Monday, August 20, 2007

Ritual of Honor

David awoke with a throbbing hangover. He staggered out of his room into the kitchen, ran his fingers through his hair, belched, leaned over the coffee pot and lit a cigarette. "That was a helluva party last night," he mused to himself. "I can't get over how many people showed up. I gotta straighten up, I got a lot to do today, and it has to be done right. Having been taught the honor and integrity of brotherhood from them, he knew Gramps and Grammy shouldn't deserve anything less." He shoved a coffee down his throat, reached over and put on the leather riding vest that was hanging neatly on a peg in the hallway and headed out to the garage.

As he entered, he saw the old 1988 1200 Sportster sitting over in the corner. It was in well worn, yet in pristine shape for a 50 year old bike. He ran his hand over the candy-brandywine paint where the color had grown thin from years of polishing. Amazing, he thought to himself, it still shines like new. He glanced the seat, well worn from years of riding, faded in spots, yet still supple and not a tear in it. He then passed his hand lovingly over the script painted on the oil tank that read 'Annabelle' his Grandmothers name. The bike's moniker bestowed years before he was even born. "Can you believe how many people showed up to honor you and Gramps?" he said to the name on the bike. He then checked the straps holding an old Ironhead jug that was sitting on the back seat. Threw a leg over and turned on the ignition, it barely cranked a half second before igniting with a sharp crackle and then setted down to a nice loping idle. He tapped the gear lever down into first and felt the solid "snick" as it went into gear. smiled to himself thinking, "Jesus, what a bike."

He eased the clutch and rolled down the driveway out to the street. He looked down the road to see 30 or 40 bikes and riders lined up along both sides of the road. He rode slowly to the head of the street as all the bikes fell in place behind him and headed out to the highway for the 30 mile trip to Biker mountain. Biker mountain had been purchased and so named by the confederation of bikers who acquired it after the millions of dollars that came in from all over the world in honor of the lifestyle and Brotherhood. So many donations came in that a 10,000 acre parcel of land was bought and had a platinum statue of a Harley. It had been built by some of the finest artisans in the world. The sheer size of it was only matched by the Crazy Horse statue in the Dakotas.

There was a set of steps leading up the side of the mountain. At the top, surrounding the statue was a circular platform surrounded by flags of every MC in clear view .With a promontory looking over the valley below, known as Brotherhood Point. At the very top of the stairs was marble sarcophagus flanked by four brothers wearing colors of various clubs. Behind the sarcophagus was a round marble platform with a small opening that was covered by a sliding solid platinum cover. Down at the base of the stairs off to the right was a marble path that wound up the side of the mountain to the top.

As David came to within a thousand feet of the base he stopped to let the other bikes pass by. They rolled up to the entrance and parked in fluidly smooth motion against the curb lining the road; front wheels out and tires leaning towards the mound. David slid the Sporty into gear and proceeded towards the entrance. He smoothly turned the bike onto the marble pathway and started towards the top. As he rode on it seemed to him 'Annabelle' was hesitating up the hill. To him it seemed the bike didn't want to go.

As he reached the top of the summit, he stopped, got off the bike and undid the straps,removed the Ironhead jug. He walked over to the four bikers who parted and let him pass to the sarcophagus. He set the jug down on the platform and addressed the Tomb in front of him, "I am here to pass the remains of my grandparents to the shelter of this hallowed ground. I respectfully ask that you receive them into your honored protection." After speaking briefly about who and what his grandparents stood for and believed in, he walked to the back of the platform and slid the platinum cover aside and removed his grandfathers leather and placed it in the opening so that it would fall onto the thousands of brothers' vests that came before.

He stepped back and two of the guards came forward and escorted David and the jug over to Brotherhood Point. The remaining two Brothers rolled the bike over to the Point. David reached over and opened up the jug and poured its contents over the side of the Point to the valley below. As the ashes poured forth from the jug, a gentle breeze seemed to catch the ashes in it's path and it seemed as if the tendrils of dust reached down and caressed the bike then passed over to David and lightly brushed on his shoulder. As it did so, he could have sworn he felt a gentle squeeze from a pair of hands in unison and he heard what sounded like the sweetest V -Twin that ever ran, fire up and fade out as the filaments of dust drifted out over the valley below. "I must be hearing things", he thought as he walked over to the Sporty. As he did so he paid tribute to the brothers who stood by him for the ceremony with a hand clasp and brothers' hug.

When he turned to get on the Sporty, he heard one of the brothers say, "That was a sweet sounding bike your grandparents rode to Valhalla."


Veronnica said...

That was a great story! You should seriously consider sending that in to one of the biker magazines. You obviously have a talent for writing and telling the story, including the minute details that make the story that much more real and keep the reader enthralled. That's amazing!

Anonymous said...

Good Shit Maynard!
I guess one of your kids is destined to have a child named David. As for me, toss my corpse on a pyre, add five gallons of race gas, and toss a match. Hopefully, someone will remember to play "Ballad of Ezy Rider" by Jimi Hendrix or "No Quarter" by Zeppelin. Seriously though, that was a cool tale.

Anonymous said...

that story could only be understood by a rider, a true rider no matter WHAT KIND OF BIKE THEY RODE. just know that the story is one that will be told of you one day!

Ann said...

Babe, that was a great short story. And according to Anonymous's comment, you are a great father!

Anonymous said...

Hey D.
Decent story. Suppose David knew where the sporty came from ORIGINALLY?

Ann said...

Sounds like Ted wants to be in the story! I think he likes being blogged about! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Hey Big D:
That was an awsome story. It is very heart felt. Cant believe that came from you. Don't see that side often. This story is a keeper.


Shannon said...

Not bad Rev. You definately have a way of making sure the details that are needed for great visualization are included. That story definately could turn into something much longer then a short story if you sat there and kept going. I definately encourage you to do that.

Anonymous said...

That is an awesome story! It made me think about someone special that was in my life. I almost cried.

Ann said...

Love the re-write!

samantha said...

This was great!! Im sure of it now... I get my vocabulary from you...You put great detail into your stories...I almost feel as if im watching a movie, thats how well you describe the scene...keep writing more stories ;)

FLHX_Dave said...

A work worthy of recognition Big D. Some people spend their entire life looking to grasp what you wrote here. Awesome story and amazing detail, I saw it before my eyes as I read. Obviously the gift is yours. This is one that will haunt me for a long time to come. That's hard to pull off because my memory sucks. Quite a feat to pull off.