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Here is a short story I wrote to get in touch with my fictional Ducati-riding/Tailwind-pulling hero Chase Lane (there is a secret reason he doesn't ride a Wing). He is the lead in my "Hotel du Monde" mystery novel. If you enjoy a fast paced and funny story with a motorcycle theme, you may like this one.


Alligator.jpg

The Alligator in the Road



As a general rule, I never talk to strange alligators first thing in the morning. However, since it was after lunch, and he was standing in my way, I decided to make an exception. I held out my hands and said, "Easy there, big fella."

He hissed at me, and I detected a certain note of urgency in his tone that seemed to say, "Human good. Taste like chicken."

I had just loaded my paintings into my motorcycle trailer when I realized my lunch guest was not five feet from my toes. He was standing right where I would usually stand to get on the bike.

I closed the lid on the Tailwind trailer and looked around. I ride a Ducati Diavel motorcycle, a red one, with a matching red cargo trailer. We were parked in a little clearing, beside a sky blue lake, in the middle of the Dismal Swamp in North Carolina. If you've ever seen any of my famous landscape paintings, or any of my fantasy art, you'll know that I was there doing color sketches of the local flora. Some people actually know my name, Chase Lane. No? That's okay. What was not okay was that the alligator was advancing.

I gently closed the trailer lid and eased my way around to my right, one step, two steps, till my motorcycle trailer was between me and my lunch guest.

"I'd offer you a sandwich, but I just finished eating."

This time the hissing sounded like, "Human sandwich good."

I tip toed around the motorcycle and pulled my red-nylon riding suit off the seat. I slipped one leg into the suite, then the other. The alligator took dinosaur steps toward the back of my bike, then stopped to sniff my rear tire. I pulled the suite up over my right shoulder and stuck my right arm inside. The next bit was going to be tricky. People have been known to fall over getting a riding suit on, and by people, I mean me. I slipped my left arm into the sleeve and very carefully pulled the collar up over my shoulder.

"Yesss!" I said.

The alligator hissed back and started walking again.

I zipped up and said, as casually as I could, "I didn't realize this was your yard, Mr. Gaita. So sorry. You don't mind, do you? I'm actually done painting for the day."

I couldn't see his teeth, but I heard his head smack into the side of the trailer. I grabbed my red, open-face helmet off the mirror and stuffed it on my head.

Alligators can move fast. I've heard they can run up to 20 mph in short bursts. The fastest human can't go much faster, and chubby old men in motorcycle gear can only move quickly when heading for the bathroom. One thing that ten-foot-long alligators can't do well is turn corners. I figured I had one chance to avoid becoming a famous dead celebrity--wait until he got directly behind the trailer, then hop on the bike and go like hell.

I checked the right hand pocket of my riding suite, but my key fob wasn't in there.

"Crap!"

The creature swished his tail and it hit the kickstand of the bike—right in front of my toes. He was almost where I wanted him, but I couldn't risk climbing onto the motorcycle if I didn't have my key-fob-starter-thingy in my pocket. If the bike wouldn’t start, I’d be a sitting duck—and alligators love ducks, especially when they are sitting.

I unzipped the side seam of my riding suite and fished around in my pants pocket. Yes! I had not dropped the little starter gizmo in the swamp after all.

The dragon-green alligator reached the end of the fire engine red trailer. If he went down the road, all would be well, I would just let him go, but if he turned and started around the trailer after me, I was in trouble. He turned. I was in trouble. I saw his nose appear around the back of the trailer, then one hungry eye. I thought the eye would be red or green, but the iris was actually light gray. The slit pupil made his eye look huge.

I stepped back and as I did, I touched my left pants pocket. There was something inside: an apple. What could I do with that? Throw it really hard and knock Mr. Gaita unconscious? Hold it out so he could take a bite, and hope he didn’t take my arm too? Against my better judgment, I forced myself to take two steps toward the back of the bike. I bit into the apple. The gaiter focused his great gray eye on me and glared.

"Really good," I said with my mouth full.

He hissed.

"Wanna bite?"

He nodded, or at least, I think he nodded. I'm certain he opened his mouth.

I rolled the apple past his nose. He twisted his whole body toward me and slapped his nose on the back of my trailer. That's when I felt the strength drain out of my legs. I almost collapsed.

Next thing I knew, I was on my bike, looking in my rear view mirror at a cloud of dust. I heard the engine howling and saw dust billowing out behind the bouncing trailer.

As I slid the bike sideways around a craggy cypress tree, I looked back and saw the alligator. He was eating the apple and smiling. It was hard to tell in the bouncing rear view mirror, but it looked like he might has said, “Apple good. Taste like chicken.”

© 2013 by Rodney Robbins http://tinyurl.com/gatorinroad Available on Kindle, iPad and Droid.
 

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Well written.

I know you said it's fiction, but it sounds like it could happen.

Unless you are like so many NRA members. They would have had that gator killed and skinned before you got your Tailwind closed.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oops! You know, a "riding suite:" a set of rooms where you can ride your motorcycle indoors without worrying about alligators.
 
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