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Further Adventures of the Borderland Biker -Chapter 21

We've made it back to Ma n' Pa's Borderland

By Derrel Whitemyer
10/26/2015


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“Thank you…thankyouverymuch…,” said an Elvis with a good natured grin that looked like a lopsided sneer…
“Thank you…thankyouverymuch…,” said an Elvis with a good natured grin that looked like a lopsided sneer…

 
“Thank you…thankyouverymuch…,” said an Elvis with a good natured grin that looked like a lopsided sneer and who looked a lot like the Elvis played by the actor Bruce Campbell in the movie BUBBA HO-TEP and who was sitting on a stool with his back to a jukebox. “Larry and Kate are in the booth behind me. Ma n’ Pa can’t be here but said to say Shaun’s safe and thank you for closing off that entrance into their Borderland. And Hilts, who’s on an errand, said to say he’ll trade you the M109 he salvaged near Kate’s place for the Yamaha Raider you’re riding. He said that he and Kate will need the Raider to get to where they’re going and that the M109’s identical to the one you had to destroy and, and,…,” and then Elvis had to take a breath, “…and that it’s parked in back of this diner next to what looks like sort of a wrecked and rusted CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG.”
 
I had to interrupt, “…it’s parked in back of this diner next to what looks like a wrecked and rusted what…?”
 
“The actor Dick Van Dyke,” continued Elvis after finally catching his breath, “drove a car in the movie CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG that he called by the same name. The M109 Hilts left for you is parked next to what I would describe as a wrecked and rusted version of it.”
 
Walking behind Elvis to the chrome trimmed booth where Larry and Kate were sitting brought forth the faint smell of hamburgers and fries, a reminder I hadn’t eaten in a while. Black and white 50s style checkerboard tile covered the floor. Doo Wop music was playing in the background.
 
“We were beginning to worry about you,” said Larry looking up from behind a giant milkshake made with scoops of ‘real’ ice cream and that had the metal container it was mixed in beside it.
 
“I need to wait,” interjected Kate, “for Hilts to return. Hilts and I need to check out, hence the need for the Raider’s two-up seating, a couple of things going on with the quartz deposit under the Sierras and how it’s affecting openings between Borderlands. We’ll catch up with you guys later.”
 
“How was Hilts,” I asked, “able to get the M109 left next to your place? Spanky’s Café’s a Borderland away.”
 
“That Borderland’s been compressed, but not before we were able to rescue Shaun,” Kate replied with relief, “into a singularity. It exists now only as a point without dimension between my place and Ma n’ Pa’s. Speaking of which; this ‘IS’ my place! Enter it from the door you just came in and it’s the Styx Diner. Enter from its other door,” Kate pointed at a door opposite of the one I’d entered, “it’s Spanky’s Café.”
 
“Can the Styx and Spanky’s share common ground?”
 
 “Yes, if you listen to the right songs in the right order.”
 
“What do you mean…the ‘right’ songs?” 
 
“If you’ve entered this place,” Kate continued, “from Spanky’s side and play the right songs in the right order on the jukebox it becomes the Styx Diner; otherwise you’ll simply walk across to Spanky’s backdoor seeing only the jukebox and out the other side. Enter it from Ma n’ Pa’s side and it’s the Styx Diner and you’ll see Elvis. Conversely, if you play the right songs and in the right order it becomes Spanky’s.”
 
“Do people from the two sides ever meet?”
 
“Rarely, as the two places are normally out of phase with one another. However, when it does happen it’s forgotten by both parties. If it is remembered it’s remembered as having had too much to drink or a bad dream. Either way the encounters are soon forgotten…that’s unless.”
 
Somehow I knew there’d always be an ‘unless’ function in an equation for the unusual, “…that’s unless what?”
 
“…that’s unless you’re an observer. Observers, as in quantum mechanics, are catalysts to what happens. They’re an integral a part of the outcome. Their observations can even change what happens.”
 
“Speaking of change, there’s been a slight change of plans,” interrupted Larry as he wiped the last of his milkshake from his lips. “I’m borrowing your M109 for a short trip to see Ma n Pa. I’ll meet back up with you at the place where you’re going…take good care of my Vegas 8-Ball.”

“Speaking of change, there’s been a slight change in plans,” interrupted Larry…, “I’m borrowing your M109 for a short trip to see Ma n’ Pa. I’ll meet back up with you at the place where you’re going.”
“Speaking of change, there’s been a slight change in plans,” interrupted Larry…, “I’m borrowing your M109 for a short trip to see Ma n’ Pa. I’ll meet back up with you at the place where you’re going.”



