Sunday, May 20, 2012

                                                           An Eye For An Eye
                                              Another Satan's Angel MC Tale

Chapter One

No Regrets

I’d never been one of those guys that wondered how it felt to kill someone. I mean; I never gave it a thought. Looking back on things now, as I wait for “The” day to come closer. I have no regrets. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with me or more like what’s right. I guess that’s not for me to say. I know deep down what happened was right. Some cop in a cheap suit asked me once if I ever thought that there was another way to handle the situation. Funny, that made me chuckle. I thought about my answer for a while before I replied, telling him “no”. For me it’s that simple really. I learned in that moment, that things are much more clear cut than we would like them to be.

It all comes down to choices really. We all have choices and I made mine. There isn’t a single part of me that has ever second guessed my decision. I own it unlike many people in this place who are trying desperately to put the blame elsewhere. That has never been the case for me. I have no problem looking at myself in the mirror. I make no apologies for who I am. I don’t expect anyone to understand and I wouldn’t care if they did. I’m at peace with myself at peace with what happened. I like myself just fine.

The lights went out as they always do at this time of night. It’s hot in here like always on a summer nights. I’ve been here too damn long waiting for my trail. I lay back trying to picture the summer night’s sky. Closing my eyes I try to remember the smells of a summers evening and the sounds that accompany it. The wonderful fragrances of hamburgers sizzling on a hot grill waft past as I remember. I hear children, my children, laughing and splashing. The giggles are shrill and piercing little girls are like that. I smell the jasmine in the air coming from somewhere not too far off. I hear beer cans as they are tossed into the large metal trashcan. Then I listen carefully as the music off in the distance finally reaches my ears. I think its Bob Segar deep and soulful.

I strain my senses wanting more of this night and I picture the arrival of a pineapple upside down cake as it makes its appearance on the picnic table. Mixed in with the music and the laughter and the children’s voices, I hear that familiar roar coming closer. I close my eyes more tightly focusing in on that sound. I can feel it as it comes closer. The sound getting louder with each mile of asphalt it devours. The distant roar has turned into that all too familiar rumble I love hearing. To me it sounds magical, like music, rhythmic and rich. For me it touches something deep inside.
Then there’s a flash or chrome as the hypnotic machine bursts onto the scene joining the party. I’ve imagined this a thousand times yet I can never see the riders face, not that it matters. It could be me or any one of my brothers I suppose. I’ve learned to force myself to sleep even when I don’t feel tired because I know its better for me. It keeps me alert and at the top of my game. I’ve needed that edge here just like I’ve needed my dreams and fantasies. They have kept me sane and humble and true to myself as I wait for tomorrow to finally come.

Tonight however, sleeps just not in the cards as the screams of some tortured soul further down the block make it impossible. I have replayed that night like a movie over and over. I have looked at the situation carefully looking high and low; watching every subtle nuance waiting to see if the outcome could have been different. Now as I watch it playing as if in slow motion. I realize that in doing so I am second guessing myself. Then I tell myself “No” I’m only trying to reassure myself that I was right. In spite of what anyone else may think or say. I remained true to my personal code; unlike the law today because I believe in justice and an eye for an eye. I believe that and I will protect that belief even if it means losing my life or my freedom. The actions taken were justified no verdict will ever change that in my mind or my heart. It is a fact; simple and true. I have come to realize that given the opportunity I would do it again without hesitation.

Slowly, I roll over onto my side to avoid the harshness of my bunk. I never face the wall not allowing myself to be vulnerable. Especially not at night after all I’m not alone in here. I trust only myself. Even my cellmate of the past year will forever remain suspect. You never know who might want to make a name for themselves in this place. Or maybe make a buck. You can never be certain so I remain cautious especially after dark. At least in this world things are far more cut and dried than on the outside. Infractions are dealt with harshly and justice is swift. Hostilities always boil over and there is always an end result.

I hear the train in the background it sounds off as it approaches the intersection. I can smell the scent of orange blossoms in the night air. I knew tonight my daughters were with my Mother seeing a movie. I know that later she will take them out for ice cream before they return to her house that has now become their home. My oldest Kimmy she’s seven all girly, pink and frilly. I’d bet she brought along her sparkly Little Mermaid backpack loaded to the top with all her favorite things. She’s like that she holds onto things. She is my oldest and a beautiful child. She is warm, kind and very smart. I fell in love with her the moment she entered the world.
She has a smile that can light up the night. My beautiful little girl was always smiling until he came along. She was only six when it started. The change in her was dramatic. That smile was gone along with the giggly laughter then the silliness it all disappeared. She became quiet, sullen and bad tempered. It broke my heart to see the change in her but I listened to my x-wife, who assured me it was only a phase. I now know it was because she was broken and no one including me knew it back then. I grit my teeth just thinking about it. I want to scream allowing the rage to break through. The knot in my stomach reappears. I begin sweating as the anger wells up inside me once more. I suppose it will never go away because some part of it is directed at me.

My youngest Nicky is four now. She’s still all babyish. My little towhead she’s still cuddly, smelling like the sandbox she loves so much. Nicky is the polar opposite of her big sister. She is a tomboy. She loves dirt, mud pies, trucks and motorcycles. She hates pink, prefers her little jeans to dresses. I remember it was always a fight to get her to dress up which usually resulted in bribery. Thankfully she responded well to that which allowed for the perfect Christmas photos. I have always loved to listen to her talk. Her little voice sounds like music to my ears. I remember holding her in my lap the first time I took her for a ride on my bike the look on her face was priceless.

My x-wife’s name was Darla and I was crazy about her. She was tall and blond the exact opposite of me. She had never been on a motorcycle before and although she was scared at first she learned to enjoy it. We went everywhere together. I was head over heels for the girl. Later we got married and had our two babies. We were happy, life was good or so I thought. We shared the girls with my Mom who lived near us and her folks when they visited from Oregon. During all of that I started my own construction company and was doing fairly well. We were able to buy a nice house and drive nice cars and save a little money too.

I guess I should mention, I was a Satan’s Angel when Darla met me. I got my patch before I was old enough to drink. It is something I take very seriously. My brothers became part of my family. We are a close bunch; closer than most. Many of us grew up in the same neighborhoods. We went to school together, played sports together. None of us were the poor kids from the wrong side of the tracks as some reporters like to portray us. No, we all grew up in middle class homes in suburban neighborhoods. Our folks worked hard, some got divorced like my folks but that was about it. I’d never been in any real trouble before of after joining the club; well until now. You see unlike popular belief not everyone that rides a motorcycle is a criminal.
When Darla and I first were together I remember she loved being around my brothers. She loved going to the parties and going on runs; it was part of what made her perfect for me. I guess we’d been together two years before we got married. The truth be told I couldn’t have been happier. I had Darla, my Mom, my brothers and a business that was growing nicely. Darla smoked a little pot now and then but hell so did I.  Every once in a while we’d do a bump before a run. It was no big deal at least that’s how I saw it then. Later I would change my mind about that but hindsight is always twenty-twenty.

When Darla and I had Kimmy I was on top of the world. She was a gift and thankfully she was the spitting image of her Mother. I fell head over heels in love the moment she was born. You hear people talk about bonding and that connection they have to their children but you can never really understand it until you have your own. In that moment I got it! She was captivating I loved watching her. I was fascinated by everything she did. Sadly my Darla was tired, very tired. The pregnancy had worn her out. She was down in the dumps and sullen all the time. I later found out this behavior was called the baby blues or postpartum depression. I sent her to visit her folks for two weeks and when she returned she was much better.

I didn’t know that at that time she was taking a little speed here and there. She was using it as a pick me up. She never told me and I never suspected. Darla was pretty straight laced; that’s part of what I loved about her. She wasn’t the usual party girl she had a good compass or so I thought. During that time Darla had lost what seemed to me, to be a lot of weight in the two years since Kimmy was born. Even with the speed she somehow managed to still look tired. I understood that a busy two year old was a lot to handle and chalked it up to that. I found out almost by accident that all along Darla was buying speed here and there from one of my brothers. As it turned out she’d become a very regular customer. The entire time my brother thought I knew. Of course after our chat Darla was off his customer list.

That night Darla and I had a huge fight. I was really angry with her disappointed really. I sent Kimmy to my Mothers for the weekend so Darla and I could make some sense of the situation. There were scores of angry words and tears. Funny I learned a valuable lesson that weekend. There are two things you can’t take back in life; a bullet and the spoken word. Sadly we both said things we would come to regret later. Some of her words cut deep and I’ll always carry those scars. Yet in the end we made up and made love like never before. I can still hear her promising that she would never take anything unless we were together. Drugs were never really my thing. I’m a beer drinker and that is usually reserved for parties, bars and on runs. My Mom and Dad drank but never at home and I guess I just followed in their footsteps. I wanted that for my kids too.
Six weeks later Darla told me she thought she was pregnant. I took her out for a special romantic dinner. Once again I felt like I was on top of the world. Things were good between us and best of all she was off the stuff. Our little Kimmy was growing like a weed. She was sassy, happy and beautiful like her mother. During all this my Mom had a scare with breast cancer which thankfully was proven to be a false alarm. My business continued to steadily grow. Looking across the white tablecloth at my gorgeous wife I knew in that moment that I was the luckiest man alive. My brother’s wives threw Darla a huge baby shower. Later that spring my chubby little cherub was born, kicking and screaming her bald head off.

