Cap Rock Utah. She was a nurse. She wanted me to give up my vendetta against the Souls, but that was something I couldn’t do. After my war with the Souls was over I rode down there and went to the hospital to see her, but she had quit her job and took a job at a hospital in New York City. When I left Wyoming that was the plan: to head to New York City.

When I came home from the Persian Gulf War I thought that I had left the violence behind, then those bastards raped and killed my wife, so I went to war. After that I headed east looking for a little bit of peace, but trouble has a way of finding me. This time it came in the form of a woman with coal dark hair by the name of Christine Chandler. She had a ranch in Cedar Glen Nebraska, and she had her back against the wall. When I first laid my eyes on Chris, I immediately put my personal plans on hold. There was a land developer, some worthless bastard named Tom Boxer who wanted a section of her land and Chris didn’t want to sell. He thought that by rustling her cows, hiring some Irish and Italian gangsters to intimidate and harass her that she would sell. What he didn’t count on was me and the Green River Boys. Once again I went to war and in the process, Chris and I grew close, but then there was my dead wife Sharon. Like I said, I was still in love with her. I guess I always will be.

I hit the I 80 heading east on a cold December morning, twisted the throttle and put my face in the wind kicking the speed up on the old 1984 Shovel head up to seventy five miles an hour. The weather felt chill, but I had on a good set of leathers and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. That soon changed. After I crossed the border into Iowa I noticed a dark cloud in the distance. I saw lightning flashes and I felt a drop of rain hit my cheek, but I put my head down and motored on down the road. A light rain fell from the sky, which quickly increased in its intensity to the point where gumball sized drops were pounding me like an unloved step child, water covered the road and I couldn’t see because my glasses kept fogging up. When I lowered my glasses, the rain drops hit me in the eyes, semi trucks flew by me drenching me with water. It was to the point where it was too dangerous to be on the interstate on two wheels and I was looking for a place of refuge. I noticed an exit coming up and I saw an old Baptist church on a side road fronting the interstate. I took the exit, made a right turn then another quick right and headed down the road to the church. I pulled into the parking lot, crossed a grassy area and pulled the Harley up onto the church’s front porch and parked the Harley under a covered awning. Shivering from the cold and feeling like a wet dog, I set the bike on its side stand. I climbed off and took off my wet clothes. I draped them over the bike to drip dry and then took my duffle bag off the bike and changed into a dry set of clothes. Taking off my boots, I changed my socks and hung the wet ones over my handed bars to dry. Rain drops dripped down onto the front fender. I put on a fresh pair of socks, emptied the water out of my boots and then put them back on.

“This is just fucking great,” I said staring out from under the awning watching the rain. I took a cigar from my vest pocket, took a Zippo from my pants pocket, made flame and lighted the cigar. My hands shook from the cold. Water pooled up in the grass next to the front porch. I took my bible out from my saddle bag and sat down on the porch leaning my back against the church’s front door and started to read. Some people might have thought it strange that I would sit here in front of a church reading the good book considering all the things I’d done and my violent past, but if you’ve ever read the book then you know that God did his own share of killing back in the day. Sometimes God uses people as his sword of vengeance, I thought and settled in to read. I had barely read a chapter when I heard the sound of a motorcycle pulling off the interstate. A woman rolled into the church parking lot, she had on a black novelty helmet, a black bandana over her face, a long sleeve red flannel shirt, jeans and black boots. She was soaked to the skin. I stood up, motioned to a spot on the front porch next to my bike and yelled, “Pull up here!”

She pulled the bike up on the porch, killed the motor and set the bike on its side stand. “Good Lord that rain is coming down hard,” she said and climbed off the bike, dripping water onto the porch. She took off her helmet, hung it on her handle bars and then took off her bandana revealing the pretty face of a woman in her early fifties. She had dark brown hair and green eyes.

“It sure is. Let me turn around so you can change out of those wet clothes.”

She let out a chuckle. “I’m not shy,” she said and started unsnapping her vest. I turned around anyway out of respect. She hung the vest on the handle bars, took off her shirt and pants along with her bra and panties. She draped everything over the bike. Her boots and socks came off next. I heard her rummaging around in her saddle bags after she dried off with a towel and then put on another set of clothes. “You can turn back around now,” she said.

When I turned back around, I noticed that she had on a dry pair of jeans, a white wife beater tee shirt and she wasn’t wearing a bra. Her nipples pushed up cotton stretching the fabric of her tee shirt. She bent over, putting on a pair of tinny shoes. When she stood back up I stepped forward extending my hand and said, “My name’s Mike McDonald.” We shook. I breathed in a faint trace of perfume.

“My name’s Shannon Stacy Shannon,” she said. Noticing my cigar, she said, “You wouldn’t happen to have another one of those would you?”

