Ride With Harley Short Story 4
I ran into Red’s Motorcycle club. It was mid-morning and I had just finished meeting with my staff. The rest of my day was free until my evening date with Mari. The day was nice and sunny. Temperatures ranged between a pleasant 70 to 78 degrees. Perfect for riding my Hog. I chose to go for a ride down to Columbus and back. I planned to stop in the biker dive near there for a burger and then ride around Columbus for a bit before
The lot was packed with cycles from vintage Harley-Davidson1952 side valve K model to the 1972 XR750. There were Kawasakis, Hondas, Suzukis, Yamahas, BWMs and every other brand you could imagine. It was Hog heaven. I parked my Sportster tail to the back wall and front-end ready to leave. As I walked through the lot toward the entrance to the place I took great care not to bump any of the bikes.
Inside, the place was even more crowded than the lot made it appear. It was wall-to-wall bikers. I stood in the entry looking to see if there were any vacant seats.
“Harley!” A hand clasped my shoulder. “Good to see you, man.” Red Hawk shouted. “Join us over there.” He pointed to left corner of the dive.
Once we got to the tables, he urged me to take a seat next to him.
“Snake, go order him a burger with the works and a beer.”
“Water, if you don’t mind.” I said.
“Yeah, yeah. Forgot you don’t drink.” Red Hawk nodded at Snake.
Snake, a slim, extremely pale man with reptilian tattoos from his hands up his arms to his chin, nodded and headed to the counter. His blond hair was more white than a plain t-shirt and worn in a Mohawk style with long strands in the back tied in a pony tail.
“We’re going on a run after we’re done here. Want to join us?” Red Hawk asked.
“Where to?” I was curious.
Snake returned with my order. I dug in, relishing the zestiness of the burger and the cool lime taste of my water.
“Bellefontaine. We’re going to a barbecue with a couple other clubs.”
“Cool. I’ll join you for awhile.”
“Hey Loner, I see you’re wearing a broken wing on your colors. When’d you crash?” Patsy asked.
“Ate asphalt in a lowside back in ’69. It was a fifty-five inch Ironhead. Totalled it during a blackout. Had surgery to fix injuries.”
“Dude! You dumped your bike?” Snake sneered.
“Not on purpose. I blacked out. All I know is What the reports said. From my positioning it was a lowside and probable dump.”
“What you ridin’ now?” Patsy asked.
“61 inch Harley Sportster XLCH Ironhead heavily modded. It’s much larger than it’s class.”
“How so?” Asked one of the guys who wasn’t at the dive The last time I was here.
“Larger tank, larger engine, blinkers, stuff like that.”
“You a RUB?”
I frowned at the derogatory name. A RUB is a rich urban biker who buys and has installed superfluous accessories to look cool regardless of a decline in the machine’s performance. I might be wealthy, but I do not have parts nodded for coolness. Everything I’ve installed on my Hog increased it’s functional capabilities.
“No. I did all the mods myself.”
The ride to Bellefontaine took under forty minutes with us traveling over the speed limit. We arrived at a building that looked like it had once been a warehouse. I was introduced as an associate of Red Hawks Motorcycle club.
“What’ll ya have?” A member of Malice Runners MC asked.
He wore a red vest known as a cut or Kutte. The back had Malice Runners on the top rocker. Below that was a logo with a skull and devil horns and slash marks to resemble running. The bottom rocker said Kenton, Ohio their home town. The front of his best had a number of patches including 1%’er which meant the Malice Runners were an outlaw motorcycle club. There was a 22 meaning he’d spent time in prison. This was followed by a Defender patch with a teardrop on the lower left side to indicate he was the club’s enforcer or sergeant of arms and had killed for the club. There was an MRFFMR patch which meant Malice Runners Forever Forever Malice Runners. The remaining patches included GBNF, gone but not forgotten for club brothers who have died, and a 666MR to indicate Satan-like Malice Runners.
In all, this guy was bad news.
I looked over the beverages in the iced barrel and was pleasantly surprised to find sodas mixed in with the beer. Sitting in the middle surrounded by assorted beers was a Vernors.