I was beside myself as I stood there holding this struggling bundle of joy. I sensed from the start that she and her big sister were total opposites. My heart was so full in that sterile delivery room I thought it might burst. The nurses seemed so surprised that their stereotype idea of who I was were shot all to hell. I was on top of the world it was true I was one lucky sob. Moments later I noticed how quiet Darla was. She laid there watching me with an odd expression on her lovely face. She wasn’t smiling something in her expression made me feel sorry for her. She didn’t ask to hold the baby but I gently laid her on her chest anyway. I didn’t see the same look on her face as when Kimmy was born. I remember now that it worried me a little but I managed to chase those thoughts away, for awhile.

After Nicky was born nothing was ever the same between Darla and me. She went through the motions of her daily life; but that was it. She was just going through the motions. The kids were clean and well fed. The house was the model of cleanly living and the girls were dressed like two little princesses. Everyday Darla put one foot in front of the other but she rarely smiled. She rarely looked at me when I look back she never made eye contact with me. Over time I came to realize that she was less and less affectionate with the girls, not in the way she used to be. I finally forced her to go the doctor going along for support. He told us Darla’s situation was not uncommon especially since she’d suffered from post partum depression after her first birth.  It wasn’t much of a jump to believe she was suffering from the same thing again.
Good to know I thought as we filled her new prescriptions. In a very short period of time it seemed as though I had Darla back. Of course I still continued to worry about her distant relationship to baby Nicky. It was so strange. My Mom could see it too and we tried to make up for the missing attention. Always a believer Mom assured me that she would come around and things would get better but they didn’t. As the girls grew and changed it was apparent that Darla was on autopilot. We rarely talked anymore. In the past I’d shared everything with her and now there was this wall keeping me out. There were no demonstrations of affection towards one another. We’d stopped making love somewhere in the mist of all the indifference. Our house was a cold place now. I hoped the girls couldn’t feel what I felt. They were the only bright spot for me. During that time I kept my nose to the grind stone hoping that something would change. I learned first hand to be careful what you wish for. I was wishing for change unable to imagine at the time the change that was coming!

Monday, December 19, 2011


Chapter One

Her nails were finally dry enough that she could finish the last of the packing before she finished tidying up. She gave one last longing look in the direction of the mirror; still shocked by the sight of the shoulder length, dark honey colored hair on the person staring back at her. The sight nearly made her cry again. Her long wheat colored locks dumped into the toilet and flushed away made her sad. It had taken a life time to grow her hair to where it touched the top of her ass crack, she thought somewhat childishly. The telephone rang loudly jolting her away from her obsession. “Hello. No he’s not here. He just went out to get cigarettes. Do you want to leave a message?” She asked politely as the caller hung up in her ear. “Asshole!” She yelled as she slammed down the receiver.

She slipped into the garage hoisting the Army green duffel bag onto the bike; carefully bungee cording it securely to the sissy bar and rear fender. The bike was big for her but she had ridden it a few times when he got too drunk to ride them home from the bar or the clubhouse. It was a Night Train with baby apes lowered enough that she could touch the ground on her tip toes. The double twisted spokes sparkled on the Softail like jewels she thought; happy that the weight of six hundred pound machine was manageable for her.

Back inside she looked around trying to determine if she had overlooked anything. She disconnected the empty propane tank from the connecter at the back of the stove returning it to its place on the shelf in the garage. The potbelly stove that heated the house was cool after burning none stop this week. She scooped the last of the ash and bone into the large plastic trash bag making certain not to spill any of the ash onto the floor. She tied the bag in a knot before taking it to the garage. She’d wait until night fall to drop it into some distant neighbors trash can. Then she reloaded the stove with fresh logs just the way he liked it. She put on her leather jacket slid the black backpack over her shoulders then headed for the garage.

She ran back inside locking all the doors then pushed the garage door open placing her peanut helmet on her head before firing up the bike. After a minute she rolled it onto the driveway back inside she retrieved his helmet before closing the garage door. She slipped the helmet over one handlebar letting it hang there as she rode slowly out of the neighborhood. Like the bag of ash the helmet would be disposed of along the way. Thirty minutes later she was headed for US Highway 40 out of Charlotte, North Carolina headed towards a new life away from here and all the pain.

Growing up in Raleigh in a dysfunctional family filled with losers and lushes at least that’s what her Grandma used to say. Her Ma as the family referred to the tiny woman who gave birth nine times yet only managed to have four living children. Sadly she’d died giving birth to her only daughter Carrie Lynn Wheeler. Her father took to the bottle about that same time and the family fell apart sinking into poverty when the factory closed and her father lost his job. Carrie Lynn was four. When she turned six her eldest brother Eddie Lee began playing games with his baby sister. The extra attention for a lonely child became the norm. Little Carrie Lynn kept her brothers secret.

When she was nine their father caught them. He beat her brother black and blue evicting him from the family single-wide. To further punish her he killed her pet dog Lassie hanging it in the shed where she was certain to discover it before anyone else. Her next eldest brother was simple or so the county social worker said before taking him out of the home in order to give him a chance at life. His name was Bobby Lee named for a grandfather no one remembered. Her Daddy willingly signed the papers. That left her and Tommy Lee who was three years older than her and secretly blamed her for the death of their mother more importantly for the banishment of his hero and eldest brother. He worked hard at causing her pain. He arranged little accidents for her relishing in her bruised and battered body. Before her eleventh birthday she had suffered a broken wrist and ankle when the rope gave way on her swing. Later her father discovered it had been cut part way through. Her front teeth were knocked out and she received a concussion when the front wheel disconnected from her bicycle pitching her forward forcefully hurling her small body into the ground face first.

Her father understood the problem but was unable to find the answer before she was injured several more times. It wasn’t until then that he called the social worker and had his youngest child removed before her brother killed her. By age eleven, Carrie Lynn had moved on to the second foster family. She believed she had died and gone to heaven when she saw the large house and the beautiful pink frilly room that was all for her. Her new foster mother was a kind but frail woman who doted on Carrie Lynn. They had new teeth made for her called a bridge now the kids at her new school wouldn’t make fun of her. They bought her clothes unlike anything she had ever imagined. Life was good and for the first time Carrie Lynn felt safe and secure even loved.

After a backyard birthday party for her twelfth birthday everything changed. It was on that very night that her new Daddy as he insisted she call him crawled into her bed. He told her that Momma was ill and that because she was a good daughter she would do the things for Daddy that Momma couldn’t do any more. Still more innocent than worldly Carrie Lynn soon discovered what he meant. She cried and begged and pleaded not that it did any good. He took what he wanted when he wanted. He continued to do so over the next three years.

He didn’t beat her so she justified what she now understood was wrong as a trade off for clean clothes and a place to live. She and her Momma never spoke about what was happening in the pretty pink room. They shouldered on each in their on kind of hell. One morning just after Carrie Lynns fifteenth birthday she found her Momma hanging from the rafters in the sun room. The note explained it all and Carrie Lynn knew the dead woman had truly loved her. She also knew that life was about to get worse. She packed what she could. Taking every cent she knew her Momma kept hidden in the house then ran for her life.

She knew she couldn’t board a bus or a train. She was smart enough to know that for awhile they would be looking for her. She walked out of her comfort zone having nowhere to go and no clear idea of what to do. As she walked along carrying her one small bag the tears fell. She hadn’t been paying attention to her surroundings lost in the sadness. Grieving the loss of the first real mother she had ever known when a loud noise and a harsh voice broke through her thoughts. “Hey girl! Where you off to?” The gravely voice hollered over the loud engine of the motorcycle he was sitting on. Carrie Lynn looked at him tears stained her face. “Can I give you a lift?” He asked lowering his voice some softening his tone.

Carrie Lynn remembered her Grandma telling her the lord works in mysterious ways. Maybe this was one of those ways the young girl rationalized looking at the long haired tattooed man on the shiny machine. “Where ya going?” Carrie Lynn asked wondering. “I’m headed down to Charlotte got me some work down there. Hop on sweet thing I don’t bite.” He grinned almost eerily through his scraggly beard and mustache. “Names Jeff, Jeff Tyler. What’s yours pretty thing?” “Carrie Lynn” She replied the words came out almost as a whisper but he heard them just the same. “How old are you?” He asked looking hard at Carrie Lynn. She knew her answer was important round here anyone under sixteen was jail-bait she learned that from her new Daddy. He often told her he loved jail bait.

“Sixteen!” She lied handing him her small bag which he strapped to the front of the bike. He showed her how to get on telling her to hold on tight. She kept her hands to her self until the speed of the first corner forced her to grab hold hanging onto him for dear life. Charlotte was about a four and a half hour ride with the gas stops and the stop for lunch. He paid for her lunch which surprised Carrie Lynn. She thought maybe just maybe he was a nice man. She wasn’t about to mention the money she had with her knowing it was important to keep it well hidden. He had a few beers with his burger and fries which was nothing compared to the way her real daddy drank so she thought nothing of it.

When they arrived at their final destination he warned her before turning onto the block “You’re my ole lady if any of them boys ask. You say you’re with me and no one will bother you but if they think your free game well little lady look out. So you better act like my ole lady you hear me darlin?” Carrie Lynn did understand what he meant and was willing to play along. Jeff wasn’t all that bad. Still he must be thirty she guessed. He was tall over six feet with long wavy black hair and dark eyes. She noticed no matter where they stopped men seamed to be scared of him. They moved out of his way which oddly appealed to her and made her feel safe.

