Motorcycle Jack

Her name was Motorcycle Jack and I didn’t know whether I wanted to be her or to fuck her when we met.

“Motorcycles aren’t just machines. Motorcycles have a soul. They’re better than people.” That was her motto and I adopted it like the eleventh commandment the summer I worked the round-up, sitting beneath the stars on the dry plains listening to her wisdom. I was a hired hand, helping to bring in the car herds on an old paint they’d given me. That bike was a rust bucket, prone to problems no matter how I nursed the throttle. No faster than the cars we were bringing in, but I rode her with pride and a sore ass until we reached the plant.

2,000 hood of cars on their way to Detroit. Dumb beasts, on their way to be stripped for parts at the end of the line.

The days were long and the nights were short and uncomfortable. I would stare at the sky and wonder what the hell I was doing there. But there was money. There was the open road. And there was Jack.

We were deep into the trail when we spotted the Harley. Every head in the camp went up. Her engine thrummed as we strained for the sound of a road bell on her, but none came. A road bell meant she was lost and probably registered. Without one she was a wild Harley and she was beautiful.

Quick as a snake, I grabbed my rope and rushed my old jalopy to life. If I could rope myself a Harley I would be a true cowboy, destined for a life on the plains. Six other engines roared their full-throttled agreement beside me as everyone mounted up. The other hands weren’t riding borrowed rust buckets. Their engines didn’t backfire as they crested the hill. These were seasoned pros in pursuit.

Motorcycle Jack was in the lead, whooping and hollering as the wind picked up against us.

I was outclassed. As my tires slid in the muddy ruts the other bikes left behind, the Harley climbed the next hill like it was nothing but flat ground, unbothered by pedestrian worries like gravity and torque. She took the downhill like a river over a waterfall. She was grace incarnate. A creature born not to the plains, but placed here by some deity to show us all what freedom could be. In that moment, she was the only creature I loved more than Jack.

I pulled my bike up and watched Jack give chase. We cheered her on as each hand pulled up. It was clear she was the only one who had any chance of catching the Harley. I screamed until my throat was raw. I don’t even remember what the words were. My spirit soared with the Harley as Jack gave chase. (more…)

Sunday Morning Coffee

“Coffee, black,” said the lady at the counter. She was old, gray, yet spirited. She wore a white military style uniform. Its metallic silver trimmings reflected the incandescent light in such a way as to make it difficult to stare at her. It’s not every day that someone new orders here. That’s why I like it. It’s boring and predictable. The perfect place to spend my Sunday mornings after my work week filled with surprises and unpredictable chaos.

I heard the woman pay with coins, which is odd. Who does that anymore? I quickly turned to look away just as the old lady grabbed her coffee. I pretended that the calm street outside was worthy of my intense glare, but I wasn’t fooling anyone, especially her. I caught her out of the corner of my eye as she pulled out a chair and sat at my table, “Are you Jackie Pitz?” asked the lady.   (more…)

Dream Wars

The first time I saw X I was seated in one of three rows of folding chairs in a locker room huddle with my sweaty teammates listening to Martha Stewart describe how best to photograph cats along their migration route. Cats swirled around our chair legs, meowing and nudging my teammates shin guards to claim them as territory.

This is what I’ve got to work with?” said a strange voice. A squeaky voice that sounded like a rusty hinge.

I looked down. On the dented metal folding chair beside me sat an olive green imp-thing about the size of a baboon with bat-like ears, pointy teeth, and luminous yellow eyes that looked way too big for its head. The imp had on a vest with no shirt underneath and pants that went to its knees and were a gray color that looked like they’d been dipped in a combination lichen and cement mix.

“Be quiet,” I hissed, “or Martha will have us killed.” (more…)

September Stories at the Confabulator Cafe

Hello, readers. Hope you’re ready for a brand new month of fiction.

Our prompt this month was about dreams. Confabulators were given this line to inspire stories: “Every night you visit me. Sometimes in my dreams. Sometimes in my nightmares.”

Here’s the schedule for September. Hope to see you around!

Friday, September 7: “Dream Wars” by Emily Mosher
Friday, September 14: “Sunday Morning Coffee” by Kara DeLaughter
Friday, September 21: “Motorcycle Jack” by Dianne Williams

 

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