“Loner,” Snake came over to me. “Boss wants to chat. I’ll bring your poison when I get mine.”
“Thanks. Get me a Vernors, will ya?”
I stopped by my Hog and put my jacket into a saddle bag before ambling over to where Red Hawk was seated. He had his arm draped over the ample breasts of a brunette.
“Snake said you wanted to talk.”
“Have a seat.” He patted the space next to him.
“Rather stand a bit. Had a fairly long ride to Columbus and then here. Know what I mean?” The man didn’t need to know long rides weren’t unusual for me. I could ride an entire day without stopping except for fuel and restroom breaks.
“That’s cool.” He removed his hand from the girl and necked his beer. “Been thinking. I like you. You have my respect. You say you built your Hog for performance. From what I seen, I believe you. I want you to consider joining our club.”
“Wow!” Oh boy! Just what I needed, an outlaw motorcycle club membership. The trick was going to be how to decline the invitation and remain on their good side.
“That’s quite a honor, Red Hawk. I’d be proud to join, but I’m more of a free rider. Know what I mean? I prefer my own rules. I don’t know if I could promise to follow club laws.”
“You don’t have to answer right now. I want you to consider the offer. For now, how about remaining an associate?”
“I can do that.”
“Thought so. Had a Kutte made for you.” He beckoned Snake over.
Snake stepped to the table and placed an open Vernors in front of me. I eyed it suspiciously. I don’t like having an opened drink handed to me unless it was by wait staff in a restaurant. From the expression on their faces I knew this was a test about trust. The can felt cold as I took a swallow to their delight.
Snake handed me the Kutte. It was in the club colors. The top rocker said Red Hawk Motorcycle Club. The logo was of a red hawk flying over a bike. The bottom rocker proclaimed Columbus, Ohio as their town. The patches on the front included a 1%’er, a lone rider, a low side showing a rider sliding low to the ground with his leg under the bike, and the last patch simply said RHMC Associate for Red Hawk Motorcycle Club Associate.
“Gee, thanks.” I took the leather vest and examined it. The garment was well made.
“Only thing I ask,” Red Hawk stated, “is that you wear our colors when you ride with us.”
“No problem,” I responded slowly as I removed my leather jacket and put the Kutte on. “I’ll be right back.”
I walked over to my Hog and put my jacket into a saddle bag.
“The food smells great,” I reached into the barrel and fished out another Vernors.
The barbecue was fantastic. The President of the third club, Hellions Motorcycle Club, really knew his meats. There was beef and pork ribs, chicken, sausage links, hot-dogs and burgers with potato salad, three bean salad, and coleslaw.
“What’s your favorite run?” I asked as I licked the sauce off my fingers.
“We like the Dragon out of Cincinnati. It has smooth cambered twists and turns. The turns are marked so you know what to expect and can get into a rhythm.” Jake, an older club member said. “Still, it’s a challenging run.”
“Ever ride the Triple Neck out of Zanesville? It’s just as much of a challenge as the Dragon but there’s no way to expect the turns. Many of them are unannounced. Keeps you on your toes.”
“We haven’t done that one.” Red Hawk said, running his chin. “Don’t know why. We’ll have to schedule one.”
“That would be great. Leave word at the burger joint with a few weeks notice and I’ll ride with you.” I rubbed my eyes as my vision suddenly clouded over. I was more tired than I thought I’d be after riding just under three hours since leaving Lima. I hoped I wasn’t getting sick like I did on the trip to see Steppenwolf.
“Sounds like a plan.”
“That’s great. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get going. Have plans tonight.”
As I stood to leave, we heard the loud roaring of a group of motorcycles coming down the road. In minutes the new group had turned toward our building.
“It’s Satan’s Hounds!” A member of the Malice Runners yelled.
Everyone rushed into a battle formation, pulling out knives, chains, brass knuckles, lead pipes, and guns. I could almost smell the testosterone in the air and feel the adrenaline pounding through my veins. The enemy club raced headlong into the fight, knocking people down with their bikes. We responded by hitting them with everything in our arsenal.
