Halloween Epic - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 2005, 6:20 am Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Hendersonville, NC, USA
Posts: 2,108
Halloween Epic

I grabbed this story from the archives just before the star emploded two weeks ago. It's wonderfully written, but I don't have permission to publish it, so I'm using the "ask forgiveness" approach as opposed to "ask permission". I hope you enjoy it. (and if I get a PM for my misdeads, I'll delete it.)

Halloween – by Darren Ward



I’m not sure what made me wake up. I had only been asleep for about sixty
minutes and as I turned and looked out the window I could see the stars
sparkling only as they do when the night is clear and cold. Thirty minutes
later I found myself remising the departure of summer, those midnight rides
through the country with nothing under the riding gear other than a T and
jeans. My K12 travels a lot of miles in the wee hours. She takes me to
places that look completely different when you are forced into tunnel
vision. Somehow the night air fills your head and every little odor is
magnified 10 fold. The smoke of a fire is like heaven, apples on the trees
seem especially sweet and days old road kill lingers in your helmet until
you flip the shield.

Looking at the clock I knew what was in store for me. I whispered in my wife‘s
ear "I’m going for a ride". She is used to this sort of thing. She has
seen all of the signs. In the last month or so I have quietly slipped out of
the city many times. I can’t control it. All it takes is the barometer to be
above 50 degrees or so and the Red Head in the garage whines for me. I go
through the ritual, changing the dark smoked shield for the clear one,
zipping up the electric vest, putting aside the Alpine stars in favor of
heavier Technic Carbon gloves. Usually I throw a can of Energy drink in the
tank bag and make sure the cell is charged. Tonight was no different.

My gateway is only a 7-minute ride away. I love getting up to speed real
quick. It helps clear the mind and prepare the body for what is about to
occur. In my case we call it the 400. A long section of super slab that
allows the 4.5 million city dwellers to make a quick exit out of the deep
walled, cement canyon we know as Toronto. Weekends can be brutal; every one
is heading north to find a little breathing room and a piece of paradise.
But at night, my K12 rules. She begs for a run through the gears and I can
only oblige. Soon we are at loose your license speeds. The odd car or semi
is dealt with accordingly and 10 miles becomes 50 in a spell bound instant.
But this comes to an end, and by choice. As I exit the sliver of a moon
rides with me over my shoulder. Full moons are best for these rides, but
tonight it is not to be.

Down the rarely used roads I travel. No problems with high beams here
because there is no one to complain, on coming traffic was nonexistent. I
often think of what would happen if I came off. I remember coming across a
bike in a field last year. It was a new Black Kawasaki and it was just after
sunrise. My thoughts immediately thought of the rider and I combed the
ditch, the field and the roadside. On closer inspection of the bike it
became apparent that it was a case of a thief dumping a joy ride. Key parts
had been carefully taken off of the Ninja. A quick call to the police solved
the riddle. But tonight I was not in the mood for hero antics my speed was
aggressive but not reckless. I was enjoying the ride and letting the cool
air clear the million thoughts in my frontal lobe. A slight ground fog had
started to develop which slowed my progress even more. Soon I was at the
posted limit and straining to see the next apex. Deep into the
Hockley
Valley I rode. Tonight the familiar terrain was for some reason foreign to
me. I assumed it was do to the poor visibility and lack of leaves on the
trees. On I rode.

In the distance I saw the unexpected. As I passed it I had to force my vision
to the side to keep from being blinded by the four ways. Once I regained my
night vision I could not concentrate on the task at hand. My riding became
un-coordinated and jerky. I bounced the rev limiter in the exit of a sweeper
and there was no reason for it. I thought to myself and I knew what the
problem was. I made the U-turn. The 4 ways appeared shortly there after. I
pulled acrossed the road and then stopped in front of the stranded car. I switched
off the PIAA?s as to not blind the driver. As I removed my helmet and gloves
I could barely make out the shape of the occupant behind the wheel. I was
more afraid for the individual than myself. My wife is aware of
my feelings when it comes to helping the needy. She had seen me blast into
the eye of hurricanes in our Zodiac to help stranded boaters on a reef.
Life is too short for some and they die needlessly, if I can help I will.

I approached the car in a quick fashion. I had turned of my bike and my eyes
were adjusting to the low light. The windows were fogged up but as I
approached I could here the whir of the electric window. I was speechless.
With tear filled eyes and a blank face she looked up at me and thanked me
for stopping. Her eyes were a deep black that was only bettered by her
jet-black hair. She was wearing a pair of those artsy half lens glasses with
a green tint and I could make out a silver necklace with a pennant that was
very peculiar to me. She had an air about her that I could not put my finger
on, she could have been 22 or 32 and with such a brief encounter I could not
tell. She was stunning. I quickly asked her what the problem was. See
explained that she had simply run out of gas. I asked her if she had a
phone. She did not. I told her I did and she said “Great”. As I walked back
to my bike I felt like the whole world was watching. I knew that she was
desperate and I hoped the marvel of modern technology would bring a close to
her predicament. It was not to be. When I zipped open my tank bag the phone
was not there. I swore I put it in there as the condensation soaked can of
Energy drink was there just as I had placed it before leaving home. When I
walked back to the car she had somehow gotten out and closed the door
without me noticing. She stood leaning on the front fender taking long drags
off of a cigarette. I explained that somehow my cell was not to be had. She
smiled and exhaled and said nothing. For what seemed like eternity we stood
and stared at each other. In my mind I went through all of the usual thought
processes. Maybe there is a house nearby, there was not. Maybe I can get her
car going, I could not. Maybe another car will come by, one did not. My only
option was to offer her a ride, which is what I did.

