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Happy Trails (entry 8)

 
Keith Rawkings's picture
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((From the Diary of Keith Rawkings, spell check later))

Well I ran out of booze and was feeling more lucid than I had in a long time. My conscience started to tug on me about the shoot out. Don't ask me why. Just wanted to tell her and get the burden off of my chest. I galloped back into Serenity Falls and went right up to the mayor's office. She wasn't in. I did a little gallop around town and couldn't find her. And then I came upon one sweet site.
There was this sweet little thing with red hair, working on a red camaro. My favorite color. I just hauled on Old Overholt's reins so hard I almost fell over stoppin' him in time to meet this girl.
((queue the music to "Little Red Corvette" by Prince http://www.myspace.com/video/quot-e-quot/prince-and-the-revolution-littl...))

I don't think she noticed me at first. She had her head inside of the hood a' that car, really goin' at it. She was all on her tippy toes, and it gave me a real good chance to admire the curves.. On the car, and everything else of course! I think I managed to sneak in a good look before she noticed me there. I asked her quick from the top of my horse's saddle if she knew where the mayor was. Then I saw her smile. Then I forgot what the hell I came out there for. We introduced ourselves to each other. She said her name was Dru. She wasn't sure I wanted to shake her hand on account 'a all the grease she was covered in. Shit, that was nieve, I didn't give a shit about the dirtiness. Any reason to shake that little tender hand was worth gitin all dirty for. Besides, didn't she know skin contact feels better with grease involved? Heh.
Yeah we started jist yappin on and flirtin and all. She liked ma' dog Poopis. Made em git on his back and let her scratch his belly. Now about this time the whole scene was remindin' me of some old poster I used to have up on the wall of my office back before the end times and shit. It's a little blurry to remember, but there was a gal, and a red car, and soap. Yeah, nice. So we was all gitin on and jabberin' about things, and I was pretty enraptured with this female. I like females who can fix stuff. People jis dont know I fix shit too. I told her about a 1969 camaro I used to have when I was a teenager that I never got ta fixin, due on account it was only a shell and quite the undertakin'. (Not to mention I got poor as shit shortly after aquirring ma dream car.) I hope Old Overholt didn't git jealous.

This girl was obviously new around here. But there was a look in her eyes that told me she had been around this lonely desert for a long time and was jist happy to be in one place, like a sigh of relief. I know the feelin'. It's pretty fleetin' though. She'll learn. I wondered how long it would take before this town would chew er up and spit er out. Hate to see that happen. Started thinkin' bout the bullshit goin on around here in the heirarchy and all that drama. Then a light bulb blew up in ma brain, and I remembered, much ta ma sadness, why the hell I was here again. Got damn you conscience!

This sucked a lot and is not characteristic of the Rawkings, but shit, I weighed ma options. Maybe we'd meet up again later. I asked her where the Mayor was again, and she told me jist across the street where her car was parked all along. Tha things ya don't see when ya git distracted by the opposite sex!
I thanked her kindly and told her Id be back.

With great reluctance, I went on over to tha mayor's residence. I got off the horse and started bangin on tha door. I giss I was jist a little bit onery about having ma flirtations cut off by this business. Time ta git it over wit.

Aerinn was tired and maybe a little pissy when she answered tha door, but I insisted it wasn't safe to talk outside and she needed to let me in before I changed ma mind. So she let me in and I took a seat on her couch with ma dog. Basically I explained to 'er I went into the bar the other day to jist git some cigarettes from the machine when I walked into some shit goin' down between that Khalil on one end, and that big ol Vikin' guy who was fighting with him at the bar in Hope Springs earlier in the week. The weird part was I also saw that dang nasty dog killer guy with the Vikin like they were companions or brothers or somethin' odd. I told her how they done fired a shot at Khalil and I ran like a bat outta hell from that bar in the interim. I told 'er how I huny around in some alley to hear the outcome but that I was a little boozed up and kinda fell asleep outside by a camp fire in the street.
But I did wake up in time to sneak up to the bar, hear them two big guys argue a little about killing Khalil and then that  Dog killer guy tellin ol' Thor there to bury tha body. Yeah so "Mr. Dogman" I'll call em for now, came on out the back door and gave me a stone cold stare and all and asked me what I saw. Course I said "see what?" Momma didn' raise no fool. He seemed satisifed with the answer. Either that or he didn't want to be seen killin' me in the street in front of them Union patrollers and other witnesses.

