More Riders of the Wind

One block south of the black leather clad group, a tall man holding onto the leash of a white poodle idled his way homeward. His thoughts were centered on a warm dinner, a couple of cold beers and the hope that his team would win to-nights football game. He had twenty hard earned dollars riding on the outcome.
The roar of bike engines and the activity around the garage caught his attention. He wheeled around on his brown polished shoes and dragging a whimpering dog behind him raced back the way he came.
Chris noticed the sudden movement out of the corner of his left eye. “Woody, you go and phone Jeff right now. You tell him a real mean biker wants him down here. Tell him if I have to go and get him, I’ll drag him here by the seat of his pants. Is there any other way into this burg, except the main street?”
“Nnno….sssir,” The icy fingers crawling up his spine and the short hairs standing up on the back of his scrawny neck put a bit of speed into his legs. He whirled around and raced back through the open door of the filling station.
“Tiny you and Curly, go back about four miles, if you see any headlights, hear any sirens, or even a dog bark, you burn rubber back here. Do you understand? Brock, you and the Preacher watch the road to the south.”
Four riders straddled there black steeds and thundered away into the night.

Sheriff Tom Billings sat at his old oak roll-top desk and watched the dust clouds dance as the wind grew stronger with every breath. He savoured each lungful of the last cigarette in his pack, the last one ever. He had promised his twenty-two year-old daughter Martha that he would quit. He had promised before, but this time he meant it.
His quiet reverie was interrupted by an out of breath Robert Thompson rushing through the doorway. The poor poodle, now a dust grey, whined and barked as it was dragged into the jail office.
The old chair squeaked as Billings pushed it away from the desk and put his cowboy booted feet onto the worn floor boards.“What’s your hurry Robert? Got a skunk under your front porch again? If there is one, it will have to wait until tomorrow. I’m having dinner with Martha. She finishes her shift at seven.”
“It aint no skunk Tom,” Robert gasped and sucked in another lungful of smoke filled air. He coughed twice and ahamed once before he continued with his tirade “Least ways not the four legged kind anyway.”
“What is it then?” Getting facts from Robert was like pulling teeth from a hen at times.
“There’s a bunch of bikers at Edwards place. Fifteen, maybe twenty and they’re a mean looking bunch. I don’t like the looks of them. I don’t like their looks one little bit. You ought to chase them out of town. I’ll help, if you’ll lend me a shotgun.”
“You old fool. I’m not going to give you a shotgun. You’re likely to shoot yourself, or shoot me. Have they broken any laws? They likely just want gas and maybe a meal. Come on Robert.” The floor boards groaned in protest underneath sheriff Billings  long, lanky, blue jean clad legs.

“I’ll give you a ride back. Just keep your mouth shut.”


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