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Further Adventures of the Borderland Biker -Chapter 17

Hilts Comes To Our Rescue.

By Derrel Whitemeyer

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Editor's note: The following story is from the book, "The Further Adventures of The Borderland Biker, In Memory of Indian Larry and Doo Wop Music," by Derrel Whitemeyer. 
“Roll with the mystery, life’s uncertain; just be comfortable with that. Why fight it?”
Indian Larry
Between Elisa’s coffee and our Glock 45 and 40 caliber pistols; Elisa’s coffee was our most powerful defense.
Between Elisa’s coffee and our Glock 45 and 40 caliber pistols; Elisa’s coffee was our most powerful defense.

“Hilts, we need you sober...NOW!” The sound of new activity outside wasn’t lost in Larry’s shout of urgency.

“Maybe,” I interjected, “he can somehow conjure himself sober?”

“Can’t conjure when I’m drunk;” slurred a still under the influence Hilts, “besides I’ve never tried it outside of the Borderlands.”

In the meantime Larry had done more than express his need of a sober Hilts; he’d poured almost a quart of Elisa’s potent coffee into an old pot and what was left of the whisky onto the wood inside the stove. He then placed the pot on top of the stove and tossed in a lit match. With a woof and a flash followed by flames, smoke began flowing out the sides of the bullet riddled stove as well as up its metal pipe chimney. The stove was heating the coffee but also venting smoke out the bullet holes, which was thankfully venting out the hole in the shed’s roof where the ladder led to the water tank.

Speaking of new activity, a new voice from beyond the door shouted in at us, “If you boys burn that place down you’d better hope you die in the flames. Douse the fire, come out and we’ll let you go on your way...no harm no foul.”

“Randy, is that you;” yelled back Larry, “you callin’ the shots now?

“Damn right, I’m callin’ the shots.”

Randy’s answer to Larry’s question was followed by a long silence, followed by three quick shots fired through the wall above our heads, followed by more shots, thankfully into the air, “...damn right, I’m callin’ the shots.”

“It’s warm enough,” said Larry turning to me at the same time he reached for the pot of coffee then offered it to Hilts. “Drink as much of it as you can.”

Hilts grabbed the pot from Larry’s hands, tilted it up and started drinking.

“Nine millimeter auto by the sound and quickness of the shots,” said Hilts between gulps and at the same pointing at the three evenly spaced holes clustered in the wall.

Hilts, we need you sober...NOW!
Hilts, we need you sober...NOW!

“Less talking and more drinking,” interrupted Larry, “we need you sober whether you can conjure or not.”

In the back of my mind was the fact Larry and I really didn’t know what effect Elisa’s coffee would have on Hilts. My hope was it would sober him up enough so he could become the quintessential ‘gunfighter’ that had protected us from the Cyclops.

“It’s working,” I said.

“But with side effects;” added Larry, “look at his face.” Hilts was still Hilts but changing...taller, more raw-boned,

to the point of being gaunt, almost skeletal.

“Listen, I don’t have much time,” said Hilts. “No matter what Randy said, they’re not going to let any of us out of here alive. They’ve gathered together in a bunch from the sound of their voices just to the left of the door. Their plan is to shoot us when we come out. What they’re not planning on is...”

By now there was no doubt Hilts was changing shape whether consciously or because of Elisa’s coffee.

“Leave,” continued Hilts, “as soon as I leave; under no circumstances wait for me. Ride south to the first farm field with a split rail fence. Turn right and follow the road that follows the fence line. You’re not that far from the crossover. When you get to the end of the fence you’ll have crossed into the Borderlands. You’ll recognize it by the produce stand. You’ll be tempted to stop...don’t.

“Once you’re past the produce stand you’ll intersect with a two lane road. Turn right, follow it towards the mountains. In about an hour you’ll come to a café called Spanky’s; the owner’s expecting you. ...can’t talk anymore, gotta take care of... our... friends outside...DO NOT wait for me.”

