Miles Clark
One time I hired Soddie, my new wife’s old boyfriend, to do the books at my auto body shop and boy was Soddie a crazy fuck, always went to lunch at this bar to chug a few bottles and rev up his motorbike and ride out with a pack of other guys, their yellow-black flags flapping behind them, out beyond the city reservoir where they could still spread over the whole highway and chase down lone station wagons and surround them and chain-whip the shit out of them, smash in their dashboard windows and their rear windows if no cops was around and they was feelin' real nasty one of ‘em’d whip a lovin’ .44 from out his belt and aim and take out the front tires of a wagon, blam, blam, watch the explosion of air through ripped rubber, watch the rig lurch crazily for a second with the bikers swooping lazily out of its way like winged insects lassoing a worm; they’d drive it off the highway and watch it founder through the desert scrub, sand spraying, coating its oil-choked underside until its engine gave up the ghost and then, yeah then it was really on, ‘cause the wagoneer would throw open her door, start scrambling away through the sand, fall down on her knees, lose her purse, singe her palms, still believing that a pack of obese bikers couldn’t possibly catch her even if she was crawling; but Soddie, see Soddie’d played a little linebacker in high school, and back then the coach said he’d never amount to nothin' and the cheerleaders hadn’t never screamed his name in games, but damn if any of them lithe wagoneers ever got more'n fifty yards away before Soddie’d windsprinted her down and threw her headlong into the burnin' sand and dropped his whole 240 pounds on top of her, a pillar of salty sweat with the sun at his back, unwinding his bandana, his long dirty hair falling, shading strips of the wagoneer’s face while she squealed like a half-roadkilled animal under the weight and by now Soddie'd be grinnin', reachin' deep into his leather jumpsuit and drawin' out a dark object and swayin' it over the woman’s eyes like a pendulum with the other huffin' motorbikers comin' up behind him and then, just then he’d ask her what time she thought it was:

“ah… ah… ah… bout one. About ten to one. It isn't fair.”

“Sorry,” sighs Soddie, his shoulders drooping. He lures in his silver watch chain, takes a look at the hands himself, restores it to the jumpsuit pocket. “I hope that the incoming traffic is not too bad today; I never get back late from lunch. We would not want your husband to get any big ideas, now would we?”

"Well," she says, finally. "Well, now."

Miles Clark's recent work is forthcoming in 5_Trope, Opium Magazine and Harpweaver. An e-book of his stories and poems will be available from in mid-July 2003. He is currently a senior at Claremont McKenna College.


In Posse: Potentially, might be ...