If for no other reason than to see what Elvis thought was a wrecked and rusted CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG I walked outside to where it was parked. Larry’s Victory Vegas 8-Ball was next to it.
If for no other reason than to see what Elvis thought was a wrecked and rusted CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG I walked outside to where it was parked. Larry’s Victory Vegas 8-Ball was next to it.

 
If for no other reason than to see what Elvis thought was a wrecked and rusted CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG I walked outside to where it was parked. Larry’s Victory Vegas 8-Ball was next to it.
 
“Don’t tell Elvis,” I said, “but I think what he thought may have been a wrecked and rusted CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG is nothing more than what’s left of an old car stacked on top of what’s left of an old truck.”
 
“I took the liberty of moving your M109 over by the road and parking my Vegas 8-Ball in its place,” said Larry from behind me. “I’m going to need to leave soon if I’m to meet Ma n’ Pa then meet back up with you at the town before dark.”
 
“What town and why do you need the M109?”
 
“The town’s called Middleton. I rode by it once, never entered, when I was making shake-down cruises on my newly built radial engine chopper,” said Larry. “I came upon it from a road different from the road you’ll be riding. Other than that, all I know is I’ve heard it’s abandoned. It’s on the far edge of Ma n’ Pa’s Borderland.”
 
“Which is why,” Kate said with emphasis, “you’re to wait until Larry meets back up with you before entering. Ride to its outskirts but do ‘not’ ride into it alone.”
 
“…and as to why I need to borrow your bike;” continued Larry after walking over to stand beside the M109. “I need a bike that’ll get me to Ma n’ Pa’s to get what I need and then back to our rendezvous outside Middleton in the least amount of time. I’ll always be an ‘Old School Chopper’ person; but plainly put, I need the fastest bike we’ve got.”
 
Looking down at Larry’s Victory Vegas 8-Ball I couldn’t help notice its lean built to be ridden along the backroads lines and the Bassani high flow exhaust on its 106ci over-head cam engine. Designed with most of the elements Larry liked in a chopper, I could understand why he’d adopted it. Larry’s appreciation for over-the-top V-twins like the Yamaha Road Warrior, the Raider and the ridiculously fast Suzuki M109 never hid the fact he’d forever favor ‘Old School Choppers’.

Looking down at Larry’s Victory Vegas 8-Ball I couldn’t help but notice its lean built to be ridden along the backroads lines and the Bassani high flow exhaust on its 106ci over-head cam engine.
Looking down at Larry’s Victory Vegas 8-Ball I couldn’t help but notice its lean built to be ridden along the backroads lines and the Bassani high flow exhaust on its 106ci over-head cam engine.

 
“Wind and tide ya know…gotta go…,” said Larry as he climbed aboard the M109 and started its engine.
 
Speaking of engines, judging by its sound the M109’s had more in common with the short stroke, high revving liquid cooled V-twin of Suzuki’s V-Strom or even the Ducati.
  
“How will I know how to get to Middleton?”
 
“Follow the Yellow Brick…,” laughed Larry, “…just kidding. Seriously, turn left on the road behind us and keep riding. Middleton’s where it ends. Remember to wait on the outskirts until I meet up with you. I’m going to get something from Ma n’ Pa we both may need.”
 
“You’re going to get what…?”
 
Too late…spraying gravel, Larry had already powered up and onto the road behind us and turned right before I’d finished my question. Seconds later the fading 8000 rpm red-lined whine of the M109 shifting up through the gears told me its engine did have a lot in common with the V-Strom and Ducati. I’d have to wait for my ‘going to get what’ answer.
“Wind and tide ya know,” said Kate from my side mimicking what Larry had said moments before. “Middleton’s a full day’s ride; you need to get going. You’ll need to arrive on its outskirts while there’s still enough light to find wood and get a fire going, and this is important…wait for Larry.”
 
My departure on the Vegas 8-Ball wasn’t as dramatic as Larry’s. After leaving the Raider’s keys with Kate and then eating a hurried hamburger at Spanky’s Café or was it the Styx Diner, I was on my way. Kate’s last words were…‘turn left, continue on to Middleton and to WAIT until I met back with Larry before riding into town’…no detours.
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me not to enter that town alone…well…I’d have enough money for more hamburgers. Hey, what can I say, I was still hungry.
An hour on down the road I knew why Larry had adopted the Vegas 8-Ball. While its chopper-esque design may have been similar to my Wide Glide; its over-head cam engine was light years ahead in power.

