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Further Adventures of the Borderland Biker -Chapter 25

Hilts to the rescue

By Derrel Whitemyer

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After breaking free of the old building and jumping aboard our bikes everything went from the slow motion of running through water to the herky-jerky pace of an early 1920s hand cranked movie. Our race through the streets of Oakley had more twists and turns than I remember. Were the giant GPS sunglasses Hilts had attached to our handlebars really leading us out of town and away from danger? On many occasion we’d find ourselves being led back to where we’d been before but on parallel streets. Larry was in the lead and trusted the route; I followed trusting Larry. M109s are among the fastest v-twins made but at a disadvantage navigating tight turns, especially the really tight ones. Conversely Larry’s Vegas 8-Ball was in its element. The shark followed. If it were not for Larry riding unexpectedly up and onto sidewalks, under overhangs and awnings and his sudden sprints up alleyways we’d have been caught and eaten. Maybe if we’d had an open road, a straightaway, we could’ve outrun the monster.

“We can’t,” said Larry over our ear radios, “keep this up. We’ve got to stop him otherwise it’s just a matter of time before one or both of us make a mistake. He’ll just keep following until it happens.”

“We need to trap and destroy him,” I answered back.

“Easier said than done but I’ve an idea,” said Larry. “It’ll mean getting him to follow us down a dead-end alley and sacrificing one of the bikes.”

Larry at the same time made a hard right turn down a dead end alley. He continued to ride straight to its end where a brick wall with a closed wooden door blocked us from going any further…amend that to it should have blocked us from going any further. Larry didn’t stop nor did the door stop his Vegas 8-Ball from crashing through it. Had his handlebars an extra coat of paint his bike wouldn’t have made it inside.

“My bike’s too wide, I can’t make through,” I shouted at the same time I skidded to a stop inches from the entrance.

“Leave your pistol on the ground beneath the gas tank and with its cylinder open…hurry he’s right behind you.”

I hated to lose the 44 magnum and the Suzuki M109 but I knew Larry’s plan wouldn’t work if they weren’t sacrificed. If this explosion didn’t stop the shark nothing would.

A long shadow outlined by the nearest streetlight passed by just as I ran through the doorway and into the building. The shadow didn’t go away but circled where I’d been standing seconds before. I looked up. Swimming/floating lazily ten feet above the M109 was the shark.

“You’re trapped;” laughed the shark, “you’ve finally out smarted yourselves. You’ve picked one of the few buildings in Oakley that has one exit. I’m here and you’re there and there’s the exit and there you’ll stay.”

“Get behind the wall,” said Larry at the same time he sighted his Glock 10mm at the bottom of the M109’s gas tank. “If I miss detonating your pistol’s cartridges which should detonate the gas leaking from the gas tank… then…”

“Hey, no…thens;” I interrupted. “you can do this.”

To taunt us the shark had descended to where he was just above the M109. When he was three feet over the bike Larry fired twice. A 10mm round when loaded to its full capacity is moving fast enough to create a hydrostatic shock wave ahead of it passing through fluids…meaning the shock wave that’s being pushed ahead of the bullet will blow a bigger (think of the mile in diameter crater near Flagstaff Arizona created by a piano size meteor) hole going out the other side…meaning the gas tank empted almost instantly.

“Hey, I thought you guys learned your lesson; I’m self-sealing…your bullets can’t hurt me. And your aim needs improving…you missed me…hey, what da…”

At the same time the shark said ‘hey, what da’ he must’ve realized we weren’t aiming for him and tried to swim upwards. At the same time of that same time Larry fired another round hitting and detonating the bullets in my 44 magnum…the gasoline explosion that followed was massive.

Seconds later and with my ears still ringing I said, barely able to hear what I was saying, “The door saved us.”

“Tell that to my eyebrows,” said Larry minus his eyebrows and grinning through a blackened minstrel face. “My eyes will need a minute to adjust to the explosion’s flash. Let’s find out if we were able to stop that thing.”

The damage in the alley was extensive. From where my M109 had been outwards to twenty feet the alley was clear of debris. What had not been blown away was burning. What was left of the shark was wedged between some charred pallets which were wedged between some dumpsters. The force of the explosion, because of the alley’s small closed-in shape, had been directed upwards cutting the shark in half. No amount of self-sealant or all the King’s men were going to put him together again.