She did not hesitate for an instant. She quickly put out the cigarette
grabbed an expensive looking black leather jacket out of the car and hit the
clock button on her key bob. As we walked toward my K12 I asked her how far
her house was. To my surprise she said it was only about 15 miles away. I
asked her if she would rather go to a gas station that I knew was in a town
about 20 miles back from where I had come. She said that she would rather
just get home and then collect her car in the morning. Fine with me I told
her as I asked for general directions. She informed me that she would point
to the turns to take. I have never taken a passenger on the road with out a
helmet but under the circumstances it seemed the only option and I planned
to take it easy with this petite stranger on the pillion.

I got the impression that she had ridden before, immediately we became one
with each other and the bike. Her arms and hands found the perfect spot on
my hips and as I looked down I noticed the strange ring on her wedding
finger. It was large, made in silver and had a black stone. Surrounding the
stone was what looked like weird animals. A tangled mess of heads, paws and
other body parts. That is when I started to feel cold. Not just a chill from
the cool night air, but rather, a deep chill that started at the base of my
neck and ran through my entire body like a slowing increasing shock. She
distracted me with her hand signals and motions to turn at various cross
roads. I was trying to concentrate on the road but the cold was making me
loose my bearings. At exactly 15 miles she said loudly “Turn in there”. I
would have missed the entrance totally if it was not pointed out to me. It
was a grand entrance with two stone pillars and a wrought iron gate that spanned
at least 40 feet. It was open and I proceeded carefully on the slick,
leaf-strewn drive.

I could just make out the shape of a house as we headed up the long drive.
It sat on a rise, surrounded by large trees that had to be centuries old. As
we approached I was taken aback by its immenseness. It had multiple wings
and many stories. I thought it funny that the only light on was a single
lamp under the coach house. I thought that this place must have been here
for many, many years and that it must have cost in the tens of millions.
Then I realized that I could not remember the type or brand of car she had
been stranded in. It was as if I was loosing my mind. I pulled in under the
coach roof and as she slid off of my bike the deep chill went away. She
instantly lit a cigarette and took a long, deep inhale. “Thanks” she said
as she disappeared into the darkness.

I didn’t even get to the end of the drive before it happened. My low fuel
light came on and I cursed my stupidity. As I factored my distance to go and
what speed to travel to get maximum range I knew I was screwed. Sure enough,
just as I re-passed the strangers abandoned car my bike coughed and quit. It
was going to be a long night I feared. I opened my tank bag and grabbed my
can of Energy drink. Hey if my bike has quit, I don’t have to I thought to
myself. As I tilted my head back to get the last drop I caught out of the
corner of my eyes the unmistakable shine of on coming head lights. I grabbed
my Mini-Mag and flagged the car down. The chill came back, it was her.
Cheerfully she announced that she thought I might run out of gas and then
she gave me a choice. “I can either take you to that gas station in
Orangeville or you can come back to the mansion, stay the night and I’ll
have the gardener get you some gas in the morning” I choose the former, the
last thing I wanted was to put myself in a situation that I would later
regret. “Fine” she said with a smile.

The car was an older 500SL, the seats felt brand new and the car reeked of
smoke. Once inside she had the heat turned on full blast. The sound system
played a soft rendering of Myles Davis Panengea. I asked her if she minded
turning the heat down and she obliged. Despite this the hair on the back of
my neck was on edge and I was ice cold. I was on full alert. What happened
next is a blur. I remember seeing a road sign saying Orangeville 10 miles
but I must have dosed off. I awoke lying beside my bike. My key was in the
ignition but I do not remember putting it there. I looked at my watch and it
had been about 2 hours since she picked me up in the Benz. My only goal was
to get the hell home. Went I went to zip shut my tank bag I noticed my cell
phone. I hit the power button and got a low battery message. Why I did not
see the cell phone earlier I cannot explain. I had a throbbing pain in the
side of my neck and I had never felt so weak in all of my life. I took all
of my energy just to lift my leg over the saddle. Off I rode like the Devil himself
was after me.

When I got home and looked in the mirror I looked like shit. I had dark bags
under my eyes and two distinct punctures marks on my neck. I now fear the
worse. I do not think I will ever be able to ride in daylight again and the
thought of the sunrise about to come up is making me want to crawl into my
dark wine cellar. What has happened to me?



Last edited by CABNFVR; Nov 1st, 2005 at 6:43 am. Reason: font characters
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