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The Kid

A motherlode of biker women, and then one literally!

by Keith 'Bandit' Ball with illustrations by Wayfarer

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Romance Ricky spent ten years in Iraq. About to go home, he grappled with his mission. Before his time in the service, he enjoyed the fruits of his lovers. A stout, good-looking sort he rode a Panhead chopper and chased women, but like so many young men he didn’t understand the code. Most of the broads he chased didn’t get it either.

He pursued them on the west coast, in Wyoming, Denver, Minneapolis, wherever there was a bar with a girl in tight denims and a bright smile. He caught the clap in Orange County, her boobs like mountains. He got ripped off from an alcoholic in Montana who fucked for fuel. He faced religion with a soft-like-satin girl from a temperance league, who climaxed at the slightest touch.

After five years on the road and too many fifths of Jack Daniels he began to get it, but too late. He got a call from a past love from Bakersfield, California. They met in a farmer’s barn. Pregnant, she had demands, lawyers and the man. He made restitution, paid child-support and joined the service as she disappeared. Beyond cute, she held the shape of a goddess, the smile of a temptress, the eyes of a vulture and the whisper of a rattlesnake. She was no good and determined to punish anyone who touched her precious pussy. They paid, they bought her stuff, took her places, or she got pregnant - and they paid anyway.

No interest in Ricky, she continued to shack up in a constant search for the motherlode. But Ricky’s kid cramped her lascivious style and she tired of the responsibility.

Like so many heartless bitches, she rolled the dice time after time, until she fucked with the wrong dude and ended up in a ditch along highway 99 in mid-state California next to cattle fields. Older and wiser, Ricky returned from overseas and began searching for his son. He sold the chopper, bought a Dyna Glide and hit the road.

He still paid child support and it went somewhere, hopefully to the kid. Still in worn khakis, he rode to downtown LA to Child Services. The checks still sent to a P.O. Box in Bakersfield weren’t cashed. Ricky rode to the central valley with everything he owned in his bags. He found himself at a police station answering questions about Shirley, who was found in a ditch. “But what about my kid,” Ricky asked.

“One in ten thousand find homes,” the detective said as he closed the file. “We will find who dumped your old lady.”

“More of a one-night stand,” Ricky said and thought about the fleeting time he had with Shirley and her nasty voice on the phone.

“I need to find the kid,” Ricky said. The officer led him to another office in the city building, “Child Protective Services.”

A large black female clerk who managed all the cases for abandoned kids in the growing, mostly agricultural and oil town of 400,000, looked at him with depressed eyes. “Can I help you?”

“I just found out the mother of my abandoned son was murdered,” Rick said hoping for clues. “I need to find my kid.”

“You’re looking for your kid?” Gloria said and her eyes brightened.

“Yeah, he could be about twelve years old. I’ve been in Iraq and never met him.” Ricky said.

“Have you paid child support?” Gloria said, in a questioning tone while beginning to hit the keys on her computer.

“From the very beginning,” Ricky said. He pulled out a paper from Child Services in LA and handed it to her. It documented his account and where the checks were sent.

“You’re kidding,” Gloria said. “You’ve never seen your kid, but paid child support all this time and now you want to find him?

“Yep,” Ricky said.

“You’re amazing,” Gloria stuttered, “I won’t have a father like you come in here in five years. Let’s see what we can find. His name is Don and he was assigned to a foster home in Rosedale a couple of years ago, but that didn’t work out. He’s been assigned to a group home on the Southside of Bakersfield, but the reports don’t look good. He’s having problems. The next step down is Juvenile Hall or prison depending on what he gets into.” Gloria looked up at him with sad eyes. “You need to go see him, quick.” She handed him a slip of paper with an address in Terra Vista.

“Good luck,” she said and patted his hand.

The afternoon sun blazed on the streets of Bakersfield as he turned down Planz Road heading into the Hispanic section of town. He peeled down one street after another deeper into a residential district, until one house stuck out on Rio Bravo street lined with ‘50s Hispanic lathe-and-plaster homes. The unkept bungalow teetered dilapidated. As he approached, a 20-something burst onto the porch and tossed a beer can into the weeds, “No beer allowed!” he shouted.

“Excuse me,” Ricky said scrambling off his bike after kicking out the kickstand. “My son might be in your home.”

“We monitor three group homes within a couple of miles from here,” Pepe said and pushed his long scrambled dark hair out of his face. “I work here parttime and go to college at Bakersfield Community College.”

“The kids name is Don Cavalier.” Ricky said.

“Great name,” Pepe said, “Let’s see if he’s on the roster, but it doesn’t sound familiar. The tougher kids are in the Rosemont house with the more senior counselors. We are always welcoming of parents. Don’t see many.”

