Author: Aeon Cole
Warnings: Some bad language
Prompt: #90 Travel
Word Count: 1555
Summary: Some people aren’t destined to lead a normal, boring existence.
Author’s Note: This is an original work and copyrighted. All characters belong to me.
Wally walked across the parking lot. He paused for a moment and took one last look back. Kate’s had been a good place to hang out, a good bar with nice people. But he knew it was time to move on, time to leave this little town, time for a new adventure. He’d been growing restless the past couple of weeks and that was always a sign for him to pull up stakes before the itch got him into trouble.
He stood next to his bike, a Harley Dyna Low Rider. He’d had the bike for ten years now and it had taken him to a lot of places. It wasn’t his first. He’d had many bikes over the years. Each one had it’s own charms. He was partial to this one for it’s low, comfortable seat and smooth easy ride, all thing that were becoming more important to him the older he got. He swung his leg over the bike and settled into the seat. This was the only place where he felt truly at home. He took one last look around before he turned the key and jumped on the starter. He twisted the throttle, revving the engine a couple of times before thundering out of the lot and down the town’s main road heading toward the highway.
As he passed the storefronts and houses on his way out of town he idly wondered how his life might have different; a house, a family, a straight nine to five job. Though he cringed at the thought of having to wear a suit and tie every day. No, this was the only place for him, his bike and the open road. And after sixty years it was the only life he knew. The longest he’d ever settled anywhere was a year and that was only because of the accident that left him with the slight limp and several pins in his leg.
It was early afternoon when he pulled onto the highway heading west. He hadn’t decided yet where he was going but he’d learned over the years not to plan too far in advance. The right place would come to him at the right time. He’d made friends all over the country and pretty much anywhere he went he’d find somewhere to stay, even if it meant sleeping out under the stars for a couple of nights. The wind swept past him as he sped down the road and he was glad he was in a state that didn’t have a mandatory helmet law. He loved the feeling of the wind blowing through his hair and beard.
A smile broke out on his face as he thought, “This is almost perfect. All I need is a beautiful woman behind me to complete this picture.” Then he laughed. “Yeah right,” he thought. “More likely some fat, skanky, old, toothless biker chick with tits drooping down to her bellybutton squeezed into a pair of jeans two sizes too small.” He laughed even harder as he gunned the engine and picked up speed. “It’s definitely time to get out of Dodge,” he said aloud.
After driving for a hour or so, he started to think about where he might like to go and Albuquerque came to mind. He hadn’t been there in years and he was only a couple of days ride away. And he knew there were a bunch of rallies and charity rides around there this time of year that always brought out the crowd he preferred to hang out with. He figured he could make it as far as Lubbock by nightfall. And if he was remembering correctly, there was a little biker bar just outside of town next to a cheap motel where he was certain he could get a room for the night, maybe even find some friends or at least a not so old and skanky chick to spend the night with.
The ride out of Oklahoma and into Texas was a peaceful one. The weather was cooperating and there was very little traffic on the back roads he was taking. Though he did slow down when he crossed the state line. He’d run a foul of the Texas State troupers in the past and had no desire to do so again. Six months as a guest of the great state of Texas was more than enough for his liking and reckless driving had gotten him his guest room that time. Not his first stint in the joint or his last but never again in Texas, he’d vowed.
He pulled up in front of The Dive and The Dive Motel just after sunset. An appropriately named establishment, he thought. There was row of about a dozen bikes lined up in front of the bar. Wally pulled his in at the end. He stretched when he stood up and heard several joints snap and pop. He groaned.
“Maybe I am getting too old for this,” he muttered.
He walked over to the motel first, deciding to get his room before he started drinking. He walked into the motel’s small lobby and rang the bell on the counter.
“Be out in a minute,” a voice called from the back room.
A few moments later a young man wandered out looking none too pleased at having whatever it was he was doing interrupted. “Yeah, whadya want?” he asked.
“A room,” Wally said.
“How long?” the man asked, looking the old biker up and down.
“Tonight, maybe tomorrow night,” Wally answered.
The man pulled a key from the board behind him. “Fifty bucks for the two nights if you pay cash and don’t complain,” he said.
Wally raised an eyebrow but pulled out his wallet and handed over the money. He took the key and headed out. Most places would have asked for identification or a credit card for security. It made him wonder about the condition of not complaining. He grabbed his saddlebags and bedroll off his bike and dropped them into his room.
The room was about what he expected. A bed he probably didn’t want to sleep on and a bathroom that maybe got cleaned once a week. He shrugged. At least he wouldn’t have to sleep outside tonight and it didn’t smell too bad. He could live with this for a couple of nights. It certainly wasn’t the worst place he’d ever stayed. He locked up the room and pocketed the key.
He could hear music playing from the bar as he walked over. He was hoping that he was remembering right and that they served food as well as alcohol. He needed both at the moment. He looked around after walking inside. Cheap wooden furniture, scuffed up floor and an old jukebox in the corner. Yeah, this place is a dive all right, he thought. He gave a quick glance around to assess the people. The usual crowd for a place like this, a bit younger than he liked but any port in a storm, especially if they served food.
He walked up to the bar and caught the bartender’s attention, a short kind of squirrelly little guy with beady eyes and greasy hair. The man looked him over. He was used to the younger crowd of hooligans who frequented the place but Wally was different, older, salt and pepper hair down to his shoulders with a matching beard and a decent size beer belly.
“What can I get you?” he asked.
“You got food here?”
The guy nodded. “Got a grill.”
“Can I get a burger and whatever you got on tap?” Wally asked.
The bartender pulled him a beer then brought his order back to the kitchen. He walked back out and said, “Be a few minutes.”
Wally nodded and took a large gulp of his beer then wiped his mouth with his sleeve. He spun around on the bar stool surveying the crowd. He eyed a group of bikers in the back of the bar. He recognized them as a group that called themselves the Ghost Riders from the patches on their jackets. One of them looked up just at that moment and locked eyes with him. Wally smiled and raised his glass to the man who gave him a quick nod and returned his attention to his friends. Wally knew how to deal with biker gangs. He’d earned his colors a longtime ago and done his time but he’d never joined up. He preferred to be on his own, no one to look out for but himself. But he spoke their language and knew their rules, and respected them.
He took his beer and wandered over to an empty table. He pulled off his leather jacket and tossed it on the chair. He did this for two reasons, it was hot in the bar but also because he was getting glances from some of the other bar patrons so he needed to show his colors. Some of it was prison ink and he knew that would earn him at least a little respect in a place like this. Though he wasn’t really expecting any trouble. Wally’s reputation usually preceded him once people heard his name. When you go through your adult life with a moniker like Wally War, people tended to take note.
© 2008 Aeon Cole