Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

The depressing gloom of twelve noon hanging dark in brown smog was only outdone by the endless rows of ash grey skyscrapers; so many housing projects, so many broken windows, so many bodies rotting in the steel towers of the eastern seaboard.

An open sign buzzed in the window of a greasy bar and grille that fought to stay noticed amongst the shadows of tattered awnings and flapping clotheslines. On the dirty sidewalk in front, a seagull with one eye was fighting over a severed human finger with a tattered black raven. A sudden FRAAAP!!! of a bored out Harley shovelhead engine running through open pipes echoed off the cement jungle and both birds scattered, the finger rolling unclaimed into the storm drain for the rats.

A headlight crested the rise and seemed to aim directly at the bar and grille. Badass Benny Boots knew the joint. He gunned the hardtail’s 103 inch engine and headed straight for Uncle Larry’s.

A size 15 Doc Martin flicked out a chrome kickstand as the big shovelhead motor hissed and farted to a halt in front of the run down establishment. The six-foot-five 275-pound man swung his leg over the chopper, got up, stretched and yawned, his leathers creaking in accompaniment.

Suddenly there was the scuff of a shoe in a nearby alley opening, followed by a click.

Benny rolled his eyes and sighed, “Here we go again.” He spun on his heel, drawing his plasma cannon with the speed of an old west gunfighter. And before the desperate junkie could raise his beat up ancient revolver, he had a fist sized hole burning in his chest.

The huge man holstered his weapon and disappeared into the gloom of the bar. The front door slammed shut behind him as the dead junkie keeled over onto the sidewalk.

“It’s amazing what a guy has to do to get a beer and a burger around here.” He eyed Uncle Larry, a short Chinese man with a stony face and a stern gaze. “Gimme the special Larry.” The biker suddenly noted nervousness in the proprietor’s eyes. Benny looked toward the restroom’s slightly ajar door. He shook his head sadly, “Here we go again.”

The drug dealer, an old adversary of Benny’s, suddenly burst forth from the toilet with machine gun in hand. Again the plasma cannon sprung forth from its holster. Again it left a gaping smoldering hole in the chest of its target. And as the dealer collapsed to the cheap linoleum Benny turned back to the bar, to see smiling Uncle Larry plop down what he had ordered. A frothy pint of lager and a charred piece of meat, hopefully not rat, on a stale crusty bun, a bit of heaven on earth.

And as he sat upon the bar stool he could smell the bubbles from his beer. He smiled and picked up the burger. He opened his mouth to take a bite and saw, in the reflection of the chrome napkin holder, a figure in a black balaclava raising a huge knife above his head.

He began to set down his burger, his brow furled. “Here we go again.”


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