On a dusty road to nowhere, four lives converged. This is the story of Robbie, The Biker, His Tools, and The Trailer Man Dude.
Unfortunately, this is a true story of forces unto themselves, independent, yet inextricably tied together, none fully realized without the others. The names, places, and identifying events have been changed to protect some who should be protected and some who should not be saved in any way, each a pawn in this little roadside disaster.
The Biker leaned hard as he pointed his high handle bars right into the parking lot of the diner. It had been a rough year. Make that a hard forty. And now he was out of money. Damn that and everything else. He was hungry, tired, and blown out. He got off his bike like it was a horse and metaphorically tied it to the fence post linking himself to the past and all others like him in this wild west town. Not much had changed in 150 years and, perhaps, he was not meant for this age. Not that he could do anything about it anyway. He headed for the door muttering to himself, “That damn Robbie better be working tonight.”
The Biker threw himself into the booth at the diner. This was his place. His spot. He knew what to expect. And it wasn’t much. He knew he would have to wait tonight, Robbie was working. Hurry up and wait. The Biker pulled out his cellphone, thinking, that damn Robbie, where the hell is he.
A voice on the other end of the cellphone answered, “Yeah?”
“Listen, Buck, you need any tools? The Biker ran his hand through his swept back hair while he waited for the answer.
“No. Not right now, anyway.”
What else is new? “Well, listen man, I’m real low on cash right now. I mean real low. I need to sell these tools. Pass the word around, Brother.”
“Real busy right now,” came the voice from the other end along with a hint of irritation.
“Well, I’m real tight right now and you know how it is.” But the voice was already gone. The Biker drew back and gave a cockeyed look at his cellphone. “This damn piece of crap.”
“Hello, how are you this evening.” The “hello” was draw way out with a theatricality that was unusual in these parts.
The Biker looked up. “Don’t sneak up on me like that, Robbie. You’re like a damn cat.”
“I know, meow.” You can just imagine the purr with which Robbie laid this little gem on The Biker.
Robbie and The Biker had history, you see. And they had something else in common. Each one wore a pin. Or even a broach, you might say, although not too many men round these parts would call it so. The Biker had his pin right on his vest, poked right through the leather. It was about a four inch rendition of a Colt .45 1911 Model, pointed down towards the ground. Robbie had a pin, too. Yes, Sir, this was a broach.
“What the hell are you doing wearing that damn Peacock, Robbie?”
“Oh, you know, Peacocks got to strut, don’t we?” With a flourish, Robbie did a pirouette and floated off …
The Biker yelled after him, “Robbie, bring me a couple of glasses of water along with my coffee. And a lot of ice. And hurry up cause I don’t want to be chasing your butt around here all night long.” The biker knew Robbie’s work habits all too well. Like I said, they had history.
The biker turned back to his phone. More calls. No money. That damn, Robbie.
The Trailer pulled into the diner. Well, it didn’t pull into to the parking lot by itself. The Trailer Man Dude pulled it in. It was the biggest trailer The Biker had ever seen. This thing was humongous. It boggled the mind. It looked brand new. It was being towed by a king-sized dually pick-up truck which looked brand new, too. The thing was an RV. Fit for a King.
“Dang.” The word slipped from The Biker’s mouth. His mouth hung open. You see a lot of RVs around here. Huge ones, too. But this was something else. It was at least a full third bigger than even the biggest ones The Biker had seen before. It had a whole other living area appended to the back. In the middle, there was a storage bay with a ramp door. God only knows what is in there, The Biker thought.
But he didn’t think too much. He was dumbfounded. Looking at the thing and all. His stomach growled loudly. “That thing is 200 Grand,” he grumbled to the table in front of him.
“Robbie, where is my freaking ice water?” The Biker yelled this to no one in particular, because, well, there was no one in particular in the diner any longer, Robbie included. They were all out in the parking lot looking at The Trailer. The Land Beast. The Road Mansion. The sheer scope of the thing was phenomenal.