All the while I'm tellin' this story she checks in over tha town radio for Khalil. Much too ma suprise, the man answered back. I think she might have disbelieved a little bit of what I told 'er after that. That was, until he started to respond like he had the shit knocked outta him and was lost somewhere in the desert. Yeah then she started to think otherwise... Well, I don't even know why I told her. Was it even worth riskin' my butt for? Would Khalil have died out there without me telling her he was shot up and missing? Bleh, What a waste of time.

I basically jist told her to lock her windows and doors and watch out fer trouble and then I left.

((Next Entry on the Page, Entitled "Fox Dogg"))

Shit where do I continue with this? I remember leavin' the mayor's office and gitin all hungry. I figured my obligations to the serious business were done so I turned right around and you know I marched right on over to Dru's place and asked her if she wanted to go grab a bite to eat. She kindly refused ma proposal for reasons I can't comprehend. Do I stink again? Oh well.

I mosied on down the street to the Waffle House and who do I see but Fox Dogg parked right out in front of tha place. I remember gitin wasted with this guy a while ago, he's pretty cool people, or so I thought. He wasn't wearin his black jacket I saw him wearin last time. He looked a lot different. He was really dressed all CHOTA like, like there was a war at hand. He looked pretty fuckin tough. So I was pretty relieved when he responded in kind like he was also happy to see me. We really were hungry and unfortunately the waffle house was shutdown, lights off, and it was locked up tight as a virgin.

Now I really don't know what I was thinking next. Must a been ma stomach. I conspired with the guy to kinda jist ya know slip on in tha back door and "borrow" some stuff. Ya know, nothin' nobody would miss. Jist git a snack that's all. Besides, Deuce could suck an egg about it for all I care. Ma head wound reminded me of that one.

So we git on back to the door and Fox Dogg was ready to punch it in. I had to rasp at him to "WAIT!". He jist gave me a look like "huh?" I showed em there was more suttle ways of doin' things and I didnt want to fuck anything up, jist sneak in and out and fill our guts with food. I got out some crudely fashioned lock picks out of ma satchel and sqautted down at the door lock to start the work.

And as I look up glass smashed over my head as Fox kicked the damned door in! FUCK!
He jist looked pretty determined to git in there and rob the place. I was about to back out, but when he was like "come on" and I saw no one was around to noticed the noise, I reluctantly headed in behind him.

I told him to lets jist grab some of that chicory tea and some apples, but he had other plans in mind.
I mean he was a bold sob. He wouldn't even squat down behind the counter when I pleaded with 'em. He said he's too big anyway and he definitely didn't look scared of shit.  He also wanted to take his time with the place too. And he was a pretty tall. At almost what I gander to be seven feet tall, I was not about to git on the wrong side a this guys fists by tellin him what to do. I started shoving some eggs from off of the counter and some candies in ma pockets. He wanted more though. He told me to start grabbin some a that "tech stuff."
At this point I was hopin' I could fool em a little bit. Maybe he would jist go for anything shiny and metal lookin' and not really expensive to Deuce, so I grabbed me a napkin holder. But he jist frowned. I then grabbed some "Draino" from under the sink hopin that would satisfy his kleptomania.
He was not impressed. He went on back into the store room and told me to follow em.
There was a few weird barrels of somethin I have yet to identify. He asked me what the hell was in it. I opened the cork on one of em and took a whiff. I really didn't know what the hell it was in there. Coulda been hooch, coulda been gas, coulda been a dang bomb for all I knew, but I predicted takin' the thing would git him satisfied enough to let us go before we got caught.
So I told that big ol' monkey to put it up over his shoulder and let's git the heck outta there. And we did.
Now I don't know why I did what I did next, I probably should have jist kept ridin' out but I told Fox that I needed to make a stop and see someone. He got in his car, and I got on Old Overholt and we made it on down to Dru's place. She was still there workin' on that ol' Camaro.
Basically what proceeded was a show of Bravado on my part. Maybe I watched too many westerns as a kid, but I was pretty determined. I was also hyped up on adrenaline, so I figured why not.
Dru could see something was up with us the moment we got over there. I told her what happened at the waffle house and that we could take all that stuff and git on outta there together. I jist had this feelin that girl would not do well here with them puppy dog eyes, and it was only a matter of time before she got shoved around like a second class citizen.
She told me I should put the stuff back, and I told her it was too late, the big crazy guy over there already kicked the shit outta tha door.
I tried convincing her we'd be royalty in the desert compared to here and I told her I could jist feel it, that she didn't belong here. But what do I know? I even went so far as to show her my bullet wond from Deuce to convince her not to trust people around here. I think she might have started to question what was going on when she saw that but she was in denial about the wound being for real and who did it.
I jist gave up before the union patrols or anyone else for that matter would show up. But I knew she would eventually see I was right about this place. Fox told her he had a place out in progress town and if she changed her mind, come lookin for us out that way. Of course, she doesn't know I can hear further on my comm radio now if she or anyone else calls out for assistance. So she probably wont try.
Yeah it was a real crash and burn and probably really stupid. If she ever tells anyone who robbed tha waffle house, my goose is cooked.

