The roughly dressed young man walked down the gravel bar of the old creek bed, long flintlock squirrel rifle resting in the crook of his left arm, adjusting the possibles bag and powder horn on his right side with his right hand. Searching the rock in front of him intently. The shade of the early summer day from the thick trees and such forming a large open arch over where he was. Wouldn’t it be so cool to find an old arrowhead or such as that lying about? Then he saw the old, dark gray spear point in the corse gravel, dropped by a nomadic hunter around 1100 A.D. He squatted to pick it up, the handle of the large knife nudging his left side. Touching it. Then hearing the trickle of the water running through the rocks of what was left of the little creek. A small fawn watching him, hidden with his mother in the thick cover just to the north of him.
The Ancient Ones had made contact….
The spring breezes gently whispering through the gaunt, gray trees partly surrounding and standing sentinel over the little house on the prairie. Bright green foliage slowly taking the place of the dull earth-tones of winter. The bright pinkish purple of a lilac bush, the brilliant yellow of the dandelions, the lush greens of the ground foliage competing with the gray browns underneath. The small house sat in the midst of all this with a few small outbuildings and the corn crib in the rear. Neat and tidy, fresh white paint contrasting nicely with the two light blue flower boxes mounted to the front of the porch that ran the length of the small home.
The reluctant old warrior slowly walked around the small homestead, feeling the soft cool spring breezes. Realising the spirits that haunted the Plains in these cold winds were trying to tell him something, maybe the past needs to stay there. That the two Lovers locked together in such fiery passion, soaked in pungent sweat and sweet nectar of lovemaking were gone forever, having passed away that late night. Though they would meet and embrace many times after.
The hunters, the nomads of the unseen world of the past understood this wanderer of the open road. After all, they were his brothers and briefly allowed his spirit to separate and enter the locked deserted home. The old-fashioned kitchen with the decorative trim around the ceiling, the clean tile floor. The dining/living room with the rich blue carpet, comfortable furniture and rich dark wood trim. The double doors leading to the bedroom….And the Memories came flooding back.
The guardians of the mountains and plains, the ancient ones, knew he would need someone to look after him on this journey west. They knew that whenever the old man mounted the two-wheeled iron horse at the very least serious adventure of some sort was in the wind, usually trouble. So they assigned the wily old Cherokee scout to look after him. The horse mounted old scout knew it was to be a busy night, so he contacted a couple of friends in his world.
He downshifted and cranked the throttle hard, flying past the slower moving RV. Digging the loud bellow of the pipes as he kicked the big bike into overdrive. Also flying by the speed trap at damn near 90 miles per hour. He saw the patrolmans Dodge Charger turn and start to cross the rough median of the divided highway in his left mirror. Figuring he was already fucked, he just opened the throttle even more.
The trooper was a little too quick on the accelerator pedal, breaking the back tires of the Dodge loose on the hard dirt and gravel of the inside shoulder of the highway. Getting a loud squall and a bit of fish tail as the tires of the sedan found purchase on the pavement. Hearing the howl of the big hemi having floored the gas pedal, the patrol car righting itself and moving rapidly forward. After a quick radio call to the four patrolmen miles ahead, he reached for the switch on the console to turn on the emergency lights and siren. The large white owl appearing inches from the windshield, wingtips barely touching it. The trooper instinctively threw his right forearm in front of his face, taking his foot off of the gas pedal and the engine tried to stall, not noticing the momentary power failure. He quickly swerved off on the right shoulder, stopping, sweating; a bit shaken. As a pilot, having experienced what happens when a large bird crashed through the windshield of his small Piper Cub. Engine idling, headlamps peering into a very black night, the trooper noticed a large buck with a very nice set of antlers standing about twenty-five yards ahead standing still and watching him. This is getting too fucking bizarre, he thought. Surveying the lighted instrument panel and equipment console of the idling car, noticing the radar set, and video camera, was completely dead. Still a bit shaken, the trooper radioed his friends ahead, waiting at the exit where they thought the bike would be headed. It was a mistake, the trooper told them. He was having equipment problems and thought that the speeding bike had turned off on a side road anyway.
