Night out, in White Out
May 14, 2012
It had happened again. After all that had occurred and all he’d been forced to endure, his motorcycle had broken down. If anything, this time frustrated him more than when it had happened inOhio. During that stage of his life he’d been eight inches from penniless. Currently, he had more money in his wallet than he used to make in a month. Yet, all the money in the world did nothing more than weight you down, when you were twenty miles from the nearest town.
A late winter storm had hit the region hard. No one in their right mind would have thought about riding a motorcycle through such a holocaust of white, but no one had called him normal for quite some time now.
He had considered hiding his bike behind a tree and coming back for it later, but he still maintained the motivation to push it through the rising storm. This section ofWyomingwas more isolated than he would have imagined. He’d heardWyomingwas the least populated of the lower forty-eight states, but he couldn’t even see a light burning anywhere. If it wasn’t for the road, he could have been on another planet of maybe been transported back in time.
A set of headlights illuminated the swirling clouds of snow before him. A few vehicles had passed, mostly semis, but it was a rare ride that could fit a motorcycle and they had kept roaring by him. This time it was different.
The vehicle decelerated. Jack wasn’t sure if he should be pleased or annoyed when it pulled onto the safety line and slowed to a stop behind him. After hitting down the kick stand, he turned.
A lone man with a cowboy hat was exiting his pick up. Heavy boots and jeans reached up to a thick winter jacket. Between the driving snow and the shadow of the hat, Jack had a hard time getting a good read on him.
The man spoke first. “Looks like you are in a serious heap of shit. A man could freeze out here on a night like this.”
“I don’t think I can let you stay out here like this.”
“I have a problem leaving my bike behind.”
The man gestured toward his pickup. “I’m a working man. I haul a lot of tools and crap. I got a couple of two by sixes. We can get your bike into the back, if you are game.”
“Were you headed?”
“To my younger sister’s actually. Her husband is a rancher, but he just got injured when his was flung from his horse. Strange thing that,” he man scratched at his graying mustache as he spoke. “He’s one of the best riders I know.”
“The thing is, she has two little ones and with her husband out and her workman all run off, I’m worried about her. She’s just the type of woman that would try to do everything herself to save her cattle and…I think you can figure out the rest.”
“Frankly, with this storm I could use the help. There will at least be a warm meal or two and a dry bed in it for you.”
“You got any beer?”
“Yep, got a case of MDG in the back.”
“It’ll do in a pinch. Let’s get’er loaded.”
Jack watched the man move through the blinding snow. His Detect Darkening didn’t read anything evil about him, but the spell had failed Jack before. This could be a trap, he mused. A blizzard like this would be a fine time for SKs to go hunting. Either way, I’ll be out of the storm and if he does turn out to be evil, better that he attack me than someone else.
Sometimes a Stalwart has to take a bullet for the team.