Black Thunder

Posted on December 2, 2007

Black Thunder

The Louisiana fishermen, standing by the side of the LA 82, barely paused in their conversation. The rolling thunder, that had started as no more than a distant, growling threat, was increasing in volume. It was louder now, and became the unmistakable sound of an approaching large V-twin motorcycle. Still the fishermen chatted about the day’s events, although each man’s senses was aware of the disturbance. It was only when the conversation became a little more difficult, owing to the intrusive decibels, that they paused momentarily, eying the intruder coolly.
The motorcycle, black and far too fast, swept around a slight bend, the black jacketed rider hanging over at a seemingly suicidal angle, forcing his wayward charge around the bend. He had changed down a gear, but now that he was through the bend, the wrist that flicked all the horsepower back on, also sent shock waves crashing through the fetid swamps. Waves of sound hit the witnesses, making conversation difficult for a brief moment. They turned their heads, slowly, matter-of-factly, and quietly took in the appearance. It was a large machine, black and chrome, with a windscreen and saddlebags. It was moving very quickly indeed, with the hunched shape of the rider oozing concentration and measured risk. He looked tough, and mean. His black leather jacket, the heavy gauntlets, and the white crash helmet and goggles all combined to make him look not of this world. Not given to the emotions of fragile human beings, but a different being.
Hardened, resilient, contemptuous of convention.

The two ladies in their little white Toyota made unkind remarks as the demon sped past them. They complained about the noise, and the excessive speed. Both frowned in disapproval, and gave vent to their displeasure. He was obviously a menace, a cruel, hard, ruthless speed freak. A danger to civilised folk. Perhaps even, they thought in their minds, a dangerous spirit. A threat, a rapist perhaps, violent, and unpredictable.
They were relieved when he sped out of sight over the distant horizon. They saw him as almost a criminal, for sure a very suspicious character, perhaps a psychopath.
Hardened, resilient, contemptuous of convention.

The off duty ambulance driver, tending his garden, also frowned his displeasure. In his mind, he saw the dozens of motorcyclists he had peeled off the road. The terrible accidents, the collisions involving steel and flesh, fenders and human bone. He thought of the blood and guts, the smashed brains and the gasping, rattling last breaths of the dying. He had seen it all, and he hated motorcyclists. They, the organ donors, deserved everything they got. A sub species of humanity, they felt no emotion, and deserved no pity. They were fools, all of them, and possessed not an ounce of intelligence amongst all of them. They were unthinking, unfeeling, primitive beasts. He watched as the black thunder roared past his house in a cloud of dust and fumes, the Neanderthal cretin on board accelerating faster even as he passed by.
Hardened, resilient, contemptuous of convention.

Aboard the motorcycle, he….
…only stared forward. Concentrating violently on the road ahead. Measuring every ripple and crack, every bush and side road, in a fluid scan. He banked and braked, accelerated and changed gears, in a smooth, well practized performance. A symphony of motion, a crescendo of gears and cams, an explosive rendering of exhaust notes bouncing off the limpid wetlands.

In his mind…

…there was only hurt. Hurt that cleaved, sweltered and festered. A betrayal of trust, a lance from behind, a dagger in the night… He could have screamed in anger, defended himself with passion, or fought with fury the charges brought…

Instead… he bit his lip, set his face to neutral, and rolled on the throttle.

Faster. He would go faster.

Only then…. could he forget.

Perhaps…

F.M.
(c)

Last edited by Francis Meyrick on December 28, 2008, 10:47 am


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2 responses to Black Thunder

  1. …And then he died…

    Kidding…

    this is one well thought-out piece. I get so tired sometimes of reading works(and maybe writing them) where words are thrown carelessly on the page. Here you have measured every word and delivered a jarring picture that makes me beg for more.

    Startling images and realism are the stars in this piece… and you, the director have brought them to my minds screen in vivid detail.

    Great work…

    Gordon

  2. Gotta go with the possum on this one… but to be honest, that moron is barely off the training wheels himself.

    This is one bone-jarring tale and if there ain’t a chapter two, there ain’t no justice in the world…

    Simply Le’

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