Rutherford Zucks winced in pain.
Brent Field asked, "Master, are you sure you want to do this?"
Rutherford said, "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. I'd be a wimp to come to Biker Week and not get a tattoo." His face was pale as the tattooer's skillful buzzing filled in the outline of a motorcycle on his left upper arm.
The buzzing stopped, and the pony-tailed artist asked, "Your skin is so thin. I can quit here -- "
"No," said Rutherford, "go ahead and put on the bat rider." The buzzing started again, and he broke out into a cold sweat.
"He ain't gonna toss his cookies, is he?" the tattoo man asked.
"I'm fine, just finish."
"One bat wing to go, and it's all done."
Outside the shop, Brent admired the tattoo of the winged bat riding a motorcycle. "Master, that is truly awesome. Just wait till the girls see it."
"Where are we supposed to meet them?"
Brent answered, "They'll be waiting over on the strip."
"With our tattoos, we'll be proud to join the other riders as they cruise tonight." He looked up into the dark sky. The moon was full, and a warm breeze was most welcome after the long, cold winter. Life was good. He found it hard to believe that only two years ago he was considering suicide and the long dirt nap. But that was before he discovered Bike Week and Amanda.
Brent and his Master took off on their Harley, enjoying the ride and freedom from work. Both men wore white t-shirts with sleeves torn out, black leather vests and jeans. Black boots completed their look. They stopped at a corner where a group of bikers gathered. A young girl with dark purple lips and matching helmet waved to Brent.
"There they are, Master. They're coming over here."
Amanda stood before her new Harley. She wore her blond hair up in a ponytail and preferred light blue leather. The girls were young, early twenties, like Brent. Amanda's only fault was an intense love for chocolate, which she did forego as Rutherford broke out in hives anywhere near it. She walked over to hug Rutherford and then stood back to look at his tattoo.
"Wow, that's so awesome! I've never seen one like it."
Rutherford said, "I designed it myself."
Purple Lips leaned forward to see the design since she was nearsighted and would not wear glasses or contacts. "Cool." Then she looked at Brent's tattoo and said, "A dragon, how cool!"
Brent asked, "Ready to ride?"
Amanda said, "That's what we came for. Let's go." The girls pulled their motorcycle onto the strip as bikers claimed this highway as theirs for one week. Brent and Rutherford were close behind. An hour later, Brent motioned for a gas station stop. Rutherford headed for the little bat's room.
Upon his return, Amanda said, "I'm dying of thirst, time for drinks and dancing."
Rutherford agreed. "Well, let's get on to the biker bar." A dark form glided silently through the night sky, then swooped down before Rutherford's pale face. Loud chirping erupted as the bat attempted to communicate with him.
Rutherford exclaimed, "Oh, no!" The bat fluttered its wings in excitement. Rutherford climbed up and stood on the motorcycle seat. He pointed forward and yelled to Brent Field, "Follow that bat!"
Brent looked at his Master's eyes, bright with excitement and purpose. "Not before you get down." He could only guess how long it would take his Master's old bones to heal if broken. Besides, what doctor or hospital could they trust to treat him?
"Just hurry. It's a matter of life and death," Rutherford yelled and sat, ready to leave.
The bat fluttered its wings waiting to take off in flight. Amanda and her purple-lipped friend ran to their Harley, ready to follow. The two pairs followed the bat as it flew down the street and turned to the right, stopping before a restaurant boasting exotic foods. Brent and Rutherford got off the motorcycle and stood before the window reading the menu.
Rutherford grabbed his chest in horror and exclaimed, "Bat wing soup! Fried bat wings!" He closed his eyes and shuddered. Brent stared at the window, unable to speak. Neither man heard Amanda or her friend as they approached and stood behind them. The bat flapped its wings and chirped loudly. Rutherford opened his eyes and said, "Oh, the humanity."
Brent said, "Master, calm down, we'll -- "
"Calm down? Calm down?" Rutherford stopped speaking and drew in a deep breath. His eyes were determined. A tall man stood before the door ready to enter the restaurant. Rutherford yelled at him, "Cannibal!"
"Master, please, you'll end up at the funny farm."
Rutherford wiped away a tear and walked towards the door. He said, "Children of the night, I'm coming to save you." Then he opened the door and ran in.
Purple Lips said, "He's so happening."
Amanda agreed, "Nobody like him."
Brent stood with mouth open. Maybe he could go in quickly and get the Master out without anyone getting hurt or bit. Though Rutherford was president of Biters Anonymous, he was only human after all. Just maybe they could keep a low profile and still go for that drink and dancing. He was deep in thought and then opened the restaurant door to voice of angry yelling. Sirens blared behind him. Brent entered the darkened atmosphere and moved aside as uniformed policemen ran into the restaurant. Amanda and Purple Lips leaned against the window trying to look in.
Rutherford exited the restaurant, handcuffed and kicking, with policemen holding his two arms. "Brutality!" Rutherford yelled as they shoved him into the back seat of a police car.
Brent ran out behind them and jumped on his motorcycle to follow. Amanda and Purple Lips were already on their motorcycle ready to pull out and followed Brent. Outside the station, the three young people stood in silence.
Brent said, "Well, I'll go in and see what's going on."
Amanda declared, "We'll wait here no matter how long it takes."
Brent walked towards the police station as he heard Purple Lips yelling, "Free the old biker dude!" So much for low profile, huh?
Brent entered the doorway. What if the police tried to take a mug shot -- would the Master have a reflection? What if Rutherford couldn't leave before daylight? Even if he could turn into a bat to leave, would he find an open window in his nearsighted condition?
To purchase a copy of Beverly's book, Gothic Bedtime Stories, contact her at P. O. Box 803, Alderson, WV, 24910 or by email: hbpoe(at)excite.com. The cost of the book is $15.00 -- mention the Piker Press for free shipping.