The following short story is by guest author Alice Benson. If you enjoy this story, find more of Alice’s work at her website – www.alicebensonauthor.com.
Jenny heard the roar three full minutes before she saw the motorcycles. The blast of reverberation made the gas pump handle jump in her hand. Her stomach quivered with anxiety as she watched them pull into the parking lot, one, two, three, four. Huge motorcycles. So loud, the sound rolled over her in a tsunami of noise. She willed her gas tank to be full so she could leave.
Four men with long hair swirling in wild clouds around their heads, one with a long braid down his back. All with leather vests, boots, and gloves, faded blue jeans and torn bandanas. Scenes from The Wild Bunch, Hells Angels, and Mad Max coursed through her mind, the product of chronic insomnia and old B movies, her constant companions.
She watched the bikers out of the corner of her eye as they pulled up by a gas pump, grateful that she used her credit card and didn’t have to go inside to pay. She needed milk and a lottery ticket, but those could wait. She’d stop somewhere else on the way home.
Jenny shivered, needing to be done, to get out of there. Visions of knife fights, rapes, slashed tires, black eyes, and broken jaws slammed against the back of her eyes. Women running screaming down the middle of the street, chased by wild-eyed monsters on motorcycles. No one was safe from outlaw bikers.
She kept watching. Details slowly swam into focus, and Jenny turned to stare, full on. Specifics began replacing the images in her mind. The long hair and bushy beards were mostly gray. Bellies hung over belts and leather vests were straining to close around sagging paunches. The faces were drawn, wrinkled, jowly.
They got off the motorcycles stiffly, stretching and kneading lower backs. The man with the braid limped toward the store. “Do you want anything?”
“Yes,” a bearded man answered. “Get me a coke. No, a diet-coke.” He paused. “No, better make that a diet-sprite.”
Jenny felt the conversation laughing at her. Reality collided with fiction, then smacked the stereotypes in her head. She put the nozzle back into the gas pump, smiled at the bearded man now filling his motorcycle with gas, and headed inside to buy milk.