In her wildest dreams she could not have imagined what was in store for her inside the small clapboard house. The lawn was dirt covered with oil spots and motorcycles. Jeff unstrapped her bag and his own Carrying them both inside. The screen door slammed loudly in her face. The voices inside were boisterous and gruff. She stood frozen just inside the door watching the scene unfold. There were people everywhere maybe fifteen she guessed. It was afternoon yet none of them were at work. Someone passed a joint to her introducing her self as Shelly-bean. The young girl laughed as she said the words smiling asking her name. “Carrie Lynn” She answered blankly.

“Well follow me Carrie Lynn and I’ll show you to your new room.” She had lost track of Jeff who was more than likely in the kitchen getting a beer. Carrie Lynn stood in the doorway peering into the small ten by ten bedroom. A dirty double mattress lay on the floor and a rickety end table held a small TV on the opposite wall. The closet ran the length of the room but the doors had gone missing. It held nothing but an array of wire hangers and one crumpled old pillow. After the immaculate house she had come from this was a pigsty.

In the other three bedrooms lived his friends Dwayne, Big Jim, Nasty and Jon-Jon along with whoever they were currently sleeping with. The living room couches were usually occupied by more friends or girls. It was a never ending party, beer, pot with the occasional pills thrown in for good measure. There was rarely food in the fridge unless you call rotting left over pizza food. None of the girls worked with the exception of Mary. She was a dancer down at the titty bar on highway eight next to the truck stop. Mary didn’t look twenty-one to Carrie Lynn and in that moment she decided to corner her about it one night when the guys were out and just the girls were left at home.

Mary was more than forth coming. She like Carrie Lynn was a runaway however she had finally turned eighteen. Nasty her ole man as she often referred to the fat foul smelling bastard he’d gotten her a phony ID. He got it through someone he knows here in town. She thought he would help her get one too if Jeff said it was OK. Then Mary offered to show her the ropes of dancing. Mary was certain her boss would hire a pretty young thing like Carrie Lynn. The girls spent the afternoon drinking beer and thinking up Carrie Lynn's new stripper name. It all sounded like a game at first. Mary told her that her stripper name should be stripper name Rusty. She’d picked it because it was the color of Carrie Lynn's hair and it stuck.

Later that night which was actually morning when Jeff came home drunk and smelling like perfume Carrie Lynn for the first time in three months asserted her position as ole lady. Jeff beat her senseless telling her she was damn lucky to have him. He warned her that if she ever pressed him about what he did or with whom; she would get a lot worse than what she received that night. Carrie Lynn quietly cried herself to sleep on the floor of the closet curled up in the fetal position. The next morning the damage was obvious her eye was black and swollen. She was unable to open it. Both lips were swollen and the lower lip was deeply split. Her neck was bruised from where he’d choked her. There were multiple bruises everywhere from being grabbed and thrown into the walls and floor. She could barely move.

During the beating something snapped inside Carrie Lynn. Not that some part of her snapped shut more like something snapped open! Time moved on as she slowly healed and one by one the bruises went away. Something deep inside her very essence began to grow flashing hot; dangerously hot not that she was capable of understanding it then. Her life continued on as before. Carrie Lynn never repeated her first mistake with Jeff he came and went unopposed. He did as he pleased when he pleased while she cooked and cleaned and danced two nights a week. She gave him her money well not all of it but enough that he never suspected there was more.

Slowly one by one the roommates moved away and the house was empty with the exception of Jeff and Carrie Lynn. He worked days and was gone from six to four thirty on the days he did come home. He bought furniture not that it was new but it was an upgrade. He liked her cooking when he was there to eat it. He bought her an old car so she could get around and took her out with his friends once in awhile. He had the perfect life. Carrie Lynn was the perfect ole lady. His friends were envious because their women were far too possessive and demanding to allow them that kind of freedom. Sometimes he actually seemed to care about her. He even made her believe he loved her until the next conquest came along. Those moments were always short lived.

Three years passed more quickly than one expected at her young age. She was a seasoned professional on the pole and had a good following of sick bastards as she referred to her largest tippers. She worked three nights and two days now. Her fake ID still said her name was Jenifer Wilkins but at work everyone called her Baby including Jeff. They moved to a smaller but nicer house further out of town. They looked and acted like a normal couple on the outside. Jeff was a drunk he drank all day every day and had lost more than one job because of it. He picked her up at work once and beat up one of her best customers for being disrespectful to “His” ole lady. Carrie Lynn said nothing adding it to the list of indignities she had suffered at his hand. It didn’t matter anyhow she thought; she knew the time was getting shorter.

Slowly and methodically since the night of the very first beating she planned and plotted before sleep crept in. She rehearsed, rehashing the details until she could recite them in her dreams. She weighed carefully her strengths and weaknesses wondering if she had the grit to follow through. Part of her understood that she wouldn’t know that until the time finally came but it gave her pause and was a point of concern. Her bank account which was a coffee can hidden in the kitchen behind the flour and baking supplies where she knew Jeff would never look; held just under ten thousand dollars. That was due in part to Jeff’s more recent generosity allowing her to keep more of her money for herself.

It turned out to be far simpler and easier to accomplish than she’d ever expected. Jeff had been laid off from work again. Carrie Lynn had dropped hints for months that the next time he was laid off they were planning a trip to parts unknown. They were going to hop on the bike and go where the wind blew them. He’d even heard her say that but never bothered to correct her letting her have her little fantasy. She also had been priming her boss with the same information telling him she’d let him know in advance. In fact she worked more that week than she ever believed she would under the circumstances. She had purchased several tanks of propane over the course of many weeks not that Jeff ever noticed. It was import that she returned the rental tanks collecting her deposits before leaving town.

Jeff returned home late very late. He was drunk on his ass as usual quickly passing out in their bed. She gave him time wanting to make certain he was out cold before slipping the razor sharp ice pick into his right temple. She pushed it all the way through his alcohol drenched brain. It was practically bloodless or eventful for that matter. One minute he was alive the next he was dead. She stood there looking down on him feeling nothing but contempt and relief. She dragged his large limp carcass into the bathroom hoisting him into the large tan colored tub. She propped him up as best she could cutting into his femoral arteries to drain as much blood as she possibly could wanting to dispose of the messy part. With that in motion she placed the bloody pillow case in the potbelly stove turning it quickly into ash before going to bed.

In the morning she retrieved his electric saw from the garage. Carefully replacing the blade with the more durable one that the clerk at Home Depot said would cut through anything. She turned up the stereo blaring Bon Jovi then stripped down to her birthday suit and began working on Jeff. It took far longer than she had believed it would as well as proving to be extremely messy. However with determination two hours later Jeff was in manageable sized pieces. She washed the walls down with bleach then burned the plastic she’d covered the floor with in the potbelly stove. She instantly regretted doing that because the smell was awful requiring her to air out the house for hours.

She placed two of the smaller pieces of Jeff into the wood burning stove as a trial turning on the propane valve. She took a shower in the other bathroom and prepared to go to work stoking the stove before she left. The process continued around the clock day in and out taking the full five days before her mission was complete. She hadn’t been certain the stove would burn hot enough to reduce bone to ash but found that it worked well with the exclusion of the teeth and the heavier thigh bones which required much more time and heat. The teeth she disposed of in different trashcans starting with the one outside the back door of the strip club. It was better than what he deserved she thought more than once. She was glad Jeff had lost several teeth in bar fights or this project would have become far more tedious she thought before disposing of the last tooth.
To Be Continued......
By, Six Shooter Sally

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Hunter

Chapter One

The cloud cover was dense and forbidding. The humidity was so thick it was hard to breath. The atmosphere felt charged. Instinctively you knew thunder and lightning were immanent. Monsoon season in the desert wasn’t anyone’s favorite time of year. It was especially disliked for those who are on the hunt!

This weather really sucked Eli thought, as rivers of sweat ran down his spine. Sweat drops constantly fell from his forehead onto his dark cheek. His long black hair was pulled back into a tight braid that hung half way down his back. He listened intently to the sounds around him. The birds and ground squirrels as they headed for shelter before the sky unloaded on them. In the distance he could hear faint sounds of traffic on the far off highway.

He sensed that the wind would soon turn and begin blowing from the north. He’d seen it before, however usually from the comfort of his adobe style ranch house. In that moment he wished he was there right now. He wished that he was anywhere actually other than lying here prone. His elbows were dug into the soft Arizona dirt as he positioned the binoculars on his target. The wind began blowing harder and the creosote bush began slapping the side of his face. Days like this sucked Eli thought focusing on the small encampment that sat roughly two hundred yards from his position.

He was an expert hunter and tracker one of the very best in the entire country. He was often hired after others had failed. He was like a dog with a bone persistent and ruthless at the same time. This day he’d walked five miles in the dark, keeping off all the county maintained dirt roads. Usually that insured he would avoid both dogs and coyotes and the noise they made. He didn’t want his presence known. Some folks in the business called him the ghost. Not to his face of course but he’d heard the talk. It was said that he had no footfall, that’s how and why he did what he did.

The rumors and speculation he often heard about himself amused the big Indian. It gave him an always needed chuckle. There was no real mystery to him of course. He was flesh and bone like the rest of us. He’d grown up just outside Phoenix in a rural area known as Cave Creek in the eighties. He was half Mescalero Apache the other half Pima. After his parents were killed in an automobile crash he was sent to live with his maternal grandfather on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, when he was twelve.

