Wear Your Helmet

The beauty of living on Hammond's Hill, in addition to being almost immune to the ravages of the occasional hurricane, was that nothing could approach without some sort of warning, be it sound, or sight. It was, in military strategic terms, a "must-own" piece of the local real estate. All of which had nothing whatever to do with his becoming involved with her. That was all pure happenstance, whatever the hell happenstance was, although he was fairly sure that it had something to do with chance, since the two words rhymed.

Nightly, he would hear the long echo of the approaching vehicle, whether from the west, long and slow, as it made that big climb up the hill, or shorter, shallower, as it came from the east, its headlights lighting the tops of the oaks and the maples, a good minute or two before it even reached the crest of the hill. Night after night, he watched them as they made their way up, across, and then down the hill.

On this night, though, his vigilance assumed a special importance, as he knew that Paul had learned she was leaving, and also to whom she was going. He knew that Paul would be headed his way for a showdown, for a shootout, for one of them to lie dying in the wet ground.

Paul, for his part, eschewed practicality, and had nothing extra with him but his Sig Sauer and a whole bunch of anger. His Harley still in pieces in the garage, he hopped on his beaten-to-death Honda, gunned it, and sped on down Route 6.

He was as prepared as he needed to be, however, and one hell of a lot smarter than Paul, or Paul's .45. The tripwire had been easy to install, and as Paul topped the eastern side of the hill, he could hear the crack, pop, crack, crack, crack of the motorcycle, Paul's unhelmeted head, and the chassis, as they successively hit the pavement.

She was his.

June 10, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

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