Riders of the Wind

Bernard “Wolf’ Hodkins scratched his grizzled, gray beard and peered down into the depths of Snake Eye Canyon. A few pieces of rusting chrome resting on the bottom of the chasm glinted from the last rays of a fading sun. He sighed and looked over at his towering companion. “It’s hard to believe that it’s been thirty years since Martha and Chris plunged to their death.”
Alfonso “Tiny” James touched the old man on his right shoulder. “Still blame yourself for what happened?
“It was my fault Tiny. If I hadn’t of been so hell bent in chasing anything that wore skirts, it wouldn’t have happened. Chris would be alive, be like us, two respectable businessmen.”
Tiny hooted, his laughter was drowned out by a cold gust of wind that howled around the pair. The hulking, three hundred pound man pulled the edges of his black suit coat tighter. “Somehow I think that Chris would have preferred to go out in a blaze of glory. Just can’t picture him in a suit and tie every day and heading off to a nine to five gig.”

They stood in silence, gazing down into depths of the canyon. Wolf replayed the events of their last ride on the TV of his mind. It had been Chris’s idea to ride down to Mexico and get some good weed.
“One last, long ride boys before preacher gets married and has him-self a passel of kids running underfoot.” Chris took one last deep drag of the joint stub. He flicked it to the ground and stomped on it with his size ten black boot.

 “Wolf struck Chris’s right shoulder with his tanned, ham like right hand. “Now what did you go and do that for? There was at least one good puff left, perhaps two.”

“There’s plenty more in Mexico. Bags and bags full of it and cheap too.” The tall biker’s face lit up like a floodlight, “You boys aint chicken are you?”

 Preacher frowned, “Can’t do it. As much as I would like to, just can’t do it. Millie would skin me alive if I left her to do all the wedding stuff. Skin me alive and spit me out naked as a jay bird.”

Loud haw, haws echoed between tall buildings.

 “So your old lady has already got you tied to her apron string. You best let her know now who the man in the house is going to be.” Beams from the streetlight at the front of the alley glinted off of Tiny’s gold capped teeth.

“Well I’ll see about it,” the last thing Preacher wanted to do was upset Mille before the wedding. In all of his life he had never loved anyone like he loved her.

 “If we do go, who’s going to be leader?”

 Preacher snorted, “That’s just about the dumbest question you’ve ever asked Wolf. Who else but Chris can boss us? He’s the only one of us that’s got a level head on his shoulders.”

 “Well if I’m going to lead you and I’m not saying I will,” Chris reached down with his left hand and scratched his crotch. He hawked up a green gob and spit it onto Wolf’s size thirteen, motorcycle boot. “You all got to agree to do as I tell you. That means you too Wolf. I don’t want to get in to no trouble because you won’t keep your pecker in your pants. No broads until we cross the border.”

Wolf flashed his trademark snaggle toothed grin, pulled out a well-used hanky, bent down and wiped the offending goober away.

Fifteen black leather clad bikers roared south as the early morning light from a half-hidden sun splashed across the tarmac. Fifteen black, gleaming, polished Harleys were full of gas and ready for the long road.

 “It had been a good ride,” Wolf shivered as another gust of cold, damp wind swirled around him and Tiny. “No not a good ride, a great one. A ride full of good times, bragging and. Well it was good until we rode into that one horse and buggy Texas town.”  Wolf gritted his teeth and clenched his ham like hands. He struggled to remember the name of the place. He couldn’t dredge it up for the depths of his mind. “It doesn’t matter. There’s far too many years between then and now for a name to be important.”

 If they hadn’t needed to stop for gas it wouldn’t have happened. If it hadn’t been for that girl in the mini skirt and boobs that made a man want to grab hold of them, it wouldn’t have happened. If he had of kept his mind off of his pecker’s needs it wouldn’t have happened. The old grizzled, worn by the passage of too many years ex biker sighed. “Well, all of the shouldn’t haves, all of the regrets and all of the wishful thoughts won’t bring Chris back.” He let his mind drift back once more to that dust filled Texas town.
Chris knew the mini skirted girl was trouble with a capitol T the minute he set his coal black eyes on her scantily clad frame. He mumbled, “Damn, this broad is asking for it,” and looked over at Wolf. The glint was in his eyes and there was a bulge in the crotch of his tight, black leather pants. He muttered, “Damn it,” under his breath and roared, “Wolf, keep your pecker in your pants or I’ll cut it off.”

 Wolf turned his grin onto Chris.

The red haired vixen sashayed right up to Wolf and stuck her thirty-eight chest in his face. A thousand devils danced in her big green eyes. The bright red lips parted into a come and get me big boy smile. She drawled, “Where all did you come from, you tall lanky drink of water? Say what’s that you got bulgin in your pants?”