“Don’t get too close,” cautioned Larry at the same time he tossed a piece of wood at the shark.

“Good advice,” said the shark’s head minus the rest of its body while snapping the piece of wood in two.

What was left of the shark convulsed, snapped its jaws a few more times then became still. A second later it began to deflate. When done deflating it was two dimensional enough to look like it had been painted on the concrete. It was then something as big as a school bus passed over us.

“It’s, rather the owner’s, here…r…r,” I said in my best ‘Poltergeist’ movie voice. I then grabbed a still disoriented Larry and led him back into the building.

“I should be back to my old self in a few more seconds. We’ve got to somehow stay hidden in this place until Oakley turns back into Middleton. Once dawn comes and Oakley becomes Middleton we’ll double-up on the Vegas 8-Ball and get outta here.”

“What about Hilts and Kate?”

“Something must’ve happened to them…maybe a change of plans?”

“You of so little faith,” said a familiar voice from the shadows behind us.

“Finally the cavalry,” said Larry without turning around.

The cavalry, rather Hilts, had arrived minus Kate. I had to believe Kate was in a safer place than trapped inside an old building with just one exit.

“Kate’s safe,” said Hilts as if reading my thoughts. “She’s back at the fountain. The ‘new’ owner’s a master shape-changer and unwilling to reason.”

I had to ask, “She’s safe and why owner not owners?”

“Safer than we are,” continued Hilts. “Whatever’s in her ‘special’ brew of coffee she’s piped into the fountain’s spray the new owner wants no part of it. Kate’s safely enveloped inside the spray until I return. And a yes to owner not owners; there’s only the one owner. You just blew-up his right-hand man…employee of the month maybe but not co-owner.”

Thoughts of Kate standing under the fountain’s spray, a spray laced with her special ancestral brew of protective coffee, brought forth a mixed picture of a trapped but safe soaked to the skin Kate smelling like breakfast café.

“So what’s the plan?”

“Firstly,” answered Hilts turning to me, “I arrived in time to see you blow-up your bike to blow-up the shark; so I’ll need to conjure you a new motorcycle.”

“Something,” I interjected, “that’ll keep up with Larry’s Vegas 8-Ball through the turns.”

“Secondly,” continued Hilts, “I’ll need to conjure you a new pistol. I’ll keep it simple for both of us and just make a copy of Larry’s Glock. You can share the 10mm ammo.”

“Thirdly, there’s always gotta be a thirdly,” added Larry as he handed Hilts his Glock 20 to copy.

“Thirdly;” said Hilts after a sobering pause, “I’ve got to hold off the new owner long enough for you two to get out of town. We can’t wait until dawn. He’s quite powerful.”

I had to ask, “How powerful?”

“He’s powerful enough to break into this building.”

“We’re staying with you;” I said, “together we’ll meet…”

“…the ‘new’ owner,” said Larry completing my sentence and pointing upwards to where the roof was being peeled back.

“First and second things first,” said Hilts as he closed his eyes. “The bike I’m conjuring for you is a Dyna Low Rider. It won’t have the M109’s power, but with its shorter wheelbase and good lean angles it should make it easier for you to keep up with Larry’s 8-Ball through the corners.”

Larry and I then watched as Hilts closed his eyes, held Larry’s pistol in both hands and while exhaling slowly pushed his arms out equally slowly. There was a sound behind us.

A black Dyna Low Rider with a new Glock 20 on its seat was now parked behind us beside the Vegas 8-Ball. What amazed me about the conjuring was that I wasn’t amazed. Since visiting the Borderlands I’d come to accept its rule of reality. Characters like Ma and Pa, Elvis, Hilts and Larry, even mythological ones like Charon and Paul E. Femus, were as real here as the people you meet in yours. Their existence contingent upon you (you being the unconditional catalytic observer author Deepak Chopra writes about) choosing to see them unconditionally.

“No excuses for not keeping up;” said Larry admiring the Low Rider, “especially if we trade bikes.”

“I’m ok with the trade but why?” I said as I picked up the newly conjured Glock 10mm.