“Sure,” I said, handing her a cigar from my shirt pocket and my lighter from my pants pocket. She fired up the cigar and tobacco smoke lingered in the air. Taking her in, in a glance, I admired what I saw. She had a hard, lean body for a woman in her fifties, plus a beautiful face to go with it. He hair, tied back in a ponytail hung down to her ass. “Where are you headed to Stacy?” I asked.

The weather felt chill because of the rain, Stacy went to her gear back, took out a light jacket and put it on. “I’m headed out to California to see my daughter and grand babies,” she said. “She lives in Riverside. It’s in Southern California.”

“I used to live close to there, over in East Highland, which is just east of San-Bernardino,” I said.

“How about you? Where are you headed?” she asked.

“I’m heading east to New York City to visit my brother. It’s a cold time of year to be riding a motorcycle in this part of the country,” I said.

“Tell me about it,” Stacy replied. “When I come home I’m taking the southern route. I might visit some friends down in Alabama.”

“The old boys I ride with have a couple of chapters down there,” I said.

Looking at my vest hanging over my handle bars she said, “The Green River Boys. I’ve heard of them. They’re some good people. I ride with the Gypsies. We’re a family club. The chapter I’m with is in southern Indiana where I’m from. I glanced at the patch. The main patch depicted an old Gypsy wagon with a motorcycle parked behind it. It had a top rocker that said, the Gypsies and no bottom rocker.

“Aren’t you afraid of traveling all that way on a motorcycle by yourself?” I asked.

She laughed. “No, for one thing, I am a black belt in Chinese Gung Fu, but then I have this,” she said pulling up her shirt. She had a compact forty five in a holster clipped to the inside of her pants.

“Remind me not to piss you off,” I said and laughed.

Stacy chuckled and said, “You said you were from California originally Where do you live now?”

“I’m in transition right now. I had some business in Idaho and Wyoming, spent some time in Sturgis for the rally then I stopped in Nebraska for a while. I’m on my way to visit my brother in New York City. After that I thought I might head down to Florida.”

Stacy’s eyes widened. “I heard of you. You’re that guy who went to war with the Lost Souls.”

I sighed and said, “Those bastards raped and killed my wife.”

“I lost my husband last year to a motorcycle crash. That’s what we did together. Ride motorcycles. Now I ride alone. This was his bike.”

I took in the 1989 Harley Davidson Soft Tail Custom. It was painted black with red flames on the tank. “That’s a sweet bike,” I said.

“It never gets any easer, does it?”

“What?” I asked.

“Losing a spouse.”

“Not for me,” I said.

“Do you mind if we sit down? My dogs are getting tired,” Stacy said.

“Not at all,” I replied.

We sat. Stacy pulled a flask from the pocket of her jacket and said, “Care for a hit of this? It’ll take a little edge off the cold.”

“What is it?” I asked taking the flask.

“Gentlemen Jack.”

I smiled. “There ain’t nothing wrong in this world that a hit of Jack won’t make better.” I took a hit from the flask, took a puff from my cigar and blew smoke rings across the porch. We passed the flask full of Jack back and forth lost in conversation, enjoying each other’s company. The next thing you know, the flask was empty and we were sucking face. We made out on the front porch of the church for a while and then fell asleep in each other’s arms. We were both beat down by the rain and the road in needed a break.

Sunlight hitting me in the face woke me two hours later. I had my arm around Stacy’s body with my hand on her right breast. Her nipple hardened to my touch. Stacy softly snored while she leaned up against me. I breathed in her fresh womanly sent. Stretching, I turned loose of Stacy’s breast and let out a moan. Stacy began to stir. “Wake up Sunshine. It quit raining,” I said.

Stacy stretched and pulled away from me. “Good Lord. That nap felt good. I was tired,” she said.

“So was I,” I replied. We stood up. I took a couple of trash bags from my saddle bag and handed one to Stacy. “Here. For your wet clothes,” I said.

“Thank you,” Stacy replied.

We put our wet clothes in a trash bag rolled everything up tight and packed everything back onto our motorcycles.

“If we’re gonna make any miles today, I guess we’d better leave,” I said.

Stacy took a business card from one of the compartments on one of her saddle bags. It was from a nail salon in Bedford Indiana. “Give me a call if you’re ever in Bedford,” she said and then kissed me. Her lips taste of cherry flavored Chap Stick. “It was nice meeting you Michael McDonald.”

“It was nice meeting you too, Stacy Shannon, but you can call me Mike. We climbed into the saddle, fired up our motorcycles, and motored off the porch. We had to put our feet down when we crossed the wet grass to the church parking lot. From there we headed out to the road and back up to the interstate on ramps. I hit the onramp heading east and Stacy took the west bound onramp continuing on her journey to Southern California.

