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Further Adventures of the Borderland Biker -Chapter 22

The town of Oakley is not Brigadoon

By Derrel Whitemeyer

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“The two Colt 45s just changed back into a picture of two Colt 45s…I’m doing something wrong?”

Larry leaned over the steel bowl and picked up the picture of the two Colts, “You must be editing your thoughts. Maybe Hilts can explain why when he and Kate catch up?”

Larry then nodded at his Victory Vegas 8-Ball, “How’d she handle?”

Thoughts of my Wide Glide came back, “It reminded me of my Wide Glide but on steroids; it’s definitely not a Harley wannabe.”

Below us light coming from the building nearest the center of town appeared to be shining farther out into the street. Knowing it was because of the growing darkness did not lessen the effect. The other building’s light had gone out and no other lights had appeared. Whatever turned the lights on and off had chosen to remain hidden and it wouldn’t do any good to worry about what we couldn’t see. And as far as my failure to conjure weapons I could only guess I was subconsciously sabotaging myself or maybe the answer was much simpler…maybe conjuring objects into existence was a thing only Hilts could do?

Larry and I spent another half hour getting ready. We both knew we were stalling in hopes that Hilts and Kate would catch up to us before we had to go. Our hope was that with Hilts and Kate there’d be strength in numbers when we rode through town. The stalling paid off…Hilts and Kate arrived on my Raider just before Larry and I were about to leave.

“Can’t say;” said Hilts after he heard about my failure to conjure the Colts, “can’t really say what you’re doing wrong. Conjuring is an art; if ya ain’t got it, ya ain’t…”

Kate smiled, “Could be you’ve got performance anxiety.”
Hilts then walked over to the M109, “Speaking of performance anxiety, Kate’s calculated we’re going to need something faster than the Raider. The Raider’s a great bike but since it’s virtually a straight run to where we have to go the M109’s higher top speed will give us a safer margin of time.”

“Speaking of time, do you have enough time,” asked Larry, “to conjure us some weapons?”

Hilts walked over to where the stainless steel bowl was next to Larry’s bike, “Hopefully you won’t have to use them, but just in case I’m going to error on the side of too much power…sort of what “Dirty Harry” would want. Whatever appears in the bowl is what you get. If we’re to get to the other portal before the discharge of the Sierra crystals; we don’t have time for a second try. I’m good for one conjuring a day.”

“Powerful but light, don’t forget lightweight,” I said. “We’ve got to carry them…oh, and don’t forget ammunition.”

Whether Hilts heard me I couldn’t say. His head was already lowered and he seemed to be in another place. I wondered if he’d look the same turning water into wine. When he opened his eyes we all looked inside the bowl.
“A part titanium Smith & Wesson 44 magnum and a part polymer Glock 10mm;” said Hilts opening his eyes, “they’re as powerful and as light as I could make them. I read about them in a gun magazine when I was at the dentist.”
“A part titanium Smith & Wesson 44 magnum and a part polymer Glock 10mm;” said Hilts opening his eyes, “they’re as powerful and as light as I could make them. I read about them in a gun magazine when I was at the dentist.”

“A Model 329PD Smith & Wesson 44 Magnum made partly of titanium and scandium and a Glock 10mm made partly of polymer;” said Hilts opening his eyes, “they’re as powerful and as lightweight as I could make them. I read about them in a magazine when I was at the dentist. Oh, and the two apples in the bowl are for me…conjuring makes me hungry.”

“They have dentists in the Borderlands?”

“Hey, what can I say; I’m sweet on chocolate and the dentist’s receptionist…and, and we usually have coffee after she gets off.”

“You can tell them all about how, I mean what you do after ‘she gets off’ when we have more time.” interrupted Kate. “We need to leave now to make it to the other portal.”

“I’ll lead,” said Larry. “Follow but not so close we slide into one another. The road’s really steep so no front brake.”