He had not been raised in the Indian culture that his parents had both escaped. He’d been raised like every other American kid without any emphasis on his obvious Indian heritage. Moving to the reservation was a bit of a culture shock for the boy. His life had been very middle class. He’d lived in a rural subdivision, loved baseball and riding his bike. He played on the local little league team as the short stop. Back then Eli had been out going and funny, often times pulling pranks on his parents and friends. His parents both had good jobs. They drove nice cars and their life was full and happy. The reservation was nothing like anything in his point of reference.

His grandfather was wrapped tightly in his Apache culture. He was wary of whites and modernization. He preferred the old ways. The old man who was respectfully called White Owl was a massive figure standing nearly six feet four inches tall. Eli’s mother always said that he would be tall like his grandfather. White Owl was angry with his daughter for leaving the reservation although he understood that many from her generation had done so.

Standing here looking into the saddened face of his twelve year old grandson he felt reawakened. The old man could pass on his culture and his beliefs to the boy. He could not know in that moment that Eli was making plans of his own. There was poverty everywhere he looked. The entire area appeared to be broken and in disrepair. There were a few actual houses most were singlewide mobile homes or aging travel trailers. Collarless dogs of all sizes ran loose sometimes growling as he tried to pass.

The Indian School was a cinderblock building without heat or air conditioning. The teacher was as apathetic as the building she taught in. As far as Eli could tell no one cared much about anything. Quickly he learned why many of the men did not work. He discovered that they received checks from the government not large ones mind you but enough to scrape by on. It was enough to buy all the liquor they wanted and that is exactly what most of them did with the money. Previously he’d never seen a drunken adult but that changed on the very first day he arrived.

His grandfather wasn’t a drinker but he did like his pipe. He smoked the herb often and sometimes he saw things. Sometimes he talked to his ancestors. Mostly that scared Eli. He was beginning to think the old man was crazy, but he said nothing. After all what could he say he was just a boy? It was then that Eli turned inward he rarely spoke. That was not to say that he wasn’t paying attention because he was. He was an amazing listener having the opportunity to hear his grandfather’s stories again and again.

In every season his grandfather took him out into the desert or the mountains for at least two weeks. It was like camping trips he’d been on with his parents but without the amenities. His grandfather taught him to read the stars to use them as a sort or road map in the sky. He taught him to fish without a rod and reel. He’d make Eli sit by the edge of the stream for what seemed like hours on end. He would instruct him to be patient and watch the fish to learn what they do and how they move. “Let them become used to your presence” he’d say again and again. When Eli reached in and grasped his first fish successfully bringing it onto the rocks beside him, both he and his grandfather were ecstatic. His grandfather told him if you can fish you will never go hungry.

They would sit in the mountains silently. The animals would appear as if by magic. He learned the names and tracks of every indigenous creature in both the mountains and the desert. Once in the desert, down near Tucson Eli found a set of tracks he had never seen before. His grandfather told him he was tracking the black ghost warning him to stop. Eli confident that his grandfather was over reacting continued. He found the cat and her cubs. He stood frozen she was so beautiful. Her coat lush it was this amazing blue black color with only a hint of a pattern hidden in the lush darkness of her fur. He’d never seen anything like her. She was muscular and compact roughly two hundred and fifty pounds Eli was awe struck.

The cat roared as she took in the sight of the large boy. Their eyes met hers were as black as coal and shown like diamonds. He stood watching as her cubs peeked out from behind her wondering curiously about the stranger. With her large paws she kept them back. Eli remembered that something in her demeanor changed which immediately made him relax. He wasn’t certain how long he stood there watching her and the cubs but he knew in his heart he had been allowed to witness something very special.

His grandfather was proud telling the young boy he had a gift. Few men could hunt the black ghost and be successful. In all his years he had not heard a story like the one his young grandson told. He was a born hunter or so his grandfather told him. Their trips included hunting with snares for small animals like rabbits and other small rodents. Traps and snares were made from the things around him. He was good with his hands and a quick study.

He graduated to a bow and arrows traditional and very affective. His grandfather helped him make the first one. The boy had a good eye and a steady hand. They started small first rabbits, then pronghorn working up to the larger mule deer. Over the course of two years and daily practice the boy was the best on the reservation. His accuracy became far superior to anyone in his age category. Soon he was competing against the adults and winning often. His grandfather was terribly proud of his grandson happy that he had embraced his Apache culture.

At fourteen on their spring hunting trip his grandfather brought along a rifle. Eli had never seen it before and didn’t know his grandfather kept a rifle. The brass was beautifully engraved and the stock was made of oak. He would learn later that it was a Winchester 30-30. The first time he fired it the noise scared him as he had not known what to expect. The barrel had risen up with the shot being wild and without purpose. They were camped on the edge of a creek under tall trees where the earth was soft. He laid the gun down for the day and went off to fish for their dinner.

His grandfather had a way of explaining things that were filled with hints of his ancestors. His Indian culture over time became easy for Eli to interpret. His grandfather did not want killing things to be done easily or taken lightly. He told him that all creatures have a purpose and a meaning in the world. We must take game to eat but never for sport. He remembered that his grandfather seemed very far away before he spoke again that night. When he did he told him that in life there are times that men must kill one another. Though not for food or sport but in war or for self preservation.

White Owl was wise and well respected in his community. He had seen war as a younger man. He served in the army in 1943 and was sent into combat in the south pacific. He never spoke of the things he had witnessed there. However his presence there had changed him forever. He returned home married and settled in raising his family. He worked for a time off the reservation in a mine where he found equally the same amounts of prejudice and ignorance as he had encountered in the military.

He raised his family in the Indian way he hunted and farmed allowing nature to provide. He lost both his son and daughter to the influence of the sixties and the pull of white culture. His son left first. He died in his early twenties of a drug overdose somewhere in northern California. His daughter who previously had been an obedient child wanted a different life off the reservation. Soon she followed her brother. Her path was more defined leading her to nursing school, marriage and a family. His wife a beautiful woman called Sweet Water, died of a fever in the late 1970’s. His daughter remained in touch and visited with her family every year but years later he would lose her too.

He felt redeemed with the arrival of Eli. He felt a strong sense of obligation to insure he remained on the right path. Taking another man’s life is a great responsibility as well as a heavy burden to carry through life. The old man explained to Eli that death was never to be taken lightly and killing although it may occur naturally should never come easily. Eli had heard it at least a thousand times. He thought he understood the message but could not entirely until much later in his life.

Like the bow that Eli loved so much he soon learned to adapt to the Winchester equally as well. His grandfather set up targets at a variety of distances for him to practice shooting. Slowly and carefully he aimed the rifle sighting the target in. He inhaled deeply then gently and smoothly squeezing the trigger. Time after time his bullet hit its mark. With each success his grandfather made his next target more difficult.

Eli was deadly anything stationary was at his mercy. Now it was time to move on to moving targets. First it was rabbits and squirrels. Then he moved onto birds like quail, pheasants, ducks and the occasional goose. Moving targets were much more of a challenge for the young marksmen. Yet he always had to take into account that he could not take down more game than he could eat.

Fortunately, many people on the reservation now counted on him for their meat. He soon graduated from small game to much larger game. Sadly in a moment of survival he was forced to kill a female black bear that charged him. He did not know in that moment she was only trying to protect her cubs. No matter the 30-30 ended her life. He took the young cubs to a wildlife preserve he’d heard of not wanting to leave them on their own. He knew with certainty that they would not survive.

To this day he cannot eat bear meat. The experience of killing the mother bear had stayed with him just as his grandfather hoped it would. Presently Eli was nearing his sixteenth birthday. He had grown strong and tall standing, almost six feet two inches. He roamed the mountains and desert in his free time. He loved learning all the nuances of each place more intimately. His grandfather trusted his judgment and his skill in tracking and survival. He had taught him well and encouraged the outings. He was growing older and the mountain trails had become more difficult for him to climb.

Eli although very quiet was popular amongst the other teenagers on the reservation. They admired his skills and his independence. Many of the kids his age were dabbling in drugs and most had been drinking for years. Neither drugs nor alcohol interested Eli he was much more enamored with the nature that surrounded him.

He was a fair student who took his school work seriously. What he lacked were inspired teachers unlike his grandfather who never tired of teaching him the Indian ways or about the world that surrounded him. In spite of the lackluster instructors he managed B’s and C’s in all his subjects.

His grandfather gave him the prized 30-30 rifle as a sixteenth birthday gift. The gesture touched the boy much more than his grandfather knew. The two had become friends and over the course of time they had become family. The old man had earned Eli’s respect and in return gave him respect back. It was 1991 and the world had changed drastically since his grandfather was Eli’s age. Now there was something called the internet that linked the world together in an instant.

That August while listening to the radio, it was reported that a six year old boy was missing. He’d wandered away from his parent’s campsite in the Tonto National Forrest. Eli's grandfather looked up from his pipe. “You are the only one who can find him. Get your things I will drive you to the park”. Eli was always up for one of his grandfather’s challenges but this time a kid was involved. Small waves of uncertainty washed over him as he assembled his gear but he refused to give into to it.

At the base camp of the ranger’s search party the grandfather spoke with the man in charge offering his grandsons services but was promptly rebuffed. “They had the matter in hand and did not need anyone else becoming lost in the large park” the man answered cutting to the heart of the matter.

Eli saw a young woman crying nearby and assumed she was the child’s mother. Cautiously he approached her. “I’m sorry mam but I’m certain we’ll find him” he said gently. Continuing in the same tone he pressed on asking her the boys name and where the campsite was. He asked what the boy was wearing and what time they noticed that he had gone missing. Not knowing one searcher from another the grieving and worried woman gave Eli all the information he’d asked for.