I rolled on the throttle trying to make up for lost time. The weather stayed, cool but the rain, when it came was manageable. I stopped only when I needed gas then after filling up I took a quick smoke break and got back on the road. I crossed the Illinois border and motored on. I took a quick lunch break and then continued. The wind buffeted the bike, beating me like a piñata at a ten year old’s birthday party. The temperature dropped my hands felt numb and chills shot up and down my back. I called it good, twenty miles west of Chicago as the sun went down over the Midwest.

I pulled into a Holliday Inn and parked my bike under the awning next to the lobby. Killing the motor, I put the bike on its side stand, took off my gloves and rubbed my hands together to regain some feeling. A young dark haired woman went by and smiled. “I must be cold out there on that motorcycle,” she said.

“I about froze my ass off,” I replied.

She smiled. “Sorry for you luck,” she said and then entered the motel.

I climbed off the bike, lumbered inside and stopped for a few seconds enjoying the warm air. I took in the plush green couch and love seat in the lobby along with the TV in a massive entertainment center. The blast of warm air brought some life back to my cold old bones. I stepped up to the counter. A young woman with long red hair and blue eyes smiled at me and said, “Can I help you?”

“I’d like a room,” I said.

“Smoking or non smoking?” she asked.

“Smoking,” I said, “and I’d like a room with a window that looks out over the parking lot.”

“Did you ride in on that motorcycle?” she asked.

“Yes I did,” I said.

“Then you can park the motorcycle right where it is under the awning. Make sure that it is parked up close to the curb so other vehicles can get past it,” she said.

“Thanks that will be fine,” I said breathing in her fresh young scent.

“You will be in room 302 up on the third floor. The elevators are to my left. The cost will be sixty five dollars,” she said.

I handed her my credit card, she charged my card and gave me my room key. “Is there somewhere close where I can buy some beer and some munchies?” I asked.

“Turn right going out of our parking lot and there’s a conveyance store that will have everything you need. It’s about two blocks down.”

“How about somewhere to eat?” I asked.

“The motel had an excellent, Mexican restaurant. It’s called, Santana’s Place. The food is great and you get a ten percent discount if you are staying at the motel.”

“Thanks. Mexican food sounds great,” I said.

“We have a continental breakfast that starts at six thirty AM and last until ten AM. We also have an indoor pool and spa that stays open until ten PM. Thank you for staying at West Side Holliday Inn.”

I motored down the street to the conveyance store, swaggered inside and headed to the beer cooler. I took out a six pack of Bud, grabbed a big bag of potato chips and some other munchies and headed to the counter. A pimply faced young kid behind the cash register rung up my items and said, “Will there be anything else for you?”

I looked over his shoulder at the cigars in the display case. “I’ll have five of your Thompson’s and a cutter,” I said.

He took the cigars out of a box rung up my purchases. He bagged everything up and I gave him two twenties. He gave me my change and said, “Thank you for shopping at Snappy Mart.”

Outside I hung the bag over the handle bars of the bike and motored back down to the motel. I headed up to my room; put everything away including all of my gear from the bike and then took a quick shower. Finished in the shower, I changed clothes and then headed down to the restaurant just off of the lobby. The hostess, a young pretty Hispanic woman showed me to my seat. Several people sat at tables throughout the restaurant. A few minutes later, a young Hispanic waiter brought me some chips and salsa plus took my drink order and left me a menu. I ordered a Bud Light. I thumbed through the menu and decided on the two enchilada meal with beans and rice. I gazed about the restaurant people watching while I waited for them to bring my food. Fifteen minutes later, they brought me a big steamy plate filled with enchiladas, beans and Spanish rice. “Enjoy,” the waiter said when he set the plated down in front of me.

“It looks delicious,” I said and dug in with gusto. One thing about spending all day riding a motorcycle is that you are hungry when the day is done. The food was some of the best Mexican food that I had ever eaten and that surprised me, because from what I had heard the Mexican food in the Midwest wasn’t as good as what we had in California. Finished with my meal, I headed back to my room and changed into my swimming trunks. I grabbed my beer, my munchies along with my cigars and headed down to the indoor pool and Jacuzzi. I had the place to myself, so I eased my tired old body down into the hot bubbling water, popped the top on a beer and fired up a stogie. I had just settled back to enjoy myself when a strikingly beautiful young woman who couldn’t have been any older that twenty one or twenty two stepped up and said, “Do you mind if I join you?”

I took in her luscious frame, her pretty face, her long blonde hair that cascaded down both sides of her large breasts which her tiny yellow bikini top could barely contain. Her body tapered down to a thin waist, then flared out to a wide set of hips attached to a pair of long sensual well toned legs. I smiled and said, “Be my guest.” As she slipped into the water, I took in the tiny v of yellow cloth that called itself a bikini bottom. It was obvious from the lack of material that she had to keep the house pretty clean down there.

