Sunday, August 10, 2008

Little Jimmy

Batman folded the leather vest and placed it carefully over the package in his dusty, well-worn saddlebag, pulling the leather straps tight and clasping the buckle. Lost in thought, he was not aware of the time spent just staring at the dirty shop floor. It was going to be a bittersweet day. The events that were to take place in a couple of hours made his chest feel heavy, for while proud to do so, he wished the need would never arise.

Grasping a faded vest down from the hanger he carefully checked it over. The memories this particular vest brought forward were tangible in his hands. Only worn for occasions such as today's, the names embroidered were all crisp and perfectly stitched and stood in stark contrast to the weathered patch on the back. Names forever etched in his psyche. Today a new name will be added to this roster. A place of dubious honor. The price of admission to this "roll of honor" always came at too steep a price. The scars and nightmares that paid the cost of membership would last a lifetime for the inductee.

Putting on the vest Batman allowed himself a moments respite to gather his courage. Glancing at his bike, giving it a once-over look, satisfied that all was in order, he swung a leg over and brought it to life. Today this chariot of chrome and steel would announce to all the world: a new member is part of this international organization. He rolled out onto the street, settled back on the seat and headed toward the designated meeting place.

A hundred riders waited for his arrival. Some were members long before the existence of the patch, some were relatives or friends of inductees and some were there as patch holders on the premise of never having to add another member.

This organization had the distinction of never wanting to exist, and all who belonged would gladly burn their patch if the club's charter would no more have relevance.

Arriving at the staging area Batman watched as the members all gathered in formation for the upcoming ride. Pride filled his stature as he heard the thunderous roar of iron horses come to life. The ground trembled. A sound that would soon announce to the inductee: you are safe now.

And to the one who caused the price of admission.......Beware!

Jimmy stood on the lawn next to his mother, clutching a torn and tattered teddy bear stained with far too many tears and quietly holding sorrowful guard. This Bear's six-year mission of being the only defense in the world for the boy would soon be joined in force a thousandfold.

In the stillness of morning a rumble grew in power and proximity. Jimmy's mother gently squeezed her son's hand and whispered in his ear, "This is all just for you," and pointed in the distance.

Jimmy's eyes grew wide as the road filled with motorcycles as far as he could see. Waving to him and parking in a circle around his yard the riders dismounted, smiling, and all gathered in front of Jimmy and his mother.

Batman stepped forward with the contents of his saddlebag. Jimmy opened the brightly wrapped package to reveal a helmet custom-painted with his name on the front and a painting of the patch that all the riders in front of him wore. Custom-fitted just for him, he eagerly placed it on his head, his hair falling over his forehead. Batman gently brushed his leathered hand across the boy's face and tucked it under.

Batman unfolded the small vest in his hands and placing it on Jimmy's shoulders, said to him, "You are one of us now. You no longer have anything to fear. We will always be here for you."

Seeing this interaction between the giant bear of a man that is Batman and little Jimmy, who barely grew taller than his kneecap brought those in attendance to near tears.

Jimmy could barely contain his glee when asked if he was ready for his first ride. Proudly sporting his Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) patch, Jimmy rode with Batman, leading the formation towards his brighter, new destiny.


"Joker" said...

Jesus Christ...that one just about brought a tear to my eye - and I never cry. Great story.

I've always believed child abuse to be the most heinous of all crimes. I'm proud of my brothers and sisters everywhere who ride with the hope of putting an end to it - forever.

FLHX_Dave said...

Big D, Big D, I don't know what to say except that you have a talent brother. I'm with Joker on this one...except for the crying part. Ok, maybe the peeps welled just a bit. Small acts that are larger than life, yet life altering. Very cool Big D.

Ann said...

Babe, I love that you're not only man enough to write a story like this, but to consider joining an organization such as BACA. I'm proud as hell to be your wife.

GREAT story! :)

Lady Ridesalot said...

Ann...You can be very proud indeed! Big D...great story. You had me drawn into it right from the beginning. I knew there was going to be something bitter sweet about who, or what the inductee was being "honored" for.

It's a shame that some of our children have to endure and live with child everyday of their precious lives. I think BACA is a great way for folks like us to do something nice to help these kids.