He knew the boys name was Tommy and he was wearing jeans and a red and white striped t-shirt and that he was carrying a navy blue backpack. She said he’d only taken it off when he went to sleep. It contained his camping gear and he was pretending to be a ranger. He also learned that the boy was bright for his age and very interested in nature. He would sometimes pretend to have discovered Big Foot she told Eli trying to make him understand her child in that brief moment.

It was late afternoon thankfully the sun wouldn’t set until seven-thirty so there was plenty of time to begin his search. The weather was unseasonably warm and therefore the boy was in no danger of freezing. The parks wildlife, well that was another matter. Eli found the campsite although now abandoned it was easily recognizable from the hundreds of footprints that had trampled away any evidence of which direction the boy might have taken.

Looking around the beautiful spot he heard the breeze rustling through the pine trees and he could hear the faint babble of a nearby stream. He turned his attention in that direction knowing that when he was six years old a creek or stream made for hours of fun. He knelt near the waters edge and there he spotted the knee impression of someone small.

Looking in all directions trying to take in all the boy had seen. Carefully he looked for small footprints in the soft soil at the waters edge. The earth has a way of telling you things that you need to know. Eli could hear his grandfather saying this inside his head. The tracks wandered aimlessly for about thirty feet before they stopped abruptly. Looking into the creek there he spied a set of stones. They were perfect stepping stones just begging for a young boy to cross.

On the other side the small tracks reappeared. The way they moved the pattern of the prints told Eli that the boy was watching something or someone. The tracks were purposeful and determined. In that moment Eli wondered what he had seen that had attracted his attention so thoroughly that it would cause him to wander away from his family.

He widened his own search pattern first moving to the right and then to the left. That was when he saw them cat prints and not small bobcat prints these were large. He knew this print. He’d seen it once before. It wasn’t a cougar or Puma as they are sometimes called in the southwest. The prints are similar in size but the black ghost has a larger back pad and their toes are much closer to the pad.

Eli realized instantly upon seeing the fresh tracks that the boy was following a large female jaguar. The boy was in serious danger. From the moment he first saw the black ghost it had captured his imagination. He’d read everything he could on the mysterious animal that wasn’t supposed to exist in Arizona.

He’d studied everything he could get his hands on and knew more about the animal than most. He understood that the black ones were rare the melanstic allele’s only occurred in roughly six percent of the jaguar population. Most had patterns that resembled that of a leopard but the rosettes on the jaguar’s patterns are much larger.

Jaguars are serious and skilled hunters they are usually careful to steer clear of humans. Yet Eli knew that a small wandering boy would be an easy kill. The tracks continued further into the woods then began climbing steadily Eli’s pack was large and heavy he stopped momentarily to reposition it before he continued on. He’d brought along food and supplies for a week and extra for the boy. He was certain he would be hungry and thirsty.

As he proceeded a little further the tracks merged. The jaguar had cleverly circled back and stopped beside the last complete tracks left by the boy. After that he followed the cat tracks with the occasional small tennis shoe print intermingled. Eli wasn’t certain of what to make of this. If she had killed him there the place should have been blood soaked. He was puzzled. He was beginning to think she was carrying the boy. He was heavy and periodically she would set him down only to pick him up again continuing on her way. The pattern repeated until the steeper part of the climb.

The sky told Eli that it was nearing seven o’clock he knew the big cat would continue to move until she had the boy exactly where she wanted him. He wondered why she had not taken him earlier. Why not kill him and have her meal then she could move on? This was not usual behavior for any cat and especially a successful hunter like the jaguar. Something inside told him he must continue to move on because if he didn’t it would be too late.

Reaching the top of the second tree covered hill he stopped to take in the area. He strained in the poor light to see in front of him. He listened to the sounds of the forest at dusk. The rustle of the trees, birds bedding down for the night, rabbits heading for their burrows. Then he heard a distant sound. The sound was not part of the natural sounds he expected to hear in the forest at this time of the evening. He headed towards it climbing further up the mountain side in the darkness.

The mountain became rockier and the trees in this area became sparse. He did not want to use the flashlight not wanting to spook the animals or give him self away. The starlight would have to do. As he struggled to maintain his balance as the grade became steeper he heard the sound again. He was getting closer. The sound was a small whine and not that of an animal but that of a very frightened boy.

Further up the now treacherous path more so in the darkness, Eli continued on slowly and steadily. The land leveled out and there not thirty feet in front of him were several cave openings. A perfect place for a cat to eat her meal in peace. It was so far from where his search began at least nine miles maybe a little more. He stood bone still listening with every part of his being hoping the boy was still alive.

The breeze was on his side blowing his scent in the opposite direction. Stealthily he made his way one painstaking step at a time. Quieting his breathing outside the first cave he listened but heard nothing. Summoning his courage he peered into the darkness then shown his flashlight finding it shallow and empty but for bird nesting materials.

He moved onto the next cave listening in the darkness. Then he heard that faint whining sound. It was a child trying not to cry, trying not to be afraid. He could hear the child sucking in air trying to calm him self in the blackness. He focused his attention on that cave listening for sounds of the cat. Maybe an hour passed before he heard her. It was an almost purring sound.

Eli didn’t have a plan and he needed to have one and soon. He poked his head into the cave for a split second but could not see a thing. His nose told him the cat was in there he could smell her muskiness. The cave did not smell like blood or a fresh kill although he could smell the child’s fear. If he was right they were at the back of the cave. He figured the cave to be about seven feet deep, four feet high and four feet wide. Eli realized that he would need to wait until morning. If he tried anything tonight he just might get the boy killed.

He slept some sitting up outside the cave with his trusty 30-30 in hand. He heard a raven caw as the first crease of sunlight rose directly across from them. Wiping the sleep from his eyes he listened hard for an interminable amount of time. Then he heard the boy. He was talking to the jaguar. “I won’t hurt you girl. I don’t know why you brought me here, but I like your house” the boy said in a soft whisper.

Eli could not hear any sounds coming from the cat. He edged slightly closer to the opening then carefully peered inside. The cave was just slightly larger than he calculated in the darkness. To his surprise on a small ledge of granite lay the jaguar her blackness making it nearly impossible to see her in the early light. She was stretched out, her legs and belly facing outward. He could not see the boy but he could hear him now and in an almost sing song voice it seemed he was trying to sooth the big cat.

She had placed the boy behind her as if to protect him. How odd Eli thought she’s acting like he’s her cub. How that could be he did not understand but his instinct told him he was right and that made the situation all the more volatile. That meant she would protect the boy as if he were her own. Another quick peek told him that her teats were fully engorged. He could only assume that she had recently delivered and lost her cub or cubs they generally bore two.
Her hormones must be out of whack and she took the boy as a replacement.

Far off in the distance he could hear dogs. Most likely search dogs, maybe blood hounds. Eli was afraid if the other search party stumbled on to them they would surely kill the black ghost. He knew from his studies that their population was few. He couldn’t allow them to kill her. He would need to think of a way to save them both.

Fortunately opportunity comes to those who wait patiently and it shinned its light on them all that morning. There was a rustling below and from nowhere appeared a pronghorn he was limping. As quietly as possible Eli climbed above the cave. He realized that the sound of the animal in distress would most likely attract the jaguar. Only a moment later he was proven to be right. The jaguar stealthily exited the small cave her eyes focused on her next meal.

In her mind her cub was safe inside the cave and the pronghorn was an opportunity she could not pass up. He watched as she silently and gracefully made her way down the mountain towards the injured animal. Once he was certain there was enough distance between them he jumped down from his perch. He entered the cave seeing the startled look on the child’s face. “Tommy its ok, I’m gonna get you out of here”.

Carrying the child piggyback he carefully maneuvered down the steepest part of the descent. In the distance he could hear the cat claiming her meal. Further away still he heard the sound of the dogs as they loudly proceeded up the mountainside. This would soon scare off the jaguar her self preservation would supersede her hormonal imbalance and she would flee.

After they had traveled half the distance they needed to cover Eli stopped. He set the boy down realizing he hadn’t spoken to him or checked to see if he was injured. His attention had been solely focused on getting him away safely. “I’m Eli” he said smiling at the dirty child. “Are you hurt? Did she hurt you? He asked already knowing the answer. “No’ the child said meekly. “I got scratches and stuff from when she carried me by my backpack. I think that’s ruined. She licked my cuts and scraps and kept me warm. I think she thought I was her baby or something” he wisely remarked.

The boy drank from Eli’s canteen and ate a piece of a chocolate bar. Then wiping his face he asked” are you an Indian or something?” “Yup I’m half Apache and half Pima on my father’s side.” “Wow” the boy replied “I’ve never met a real Indian before”. The boy walked some wanting to prove to Eli that he was a good ranger but after a mile it was easy to see the ordeal had taken its toll. Eli hoisted the boy onto his broad shoulders then they began making much better time.

Just before eleven in the morning Eli walked into the searchers base camp. He immediately spotted his grandfathers pickup truck and the blonde woman he’d spoken with the day before. The boy had fallen asleep almost before Eli had taken the first few steps that would bring him back to his parents. His mother was sitting at a picnic table when she spotted the pair striding towards her. She jumped to her feet running for all she was worth toward her child. Who in that moment appeared lifeless.