Climbing back aboard my Raider at first seemed foreign after riding Larry’s smaller Vegas 8-Ball. Hilts and Kate on the M109 brought up the rear. Larry wasn’t kidding about the road being ‘really’ steep. Once committed to riding our bikes down hill there was no turning back. My mantra became…I reeeleee don’t want to use my front brake...I reeeleee…

When we arrived on level ground Larry walked back to where Hilts and I had parked. He was already unscrewing the cap on one the Kate’s coffee bottles when he said, “Let’s all four stand as close together as we can when I pour. The more soaked, the more we’ll be protected. I’m not anticipating any trouble and I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to ride through and out of town without any confrontation…but just in case…”

“…we are confronted,” Kate finished Larry’s sentence by taking the top off one of her own bottles of coffee, “it doesn’t hurt to have extra protection.”

After the four of us had clustered together in what could best be described as a group hug for a “Say cheeeeese…” selfie; Larry and Kate raised their arms and poured the bottles of cold coffee over our heads.

Seconds after the soaking a gray mist began to rise from the ground. Ironically the mist, as creepy as it looked, brought back memories of how glad Larry and I had been to see Charon rise up and out of the mist of the river Styx to help us. Charon would’ve been a welcome sight right about now.

“Let’s do this,” said Larry starting his engine. “Whoever’s here most probably heard us arrive?”

“Let’s hope they’re hard of hearing,” said Kate.

Kate hadn’t hoped hard enough. We’d ridden halfway through town and were in the process of passing the building with the light coming from it when a horse standing on the second story balcony shouted down to us.
“Hey, ya gotta at least stop for a drink,” said a horse standing on the saloon’s balcony that overlooked my Raider.
“Hey, ya gotta at least stop for a drink,” said a horse standing on the saloon’s balcony that overlooked my Raider.


Larry shouted back, “Is this Middleton or Oakley?”

“It depends on the time. We’re a bit like Brigadoon; but instead of coming to life every hundred years we come to life at night. Before the sun goes down we’re Middleton, after the sun goes down we’re called Oakley. I can tell you all need a cold drink in front of a warm fire. First one’s on me.”

“Thanks for the invite,” said Kate, “but we’re in a hurry…maybe next time.”

“Oh, I insist;” countered the horse, “everything’s ready…won’t take no for an answer.”

Larry motioned for me to stop but for Hilts and Kate to keep riding, “You two keep riding; you’ve no time to waste.”

“You’re right, we’ve no time to waste,” said Kate over her shoulder as she passed. “We’ll wait at the crossroads at the foot of the mountains.”

“It’s a horse;” I said after parking my Raider under the building’s balcony, “I can’t believe we’re talking to a horse?”

While Larry and I parked, Hilts, with Kate as a passenger and with no further prompting, continued to ride out of town then up the steep hill on the opposite side of town. When the two had finally crested the ridge and were hopefully on their way to whatever important task awaited them at the base of the mountains Larry and I turned back towards the saloon.

“I can’t believe,” I said again, “were talking to a horse.”

“Well we are,” said Larry just before he shouted back up to the balcony, “Who are you?”

“No need to shout;” answered the horse at the same time he turned to walk through the door behind him, “And I’m a bit offended your two friends chose not to accept my invitation. I’m coming down; we can talk face to face.”

“No need to come down,” I said, “we’re leaving too.”

“Get ready,” said Larry pulling the Glock 10mm from where he’d hidden it under his shirt. “We may be talking face to face but it won’t be to the face of a horse.”

“It’s a horse…I saw it, it’s just a horse?”

“It may have looked like a horse,” said Larry, “but to get through that door in back of the balcony and then down the saloon’s stairs it’ll have to change shape.”

And just when things were going so smoothly…so I pulled out the Smith and Wesson revolver. I’d agreed to take the revolver only after Larry said he wanted the 10mm Glock and Hilts had gone out of his way to reassure me that when I had to shoot the lightweight 44 Magnum I’d be able to handle its recoil. He said that when I had to shoot I’d be so pumped up on adrenalin I wouldn’t even feel the recoil…and just when things were going so smoothly.