“Spanky’s? I’ve been to a cafe called Spanky’s. It also was at the foot of the mountains. It’s too much of a coincidence;” said Larry, “it sounds like the same place.”

Instead of answering, Hilts, now unrecognizable, whirled around, ripped the shed door off its hinges and charged out into the darkness...screams followed...then silence.
Hilts was still Hilts but changing.
Hilts was still Hilts but changing.

“Did you see his forearms and hands,” yelled Larry, “they were huge. The rest of him looked skeletal but his forearms and hands were huge. Let’s get the Warrior outside; you get the Raider and then let’s both get outta here.”

“What about, Hilts.”

“Whatever that was, that wasn’t the Hilts we know. I’ve never seen anything move that fast and I don’t want to be here when it comes back.”

We then proceeded to push the Road Warrior outside the shed. While I ran around to get the Raider, Larry climbed back up inside the water tank. When I returned he was standing beside the Warrior holding two Glock semiautomatics, three boxes of ammunition and the Ruger Redhawk revolver.

“The ammo was in the ceiling of the shed. I never thought to look there and wouldn’t have except for the hole. Hilts, or whatever Hilts has become tore a hole in the ceiling when he ripped off the shed’s door. The ammo was in plain sight. We’ll leave the Ruger and a box of ammo for it on the seat of the Road Warrior. When Hilts returns to normal he’ll need both. He’ll need the Ruger for protection. He’ll also need a way to get back to the Borderlands, so we’ll leave him the Road Warrior. We can double up on the Raider again.

A shout came from the darkness, “I thought I told you two to leave!”...had us aboard the Raider and hurriedly riding away. A quick glance behind me had me wishing I hadn’t. A very tall version of Hilts, with forearms and hands that would’ve made Popeye proud was hurling what looked like a small tree limb at us. It was a limb, but not of a tree. Bouncing beside us and on up the road was an arm with most of a shirt still attached. Larry slowed enough so we could look at it. The patch on back of the shirt read, “R&R Electric-no job too small.” The front pocket had RANDY stitched across the top.

“I guess he really meant,” said Larry as he accelerated back up to speed, “for us to leave as soon as he went outside. Remind me in the future to follow his instructions...oh, and to only give him decaf.”
Larry and I continued to ride south on the Raider.
Larry and I continued to ride south on the Raider.

We continued to ride south on the Raider; two miles later we came to the farm field with the split rail fence. We turned right and proceeded to follow the road that followed the fence line for over a mile before coming to the produce stand. We were back in the Borderlands.

“We’re back in the Borderland,” said Larry. “I can feel the change.”

“There’s the produce stand,” I said, pointing at a small roadside stand that still had its ‘OPEN’ sign out.

“The fruit looks tempting but I’m not stopping. The last time we didn’t follow Hilts’ directions he nearly hit us with...”

“I hear you...let’s get going.”

The narrow farm road continued on past the produce stand for another two miles before intersecting with a well paved two lane road. After a right turn onto the two lane road we were soon up to speed; a happy change of pace from just puttin’ along in the lower gears. It was still night; however with the help of a full moon and a near cloudless sky the surrounding land was visible. Houses and buildings showed no lights and looked abandoned and except for a few rusting cars and trucks parked alongside the road we saw no other vehicles.

Since leaving the water tank Larry and I had been communicating with each other by our ear radios. When not communicating we were able to listen to a strong growing stronger ‘Oldies Station’...the music becoming clearer the closer we got to the mountains in the distance.
Orchards had miles ago turned into grazing land bordered by split rail fences just as the flatland had miles ago changed into rolling foothills. At the crest of our last foothill Spanky’s Café could be seen in the distance.

“It looks like the same Spanky’s Café,” Larry said after coming to a stop, “I visited long ago; but different.”

“In what way,” I asked?

“I rode in from another direction,” Larry answered, “and there were more abandoned vehicles. Back then traveling at nighttime was to be avoided.”
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