Another hour on down the road and the hills changed from green to dry grass. Split-rail fences that were so parched they’d split even more from the heat were the road’s border. The landscape looked faded…like a painting where the artist had been permitted only to blend different shades of brown with a pallet knife.
Another hour on down the road and the hills changed from green to dry grass. Split-rail fences that were so parched they’d split even more from the heat were the road’s border. The landscape looked faded…like a painting where the artist had been permitted only to blend different shades of brown with a pallet knife.

 
Another hour on down the road and the hills changed from green to dry grass. Split-rail fences that were so parched they’d split even more from the heat and lack of moisture were the road’s border. The landscape looked faded…like a painting where the artist had been permitted only to blend different shades of brown with a pallet knife.
 
Larry and I had left our pistols with Kate. When she’d told us she had no more ammo for her Colt Model 1911 Larry had given her his Glock 40 S&W; it had four rounds. I’d given her my Glock 45 GAP; it had three rounds. Neither of us wanted her to be alone and unarmed. Whether Elvis would or even could help if she were ever threatened was an unanswered question. We knew Hilts would protect her but he wasn’t due back for some time.
 
The road had now chosen to follow a dried up stream bed. Nearby trees had dug under it for water; they’d also dug under the road. Speed bumps in the pavement made from their burrowing roots reminded you to slow down.
 
Hey, waitaminute…? A half mile ahead the road split into two roads. One led into the hills beginning with a ninety degree right turn. The other, the road I was on, continued in the same direction I’d been riding. I thought Larry and Kate said there’d be only one road and it would lead directly to Middleton? And of course there was a sign where the two intersected that would explain everything…and of course it had been twisted around in the ground making the way it was pointing pointless.
 
Do I take the right fork; the sign said it was six miles to the town of Middleton or continue on another five miles to a town called Oakley? My instincts said to continue on. If I was wrong I’d have enough time to return and take the right fork…the ‘real’ right fork. There’d even be enough time to gather wood for a fire. Either way I’d leave a note on the sign post for Larry. Some quick writing of a message on a piece of paper, some equally quick tying of the paper to the post…and I was on my way.
 
The sign was twisted…do I take the right fork… it pointed towards the town of Middleton or continue on towards the town of Oakley? My instincts said to continue on. If I was wrong I’d have time to return and take the other fork
The sign was twisted…do I take the right fork… it pointed towards the town of Middleton or continue on towards the town of Oakley? My instincts said to continue on. If I was wrong I’d have time to return and take the other fork

 
Committed to getting to Middleton before dark I continued on past the road leading off to the right. The landscape remained the same and what few vehicles I did come across had been parked on the side of the road for so long their paint had given way to rust.
Rounding my last turn as the sun was setting brought me to a turnoff overlooking a small town. It was nestled in a small valley and already covered in shadows. A bullet riddled sign buried in the brush near where I parked read ‘Oakley’ in faded letters. When I pulled it free and turned it over it read ‘Middleton’…somehow I wasn’t surprised. What did surprise me was the light coming on in an upper window of the town’s only two story building. With the exception of the light the rest of the buildings looked dark and abandoned.
Speaking of darkness, there was a darkness that covered the town apart from the darkness brought by evening shadows that underlined Kate’s advice to wait for Larry. And since we’re speaking of Larry, I heard his engine before I saw him. In less than a minute he’d parked behind me.
 
“I came back here as quickly as I could.”
“I came back here as quickly as I could.”

 
“Sorry I’m late,” said Larry as he looked down at the M109, its motor still noisy with the ticking sound of contracting. “When you weren’t here I backtracked then took the road to the right thinking you may have been fooled by the twisted sign and gone that way. I already knew the road dead ended at an old bridge. When I didn’t find you I rode back here as quickly as I could. When I read your note I knew I must’ve just missed you by a few minutes.”
 
“There’s a light,” I interrupted, “in the second story of that building in the center of town.”
 
“Somehow,” said Larry looking down at the town, “I don’t think it’s a welcome light.”
 
“Another light just came on across the street.”
 
“Have you ever,” asked Larry, “tried to conjure?”
 
“…like when Hilts wishes things into existence…?”
 
“Like picturing pistols appearing inside this bowl I got from Ma; they said its parabolic shape will help you focus.”
 
 

Oops…I had in my eagerness to picture the pistols literally created a picture of two Colt 45s.
 
“Try again,” said Larry, “and don’t forget bullets.”
 
 

It was too easy. Two Colt 45s appeared in the bowl.
“Good, two Colt 45s,” said Larry, “and they’re loaded.”




Chapter Twenty Two

Coming soon


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Back to Borderland Biker by Derrel Whitemyer, Two Wheeled Tales


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