“A long time ago,” answered Larry with a nostalgic far away look, “so long ago it almost seems like another lifetime, I build a custom chopper called the ‘Wild Child’. For some reason this little Dyna Low Rider reminds me of it. What’s so weird is the two bikes don’t really even look alike. It’s just that I’m getting the same vibes from the Dyna. The ‘Wild Child’ was one of the best bikes I ever built and I…”

“Enough said, the Dyna’s yours…in the meantime, whatever’s breaking through the roof is huge…easily school bus size.

“School bus size,” added Hilts, “should in fact work to your advantage if you keep to the tight cornered streets. Speaking of which, I need to keep it distracted long enough for you two to get a good head start.”
“We’re not leaving until we know you’re safe.”

“Hey, don’t count me out;” laughed Hilts, “I may actually be able to destroy it…which I can’t do with you two nearby.”

“Don’t sacrifice yourself for us.”

“Don’t flatter yourself, I’m not about to sacrifice myself for you two; but the collateral damage from what I plan to do to it will put you two at risk...I…”

Hilts was unable to finish his sentence. The roof of the warehouse gave way and the ‘new owner’ swam, amend that to floated down into the building.

The ‘new owner’ had broken through the warehouse roof and now hovered above us.

“I didn’t think,” I said in a surprisingly calm voice, “killer whales grew to that size. He must be 35 feet long?”

“Closer to 40,” countered Larry in an equally calm voice, “would be my guess if I had to estimate.”

“38.5 feet,” said the killer whale, “but who’s counting and you can call me Al.”

“Well Al since we’re all on a first name basis,” I said at the same time I fired my recently acquired 10mm three times into the monster’s belly, “why don’t you just let us go?”

Al winced a bit, probably more for dramatic effect than discomfort, “No first kiss…no foreplay?”

The killer whale, that I was sure was longer than 38.5 feet, quickly descended. His descent was limited by the overhanging shelves above us. One swipe of his tail and they’d no longer be an obstacle.

“Maybe,” said Larry, “we’re looking at fighting this monster the wrong way?”

“Any suggestions right now would be appreciated,” answered Hilts. “I’m the first to admit I often get so close to a problem I overlook the obvious.”

“Obviously,” continued Larry, “we’re not going to hurt this monster attacking him from the outside, so why don’t we attack him from…”

“…the inside,” I said interrupting Larry.

Hilts suddenly brightened in attitude, “Out of the mouths of babes comes the obvious answer, the Achilles Heel. I’ve overlooked the obvious and it was in front of me. You’ll still need to leave before I detonate it.”

“Detonate what,” I had to ask?

“The dynamite I’m going to conjure up inside our very large friend with the very large teeth; but first I need to conjure up dynamite here, than light it, and then conjure it inside its belly, then…”

“Seems too complicated,” said Larry, “what if …?”

“Get going…I’ll worry about the what-ifs.”

Without any further argument Larry was soon aboard the Dyna Low Rider and pointed towards the only door leading out of the warehouse. A few seconds later I was aboard the Vegas 8-Ball and right behind him.

As exposed in the open as we were, Al a.k.a. the huge killer whale did not pursue us.

“Al laughed. “After I have your friend for dinner I’ll chase the two of you down to work up an appetite for dessert.”

With no further prompting Larry and I accelerated out the warehouse door, down the alley and out into the street.

“This road,” said Larry pointing at the pink and yellow color of a rising sun, “leads out of town and is pointed at the rising sun.”

“Before we ride any further I want to hear the dynamite go off. I want to know Hilts was able to conjure up the explosives and detonate them inside that monster.”

Larry seemed reluctant to respond and when he finally did it wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

“I was able to see what Hilts conjure up and it wasn’t dynamite.”

“What did he conjure.”

“Two highway flares,” answered Larry.

And then I remembered Hilts telling us, “You of little faith.”… And I pictured two sticks of dynamite instead of two flares. And the explosion that followed made the ground shake.

Coming soon

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Back to Borderland Biker by Derrel Whitemyer, Two Wheeled Tales

Reader Comments

Great as always.

Billy Enders
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Editor Response You just made Derrel's day.

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