“Aw that water feels magnificent,” she said and settled down into the water until everything was covered but her neck. Noticing my beer, she said, “Do you mind if I have one of those?”

“Not at All. Have some chips and some licorice if you want,” I said. Grabbing a beer, I leaned across to hand it to her, she rose up and leaned forward to meet me half way and I got lost in the deep valley of cleavage between her breasts. I felt a stirring sensation inside my swimming trunks and my heart rate intensified. She sat back down in the hot tub. Noticing the direction of my gaze, she gave me a mischievous grin. Tiny dimples formed in her cheeks when she smiled. “I’m Mike McDonald,” I said.

She said, “I’m Erica, Anderson.” We stood up, shook hands and then we both sat back down. “Nice tats,” she said taking in the tattoos on my upper body as well as the scars. “Did you ride in on that Harley?” she asked.

“Yeah, I’m heading to New York City to see my brother,” I said.

She popped the top on her beer and said, “I’m heading home to visit my parents in Hoboken New Jersey. I’m taking a couple weeks off from college. Do you mind if I sit over there with you?”

I grinned. “Not at all,” I replied.

She crossed the hot tub, took a seat next to me and then laid her hand on my thigh. She stroked my thigh for a few seconds, then reached between my legs and grabbed me. My heart did a drum roll. She stroked my hardness for a few seconds then whispered, “I don’t know why I’m doing this. You’re almost old enough to be my dad.”

“But I’m not,” I said. She let go of me then straddled me, pulling my head down and put her breasts in my face. She worked her hips back and forth rubbing her female parts against my crotch. I reached up, cupped her breasts enjoying their softness, and then lifted up her top exposing her breasts. She leaned forward, I took a nipple in my mouth, she let out a soft little moan and then I heard the door to the pool and spa area swing open. “Why don’t we take this up to my room?” I said.

“Yeah, it’s a little too public here,” Erica said. She pulled her top back down we climbed out of the water, and gathered our things. Erica dried off, put on a white tee shirt over her bikini, wrapped her hair in a white towel and we headed back into the motel. Inside the elevator, Erica pressed her succulent body up against mine and kissed me. I enjoyed the feeling of her hard young body pressed up against mine and felt something rising in my lower regions. Reaching behind her, I pulled up her tee shirt, pulled down her bikini bottoms and cupped her shapely ass.

When the elevator door opened on the third floor, I pulled her bottoms back up, we stepped out of the elevator and I led her down to my room. Using my key card, I opened the door and we stepped inside.

“I need to pee,” Erica said and headed into the bathroom. While Erica was in the bathroom, I put the beer in the refrigerator and set our things on the table next to the TV. I heard the water running in the bathroom, the toilet flushed and then the water went off. She stepped back out of the bathroom, wearing only the white tee shirt. “Your turn,” she said shooting me a smile.

“I won’t be long,” I said. Stepping into the bathroom, I noticed her towel and her bikini lying on the floor. I took a quick piss and then washed my hands. Stepping back into the room, I noticed Erica lying on the bed on her stomach. She had the tee shirt pulled up exposing her bare bottom, and believe me that got my attention. When I approached the bed, she rolled over spreading her legs. She had a tiny strip of hair between her legs running up her pubic mound, but other than that, it was a bare runway.

She ran her hand down her stomach to her vagina, spread the folds apart and said, “I thought maybe you’d like to eat your desert first.”

“Most defiantly,” I replied. Climbing onto the bed, I laid down put my head between her legs and dived in for a box lunch. Erica’s breathing accelerated and she let out a squeal. After a minute or so, she rose up, I backed off and she pushed me down on the bed. She went to the foot of the bed; cat like, she climbed onto the bottom of the bed, pulled my swimming trunks down and my manhood sprang free. She grabbed hold of my shaft, gave it a few strokes and then went down on me for a couple of minutes. She straddled me and then flung off her tee shirt. Reaching down between her legs, she grabbed hold of my manhood, and then lowered herself down onto my hard shaft. For the next fifteen minutes, she road me hard, bringing me to the brink, and then slowed her rhythm. Her breasts bounced up and down in my face. She let out several little moans as she increased her tempo. My heart hammered inside my chest and it was all I could do to keep up and hold on.

“Oh God, oh fuck!” she said, and then went rigid as waves of orgasms passed through her. I held out for as long as I could, but finally I exploded inside her. She collapsed onto my chest and I put my arms around her. I felt physically drained, but I had a smile on my face. “Oh God. You wore me out,” Erica said.

“I wore you out? I’m lucky you didn’t give me a heart attack,” I said and then let out a chuckle.