Pepe took him inside, where the rooms were set up as dorms. A great room and kitchen reminded Ricky of chow halls in the service. The room lined with large white charts, listing felt pen scratched names, assignments and goals. Kids lounged in various donated couches and chairs gawked at Ricky in his fatigues and a leather shirt, carrying his full faced helmet.

“Is he some kind of cop,” one smart-assed kid murmured and sat up. As his guilt surfaced and the thought of arrest threatened, he looked for the slider into the backyard and escape.

“He’s Don’s Dad,” Pepe said. “Just back from Iraq.”

All the boys, spread out around the room sat up. They didn’t see many parents around. A parent, unless drunk, was a very respected and welcome sight.

Ricky immediately noted that even the toughest looking kid seemed sorta incomplete without the attachment to his family unit. He scratched his three-day-old beard and pondered the situation. He wished he could help all of them.

Enrique, a short little kid in the corner stood up. “I remember Don,” he said and looked at the slider. “He got into too many fights, broke this slider with a kid’s head. They moved him to Stone Creek, his last shot.”

“Can I go?” Ricky asked Pepe.

“I’ll call over there,” Pepe said and reached for his cell.

“Better not mention who is coming,” Ricky said. “I don’t want to cause a problem.”

“No sweat,” Pepe said dialing. “You never know how kids will react or what they were told.”

“Do you think he knows about his mom?” Ricky asked.

Pepe looked concerned. “There’s a serious problem over there.”

“Where?” Ricky asked anxiously, grabbing for his helmet and heading for the door pronto.

Pepe pointed and gave him directions. Ricky ran out the door across the lawn to his Dyna and was down the street in a hot flash, burning onto the boulevard and across to the other side of town onto McKee Road.

He slid up to the scruffy looking group home and ran for the door as a police car rounded the other end of the block and drove across the sidewalk onto the tattered lawn.

The same detective burst out of the cruiser. “You’re here?” Officer Fernandez asked.

“Just arrived,” Ricky said and they both ran for the door as another uniform ran around back.

A short, round Hispanic woman met them at the door with blood on her hands. “Another fight,” she said and led them inside. She took a second look at the soldier looking guy with the motorcycle helmet. “Who’s this?” Maria said snatching a towel.

“A father looking for his kid,” the detective said.

Inside one of the dorm rooms, a fat kid laid on his back with his nose busted and a nasty cut on his face. “He’s the bully,” Maria said. “I knew he would find his match someday.”

“I’m Don’s dad,” Ricky said. “I take it my kid did this.”

“He’s confused, Senor,” Maria said, “ever since he heard about his mom. Never knew about a dad.”

“Just out of the service and looking for my kid,” Ricky said.

“He ran off,” Maria said. “You need to find him before the authorities or worse get ahold of him.

“But where now?” Rick asked.

“The kids talk of two means to escape,” the officer looked hard at Maria.

“Yeah,” Maria said as the EMT crew came in to take care of the kid on the grungy carpeted floor. She steered Ricky and the detective toward the outside and the dimming light from the setting sun. Still 85 degrees on the streets, she looked at the officer and toward Ricky. “They talk about help in the Cottonwood area and drugs on the eastside around Wible.”

“Most of them don’t know what the hell to do,” Officer Fernandez said. “Both places are no-win. Just depends on their level of desperation. Hell, he could try to hitchhike out of the area.”

“Fuck,” Ricky said. “Too many options and no time. If only I could’ve talked to him for a minute or took him for a ride.”

Maria took Ricky’s arm. “Most parents give up when it comes to…

“I’m not giving up,” Ricky snapped but looked deep into her caring eyes. “I’ll find him, but I would rather find him now, than after a drug dealer does. He’s tough, he’s not going to be abused in some child-sex ring.”

“I’ll send a couple of units along the highway looking for hitchhikers,” Office Fernandez said. “I’ll let the highway patrol know to watch out for him on Highway 58.”

“I’m headed to the east side,” Ricky said and reached out to Maria. “Where the fuck am I going?”

She pointed at the street and gave him directions over two blocks to the main thoroughfare, right for a half mile and you’ll be there on East Pacheco Road. He plowed into tweaker zone without a clue in the world where to go. The Eastside of Bakersfield was a failed community of strip malls, stucco and concrete. The homes were all the same and falling down. The strip malls were filled with similar businesses from pot shops, massage parlors and saloons, all with the same boxy infrastructure. Just the faded signs changed.

Ricky blasted up and down the boulevard looking for a kid he didn’t know. He could only surmise the size and shape. He saw a crowded pot shop, Devil’s Brew, the parking lot jammed with a crazy array of vehicles including rusting pickups, choppers, worn-out sedans and even a flashy sportscar or two.