She screamed out an anguished “Nooo” as she approached. At that sound the rangers and everyone in the base camp turned their attention towards Eli and the boy. Eli reached up and shook the boy gently. “Tommy your back, your Mom’s right there”. The boy sat up bone straight on Eli’s shoulders. “Mom” he cried. Eli set him down and watched as mother and son hugged and cried, each talking at once.

Eli did not see his grandfather approach but found him at his side as the lead ranger strode towards them. He looked carefully at Eli and the old man. Looking directly into his grandfathers gray eyes he said” I’m very sorry that I dismissed you so abruptly the other day. I am grateful that your grandson found the boy and brought him back safely. You both have my sincere apology and my gratitude.” Then he extended his hand to the old man and then to Eli. “Well done son, well done” the ranger said.

After more thank you's and a full explanation of the boy’s ordeal Eli and his grandfather headed home. Both were filled with a sense of pride and satisfaction. That day left a mark on Eli that would follow him throughout his life. It was then that he knew what he wanted to do. His grandfather had told him for many years now that his destiny was as a hunter. Though not of animals but of men. Until that moment he’d never really paid much attention to the old man because he said a lot of things. Although the older he became the more those things began to make sense.

Later that year Eli graduated from the reservation school at seventeen. Collage did not seem like an option for him. He preferred studying in his own way and in his own time. Knowing what he didn’t want to do was easier to understand than what he did want to do. He didn’t want to be a miner preferring to be above ground. Sometimes he worried because his future seemed so uncertain. He did not want to end up like some of the men on the reservation. They were lost, broken, devoid of hope or ambition and chronically unemployed.

Talking seriously with his grandfather over time had become a comfort. He wasn’t embarrassed to share his fears. The old man was a careful listener and he had come to know his young grandson well. He thought for a long time before he spoke knowing that his words would send the boy far away from him. Part of him selfishly wanted him to stay but his virtue won out.

The rest of the story maybe be purchased at Smashwords.

Undercover Angel A Satan's Angel Tale

Undercover Angel
A Satan’s Angel MC Tale

By, Six Shooter Sally

Copyright 2011

Smashwords edition, License Note

This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be resold. If you would like to share this e-book with another person please direct them to my Smashwords author page (https//

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places 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 locals is coincidental.

This is the tale of about an outlaw motorcycle club set in the San Fernando Valley in California and the attack they suffered at the hands of their rivals. It’s about revenge and loss, payback and grief. It’s about their world on their terms without apologies.

Undercover Angel
A Satan’s Angel MC Tale

“Three may keep it secret if two of them are dead.”
Benjamin Franklin

Chapter One

Every August the motorcycle swap meet was setup in the parking lot of the fairgrounds in Chatsworth. The event was put on by the local chapter of the Satan’s Angeles. Over the years it had become very successful drawing larger and larger crowds. The Satan’s Angels policed their own event and did a good job too. This helped their public relations and helped sooth the friction with the local police. Naturally nothing different was expected this year.

Rapid gunfire pierced the morning air as the wounded prospect crawled over the already blistering asphalt. His right arm was bleeding profusely. He could hear more gunfire in the distance but could not ascertain its direction. His ears were ringing. His heart was racing as adrenaline coursed through his veins. He crawled towards the row of parked cars and trucks seeking their safety. It was hot even at this time of the morning as sweat mixed with blood and tears trickled past his quivering lips.

He was shaking now trying desperately to slow his heartbeat trying to calm himself. He slowly inhaled then exhaled the same way. His right arm was numb he knew the bone was shattered. With his left hand he undid his belt buckle then began tugging at the leather belt from around his narrow waist. Once he’d freed it he synched it tightly around his bleeding arm trying to slow the flow of blood. He knew he needed help yet he was too afraid to move out from the safety of his hiding place.

Rocky was the newest prospect of the Satan’s Angels. He hadn’t been back from his tour in Iraq for more than ten months. He closed his eyes trying desperately to slow his breathing trying to utilize what he’d been taught in the military. At this point he couldn’t feel the pain anymore and his fear had waned. Lying there under the car he thought about the girl he’d loved in high school. He tried hard to picture her pretty face. In that moment he thought “this is it”. Here he was twenty-three and this would most likely become his fate. Rocky passed out before the sound of sirens filled the air.

More rapid gunfire could be heard. Heads turned as people panicked and began running or diving for cover. Behind the concession stand Joe listened carefully. Instantly he realized there were at least ten guns firing at will. His stint in the army and tour in Iraq during Desert Storm told him there was a forty-five hand gun, at least two nine millimeters, a couple of AK’s and a fully automatic Mac-10 somewhere on the fairgrounds. In addition he’d heard at least two maybe three shotgun blasts in all the ciaos he couldn’t be certain. From his vantage point near the center of the swap meet he figured out the attackers were lined up across the back and sides of the event lining the perimeter. It appeared the front was open and safe. He mass texted all his brothers from his cell phone: “Front exit safe Joe”.

He also realized the 357 tucked in his belt wouldn’t do him much good now. The important thing was to survive this. Without question he knew who was behind it. He understood that before he caught a flash of motion out of the corner of his eye. That was when he saw the Mongrel dive under the Chevy pickup caddy-corner from his position. Logic told him to stay put to keep his head down and live to fight another day. However, the rage that boiled up inside him said no fucking way.

Joe crawled slowly at first back tracking looking for the perfect vantage point. In the ciaos the Mongrel had become preoccupied. His attention was focused on their new prospect Rocky. Rocky had hidden himself under a parked car. It looked like the Mongrel had only wounded him and now his sights were set on finishing him off. Joe crawled on his belly like a snake covering ground as quickly as he could. He watched as the Mongrel took aim with the AK pointing it. He was trying to aim directly for Rocky’s head. Fortunately in that instant Rocky moved before the Mongrel could squeeze the trigger.

Joe’s eyes scanned the crowd while following his victim’s movements. The Mongrel’s blood ran cold as he felt the hard metal barrel press firmly against the back of his head. Instantly the hair on his neck began to prickle as the click sounded in his ears. He didn’t have to wait. Joe angrily pulled the trigger as he yelled “your headed straight for hell you bastard”! The 357 did its job. Being that close the Mongrel was nearly headless. Joe rolled under the car wiping the bloody barrel off on the dead man. As he moved on he thought “one down just nine or ten more to go”.

Meanwhile Fast Eddie wasn’t fast enough. He heard the shot at the same time that it spun his six foot four, two hundred and twenty-five pound frame in a dizzying spin. All while the forty-five caliber bullet coursed through his chest raking havoc in its wake. Falling backwards arms flailing, mouth open yet silent as he continued on his path ending in a crumpled heap on the hot black asphalt. His last thought as his eyes saw the last flash of blue sky was “those mother fuckin bastards”!

The event was set up like a straight angled horseshoe. On the left side of the venue covering the entire expanse was the actual bike swap meet. Under the tarps and sun shelters were civilians and Satan’s Angels alike. All were trying to sell off their old bike parts. Six Satan’s Angels were manning their part of the booth. Kurt, Zeek, Dirty Dave, Bob, Doug and Whiteman each of them know more about motorcycle parts than the other. Between them there was a wealth of information.

There were approximately twenty civilians manning their private section of the booth. Shots rang out in rapid succession. The AK-47 barked bullets sending everyone diving for cover. It was mayhem pure and simple. The two shooters fired directly into the back side of the blue tarps that made the rear wall separating the booth from a narrow walkway that bordered the event. They couldn’t see the gunmen.

Later Dirty Dave would say that all he remembered was the smell of gun smoke, blood and fear. That was what he was thinking before the bullet ripped into his thigh nicking his femoral artery. Doug and Whiteman all suffered life threatening bullet wounds. Only Bob and Zeek’s wounds were superficial. A bullet barely creased Zeek’s left arm and Kurt got away clean.

Civilians in the booth weren’t so lucky either. Three were critical, one with a bullet to the left side of his head. Another was gut shot and screaming loudly as he bled all over the place. The last had a bullet lodged in his right lung. He barely made a sound. The pair of Mongrels who fired wildly from behind the tarp were found dead. They'd keeled over in the exact spot where they had once stood. The smoking AK’s still clutched in their gloved hands.

Wild Bill wasn’t lucky that day either. He’d come face to face with the small brown man who popped up from behind a parked car bordering the swap meet. Instantly he recognized the double barrel sawed off twelve gauge that the shorter man was wielding. They were less than six feet apart when the small man pulled both triggers. As the blast impacted Wild Bills chest and abdomen he died. His lifeless body was torn wide open. It continued moving backwards before finally slamming into a small ticket booth. There had been no time to think or to react. There had been no time for him to be afraid or to make amends. There was only time to die!

Top Notch was following closely behind two young tight assed blonds. He was admiring their assets when the first few shots rang out. The shorter blonde directly in front of him began falling backwards collapsing in a heap of bloody blonde hair. Her friend was screaming although strangely he couldn’t hear her. He could however see the panic written all over her face as see looked directly at him. Suddenly he began feeling very calm. He watched as people ran in all directions around him. Without warning he dropped to his knees. It wasn’t until that moment that he looked down. There was a small red hole directly in the center of his chest. “Bull’s-eye” he thought before dropping face first onto the dirty asphalt.

Cry Baby was thusly named because of all the bitching and complaining he had done as a prospect. Much to his chagrin the name had stuck. He stepped over the red ropes separating the bikes that were entered in the contest which was scheduled for later that afternoon. That venue was directly at the back of their event. Most of the public had not yet made their way back that far. With one leg still in the air, his other foot flew out from under him as the Mac-10 unleashed ten rounds into his body. The shooter sprayed shots from head to toe. Each of the nine millimeter bullets that ripped into his flesh created damage that was beyond repair. Cry Baby was just thirty years old. Fortunately he hadn’t seen the shooter and he only heard one of the ten shots ring out.