Erica jumped up, bent down, grabbed my hand and said, “Let’s go take a shower.”

She led me into the bathroom, we stepped into the shower, I turned on the water and she pressed her naked body up against mine and kissed me. Our tongues touched, her nipples felt rock hard against my chest and I reached around grabbing her behind and pulled her to me. I enjoyed lathering up her trim body while we made out in the shower. Ten minutes later, we stepped out of the shower and back into the room.

Erica turned on the TV, found a channel playing cartoons and climbed in between the covers leaning against the headboard of the bed with her breasts exposed. “Bring the munchies, and the beer,” she said.

“Yes my dear,” I replied. I took two bottles of beer from the fridge grabbed the bag with the munchies inside and set them on the nightstand next to the bed. Tom and Jerry was playing on the boob tube. I handed her a beer, took one for myself and crawled in next to her. She snuggled up next to me and took my arm. That’s how we spent the remainder of the evening: drinking beer and eating licorice in the nude while watching cartoons and I enjoyed every minute of it, especially when she did a bit of exploring under the covers with her hand. I leaned back, put my arm around her and a big smile spread across my face. At that moment in time, all seemed right with the world.

A woke up at six AM with my arms trapped under Erica’s body and my hand clutching her right breast. My stiff member was pressed up against her backside and for an instant I just laid there enjoying the sensation. I watched the rise and fall of her breasts for a few seconds, but an urgent need to pee caused me to pull my arm from underneath her and I headed to the bathroom. After pissing like a race horse, I stepped into the shower and turned the water on as hot as I could stand it. The cascading water cleared my head. A couple of minutes later, the bathroom door opened, I heard Erica use the toilet. Finished on the toilet, she opened the shower door and stepped inside to join me. “Good morning Sweet heart,” I said.

“Good morning Sir,” she said and then kissed me. After lathering up each other’s bodies for a few minutes and then rinsing off, I turned the water off and we stepped out of the shower. Erica dried herself off with a towel then put on her bikini bottoms and then her tee shirt. “I’m going to go to my room and put on some clothes. I’ll meet you down in the lobby in a half hour for the continental breakfast.”

“That sounds like a plan. I’m so hungry that my stomach thinks my throat’s been cut,” I said, “and I have an urgent need for some caffeine.”

Erica laughed and then kissed me. After that she was out the door. While I was drying off, I thought about the past night’s escapades and smiled. Erica was an adorable young woman. She was a little too young, but that didn’t bother me. Age is just a number, I thought. Finished in the bathroom, I dressed and headed for the elevator. The smell of fresh cooked food caused my stomach to rumble when I stepped into the dining room, to the left of the lobby. I headed for the coffee pot, poured myself a cup and sat down at a table. Erica hadn’t made it down from her room yet and I figured that I would wait for her before starting breakfast. I settled back in my chair, gazing out the window took a tentative sip of my coffee and let out a contented sigh. I watched the travelers come down from their rooms to breakfast and I was on my way to get my second cup of coffee when Erica entered the room. She saw me and smiled. For a fraction of a second I just stood there taking in her beauty. She had her hair down and wore a blue sweater that clung to her body and a tight fitting pair of jeans that looked as if they might split at the seams if she moved the wrong way. “I saved us a table,” I said, motioning to the table near the window. “I was just gonna get another cup of coffee. Do you want a cup?”

“Yes please. One cream and two sugars,” she said. I poured the coffee and took the cups to the table. “Everything smells so yummy,” she said, taking my arm and we headed to the serving line. I loaded my plate down with eggs and bacon along with biscuits and gravy. Erica had some pancakes with maple syrup. We took our food to the table and sat down. Erica took a sip from her coffee cup and said, “About last night?”

“What about it?” I asked.

She looked down at her hands resting on the table. “You don’t feel wired about it do you?”

“Hell no,” I said looking her in the eye. “Do you?”

“No, I just thought that you might because you’re so much older than me,” she said.

“We are both consenting adults. Who gives a fuck what people think? I like you, and I enjoy your company. I do feel a bit flattered though. What made decide to come on to me?” I asked.

She shrugged, leaned back studying me and said, “I don’t know. There’s just something about you that I am attracted to. I’m glad you don’t feel wired about because I like you too.” She took a piece of paper from her back pocket and handed it to me. It was ripped off the small pad of the motel’s stationary that they put in the rooms on the nightstand by the bed. She had written her phone number on it. “Here’s my number. Give me a call when you get to New York City. Let’s hook up again,” she said.

I folded the paper and put it in my back pocket. “I’d like that,” I said.

We started eating. Erica took a bite of her pancakes, which were smothered in maple syrup and said, “These pancakes are amazing.”