Wolf was never one to turn down bait when it was dangled in front of him. The excited biker drawled right back. “Why honey, it’s a little old present for you, just waitin to be unwrapped,”

The girl broke into giggles. It took a few minutes to regain her composure. “You’re a bad one, aint you? Well you long drink of water I love the bad ones. My papa is always cussing and telling me I’m going to get into serious trouble.”

Wolf couldn’t tear his eyes away from her protruding chest. His fingers itched to grab hold and squeeze. “What do you tell your daddy, little darling?”

 “Why Mr. Bad Boy, I tell him trouble is my middle name,” she laughed and winked.

Wolf took the wink to mean that she was offering free samples of her wares. He reached out with his big right mitt and grabbed hold of an ample left breast.

Her ear splitting scream deafened the bikers. Wolf lashed out with his left fist and the girl thudded to the ground. Blood gushed out of her mouth and covered her broken jaw.

 The young gas jockey turned white, he squeaked, “Now you’ve gone and done it. You’ve kilt the mayor’s only child. This place will be swarming with cops.”

Fifteen bikers climbed onto their trusty steeds. Fifteen heavy boots kicked down hard.   Fifteen black Choppers roared to life and raced away in a cloud of dust.
They stopped where a gravel road turned off of the interstate.

A bullet riddled, black and white sign proclaimed it was fifteen miles to Tidewater, the best little town in Texas, population, fifteen-hundred-and-one. Wolf shimmied up a telephone pole and cut the wires with his switchblade.

Chris Roared, “Tidewater here we come.” Once more fifteen bikes rumbled into life. Fifteen bikers raced ahead of the gathering storm, kicking up clouds of dust from the gravel road.

Five abreast, fifteen strong, the black leather clad riders thundered down Tidewater’s Main street. The roar of their engines echoed between the buildings and rattled the store windows. Dust from thirty spinning wheels spurted up and hid the shaggy bearded men for a moment as they circled wide and sped back up main.

Thirty tread bare tires threw up more chocking dust as the machines screeched to a halt in front of Edward’s gas and garage. The garish green neon sign held by a rusty chain, squeaked as the night wind gathered force.  The words, “No job to big, no job to small, we fix them all,” glared through a layer of caked on grease and grime.

Tiny stepped down from big black motorcycle and set the kick stand in place. He mumbled, “All what,” to no one in particular. His size fourteen, worn at the heel, black leather boots ground pieces of broken glass into the oil soaked gravel in front of the one pump service station.

Chris ran greasy fingers through his windblown, shoulder length blonde hair. “I hope bikes are one of the things they fix.  I don’t want to spend any more time in this one horse town than we need to. It’s not just a Texas blue Norther chasing us. Damn it, I hope they are not closed. Wolf, go and see if there’s any one about.”

Wolf grinned, his sharp canine teeth glinted green in the neon glow.” If there isn’t, I’ll bust the door down, find the tools and fix the bike myself.”

Chris growled, “Damn it Wolf, I don’t want any more trouble. You’re the reason we had to come this way in the first place.”
“How was I supposed to know she was only fifteen and the mayor’s daughter to boot? She was sure dressed like a hooker and looked twenty.”

Chris let his anger fade away into the troubled pathways of his mind. “You didn’t have to break her jaw when she screamed. Half the troopers in the state will be chasing us. Our only hope is that they think we stayed on the interstate. We’re only twenty miles from the border, so keep your pecker in your pants and behave.”

A grinning Wolf swaggered towards the service station door and reached for the rusty knob. It swung open and almost took out two of his crooked teeth.

 The gravel crunched underneath a pair of down at the heel loafers of a short pimply faced youth. A pair of grimy hands were wiped on greasy old coveralls. A faded logo over top his heart proclaimed his name to be Woody.
“Wh… wh….what….what can I get you gents? Do you need gas? W…wa…wa…want your oil checked, windshields washed?” Woody’s voice was high and nervous.

 Chris growled, “Fill our Hogs with Ethel and never mind the rest. Is there a mechanic on duty? Wolf had a bit of trouble with his Hog. It started missing on one cylinder about an hour ago, slowed us down to a crawl.”

Thin shoulders were back and a scrawny chest puffed out. “Sorry mister, old Jeff went home half an hour ago. He won’t be back until nine in the morning. There’s a road house and tavern just at the north end of town.  You can spend the night there.”

A string of four letter words rushed out of Chris’s mouth.  “Boy, you go as quick as you can and phone Jeff. I don’t mean tomorrow, or next week, I mean right now.”

“Wwwo… wwon’t,” Woody’s stutter grew worse. “B….b….b….be no point in phoning old Jeff, he gets crotchety and mean if you bother him once he gets to home.”


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