The road stretches ahead of Fields like a long, dusty snake.  She’s riding along its back, the barren wastes stretching out to the horizon on each side of her.  She just holds the throttle open and the bike practically rides itself, a rumbling thundercloud devouring the cracked bitumen.  She’s heading east, the boneyard of the city long behind her.

There’s nothing left for her back there now; the gang hadn’t been family, but it had been survival.  Kerrick, their leader, had held everything together.  He’d taken a bullet through the eye in a meaningless scuffle and things had fallen apart after that.  The predators and scavengers came soon enough, snapping at the edges of their territory and sometimes drawing blood.  Walker went next, then Grafton and The Lump.  Fields can still remember the big man bleeding to death in the ruins of some building, gut shot and blubbering.  She didn’t wait to be next, packed her things onto the bike and rode off into the night.

Up ahead, there’s a crossroads, spokes radiating out in each cardinal direction.  There’s signs on the ground, but they’re useless; the paint has long since peeled and faded.  Fields cautiously brings the bike to a stop and leans forward over the bars, deciding which way to go.  Each road leads off into the horizon, as far as the eye can see.  She kills the engine, kicks out the stand and dismounts.

She’s glad of the chance to stop; the ride has been long and her shoulders are stiff from holding the one position for so long.  She sits down on the edge of the seat and lights a thin cigar from out of her jacket, blowing smoke rings into the wasteland.  She catches a glimpse of herself in the bike’s mirror and pauses to study her reflection.  A pair of smokey goggles stare back at her from beneath a bandana covered by dust.  The dust is everywhere, covering her jacket, her hair and tanning her skin a deeper shade of brown.  A gloved hand wiped against her jaw comes away dirty, but to little overall effect.

Fields looks around and finishes the cigar.  Each way but the one she came by is as good as another.  She tosses the smouldering stub of the cigar up into the air, leaving the decision to Kismet.  The stub bounces and rolls upon the uneven surface of the road, the smoking tip pointing to the south as it comes to a stop.

Fields crushes the stub with a boot, adjusts her goggles and throws a leg back over the bike.  A touch of her thumb to the starter and the engine comes to life, filling the air with deep thunder.  A twist of her wrist and she’s away, the southern road leading her on towards mountains that shimmer like water in the distance.


~ by Electro-mechanical Man on February 21, 2011.

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