I reached across the table and wiped a tiny drop of maple syrup from the corner of her mouth. “I just might have to try a stack after I finish this,” I said and dug into my biscuits and gravy. Fifteen minutes later, we both leaned back rubbing our bellies. I had indeed finished one plate and went back for a short stack of pancakes. “You were right. Those pancakes were amazing, but I think if I eat another bite, I might pop.”

“I know,” Erica said and smiled. “I don’t usually eat this much. It must have been all the exercise I got last night,” she said and laughed.

I laughed. “Maybe so. I know I worked up an appetite. That was the first time I was ever in bed in a motel naked with a woman drinking, beer, eating licorice and watching cartoons. It was fun,” I said.

Erica laughed “As you get to know me better you’ll find that I’m not like your average girl.”

“I’m finding that out already,” I said.

“What’s on the agenda for today?” Erica asked.

“When we’re done here I am going back to my room to pack my things and hit the highway,” I said.

“We could travel together. You could follow me on your bike, or I could follow you,” she said.

“That will work,” I said. “We’re still about eight hundred miles from New York City . We could stop somewhere in between and find a nice motel for the night,” I replied.

“That would be good. Let’s pack our things and then checkout. I’ll meet you in the lobby. I need gas before we hit the turn pike though,” Erica said.

“Me too,” I replied.

We rode the elevator up, Erica got out on the second floor and I rode up to the third. I packed my gear and then headed back down to the lobby. The weather outside was overcast and a bit chilly. I was out attaching everything to my bike when Erica stepped out the door carrying two small traveling bags. “Did you check out?” I asked.

“Yeah, I’m ready to go,” she said.

“Me too. There’s a gas station across the street. Follow me over there,” I said. I motored out to the street and Erica followed behind me in her small car. When the traffic cleared, I crossed the street and pulled up to the gas pumps. Erica pulled up to the pump behind me. Breathing in the smell of gas fumes, I filled up Erica’s Toyota first and then filled up the old shovelhead. I was about to turn around and go back to Erica’s car to tell her something about our travel plans when I stopped dead in my tracks. Standing in front of my bike was the ghost of my dead wife Sharon. My heart jack hammered inside my chest and for a second, I couldn’t catch my breath. The air temperature seemed to drop a couple of degrees. She wore a white tank top, cut off jeans and flip flops, looking much like she did in life. She had a serious look on her face.

“Hurry Michael, Johnny needs you,” she said and then disappeared. Goose bumps formed up on my exposed flesh and a shiver shot down my spine.

I pulled out my cell phone and called my brother’s home phone. There was no answer, so I tried his cell. The voice of a distraught woman, who sounded as though she had been crying, answered the phone. I recognized the voice when she said, “Hello.” It was a voice from my distant past.

“Connie? Connie Brooks?” I asked.

“Yes, this is Connie,” she said.

“This is Mike McDonald. What’s wrong Connie?” I asked.

“It’s Johnny. We’ve been talking on the phone and on line. He invited me out here for a visit. Someone tried to kill him yesterday. I’m here at the hospital. He’s in a coma,” she said and her voice began to crack.

“What happened?” I asked pacing back and forth.

“It had something to do with his partner at the firm. There was some problem with the books. When he went to go into the firm yesterday morning, he forgot his cell phone and I rushed down to the parking garage to catch him. When he saw me, he put the car in park and stepped out to meet me. The car exploded, throwing him across the parking garage. He has a head injury. I’m here all alone, Michael. I went back to the apartment to change clothes and come back to the hospital, but when I got there, someone had trashed the place. I don’t know what to do, Michael.”

“Where are you now?” I asked and stopped pacing.

“I’m at the hospital,” Connie said.

“What hospital?” I asked.

“The New York Presbyterian in lower Manhattan.”

“Look Connie. Stay there. I am about twelve hours away. I’m on my way out for a visit. Let me make a call and I’ll call you right back. I am going to get some people down there to help you. Don’t be afraid when you see a group of hairy bikers swagger in like they own the place,” I said.

“I won’t Michael. They have two police men guarding the door to Johnny’s room.”

“I’ll call you right back, Connie,” I said.

I cut the connection and then called Big Al, the national president of the Green River Boys in Green River Wyoming. Big Al answered on the second ring.

“Hey Bro what’s up? We just got back to Wyoming this morning.”

“Al, I’m outside of Chicago. I called my brother’s cell and his girl friend answered. He’s in the New York Presbyterian in lower Manhattan. Someone tried to kill him last night. They put a bomb under his car and someone trashed his apartment. He’s in a coma. His girl friend is at the hospital alone and afraid. Her name is Connie Brooks. I need people there ASAP. I’m still  at least twelve hours away,” I said.