The four police cars were waiting on the west side of ’81, parked side by side on a dirt road just to the south of ’24. Windows down, bullshitting about what was going on to the west ( They already had several good busts….) and their buddy to the south. Knowing he was ok, but wondering what was going on with him as they heard the big Harley rumbling off the Highway 81, downshifting to the stop sign at the end of the exit ramp. One of the cops had an Ultra at home, enjoying the deep healthy cackle as the bike slowed to stop at the end of the exit ramp. This one was his, he told his buds as he heard the echo of the big bike as it turned under the overpass, putting the idling patrol car in gear. Then putting the gear selector back in park, setting the brake. Hell, none of them knew for sure if this was even the right fuckin’ guy and there would be plenty more as the night wore on.
As he approached the exit, he saw the cops on the west side of the divided highway and figured he was hosed. One of them starting to move then stopping, backing up. He turned west under the overpass cracking the throttle a bit, digging the loud echo of the bikes pipes. Passing by the cops, not understanding why he wasn’t stopped. He had that fucker hammered since he left Salina and had blown that speed trap. Saw the trooper start after him.
Heading west on ’24, he started to chill. The adrenaline rush wearing off, the cool air of the late night summer plains having a bite to it. He started to notice sporadic bike traffic headed towards him, passing….He saw the deserted crotch-rocket in the ditch, colors were familiar. Slowed, almost stopping but didn’t think the bike was the one he had thought. Their first meeting didn’t need to be about shit like this, some frisky young pup piling up his hot rod bike.
Goddamn the night was black. Occasional head lights, but inky black. Shadows of the trees and scrub, bright stars, the chill in the air.. Outside of Glasco, not much in the way of habitats. Just a glow to the west and south. wondering if that is where he was headed. Hell, he didn’t even know where he was going. This was fuckin’ crazy, but that’s how he rolled. Any screw-loose adventure he pulled out of his ass….Any excuse to get on the road.
He saw the small town to the south, the bright lights, the bikes heading his way out-of-town, thought he heard a band over the rumble of the exhaust. Movement on his right, turning on his spotlights. The fine-looking buck grazing at the side of the road, raising his head to look at him. They knew each other.
He downshifted, turning on the brightly lit no-name street. Pulling into the scrubby dirt field just north of the bar, dodging the bikes, tents, cars, campers, bits of trash and flattened beer cans. Finding an open spot, nosing the big bike in, facing the ongoing party.
He killed the ignition on his sled, pulling down the kickstand with a well-worn boot heel and resting the heavy bike on the packed gravel/dirt. disoriented and chilled from the ride, trying to adjust. Ears ringing a bit from the wind noise and exhaust, he could hear the popping and cracking of the heated metal contracting in the cool night air. Unsnapping the keepers on the vest, unzipping the heavy leather jacket and reaching for a smoke in his cut. Sitting back down on the seat of his scoot, firing up a Lucky with an old dented Zippo and taking a hit. Surveying the scene around him; the band, the people, the bikes. The old derelict buildings and train station of a very small town that wasn’t anymore. He stood up off of the bike and started to cross the cracked, rough street. Saw her standing there on the other side watching him.
The band had taken a break a few minutes earlier, only the occasional loping rumble of a Harley idling by or the buzz of the crotch rockets. The murmur of the partiers, sometimes shouts and laughter. The lights not as bright as he first thought, just the blackness of the surrounding countryside making them seem so. She called his name as he started across the rough, cracked black top. Recognizing instantly the homey Kansas drawl. He took in her appearance; the short curly blondish hair, the stylish square frameless glasses, white sleeveless blouse, cut off shorts, leather sandals. Stocky dancers body, nice legs. She took his hand as to shake, held it as she walked him toward the rock wall on the back of the small lot facing the tavern and wooden stage across the narrow street. Dull rough scrabble ground bright with the smashed beer cans, mixed with the trampled scrub of the prairie. Sitting on the stone wall, small talk. Her wondering about his distant behavior, him still chilled from the ride and shivering a bit. She reached up , hand behind his head. Gently but firmly pulling him closer….”I know a cure for the cold ’bout a mile down that road….” The band cranking up, starting to rock with some old school sixties music.