“Can’t things,” I thought aloud, “ever go smoothly?”

“If by smoothly you mean,” said Larry, “remembering to shoot that 44 Magnum as a single action pistol.”

“What do you mean shoot it as a single action pistol?”

“I mean the 44 Magnum you’re carrying is our trump card; and if you ever have to use it you’re to take…your…time. Meaning, you’re to pull the hammer back…aim center of mass…and then smooooothly squeeze the trigger. Hopefully it won’t come to either one of us having to use our weapons smoothly or otherwise. Hopefully the threat of using them will be enough get us out of here.”

Larry was right about us not talking face to face with a horse. What walked out the door smoking a cigar was not the horse we’d seen on the balcony; maybe a horse of a man but not a horse. He had to duck to clear the doorway.

“Whoa there little buckaroos…what say you put them guns away.”
“Whoa there little buckaroos…what say you put them guns away.”

“Whoa there little buckaroos,” said a seven foot version of Lee Marvin mixed with a bit of John Wayne and dressed as an old western marshal, “what say you put them guns away.”

Larry switched his 10mm to his left hand, got back on his bike, motioned for me to follow, and then started his engine. After we’d pulled out into the street and then pointed our bikes in the direction Hilts and Kate had ridden we stopped.

“We want no trouble,” said Larry at the same time he shifted into neutral and using both hands pointed his pistol at the larger-than-life town marshal. “We’re leaving as did our friends so please don’t try’n stop us.”

When the marshal, recently a horse, laughed then stepped towards us Larry fired two rounds into the street in front of him. The blasts from the 10mm were deafening. The two holes in the street were as big as saucers.

“What is it,” said Larry, “about not trying to stop us you don’t understand? Speaking of stopping, these 10mm rounds were designed to stop big game. Specifically they’re what the Canadians use to stop polar bears. You’re a shape changer and a big one…but not as big as a polar bear.”

“Not bigger but much faster and stronger.”

The marshal punctuated his boast by taking his hat on and off so fast the movements were a blur. I’d seen Charon move that fast as well as Hilts but no one else. That’s when I fired.

Already frightened of the recoil I flinched before pulling the trigger, which in turn pulled the 44 Magnum off target. I missed…well sort of. What I did hit and by accident was what looked like a long flesh colored fire hose running from behind the marshal back into the saloon. Moments later I realized the hose not only ran from in back of the marshal back into the saloon, it was in fact attached to the ‘back’ of the marshal.

Hydrostatic shock can best be described as the effect fluids, which can’t be compressed, have on material surrounding them. Simply put the shock of my 44 Magnum bullet hitting the fluids inside the marshal’s hose a.k.a. umbilical cord blew it apart. The two pieces thrashing around reminded me of when I ran our lawnmower over my mom’s garden hose.

“You _uckin’ little buckaroos, what’ve you done!”

“That should slow him down,” Larry yelled at the same time he put his Victory in gear and accelerated away from the saloon. “In the time it takes for him to reattach the two ends we’ll be long gone.”

Larry and I paused on the ridge over looking the town to look back at the saloon. The marshal had finally gotten hold of the two ends and had joined them back together. He seemed smaller. We watched him until he looked up at us.

“Well played my little buckaroos,” boomed the marshal’s voice.
“Gotta admit I didn’t see that move coming…next time…next time…”

Larry and I rode for another couple of miles until finally pulling off to the side of the road. The hills looked greener.

“As far as I’m concerned,” I said, “there won’t be a next time. We got lucky.”

“What do you mean;” said Larry, ‘that was pretty smart of you to shoot at the cord connecting him to his power?”

“I mean I was aiming for him…not the hose.”

Larry and I rode for another couple of miles until finally pulling off to the side of the road. The hills looked greener.
Larry and I rode for another couple of miles until finally pulling off to the side of the road. The hills looked greener.


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Back to Borderland Biker by Derrel Whitemyer, Two Wheeled Tales

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