Reckless, Sweet Mike, Todd and Reggie were all together when the ciaos began. They were running the large booth located in the center of the very last isle. Their job was to sell the assortment of bikes the club had up for sale. Sweet Mike causally looked at his wrist watch noting that it was eleven am. His girl should be arriving shortly, he thought. An older couple was paying serious attention to the blue, 1994 Evo Tour Glide Classic. Then the crack of a Mac-10 ripped through the makeshift tarp walls and into the bodies of everyone in the booth. The shots were sprayed so randomly by someone not very accurate with the weapon.

Reckless was hit in the shoulder. The shot was through and through. A bullet grazed Sweet Mikes head as he dove for the ground but he was ok. Todd is shorter and was slower to react. He was hit in his right arm while Reggie’s ankle bone was shattered. All four men returned fire instantly. Each pulling their throw away guns from their hiding places. The pair of shoppers did not fair as well as the club members. The woman took one in the abdomen while her husband bled out. A bullet struck his left carotid artery he didn’t stand a chance.

Giant was an easy target standing head and shoulders above the crowd at six foot nine inches tall. He’d heard every tall joke ever invented and knew them by heart. Today he was a different kind of target. Giant walked casually towards the rear or the venue heading towards the last isle when he thought he saw someone hiding or maybe trying to sneak in without paying. He strolled over to investigate; oddly graceful for such a large man. His presence startled the slender man crouched down behind the unoccupied booth. His surprise blended with fear caused him to fire a wild shot from his Ruger nine millimeter. The lucky shot entered Giants left shoulder.

There was an actual reason the club called him Giant and it had nothing to do with his height. In a single heartbeat Giant disarmed the smaller man. He paid no attention to the fact that he had been shot. Then nonchalantly as could be; he placed three rounds into the smaller man's head. He dropped dead like the sack of shit that he was. Giant’s cell phone chirped alerting him of a text message.

Fat Sam and Big Jim were senior members of the club and had been around for more shit than most people could imagine. They sat inside one of the clubs many booths that sold support t-shirts meant for public consumption. The short run of sales tired the two senior members whose old asses rarely left the comfort of the white plastic chairs. They left the actual work of selling the t-shirts to the lowly prospect they had been assigned. Just moments before the pair sent Stinky their prospect as he was affectionately known to fetch them a couple of cold bottled waters. Suddenly their ears were filled with the sound made by an AK47. With that sound ringing in his ears Big Jim slumped forward in his chair dead. He never saw it coming.

Fat Sam reached down trying to contain his intestines as they spilled relentlessly onto his lap. Blood was everywhere pooling beneath his chair. It looked as if someone had knocked over a can of red paint. The returning prospect stood frozen in horror. The blood in his veins turned to ice as he took in the gruesome sight before him. He did not have time to scream or cry or even run for his life. Before the forty-five slug sliced through his forehead instantly turning his lights out forever.

The scene the officers and first responders found as they arrived at the fairgrounds was pure mayhem. It seemed there were downed and bleeding bikers everywhere. Paramedics rushed towards the bleeding assessing who needed what first. In all there were nine in critical condition, several in serious condition and six more with minor gunshot wounds. Besides that there were hundreds of people with miner cuts and abrasions. Many remained in a state of panic and shock. At first count they discovered six dead Satan’s Angels along with the bodies of two civilians. In the final sweep the dead bodies of four attackers were also discovered. The paramedics knew that the final death toll depended on those in critical condition.

The captain of West Valley’s Gang Enforcement squad arrived on scene barely believing his eyes. He stood there surveying the scene shaking his now graying head. He knew instinctively without hearing a single word from his officers and without interviewing a single eyewitness who had done this. In addition he understood that each and every Satan’s Angel wounded or not, would answer his questions in exactly the same way. They would all tell him they’d seen nothing, heard nothing and of course had no idea who had done this!

Fifteen years on the force had taught him one thing with ultimate certainty. He understood all too well that hell was coming to his town and the body count was about to rise. “Oh shit!” He thought as a cold shiver crawled slowly down his spine. This was going to be bad very bad. Hell was coming alright. It would be wearing Angel wings dressed in black leather, roaring like thunder out to seek their revenge!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Murder in Chatsworth

Murder in Chatsworth
A Satan's Angels Tale
Chapter One

As they sat patiently waiting for the light to change Kim snuggled closer to the biker in front of her. Shay was everything she’d ever wanted and then some. He was handsome well built and always made her laugh. She loved his Louisiana accent and the soft side that was reserved exclusively for the people closest to him. Naturally her family was more than a little upset when she brought the tall Satan’s Angel home to Sunday dinner. Her father raged for hours after Shay left their house. He forbade her from ever seeing this thug as he referred to him over and over again yet Kim remained unfazed.

His words fell on deaf ears Kim loved Shay and visa versa. Unlikely as it may seem they were a good match. Like many of his brothers Shay had a job and it was a good one. He was an iron worker making big money even in these hard times. The truth was Shay actually made more money than Kim’s father but was too polite to tell him so even after the man called him a bum. He knew nothing about Shay. He was staunchly narrow minded and his tiny mind was already made up. It wasn’t really a big thing Kim was over eighteen and they decided if her father continued she would simply move in with Shay.

The pair sat at the light each smiling happily. They were young and in love. Today they were headed to the beach for a nice summer ride and lunch. You couldn’t ask for better weather it was eighty with a slight breeze. The sky was a beautiful shade of pale blue, not a cloud in sight. Shay planned to ask Kim to marry him when they reached Neptune’s Net their favorite coastal lunch spot. He picked out the ring with the help of Jody his club presidents wife known for her good taste and discretion. As he sat waiting for the light to change he felt it burning a hole in his pocket. He could hardly wait to give it to her.

It was nearly ten in the morning that Saturday. When without any warning a black Tahoe appeared traveling at sixty miles an hour while it’s angry driver texted feverishly to his girlfriend. He instinctively looked up from the twentieth message on his IPhone and tragically understood there was not enough time. There was no time at all the distractions had eliminated that possibility. The fifty-seven hundred pound vehicle slammed full force into the back of the 2004, Harley Davidson Softail. The driver did not manage to slam on the brakes until well after the impact with the stopped motorcycle. The mayhem was instant and deadly.

The bike flew forward uncontrollably. The impact with the asphalt ruptured the Fatbob tanks as the bike now on its side scrapped along twisting and turning. It became an instant flame ball. Due to the force of the impact Shay was thrust over the handle bars. Then in midair struck by the bike cast off to the side seconds before it exploded. Kim was not that lucky. On impact the three hundred series rear tire burst due to the impact of the Tahoe’s bumper. She was momentarily pinned to the bike and the force broke her back. Like a rag doll she rode the bike all the way to the ground sliding along with it as it burst into flames unable to help her self. Meanwhile Shay’s body careened out of control finally landing with a horrific cracking sound near the edge of the curb. His head struck the curb violently thankfully rendering him unconscious. Shay did not have to witness the horror of watching the woman he loved die an agonizing death. He did not hear her tortured screams as the flames snuffed out her young life.

The angry man sat idle for a moment too stunned to move or help either victim. When the reality of the event finally reached his brain he threw the still idling SUV into reverse quickly driving away leaving the flaming carnage behind him. In his panic he had not even been aware of the other people who witnessed the accident. Each of those people would give the police a very accurate description of the dark man who fled the scene. Several had carefully written down the license plate number believing he’d killed both people on the motorcycle.

Shay was rushed to Northridge Hospital his breathing was raspy and shallow. The paramedics described his injuries as life threatening as the radioed his vitals to the ER doctor. His blood pressure was seventy-eight over forty-nine. It was thought that he had a number of broken ribs one of which had punctured his lungs. If his breathing worsened they would need to put a chest tube in before they reach the hospital. The paramedic reported the patient had a possible skull fracture to the forehead. “Yes he was wearing a helmet.” The EMT replied further explaining the patient’s forehead struck the curb. He has lacerations all over and his left ankle is broken. Their ETA was six minutes. “No” the paramedic replied, “The passenger was DOA. The wagon is coming for her.” He said unemotionally keying off the radio.

In the ER it became an instant sea of arms reaching in taking vitals, putting in lines, accessing the vast damage done to this twenty-six year old man. The doctors and nurses were aware that this was a hit and run accident. It wouldn’t have affected his treatment one way or another. In the assessment it was decided that his badly broken ankle would require surgery by an orthopedic surgeon but that would have to wait that injury was the very least of his problems. He was still unconscious. The hematoma on his forehead required they do an immediate CT scan. This would let them better access what damage had been done internally. An x-ray had shown that six of his ribs were broken and both lungs were in fact punctured. In the first few minutes in the ER his lungs were quickly re-inflated. In the mean time he was intubated. His belly attracted the attention of the head of the ER. He was concerned about internal bleeding. Later after more testing the doctors concerns were well founded. The patients spleen was ruptured it would need to come out. He was bleeding into his belly which was never a good thing.