Red Hawk swung a chain, wrapping it around the SGA of Satan’s Hounds and yanked him off his bike. A jab at the man’s throat and he was limp. Red Hawk quickly cut off the SGA’s identifying patch.
Snake smacked a pipe on the skull of another member. His swing cracked the head open. I caught a sickening glimpse of bone and brains. I threw my knife into the side of a biker sneaking up on Patsy. After making certain the guy was still breathing, I removed his patches and tossed them to Patsy.
Crip, the Vice President of Hellions Motorcycle Club lashed his bullwhip wrapping the spiked end around a Satan’s Hounds member. They retaliated by shooting him in the head. I saw two of !Red Hawks Motorcycle Club members go down along with several from our affiliates. Death rained it’s fist down upon us.
I froze when a Malice Runner pointed a pistol at me. The bullet whizzed by missing me by inches. I pivoted in time to see a Satan’s Hounds member clutch his chest and topple to the ground.
Blood poured freely. A few guys were killed. Someone in the neighboring area called the police. Upon hearing the sirens, we raced to our cycles and took off.
Red Hawk set our pace. We rode hard and fast. The speedometer on my Hog was pinned. When we encountered traffic we split lanes thereby quickly out distancing the cops. As we neared Columbus I began to feel woozy. I could feel blood on my chest. As we approached a building similar to the one in Bellefontaine I realized I might be in legal as well as health trouble. At the moment, my health was most concerning. I had sustained an injury in the chest. The blood on my chest was mine. I could feel it gushing from the wound.
“Loner, you okay?” Snake asked. He reached out a hand and touched my Kutte. “Red Hawk! Loner’s been slashed!”
“Let’s get him inside.”
The interior of the building was a large apartment. It was decorated in the club colors with posters and parts of motorcycles hanging from the wall. There were large vinyl couches, card tables, a refrigerator and a television set. I was in the club house.
“Get his Kutte and shirt off,” Red Hawk barked as he brought out a trunk filled with medical supplies.
I struggled to remove my Kutte without groaning. Patsy reached out and helped me out of it. She then removed my shirt.
“Looks kind of deep, Red Hawk. Might need stitches.”
Red Hawk brought over running alcohol, bandages, needles and thread. Snake handed him some pills and a glass of water.
“Take these. They’ll dull the pain. Patsy won’t stitch you up while you’re in pain.”
Red Hawk held the pills out to me. I took them and placed them in my mouth. Then I sipped some water, while keeping the pills tucked into my cheek. I didn’t want to take something I didn’t know.
“Open wide so I can make sure they went down.”
Busted. I had no choice but to swallow. He peered into my mouth. “He took ’em, Patsy.”
“Start counting backwards from one hundred,” she instructed as she grabbed a towel and soaked it with rubbing alcohol.
The next thing I knew, I was laying on the couch. A bandage covered my torso. There was some spotty blood on it.
“What time is it?” I asked, struggling to sit up. “I need to head home.”
“Seven.” Patsy replied.
“Seven! I’m going to be late. I have to go.”
“It’s seven in the morning and time for another round of pain killers and antibiotic medication.”
“Easy there, Loner.” Red Hawk said. “You aren’t goin’ anywhere until Patsy says you can. She’s a certified nurse, so you’re in good hands.”
Seven in the morning. I had stood Mari up both Wednesday and Thursday after promising I wouldn’t do it again. Will she forgive me this time? I had a Thursday lunch scheduled with Thomas and missed it too. I started to get up, but a wave of dizziness kept that from happening.
“Open wide,” Patsy pressed two pain killers into my mouth followed by a drink of water.
In no time I was sleeping. When I woke up it was night. Patsy brought me a bowl of chicken noodle soup and some saltines.
Immediately after eating came more pain killers. “How much longer do I need to take these?”
“Until you can get up pain free. Probably through tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow,” I mumbled.
Friday I was given my first solid food; Cream of Wheat. For lunch I had Oatmeal and toast. Dinner was scrambled eggs, toast and a fruit cup. Saturday morning I ate eggs, toast, cantaloupe, and sausage. Dinner was a hamburger and fries. After dinner I was given my Kutte and told I was well enough to ride home.