“Say not more, Bro. I’ll make the call to our chapter president in upstate New York. They’ll come down there in force. Let me call him and I’ll get right back to you.”

“Thanks Al,” I said.

I paced back and forth some more waiting for the call back. My cell phone rang. “McDonald,” I said.

“They’ll be on the road within a half hour,” Big Al said.

“Good. I got to go,” I said.

“Be safe Bro,” Big Al said ending the call.

I called Connie back. She answered on the first ring. “Help is on the way. Stay in the hospital, around people. When you see a group of bikers swagger in, that will be them. They are some good guys. They will take care of you,” I said.

“Thank you Michael,” Connie said. “You be careful on the road.”

“I will,” I said and ended the call. I put my cell phone in my pocket and then hurried back to Erica’s car. By this time she was wondering what was going on. “There’s been a change of plans. I have to get to New York City as fast as I can. Someone tried to kill my brother last night. He’s in a coma, in the hospital. Don’t try to keep up with me,” I said.

Erica climbed out of her vehicle, put her arms around my neck and kissed me. “You be safe. Call me as soon as you can,” she said.

“You too. Don’t try to make it all the way to New Jersey today. Find yourself a nice hotel somewhere about half way. I’ll call you when I get there,” I said and headed back to the Harley. I fired up the shovelhead, put on my helmet and motored out into the street. At the entrance to the turnpike, I paid my toll and headed east going through the gears and pouring on the power until the speedometer said, ninety miles an hour. A tiny piece of gravel flew up from a truck’s tire and hit my face. That burning white cauldron of anger that lies just below the surface, bubbled up inside me when I thought about what those bastards had did to my brother.

pre order at amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Bond-McDonald-Action-Adventure-ebook/dp/B08NW88H1P/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Blood+Bond+by+David+Donaghe&qid=1606074680&sr=8-2

Pre order at smashwords.com

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1054956

Coming soon, Door Number Two book four in the Mike McDonald Action Adventure Saga

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Who wants to go to Mars?

We live in interesting times. What was once science fiction is now becoming science fact. A headline of the  Business Insider states, “Elon Musk says he plans to send 1 million people to Mars by 2050 by launching 3 Starship rockets every day and creating ‘a lot of jobs on the red planet.'” Another headline from Fox News states, “Another fast radio burst in deep space that repeats has been found and scientist are stunned.” Scientist believe that some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn could hold life. Can you imagine a future where we have colonies through out the solar system? I can.

At the same time there are things happening today that are not so exciting, such as the erosion of our freedom and the move toward a one world government. With the COVID 19 BS they started out by limiting our freedom of assembly and our freedom of religion. As time progresses how much more of our freedom will we lose? Now can you imagine a future where the entire solar system is ruled by a totalitarian government? I can. That’s why I wrote the Space Corps Chronicles.

Book one, the Battle for Europa is a tale of revolution in the twenty fourth Century. Earth and colonies in the solar system are ruled by The Council of Economic Unions on Earth. The council rules with an iron fist. When Shawn Gallagher, an ice miner on Europa launches a miner’s strike, it is a ruse for rebellion. The ice on the surface of Europa will turn red with blood in the Battle for Europa.

In book Two, the battle for Mars, the miners on Mars form a trade union and call a planet wide strike, the Council of Economic Unions on Earth order the federal forces on Mars to take a firm hand, but when the federal Marines execute the union leadership live on the vid stream, Eddie Falcon, leader of the so called terrorist organization known as The People’s Fist calls for all out war on Mars.

In book three, the Battle for Planet Earth, Eddie Falcon, leader of the People’s Fist, a resistance organisation launches planet wide protest patterned after the Occupy Los Angeles movement of the twentieth Century. When the federal forces of the CEU use deadly force against civilians Eddie Falcon wages all out war across the planet. With the help of their brothers from the New Republic on Europa and the People’s Republic of Mars, Falcon hopes to win their final battle, the Battle for Planet Earth, not knowing that an even larger threat is looming, threatening to draw Earth into a galactic war.

During our American revolution they say only three percent of the population took up arms against the British occupation. There will always be that small majority who will stand up and fight for their freedom, and that is what the Space Corps Chronicles is all about. You can get the first book, The Battle for Europa free at smashwords.com and Amazon will price match it. Keep a look out for book four in the Space Corps Chronicles, The Galactic War.

The Battle for Europa

The Battle For Mars

The Battle for Planet Earth

If you should chose to download any of my novels please post a review and let me know what you think of it. Also if you would like to know about any of my upcoming books click on the contact the author link.

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Contact the author.

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The Great eBook Give Away Contest!