Shay was rushed into surgery where three different surgeons would take turns operating trying to save this young mans life. Downstairs the head ER nurse went through Shay’s personal items trying to find someone to call. She had seen bikers in her ER before some had been from the same club as this man. She knew that they were a close knit bunch understanding they needed to be informed. She also knew they would know how to reach his family. As she began going through his contact list in his cellular phone she found an entry that read “clubhouse”. She pressed the send button and waited. The voice on the other end said “Clubhouse”. “Hi yes I am a nurse Lynn Archer at Northridge Hospital’s emergency room. We have one of your members here a Mr. Shay Ralston. I’m sorry to say this but he’s in bad shape. We are looking for his family.” Nurse Archer paused expectantly but the connection abruptly ended.

Behind the bar the prospect a man everyone called Coop an abbreviation for his last name which is Cooperman sounded the alarm. There were a handful of members at the clubhouse. Two were working on their bikes. One was shacked up in one of the bedrooms with some little honey he’d picked up the night before. Sam was passed out cold on the leather sofa snoring his head off while Coop cleaned up behind the bar restocking what had been pillaged from last nights party. He woke Sam up first then ran outside to tell Joe and Mike. In less than five minutes the group, less the prospect, was on their way to the hospital. The prospect would remain behind with instructions to call every member to let them know what was going on.

The head ER nurse heard them well before they came through the large glass doors. She even recognized the large man with the hint of gray at his temples. She had met him before under similar circumstances. At the counter he gave Shay’s name explaining that he was the next of kin. Whether it was true or not mattered little to the experienced nurse she simply felt the young man needed to have people there that cared for him. “I’m afraid your friend is in critical condition. The accident was fatal for his passenger. She wasn’t brought here she went directly to the city morgue.” Nurse Archers said taking a breath. “Your friend has a very serious head injury. There is severe swelling to the frontal lobe of his brain. The surgeon is making a hole to allow the brain to swell without putting pressure on it. This is very serious and it is the type of injury that only time can heal.” She paused again looking at the serious expressions of concern on the faces of the four large men in front of her.

“In addition to that his spleen was ruptured as well and it is bleeding into his belly. A surgeon is going to remove his spleen and drain the blood. Both of his lungs were punctured and were successfully re-inflated. He has a total of six broken ribs which if all goes well will heal all on there own unless the doctors feel they need to wire them back together while they are in there. Lastly he has a broken left ankle that also requires surgery. The orthopedic surgeon is in the operating room along with the other surgeons. They will decide if your friend can handle the additional surgery depending on his vitals which were dangerously low when he arrived.” She paused once again assessing the men before her then shouldered on. “Your brother is young and strong both things are in his favor. If he survives the surgery that’s the first hurtle. Then it becomes a waiting game. We wait to see what and how he progresses. We wait to see if there is any permanent damage from the head injury. Right now you need to pray he makes it through the surgery.”

“Thank you” Joe replied in a barely audible voice. “Where can we wait for him to come out of surgery?” He asked looking around then thanked her again. Joe took the hospital bag which he knew contained Shay’s colors, wallet, belt, cellphone and whatever was left of the clothes that he was wearing. He didn’t want to look inside. The four men rode the elevator to the third floor in silence each man understanding the severity of the situation. They found the waiting room easily and settled in for a long wait. The nurse explained that he’d only been in surgery roughly twenty minutes and this could last a very long time. Joe took out his celphone and called Jody giving her the bad news. Jody in turn called the other wives and girlfriends suggesting they start cooking taking stuff up to the clubhouse because it looked like this was going to take a while.

Jody drove carefully to the hospital finding the surgical waiting room from memory. She’d been here more times than she cared to count. Her husbands face told her what she had not asked on the phone. In that instant she knew that Kim was dead. She spotted the bag on the floor beside her husband. She kissed him giving him a warm hug then hugged each of the other grim faced men. She opened the bag and began feeling around inside not needing to look she’d know it by touch. In the small pocket of his jeans the one some people call the lighter pocket she found what she was looking for. When her hand came out of the bag she was holding a one carat, Tiffany set, brilliant cut, diamond engagement ring. The ring that she knew now Kim would never get to see. Tears slide silently down her face the sadness too great to contain. Joe looked at her lovingly “He told you huh? Of course he did. Who else would he tell?” Joe said hugging his wife trying to quell the lump in his throat. He knew that Shay was serious about Kim. Hell why wouldn’t he be? Joe thought. She was pretty and fun and smart and nice and everyone liked her. She was real nothing fake there. “Oh shit” He thought suddenly realizing he would be the one required to break the sad news to Shay. Being the club president had a lot of down sides he reminded himself for the millionth time this year.

In the OR the anesthesiologist was fighting to keep the kid under while the gastroenterologist sucked out the last of the blood lying in the cavity. The surgeons didn’t want him to have too much juice because his vitals hadn’t improved as much as they would have liked. The brain surgeon after reviewing the lasted film decided that removing a section of skull was in his patient’s best intrest. Later they could reattach it if it remained viable or put in a metal plate if he survived. Looking down he couldn’t help but notice how grossly disfigured the poor guys face had become. He was a swollen mess. His face almost three times its normal size. His eyes were swollen shut. His face was turning every shade of black and purple even to the experienced surgeons he looked like a monster. Most surprisingly they discovered his teeth had stayed intact. It was shocking since he’d struck the curb head first with such force. It was certain his nose was broken but the x-ray of his face showed the orbital bones and his cheek bones were intact.

After seven and a half hours the surgeon closed the incision on his ankle and they were finished. Now he would be taken to the intensive care unit where the waiting game would begin. The brain surgeon understood the odds were not in his favor. Yet in his twenty-two years working with head trauma he had also seen what many call miracles. There were patients that he had all but written off and they had made full and complete recoveries but they were few and far between. The truth was he felt certain that this young man would remain a vegetable unless his family had the insight to pull the plug. He didn’t know where these biker types stood on that issue but he guessed correctly that he was about to find out.

The three surgeons entered the small surgical waiting room never dreaming that many people could fit inside the tiny space. Only one man moved as they entered making his way across the sea of bodies sitting on the floor. Sitting everywhere actually in chairs on the coffee table on the coffee counter. It was crazy. He guessed there must be thirty people in there. They stepped outside into the hall. Joe introduced himself as Shay’s brother. The orthopedic surgeon went first explaining that the surgery had gone well and with a little physical therapy he would walk as good as ever. He also told him that all six broken ribs that had needed to be wired back into place which would help them to heal much better. The pain from the ribs will be difficult to deal with especially if he coughs or sneezes but with the brain injury he may luckily miss all that the doctor said. Joe thanked him and the balding man quickly walked away.

The gastroenterologist told Joe carefully and concisely that Shay’s spleen had been ruptured causing it to bleed into his belly. He went on to say the spleen had been successfully removed and the bleeding stopped. All of the blood in the cavity has been sucked out. He is on a very potent antibiotic and will continue to be on them for at least another two weeks. His prognosis is for a full and complete recovery. Joe reached out shaking the thin surgeon’s hand thanking him before he too hurriedly walked away.

Dr. Hoffman smiled understanding why his colleague’s had opted to leave. He wouldn’t have such good news for the large man standing in front of him. He took a deep breath before starting the familiar speech. “Your brother has suffered a severe blow to his forehead which affects the frontal lobe of the brain. It is mostly the left side that is affected. Joe looked questionably at the surgeon as the doctor trudged on. “The left frontal lobe controls a number of very important functions such as emotional control, our personality, motor function, memory, language, judgment, impulse control, facial expression and social and sexual behavior. A lot can go wrong with this type of injury. He could loose one, some or all of the things I mentioned. Right now he is in a medically induced coma where we will keep him until his brain stops swelling and or the swelling begins to subside.”

“We will continuously monitor his condition making changes to medications as required. Generally in cases as severe as this one and I must be honest trying to prepare you that the outcome is usually not good. He may never regain consciousness. He may remain in a vegetative state indefinitely. Now that is the worst case scenario. Did he have any wishes that you are aware of if a circumstance like that should arise?” The doctor asked calmly as his eyes remained trained on Joe’s bearded face. “Ah, I don’t know. I don’t think he would want to be kept alive if there was no chance of him ever recovering. Hell Doc he’s young no one that age talks about shit like that. You remember how it was to be his age?” Joe asked his eyes not leaving the doctors.

“I do” He answered. “We are quite a way from needing to make that decision. Right now he is on a breathing machine and will remain there for some time. As we observe his progression or lack of it we meaning you and I will make decisions accordingly. I want this to have a good outcome however I must give you all the facts as I know them. I will always be straight with you. You can count on that.” He said extending his hand to Joe.

“Thanks for your time Doc and for taking care of my brother. I really appreciate it. Now I have one small request.” Joe said still holding the surgeons hand. “I want to have a club brother in the room with him twenty-four seven. I promise you they will not get in the way or interfere with your staff. They will come and go quietly to pass on any relevant information about Shay’s condition”. Joe was looking directly into the doctors eyes as he made his request. “That won’t be a problem, will it Doc?” Joe asked politely. “No, no problem at all. I will get the clearance.” Then he let go of Joe’s hand then he too walked away.

Back inside the small waiting room Joe replayed the information the doctors had given him to the anxious crowd. You could have heard a pin drop. Tears glistened in most of the eyes as they listened to their brothers list of injuries and possible fate. Then he went on to explain that he’d been given permission to have someone in Shay’s room day and night. He asked everyone to go back to the clubhouse get a roster together of who will be at the hospital for each six hour shift. He hugged his wife asking Jody to stay with Shay telling her someone will come to relieve her once they had it figured out.

By Six Shooter Sally
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