“You want an escort to make sure you get home okay?” Red Hawk asked as he mixed a packet into my water.
“Nah. I can get to Cincinnati just fine.” Something told me I didn’t want them to know I lived in Lima. “What are you putting into my water?”
“A mild pain killer so the ride home doesn’t hurt.”
I nodded and looked from Red Hawk to the glass. I was reluctant to drink it, but knew I wouldn’t be leaving if I didn’t. I slowly drank the liquid and handed him the glass. I put on my Kutte. I’d rather wear my own jacket but it was in my saddle bag on the Hog.
“We’ll leave word at the burger joint when we’ve scheduled the Triple Neck run.” Red Hawk clamped my shoulder in a friendly pat.
I nodded and headed to my bike. It had a lot of dings on the frame and looked as though I’d ridden through a battlefield, which in a sense, I had. Even my helmet was scuffed. I mounted my Hog and sat for several minutes. I vowed to myself never again will I ride with a club. I’d find some way to return the Kutte or not.
I kickstarted my Hog it sounded ragged. I was going to have to make major repairs or custom build a new one. I shook my head and rode off.
“Mistress Mari,” Garrett opened the door. “Have you seen or heard from Master Harley?” Worry creased his craggy face. He looked older somehow and very tired.
“No, I haven’t. That’s why I’m here. He stood me up Wednesday and Thursday night.”
“And me on Thursday for lunch,” Thomas said as he walked up behind me.
“Okay, we need to put out some feelers. Thomas, you start calling folks he might know. I’ll call WOSL and ask them to put an announcement on air asking anyone who knows his whereabouts to call the station. They’ll call us.”
“And I will call the police and file a missing person’s report. Enough time has passed now, they should take it.”
The next several hours were hectic as we organized searches and made telephone calls. The police came and took down a report.
“What kind of vehicle was he driving?
“A Harley-Davidson Sportster XLCH,” Garrett and I answered at the same time.
“Motorcycle rider.” The cop scratched his head. “Was he in a club or gang?”
“No!” We again spoke in unison.
“Why do you ask, officer?” Garrett questioned.
“Look, you know he is a respectable business man, right?” Thomas chimed in.
“He owns Davis Motors for Pete’s sake!” I raised my voice.
“And they build custom motorcycles,” the office commented, never looking up from his notepad.
“They also customize cars and trucks, and restores vintage vehicles, and performs routine vehicle maintenance and repairs. What’s wrong with that?”
“Nothing, Miss.” The officer closed his notepad. “We’ll be in touch. We may want to set up a command center here in case this is a kidnapping. I’ll let you know.” The cop left us in stunned silence.
Kidnapping! The thought had never entered my mind. I looked from Thomas to Garrett. Garrett had his eyes closed.
“Garrett?” I heard my voice tremble.
He nodded. “I’m afraid, that is entirely possible. Men of Harley’s stature are often victims of kidnapping.”
My heart leaped into my throat. I swiped at the sting of salty tears in the corner of my eyes. Garrett pulled me into his arms. “There, there Miss Mari.”
The pounding on the door made us jump out of skins. Thomas hurried over and looked through the park hole before tanking the door open.
“I just heard!” Peg rushed in. “Any word?” She headed to the kitchen. “I’m going to make us a pot of cinnamon tea.”
The hours ticked slowly by, punctuated by intermittent telephone calls and refills of caffeine free tea.
“His parents! Shouldn’t we notify them?” Peg asked as she stirred sugar into her fourth cup of tea.
Garrett shook his head. “No. That would only make matters worse They’d fly in. We’d have to get a limousine to pick them up. I’d have to go there to personally attend to them. Once here they would try to order the police around. No.” He shuddered.
Thomas re-entered the living room. “That was the police. They said there was some kind of battle between motorcycle gangs last Monday leaving twelve injured and nine dead in Bellefontaine. They’re requesting information to see if Harley was one of them. They plan to set up a command center here tomorrow.”
