long road ghost - part 7 of 9

No sooner had Monk driven off that Brom scratched his itch to pick a fight with Alex. This time a punch connected and Alex fell bloodied to the floor. Katrina went to his side, eggin’ him on, but despite all that anger and hate, Alex stayed down like he did before.

“Just like in college,” Katrina said. “Mouse.”

If I didn’t like Katrina before, I liked her even less for leavin’ her man and cozyin’ up to Brom like he was a hot shot.

With Katrina droolin’ all over Brom and Brom promisin’ to teach her how to ride, Alex left with a mouthful of bad words for his wife. The mood in Sleepy Hollow, what with the death’s of Brom’s gang and the ugly business of man fighting for and losing a woman’s heart, was sour beyond even the medicinal powers of beer or the strongest whiskey.

A few days passed and the sour mood still hadn’t lifted. I was watchin’ Forbidden Planet on the bar’s beat-up TV. I’d never seen it before, but the story about a man whose murderous subconscious gets animated by alien machines was pretty good, if a bit beyond me in the technical details. In the back, Mojo washed dishes while whistlin’ one of those god-awful show tunes, don’t ask me which one. Sleepy Hollow was actually pretty quiet, even by Tuesday night standards. A phone call explained things.

“You know Katrina Crane?” said Monk. It was one of them rhetorical questions; he knew damn well Katrina was a regular.

“What happened now? You catch her and Brom doin’ the mambo?”

“She’s dead, Rip,” said Monk. “Same as Brom’s boys. We found her not far from her home. It seems she’d been riding Brom’s bike. A Triton, right?”

A Triton. Triumph engine, Norton frame. A classic beauty. That was Brom’s, all right. I figured he’d been givin’ Katrina lessons.

“Where’s Alex?”

“Don’t know,” I said. “Hasn’t been around since Saturday.”

The Sheriff hung up on me, his mood worse than ever. Couldn’t blame him. That serial killer had been a nightmare…now the whole town was gettin’ spooked by somethin’ that couldn’t be dismissed as gang violence, or whatever excuse they’d come up with to explain the Bone Riders’ deaths. Even the usual gang preferred not to hang out at Sleepy Hollow on account of the rumors and whispers.

Brom was sittin’ at the bar, though, quiet as a church mouse for a change. I argued with myself as to whether to share the bad news with him or not, than figured that since his bike was at the scene, he’d find out soon enough. Then Alex walked in, his face redder than a taste tester at a chili cook-off, and screamed at Brom.

“You killed her! You and you’re stupid bike! If she hadn’t been riding it, she’d still be alive.”

What Alex didn’t say was that maybe Brom would be dead instead, but Brom caught the drift. It made sense - that is, if this whole thing really was about someone gunnin’ to take out all of the Bone Riders and mistakin’ Katrina for Brom’s crew. But Brom didn’t argue – he just grabbed Alex by the neck and pushed him outside. I followed, only to find the two fellahs gettin’ on their bikes. I expected they were goin’ to settle things by seeing once and for all who was master of the road. Fearin’ for the worse, especially with the Sun goin’ down, I revved up my Bonneville – a beautiful noise – and followed along.

To be continued...

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