The old Cherokee rode the spirited war pony through the thick scrub brush on the outskirts of the small hamlet, letting the creature find his own way, shying away from the lights and noise. Knew that the animal needed water from a small river about a mile or so to the south. Even the creatures from the other world needed refreshment.
He felt if he were floating, weightless in the very warm rolling water of the hot tub. Soaking up the heat, feeling better. Submerging, lifting his head out of the chlorinated water, leaning back on the padded side of the tub. She rose up from the hot, steamy bath. Running her fingers through her wet hair, stretching, large breasts and upper body glistening even in the semi darkness surrounding the outdoor tub. She straddled him and he thrusts upward, feeling her warmth envelop him. Leaning forward, over him, her forearms on the edge of the tub. Her hot breath mingling with his. He pushes his hips up, hard….The both felt weightless, separate but as one. Firm legs gripping him.
In the glow to the north, the party rocked on.
The old scout slowly walked the war pony through the patchy brush of the tree line back toward the party in the north, nodding an acknowledgement to the large white owl he saw high up in that tree to his right. The technology, two-wheeled machinery, and the music (some of it, anyway….) fascinated him. The two-wheeled iron horses in particular, their bright colors ant the characters riding them. Their Creator was fascinated by men such as these, the modern nomads of the concrete and asphalt trails. The ancient native and those of his world had tried to communicate with this wanderer on two wheels for many, many years. Housed of worship, scripture and men of the cloth all seemed to fail. A more direct approach was being tried. It, too, seemed to be failing but attempts were still being made. Souls were at stake .
They lay in a tangle of wet sheets, spent and exhausted. He propped himself on his elbows and a bit on his knees, keeping his weight off of her . His face pressed into the sweat soaked hair on the top of her head, her legs wrapped around his. Inhaling her aroma, feeling a slight tremble, just a faint little shudder.
She stood behind him rubbing his neck and shoulders as he was drinking the steaming hot coffee sitting at the small table in the little kitchen. He was relaxed, too relaxed after the intense lovemaking and too-hot shower. Pressing up against him, trying to convince him to stay what was left of the night, or morning. She wanted him for her, sure…But was genuinely concerned for his safety, she knew he was exhausted. From the long days work, the long ride, and what she had done with him. She had to smile.
He watched her at the sink, washing out the cup and a few dishes. Enjoying the view, with light blue denim shirt with cut off sleeves and nothing else. The legs a tad heavy, but very well-shaped. The curly short blondish hair and crooked smile, an image that would stay in his mind for a very, very long time. All good things must come to an end?
He had never noticed the slight bumps at the bottom of each of her shoulder blades….
He rode the big heavy bike back up the rough cracked asphalt alongside the tiny town in the wee hours of the morning. Goddamn, they were still going at it, fuckin’ bikers knew how to party. Even the music, but at a bit slower tempo. Turning east on ’24, lights catching the big buck in the open field but he missed the large white owl flying overhead.
The old Cherokee rode the pony toward a thick heavy mist in the low tree line just ahead, deep in thought. A portal to another world. This old warrior and most reluctant of prophets had to be reached, but how? Maybe some puzzles were never meant to be solved.
The old warrior shook the cobwebs out of his head, running the fingers of one hand through the short salt and pepper hair. He took one last look around the place, so distant, yet so familiar. He started walking back towards town on the rough old road. The well-worn leathers heavy and a bit warm on this beautiful spring late afternoon. He stopped for a moment, started to turn, feeling a pressure. Almost like a hand on his shoulder. He started down the road once again. Maybe some things were best left behind. Maybe….