Ricky scoped it out and found a safe place to stash his Dyna. He walked through the parking area to the blacked-out, glass front door with the silver-leaf Devil’s logo and pinstriping, while checking out the patrons. He knew a tweaker when he saw one. With security at the front Ricky moved around back. The pot shop expanded into the shop next door through an inside wall. Ricky could tell, because the rear door was locked down tight, but the door for the empty shop next door was surrounded by guys looking shady, making quick deals and dashing off.

A stash of bicycles leaned against the stained stucco wall and when kids approached, they were handed small packages and a note. They’d grab a bicycle and peel off in several directions. As quickly as the sales effort started, it stopped and the new steel door shut tight.

Ricky felt lost. None of the kids looked the correct stature or like a new recruit. He made his way around front where Superfly blasted from a speaker hanging from one long drywall screw. He spotted one of the security guards walking away from the front door and lighting a cigarette. He watched intently as most of the vehicles moved away from the parking area into the night.

As he puffed on the butt, the buffed black kid moved toward Ricky’s Dyna. They were similar stature, so Ricky approached. “Like it?” Ricky asked and startled the young security guard.

“Ah, ya,” he said. “I want one.” Then he turned and glared at Ricky. “What the fuck is it to you?”

Ricky raised his hands as if surrendering. “Nothing man,” Ricky said. “I rode up here to find my kid. It’s a long story, but he might be in trouble.”

“All the kids around here are in trouble,” security said and stepped back from Rick, sorta checking himself for combat.

“I’m not a cop,” Ricky said. “Just looking for my kid, before it’s too late.”

“They train the new ones downtown at the strip club,” security said and kept his distance, looking around for a sting crew. “It’s at Gare’s Circle on the corner, the Déjà Vu Club.”

“Thanks,” Ricky said and made his way quickly to his motorcycle, straddled it, pulled on his helmet and gloves, nodded to the guard and fired it to life. It sounded like a locomotive cranking up to get underway in the dry, dark air.

“Which way,” Ricky shouted and the security guard pointed. Ricky’s Dyna disappeared in the night.

Nearing midnight, he rapidly rolled into the historic downtown Bakersfield area and found himself surrounded by the glittering lights of a strip club on the busy corner. It seemed odd, but he jammed around the block to look for bicycles and kids. He found the bikes out back in a dank alley.

He pulled around front and parked across the intersection quickly and hung his helmet on the handlebars. Making his way across the busy intersection he found the front door where a security guard checked over the short soldier in camo and allowed him entrance.

Once inside, the massive layout of the joint hit him, disco-balls glimmering over several stages, girls on every platform doing their thing with polished brass poles. The crowded joint distracted him, but suddenly he focused on the flashing lights and a small troop of kids moving from table to table, selling something.

He also noticed a big rough-looking bearded fucker heading his way. He looked to be Iranian. It was then that he spotted a kid showing another youngster his stash of small zip-lock bags of meth. The kid seemed about the right stature. As the music blared, the vibrating lights did their thing to the stages, waitresses slipped from table to table delivering drinks and taking orders, Ricky hollered. “Don.”

The kid jerked and looked over his shoulder to the stout soldier-looking man on the other side of the stage. The kid saw Ricky, then the girl on the stage moving to the beat of Sly and the Family Stone. She was amazing, nearly nude and her out-thrust boobs would stop a train. Ricky, also mesmerized by her shape, size and glistening smile was sidetracked. She enjoyed her trance on men as much as the patrons did and made eye contact with Ricky standing behind the tables.

Suddenly, an open hand smacked Ricky’s chest and the boss, who’d been alerted by security back at the Pot Shop, confronted Ricky, who immediately stepped back with one leg and spun to dislodge the attack. He moved to the side of the attacker and looked for Don across the room.

The diversion afforded the bearded-one a jab to Ricky’s solar plexus. Ricky buckled and the big guy yanked him toward the door. With a sweeping arm, Ricky motioned for Don to follow and hoped for the best.

Little Don shoved the goods back into the hands of his trainer and bolted around the stage as police charged in the front doors and shouted. “This is a raid!”

Officer Fernandez jammed in behind them followed by anxious uniforms. The bearded-one stood bolt upright, let go of Ricky as the kid came to his side. The tough guy bolted for an exit but was nabbed by a uniformed officer.

Little Don wrapped his arm around Ricky’s pumped bicep as officer Fernandez grabbed his other arm and looked at the kid. “So, you found your dad. He’s been looking for you all day.”

Ricky regained his breath, stood upright, nodded to the officer and looked down at Don. “Wanna ride to Hollywood?”

“Fuck yeah,” Don said.

“Watch your language, kid,” Ricky said and put his arm around him as they bolted out the flashy front doors.

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