“No!” I jumped up. “Not Harley! He’s not like that!” I began pacing the room.
Around ten o’clock that night we heard a loud clanking and sputtering engine come up the drive. Collectively, we turned toward the door as it opened. Harley stood in the entrance with his helmet in his hand. He was wearing a red and black vest with patches. It was splattered in blood. Harley raised a shaky hand to his face and rubbed his eyes. His knuckles were scraped and looked painfully raw. The hands were filthy as though he hadn’t washed them in ages. Dirt streaked fingers continued to swipe his blue-gray eyes. Upon closer inspection, his eyes appeared red, glassy, and he blinked rapidly.
“Oh, Master Harley, what have you done?” Garrett carefully examined him. He gently tugged the vest off.
I gasped at the sight of his blood soaked shirt and rushed to help Garrett remove it. He was wrapped in bandages that had become soaked with blood. “Harley! What happened?”
“He’s on drugs,” Garrett stated coldly, “again.”
“Do you mean he’s a dope head?” Thomas sounded shocked.
“He was once. He promised never again. I’d know those symptoms anywhere. He’s high.”
“Not by choice,” Harley mumbled. He rubbed his chest gingerly.
Peg gathered our cups and left the room. We could hear her banging things in the kitchen. She was angry. “Fool! Stupid!”
“Harley doesn’t break his promises. Something must have happened.”
“Took a ride with Red Hawk’s motorcycle club.” Harley’s words came out slurred. He swayed unsteadily. Thomas grabbed him and guided him to an armchair.
“Harlan Davis!” Garrett thundered, his Scottish borough becoming pronounced. “You’ve put me through the pits! I’ve had it!” He stormed from the room.
I chased him up the stairs. “Garrett! Wait!” I grabbed his arm at the landing.
He stood before me with his hands bunched into fists and his jaw clenched. “Miss Mari, please unhand me.”
“You aren’t going to abandon him, are you?” I implored him. Harley would be devastated if Garrett left.
“He once told me he felt like I was more of a father to him than his own flesh and blood. This is how he treats me? Getting drugged up?”
“Garrett, Harley loves you. He said you and Brad were the only family he truly had. That you’d always be there for him.”
“I won’t abandon him, but he can feel like I might. Maybe then he’ll…”
“He’ll what? Truly feel alone? You have to admit, he has overall treated you with respect, honor, and like family. Don’t do this to him! Please!”
“Garrett!” Thomas yelled. “Harley’s having some kind of fit! He’s thrashing around. What do we do?”
“Lay him on the floor,” Garrett looked at me, sighed, and headed down the stairs.
Harley was shaking uncontrollably. Garrett rushed to him. “Let’s turn him onto his side. Peg, hand us some pillows to keep him propped. Mari, please get a blanket. Thomas, call the police and let them know he has returned home.”
I draped the blanket over Harley. I then went into the kitchen and got a cold, moistened cloth. Bringing the dish rag with me I returned to the living room and knelt beside his head. I cradled Harley’s head and tenderly wiped his face clean of blood and grime.
In under five minutes, Harley stirred. “Wha…what happened?” He croaked, licking his lips.
“Ssh…rest easy, my love.”
Garrett left and returned with a first aid kit and bandages. “Who treated your injuries?” He set the supplies out.
“A nurse named Patsy.”
“She did a good job stitching you up. I imagine the blood is mainly from your ride home?”
“Yeah,” Harley closed his eyes.
“This is going to sting.” Garrett poured disinfectant into cotton balls and dabbed the wound clean.
Harley hissed with each swipe across his chest. “Dang!”
“Just a few minutes more.” Garrett wrapped his torso in clean bandages.
“Shouldn’t he go to the hospital?” I asked.
“No,” Harley muttered, “No hospital.”
“News would get out about a man of his stature being stabbed. Questions would be asked. The police would take him in for questioning about the stabbing. If it becomes known he was involved with a motorcycle gang, he might be facing charges even if he had nothing to do with the recent fight in Bellefontaine. It wouldn’t take long for the biker gangs to find out. Then he’d become a target. And they would cause harm to him, his friends, and his business reputation.” Garrett explained.