Thanks for not only giving us a great story, but bringing to our attention the fact that bikers CAN make a difference.

Dean "D-Day" said...

Wow, talk about tugging at your heart-strings! I go on several rides a year for different children's causes and each one hits me deep inside. Just like your story hit me. Keep it up.

Lady Ridesalot said...

I noticed I left out a word. "our children have to endure and live with child abuse everyday..." is what I meant to say.

B.B. said...

That was beautiful! It gave me chills. I have been reading a lot about BACA lately. What a great organization. I can't imagine the impact it must have on the childrens lives who have been shattered by abuse. Great story Big D. and thank you!

Veronnica said...

Yes, you were right, this one would really get me! You have written another terrific piece, and other than the fact its all biker related, the stories are all so different and intriguing. This one did dampen my eyes a bit, but as a mother, you knew it would!

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Great read Big D!

I thought all along reading it that it was doing to be a patch for biker loved ones that have passed. Love your twists.

Proud to know you.

aaroneousmaximus said...

it really is a crying shame that clubs like that have a need for existence. I am glad that there are, so don't get me wrong. Once again I have to sing my praise to your prose. You are an incredible writer and I am always pleased to read your stories. I know that all are based in a degree reality. It really sucks that there is a factual basis for this one as well, but I am glad you are able to articulate an awareness to the situation.

Ann said...

Babe, I just got an email from Joker (from BACA not Mass.), and it looks like your audience is going to grow exponentially:

"That is AWESOME. Daryl is the Man. I wish I could write like that. That is incredible. Thanks for sharing that with me. I will make sure I get it out to the rest of the group if that ok. That is COOL. Hope to see you guys tomorrow night at the DAV.

Have a great day. You made mine,


Way to go, Babe! ILY!!

Big Daddy said...

WoW.....If only mom could see me now ;]

Anonymous said...

It is ashame that an organization like BACA has to exist. But, this story makes me more determined to become a full fledged member with my husband. Being parents ourselves we know how fragile children can be and abuse should never be part of childhood. Good job on the story.

Mike said...

Fucking Excellent.

I can say that can't I?

Good, because some people get all fucking pissed when someone says "excellent."

Seriously. Great story!

Paula said...

That was beautifully written. Very beautifully written.

Ducky said...

This is why we do what we do!! If you are joining us welcome my brother!

Ducky(Lake Oconee Georgia Chapter Bikers Against Child Abuse)

IowaHarleyGirl (Stephanie) said...

Big are an amazing writer. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us.

Shannon said...

Hey D. That was an amazing story. I thought for a moment it was going to be a little worse towards the end, glad where Grizzly was going wasn't a funeral persession. You do have a talent that's for sure. Oh and BTW, you know she can see ya! Love ya, see you tomorrow

Anonymous said...

Awesome story dad. What creativity with your words to make you imagine the story. Xcellent Job!!!

Elmo said...

Big D, well written and this is what we do in B.A.C.A. and soo much more for these kiddos.

Lots of BACA Love
B.A.C.A. Dallas Chapter

Dean "D-Day" said...

Have you thought about sending some of your writing to some biker mags for publication? I've been published in a few and it's kind of a rush to see your name and work in print.

Rex said...

That was a great story! Maybe my favorite. It really envokes emotion.

I like the way its written, specifically up until the point he meets the child and has you thinking of a different course of events than child abuse, if that makes any sense.

Definately a gem!

Debb said...

That was brilliant. I can imagine how that kid felt.
Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Aus10 says Great job and that is the reason BACA belongs and bikers exist: to make a difference

Anonymous said...

That was an amazing story it really hits home for me... It brought tears to my eyes.. Love ya.

Alishea M.

Anonymous said...

Your writing continues to increasingly affect the reader. Keep it up and it's always a joy to read your work. Fabulous piece!

Mister Zip 66 said...

Man, you have the heart of a poet. Most poets are dreamers, and you have the distinction of being both a dreamer and a Doer by what you do. Love that story. I've never been abused, but I can only imagine what it's like when we ride up, get on our haunches, look a kid in the eye who are and tell them we'll do whatever it takes to end that part of their lives for them. Kids are pretty good at sensing bullshit. Our only job is to back up what we say. Great one caveman.