Fox and I headed North on the road out of Serenity Falls for a while. He switched up to a horse and we rode off like two outlaws into the sunset. We got real close to Hope Springs, and I think we both had the same idea at the same time cause we stopped the horses and almost jumped all over each other's sentences. Alcohol was in order. 'Cept I didn't know we both has very different idea of obtainin' it.

I jist wanted a drink and to take a break. But as we got up to the bar doors he proceeded to tell me that he couldnt let any of the townfolk see him but "ok." As I wondered why he would say this, he proceeded into the bar and it dawned on me this was a bad idea. But it was too late, cause that guy was wellin front of me. As I got into the bar in tow he was already jumpin behind the bar and grabbin up as many bottles of booze as he could hold, and let me tell ya that big ape can carry a lot of stuff under his arms.
I started to panic. This is totally not what I had in mind when I said "I'm thirsy, let's go git a drink."
I stayed towards the front door hopefully out of full view of the bartenders there. I tried to keep my head low in my jacket and my head tipped down. I suddenly had a vision of me dangling down by my neck from the end of a rope lookin' down at Robert Angus and the rest of those "Iron Sights" bikers starin' back up at me with grins on their faces. I jist snapped out of it and yelled at Fox to "GIT GOIN!" and we lunged over the top of that counter like a damn horse and ran to the door.
I'm starting to think this is all in a days work for this man, and began to wonder jist what the hell I got ma self into smokin' that joint with 'em that day back at the waffle house. Thank god no one got hurt. I believe he may have sooner caved those bartenders heads then let them refuse him the whiskey.

So now, we're really screwed. I don't know if anyone saw me or will recognize me, but they will definitely remember Fox that whiskey raid in Hope Springs, and I think he really doesnt give a shit either. We kept riding like hell after that. We eventually made a stop at New Flagstaff, and I convinced him to toss that barrel in the vault there for safekeeping.

We rode far out east near Progress Town. I remember doing a job there once that turned ma stomach. It was supposed to be the up and coming  little town, and I was really optimistic about settling in there. The only catch was the CoG issue there. Ya had to participate in gunnin' down those invaders if you wanted to stake a claim in the town. After waves and waves of these zombified CoGs gettin' gunned down over and over, I decided I couldn't handle this business any longer and refused to fire anymore shots. Memories came back I do not wish to put into paper.

The "house" was arough site on the eyes when I first came upon it. In fact, it was damn near brutal looking, and I wondered how anyone could call this place "home." It looks like it may have been someone's dream house way back when. But now.. The place was falling apart, there were graves all over the property, and there was a god damn corpse hanging from the Gazebo. I swallowed the bile formin' up in ma throat when he told me I could "stay here anytime I want."

But I guess in his eyes, this was not to be refused by someone he considered his friend. In fact, I dont know the customs of the CHOTA, but I bet they dont end nicely if ya refuse somethin... Or break a friendship.. Besides. Our friendship could serve us both nicely. Having a big guy in your corner like that could really tip the scales in a fight. And besides, he was the only friend I had right now. And I aint about to piss on such a thing in this cruel wasteland.

So I said "Oh awright," and he tossed me the keys to the place. Then he called us "buddies" and he rode off. Now I gotta monitor the radio and see what happens from here."



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