“We just need to make sure his wound doesn’t become infected.” Garrett studied Harley. “What kind of drugs did you ingest?”
“Patsy said it was pain killers and antibiotics.”
“Dope.” Garrett peered into Harley’s eyes. “Your pupils are dilated. How much did you ingest?”
“Dunno.” Harley’s response was slow and slurred. His head dropped toward his chest.
“Dear boy, what have you gotten yourself into?” He clucked and fussed over him.
Peg returned, carrying a tray. She had brewed another pot of herbal tea and made some finger sandwiches. Blowing lightly, she lifted a cup to Harley’s lips. “Sip.” She turned to Thomas. “We need Wanda. She’s a nursing student and can tell us what to do. Maryanne’s phone number is in my wallet. She’ll give you Wanda’s number.”
Thomas grabbed her purse and began rifling through it. “Here it is. I’ll call.” He left the room and entered the kitchen where another telephone rested on a counter.
A few minutes later, he came back. “She’ll be here as soon as she drops her kids off at her mother’s house.”
Wanda arrived thirty minutes later. She quickly assessed the situation.
“What did he take?”
“We don’t know.” Thomas lifted his hands and shook his head.
“Harley, wake up.” Wanda shook his shoulder. “Wake up.”
“Wha…huh?” He roused briefly before going back to dream land.
“He has to go to the hospital. I’m guessing since you called me instead of taking him to St. Rita’s you want to keep this under the radar.”
“If possible.” Peg gathered the cups. “He was also stabbed, but he says a nurse took care of that.”
“I suggest you take him to Van Wert County Hospital. They’re good. Just make sure you have a logical answer to questions about the stabbing and the drugs.”
Garrett and Thomas carried Harley to the Bentley. They laid him in the back seat. Wanda slid in and lifted his head into my lap. Garrett tucked a blanket around him. I sat in front. Peg and Thomas followed in Thomas’s car.
We pulled up to the emergency room entrance and I rushed inside to get a wheelchair. Wanda pushed him into the ER, I got his insurance information and wallet from Garrett.
He was wheeled into an examination room as Peg, Thomas, and Garrett entered. “I’m afraid we can only allow family inside.” A nurse explained as she prepared to take his blood pressure.
Harley opened his eyes. “That’d be Garrett and Mari,” he mumbled, his voice barely audible.
Peg, Thomas, and Wanda went to the waiting room.
The nurse looked at the cuff and retook his pressure. “It’s very low. His bp is 70/49.” She then took his heart rate. “It’s slow. 55 beats per minute. Does he take any medication?”
“No,” Garrett answered. “His pulse is normally around 60 and his blood pressure around 120/75. He was given antibiotics this week for his chest injury.”
The nurse carefully removed his shirt and bandages. “Looks like a stab wound. How’d he get it?”
“I was sharpening my knife and dropped it. I tried to catch it, but tripped and accidentally stabbed myself.” Harley grimaced and sucked in air as the nurse prodded the wound.
That was the only time I heard Harley lie. But I understood why. He didn’t want the police to be involved.
“Who stitched you up?”
“A nurse friend near Columbus.”
“She give you antibiotics?”
“Another friend had some. He also have me pain killers so I could come home.”
“What did he give you?”
“I don’t know.”
“The doctor will be in shortly.” The nurse drew blood and took the vials to the lab.
Harley was given a blood transfusion and kept in the hospital for three days before he was released.
I don’t think the hospital staff believed his story about sharpening a knife and accidentally stabbing himself. But, in the absence of witnesses they had to let it go.
Copyright © Cassandra Parker 2017 All rights reserved.
The right of Cassandra Parker to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 First published by Cassandra Parker using Kindle Digital Publishing US Edition.
Parker, Cassandra (2017-12-24). Outlaw Ride. Cassandra Parker. Ebook Edition.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.
Outlaw Ride is a work of fiction. Motorcycle Clubs mentioned in this book in no way refer to actual or existing clubs as far as the author has been able to determine. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Photos used under licensing through Most Photos, photographer Kommersiel.