Last month following my post, “Introducing Mike McDonald” I announced a contest for this month. If you have already downloaded Thunder Road, you will be able to answer the following ten questions. If you do, and send me the answers on the Contact the Author Link, I will send you a coupon code and you can download, In the Wind, book two in the Mike McDonald Action Adventure Saga for free at smashwords.com. If you prefer to get your eBooks at Amazon, then ask them to price match. If you have not down loaded Thunder Road yet, you can get it at smashwords for 60% off, and then send me the answers to the questions and get In The Wind for free. Okay so here are the questions:

  1. What was Mike McDonald’s wife’s name?
  2. What branch of the Military was Mike McDonald in?
  3. What was the make and model of the two motorcycles that Mike McDonald owned?
  4. What was the name of the horse that mike McDonald bought his wife for a wedding present?
  5. What was the name of Mike McDonald’s Dog?
  6. In what city and state did Mike McDonald kill a biker with a knife?
  7. What was the name of the bar where Mike McDonald killed Powder?
  8. In what city and state did Mike McDonald meet Big Al?
  9. In what city and state did Mike McDonald shoot someone in a graveyard?
  10. Where was JD Quinn hiding when Mike McDonald found him?

I wish you the best of luck in the contest. I look forward to giving away some free eBooks.  Click the links, sign up for my newsletter and email alerts, or in you read any of my books and want to let me know what you think. Keep your eye out for book three in the Mike McDonald Action Adventure Saga, Blood Bond, coming soon. Have a great and glorious day.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/47942

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1008692

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1010688

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/dhdonaghe

https://dhdonaghe.weebly.com/contact-the-author.html

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Introducing Mike McDonald!

I just thought I would introduce the main character in my (Mike McDonald Action Adventure Saga) In book one, Thunder Road Mike McDonald, a Persian Gulf War vet wakes up from a coma and can’t even remember his own name. With the help of his friend and pastor, Mike regains his memories and his strength. While on vacation, riding his Honda Gold Wing, Mike and his wife Sharon are attacked by a ruthless band of outlaw bikers known as the Lost Souls. They rape and kill Sharon, beat Mike half to death and leave him for dead. That was their big mistake.

Ride along as this former religious man and Sunday School teacher goes to war using guns, knives, pipe bombs and his fist. His vendetta takes him from the streets of LA, to a lonely cabin in Utah, and to the woods of South Dakota and Idaho. In Green River Wyoming Mike hooks up with a friendly motorcycle club known as The Green River Boys who help him in his vendetta which ends in the woods in Idaho at hunting lodge at the end of a winding mountain road, known as Thunder Road.

Quotes by Mike McDonald:

“My mouth taste like I just gargled with cat piss.”

“Corn beef hash: the human equivalent to dog food.”

“My head feels like some monkey is up there busting up the joint.”

Click the link to order Thunder Road

If you liked Thunder Road book two, In The Wind is available on pre sale and will be released on April 25 2020

Check out my smahwords profile page.

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https://dhdonaghe.weebly.com/index.html

Or contact me directly by email. I love hearing from my readers, even if you didn’t like the book.

Mail to:dhdonaghe@earthlink.net

 

Hello. I am looking for at least five people to sign up for my author news letter and be a part of a contest next month. I am going to ask ten questions about the main character in my book Thunder Road (Book one in the Mike McDonald Action Adventure Saga.) To know the answers you need to buy the book. For those who answer the questions correctly, I will give you In The Wind, (Book two in The Mike McDonald Action Adventure saga) for free. I will send you a coupon code and then you can use it at Smashwords.com to download it for free. Let me know if this is something you might be interested in by clicking the contact the author link above.

 

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Back in the saddle again

Hey. I am back. I haven’t posted here in a while. In fact I took a break from writing all for a while but now I am back. Some of my books which were  published by small presses went out of print but I am bringing them back in eBook format for now and then later in print. You can order some of them on Pre Sale now. Check out the links below.

Monroe’s Paranormal Investigations

Tale Spinner

Thunder Road

In The Wind, (Book 2 in the Mike McDonald Acton Adventure Saga) is also on Pre Sale but it is brand new.

In the wind

You might also like The House on Maple Street. It is available now.

The House on Maple Street.

If you would like to get the pre sale books at a discounted rate check out my Smashwords profile page.

Smashwords Profile page

I love hearing from my readers so click the link below to sign up for my news letter.

Contact The Author

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Biker Heaven!

Hey! A lot is happening with my writing right now and I am excited. Check out my short story Biker Heaven at Smashwords for only 99cents!

You can also order Biker Heaven from Amazon.com for the great low price of 99 cents!

http://www.amazon.com/Biker-Heaven-Action-Adventure-ebook/dp/B005XJ0U30/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319144293&sr=8-1

Also go to Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble’s webpage to order my novels, Tale Spinner and Monroe’s Paranormal Investigations! Also please sign up for my email news letter.

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