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Dale and I sit panting for a moment. I seem to be mostly fine, and Dale doesn’t look any worse than usual. We both get out of the car without speaking. The side of the car that got rammed is dented and scratched, but beyond that the car was fine.
“Did those trees move?” He points to the trees that were now back like they were before we ran through them.
“Yeah, Dale.” I nod.
“Why did those trees move?”
“Well, that was part of what I wanted to show you.” I turn away from him and walk out towards the field. I realize I’m not entirely sure how to replicate what I did earlier.
“Well, you’ve got my attention.” Dale says from behind me.
I take a deep breath. “Grow!” I’m not sure if it’s the words or the feeling behind it, so I decide to go with both. This had better not let me down.
The grass in front of me remains still for a moment, and then shoots up to hip height. I look back at Dale. “Yeah, that was it.”
“Well, how long have you been doing that?” He looks to be so confused that he doesn’t know what other way to process that.
“Since that green light.” I lean up against his truck, and find a dent decently shaped for my back.
“Wow, that’s weird. Do you think that’s why the suits are here?”
“Maybe. I don’t think those guys are soil testing, though.” We both chuckle. “So, are we still going to see what they’re doing?”
“I sure as hell am. They scratched up my truck. You don’t have to, but I sure as hell am.” He reached into the bed of his truck and pulled out a rifle.
“Well, like hell am I gonna let you go alone.” I open the door to his truck and sit back inside.
“Well, we can’t go driving up now, they know our truck, and they’ll be looking for us.” Dale slings the gun over his shoulder. “Open up the glovebox, there ought to be a pistol in there.”
“Well, what are we gonna do? Walk? We’ll be out here all night.” I grope around in the glove box and find a silver pistol with a couple of clips. “This had better not be a 22.”
“Jimmy… I have an idea.” He points over the hill to a ramshackle shed.
“Well what’s gonna be in there? Do you even know whose property we crashed on?” I make sure the safety is on, and tuck the pistol into my pants.
“We’re on O’Reilly’s land… I think.” He scratched his beard for a moment, then shook his head. “Either way, he keeps dirtbikes, and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if we borrowed them.”
“So we’re gonna go stealing somebody who I’ve not even met’s dirtbikes?” Upon hearing it out loud, that does sound like a very Dale thing to do.
“Pretty much. We’ve got strangers trying to kill us in our town, I think special rules apply.” He grabs a bag and starts to stuff it with beers, before strapping it to his back. “Look, I’m gonna do it anyways, you may as well be with me.”
I sigh and slam the truck door shut. “Well, I guess I’ve not done anything this stupid in a good long while. Let’s get going.” So we head off to the shed.
When we finally get to the shed, we find a rusty lock barring our entry. Dale slams it off with the butt of his rifle, and I don’t even bother to object. Inside are three cobweb covered dirtbikes, leaning up against a wall. Along with them, are shelves and shelves of junk.
Dale sets off getting the bikes uncovered, while I search for any gas he may have. Through a pile of sheet metal, plywood, and tools, I see a faded red fuel can. I begin to shove metal and wood to the side, not particularly worried about noise. Sure enough, there’s a two thirds full can. I just hope it hasn’t gone bad.
“Dale, I got the gas.” I look up at a bulletin board, and underneath a pile of pinned papers, I spot a glimmer of keys.
“Good stuff, you see any keys? They’re not in the ignition.”
I look over my shoulder, and Dale had secured two of the better looking bikes. “Yeah I think I’ve got ‘em here.” I grab the keys and the can, and I start filling the tanks.
I’m just about done when Dale bumps me, making me spill some gas on my pants. “Psst… Jimmy? Do you hear that?”
I stop filling and try to listen, I hear shouting off in the distance. I think for a moment about who it could be, but then again there’s not really a good answer to that question, so I call it a day on fueling the bikes and toss Dale a key.
The yelling is getting much closer, and I can just about make it out. “Get out of my shed, you thieves!”
Of course he found us. I make a note not to listen to Dale ever again. I put the key in the ignition, but it doesn’t fit.
“Jimmy, my key isn’t working!” Dale is yelling now, and reaches out a hand for
a different key, handing me his.
I give a turn to the second key, and I hear the roar of Dale’s bike next to me. I throw the other key to the ground, and try the last one. I crank the bike, and it roars to life. I then remember that it has been more than a decade since I rode one of these. That realization is dwarfed by the sight of an angry old man in the doorway.
Oftentimes I doubt Dale’s intelligence, but in a pinch, he can usually figure out a working solution. In this particular pinch, his solution was to mow the old man down. Dale revs his bike and shoots off, the old man barely has time to fall out of the way before Dale is out the door. I shake my head and take off after him.
I guess there are some things you never forget, like riding a dirtbike. I wager that I won’t soon forget that old man’s face when Dale revved that bike. That alone almost makes this worth it… Almost.
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