Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Rider Of Old

A lone highway stretched endlessly in either direction.

The biker moved swiftly across it. He could not remember where he had come from, only that the direction of the highway bore him straight to the resting place of the sun.

For the last two weeks that was all the biker did. Caught between point A and B he was drawn towards whatever lay at B. In a near constant run he rumbled westward, stopping at an abandoned gas station long enough to fill up.

For the past three days the biker had been lone on the highway. The sun bleached concrete, cracked beyond repair and at some places nonexistent, had been the biker's only company. He enjoyed that. The occasional animal skull leered at him with a death grin, but never once had he seen life to accompany the death. By this time the mountains had all but disappeared, swallowed up by the gray and red cloud cast sky. The biker crested a final hill, the highest point along the highway yet, and stared over the vast stretch of highway, meeting the sky at the horizon. At the base of the hill was a small building, run down, cast in the glow of a broken neon sign.

The Red Wheel Tavern looked as though it had existed since the dawn of time, and aganst all odds would probably remain to bid it farewell. Where its patrons came from was a mystery, and if they ever left was another debatable point. The front porch had collapsed in two spots, but where it had persevered an old rocking chair sat, and in it a man with the look of God eyed the stranger as he crested the hill and dismounted from his bike.

He stood. An apparition on the horizon, standing like the ever impending doom, silhouetted in the bleeding sun which seemed to shine for he and he alone. Without a word he walked down the steep hill, towards the tavern, but then words would be wasted on him.

His eyes were covered by the black sheen of his boxy sunglasses, soulless as whatever Hell must've spat him back out. They seemed omnipotent as they surveeyed the surrounding barren landscape.

Like falling mortar shells his steps landed on the concrete with dull exploding thumps, accompanied ironically by the familiar clink, which could easily have been mistaken for spurs. He came to rest before the old man, kneeling to meet his gaze. Unchecked, the old man with God in his eyes stared back at him. That was when he spoke, and when he did it was as though Zeus had unleashed the full wrath of his thunder upon the masses.

"They have beds?" Even the wind seemed to check itself at the mercy of the stranger. This didn't seem to even phase the old man.

"'pends on you, my son." The old man stared at the stranger with a grin sans most of his teeth.

"I'm no one's son, old timer." The stranger returned the small grin with a frightful smile of his own. He pulled himself back to full height, lit a cigarette. "Return to your dead, old man," he flatly intoned, his mouth bleeding smoke like a dragon's breath.

"And you to the hell that spawned you." The old man's gaze slipped back towards the horizon, or maybe to another world. The stranger stepped by him and through the doors into the din of the tavern. As he passed through the sagging door frame his oiled hair brushed the wood.


This is a little bit of the Rider's story draft one from high school. It is amazing how much it hasn't changed over the years of mulling... Real entry to come