Chapter 25

the sound: Black Sabbath – Sweet Leaf, Metallica – Seek and Destroy, Jethro Tull – Aqualung, Aerosmith – Train Kept a Rollin, Kiss – Detroit Rock City, AC/DC – Thunderstruck, Apocalypse Now – Ride of the Valkyries

Robert turns and waves at the fire.
One of the women jumps up and runs into the garage and turns off the sound. As the music stops the night sound of crickets and frongs can be heard and the distant rumbling of engines idling as the men duck walk their idling way around to the far side of the track.

I turn to the people still around the fire with me and ask one of the women, the one closest to me, what’s going on.

She shudders as she turns to me and I realize it’s the woman that had been introduced to me as Wonder Woman. She gives a kind of all over body shudder again as she turns to look at me and I am surprised to realize that she’s well over 6 feet tall and shaking like a leaf and tears running down her face.

“It’s the follies” she repeats, “the games…the final qualifier for the club”

“but I don’t understand” I reply, what kinda games are they gonna play with guns in the dark?”

“Watch n see Baby…watch and see….and maybe say a prayer” she sighs.

I turn back to the field to see Boomer and BarnYard standing on either side of the far side of the track both carrying lit torches in the air to illuminate their way.

Once they are in position across from each other I see them look to Robert for guidance but Robert isn’t watching them. He’s looking at the gun in his right hand and the bottle in his left. He takes another long pull on the bottle and as he does so his long hair slides back to reveal his face. He looks up and nods.

Boomer and BarnYard begin to wave their torches back and forth from side to side as they face each other across the track and in the flickering light I can see men on motorcycles lining up between them.

As if at a “start”.

Just as it begins to register to me that the sounds remind me of race car drivers jockeying for position there is a loud clap of noise and the bikes begin to take off from their start positions. Some go very fast and some are slow outta the gate but they all begin to move.

Robert looks up and the smile falls from his face.

I see his lips moving but I can’t hear what he’s saying and I get out of my chair to see if I can get a better vantage point. I see Boomer and BarnYard hot foot it back to the rock as if they are trying to get out of the way.

As I begin to walk forward to get a better view Wonder Woman grabs my arm and I turn to look at her as she admonishes me to stay near the campfire and out of the line of fire.

“Line of fire?
As in gun fire?
As in shooting?
Like fucking target practice?” I bleat.

She nods as I hear a succession of gunshots.

I swing back towards the field to see Robert lowering himself back into the chair and as he does so he lowers his arm. I see Rosie handing him something as she’s speaking to him quietly and calmly.

I see Robert nodding as he listens.

“A reloader” mumbles Wonder Woman.

I am absolutely freaked. “But he’s shooting at them?” I squawk.

She nods. “It’s the follies” she replies. “It’s the last thing they have to do to earn their colors”

As the bikes continue around the track I shrill, “well that’s just fucking ridiculous” and I glare at her…but she doesn’t notice as she turns back towards the track again.

I hear another shot closely followed by 5 more and I begin to really freak out. “There are fucking people fucking shooting at fucking people out there!” I yell and I’m enunciating through clenched teeth.

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