The Driver of The Thing, The Trailer Man Dude, was now out of the cab of the dually and patting the three rows of tires in the center of The Trailer. Lovingly patting the tires. His brand new baby. He walked up and down the length of The Beast. Then he turned to the gathering crowd of admirers, Robbie included. The Trailer Man Dude held Court.
The Biker got on his celly again and started networking. Most of the bikers had left town after the huge festival. But there were still a few hanging around. The Biker always hung around. He was local.
“These are top quality tools, Brother,” The Biker said wearily into his phone, “And I’ll get rid of them cheap. Things are real tight right now.”
The Biker listened to his phone with a sad face.
“Okay, it’s like that Brother, I understand,” The Biker said with weary resignation. He put his head down on the cold table top. Damn, this is just not working. He thought about this and he thought about that. Yep, She might have been right. But that was a long time ago. A very long time ago. And this is now. The biker pulled his head off the table. His graying, blonde hair hung in his face. He smoothed it back over his head with his hand and looked around. Where the hell was his coffee, where the hell was his water, and where the freak was that Robbie?
But Robbie was gone. And so was The Trailer. Everyone else had come back inside the diner.
“Where the hell is Robbie?” The Biker asked this to no one in particular, the aggravation rising in his voice.
A Little Guy turned around from the counter, looking at The Biker over his shoulder, “He went with The Trailer Man Dude, dude.”
The Biker shot out of his seat in the booth, out of the diner and jumped on the low slung seat of his bike. In one motion, practiced thousands of times, he kick-started the bike, flipped on the lights, let out the clutch and twisted on the the juice. That throttle return spring is perfect, he thought to himself, proudly. In a flash, he blasted out of the parking lot and turned onto the highway, the fat rear tire digging in as the sequential shift gearbox directed a siren song of acceleration. And that gearbox is perfect, too, he thought, and he was right. He would keep His Tools. They were his stock in trade. He knew that now, but he knew that anyway. You see, they had history.
It didn’t take long to close in on The Lumbering Land Beast, its lights glowing red in the distant night. Robbie is in there, The Biker thought, and I’m gonna tan his worthless hide. The Biker pulled right up on the rear of the trailer and then leaned hard, swung out left, and blasted right up alongside The Trailer Man Dude. The Biker knew a thing or two about a thing or two from his days as a motorcycle cop and he forced his way into The Trailer Man Dude’s comfort zone, right off the left front fender of the pick-up truck. That thing is 200 Grand and Brand New, he thought. And just like he thought, The Proud Owner pulled over and stopped.
The Biker was on him in a flash. His 1911 was cocked and locked. A man-stopper is what they call it. Knock-down power is the key. Heck, it will even fire underwater. But they weren’t underwater. They weren’t anywhere. Out here, this is dusty backwater, No Man’s Land. Indian Country. Nowhere. The 1911 was in The Quavering Man’s face.
“Where the hell is Robbie?” The Biker demanded an answer and the 1911 kind of made it happen.
“In the back,” The Quavering Lump offered quietly and without hesitation. “He’s in the storage bay.”
“Open it,” The Biker ordered and then dragged The Crying Man out of the cab. The Hysterical Man led The Biker to the storage bay the way people tend to do when a .45 caliber automatic is pointed at their cranium. He opened it. Robbie rolled right out. Yeah, he was handcuffed and gagged, but he looked okay. The Biker always carried a handcuff key. Old habits die hard.
“You look like crap, Robbie,” The Biker cackled. “What were you doing in there?”
“Getting your coffee and water, like I always do, you know, the usual,” Robbie smirked.
The Biker ordered The Now Handcuffed And Gagged And Pleading Man into the storage bay and locked the bay door. Then he turned his attention to Robbie.
“Turn about is fair play, right Robbie?”
“You gonna get me that coffee and water now, Robbie?”
“And pancakes, too, Big Boy,” Robbie purred.
They both got on the motorcycle. The Biker kicked it to life. He looked back over his shoulder at Robbie.
“I own you, Robbie, you little piece of crap.”
“I know you don’t.”
The Biker eased the clutch out and put on the throttle. That throttle return spring was perfect. Robbie held on for dear life. You see, they had history.