Kiwi Rider August 2022 Vol.1 - Page 67

FICTION

PISTON RINGS & GAS RINGS ...

HOMEWARD BOUND

And so the saga of ' Happy ' Bert Day and his merry band of production racing desperados comes to an end .... and what an end it is !
WORDS : Moroney ILLUSTRATIONS : ‘ Douglas ’
" NICE to meet you Mr Gandar ," Bert said , as he flashed a quick smile in the direction of his silent companions , who now looked more weary than wary .
" Nice old bikes you lads have got out there ," he offered cheerily .
" They ' re doing the job ... so far ," Gandar replied .
Bert asked if he could join them for a moment , but one of the group , who appeared heavily intoxicated and not the sort you could expect to have a rational conversation with , swung a booted leg onto the only spare chair and said there wasn ' t room .
" Probably for the best ," Gandar said quietly while leaning forward and grasping Bert ' s arm . He apologised for his companions ' lack of hospitality but said there were foul forces afoot who
were seeking them . " Traffic cops ?" Bert ventured . Gandar smiled and shook his head . " No , no , no . Young man ... the less you know the better ."
Bert then asked Gandar if he could at least cast some light on where exactly they were , and Gandar looked perplexed .
He said they had ridden from Manxisle and were on the road west to Vegasville . They were on a desperate mission . More than that he could not say .
" One ring for the piston top and one ring for the base ," the drunken one in their midst began to sing .
" That will do !" Gandar bellowed in a voice which even scared the shit out of Bert .
Gandar turned away , but not after releasing a weak smile and a wave of the hand , which was clearly a signal of dismissal .
Bert got the message . He shrugged and wandered back to find Max on his own at the table .
Lenny had also decided to get a fix on their predicament and had shuffled over to talk to the colourfully dressed and interestingly scruffy hippies . " What ' d they have to say ?" Max asked . " Bloody odd lot ... I reckon they ' re on the run , or hard drugs , or something . The old bloke said we ' re on the road to Vegasville ... and that if we keep going east we ' ll come across a place called Manxisle ." Max cocked his head back in surprise . " I ' ve never heard of Manxisle ," he snapped . " And Vegasville ? Sounds like the sort of place someone would make up in a story ."
Lenny meanwhile had struck up a conversation with one of the willowy young women , attired in satins and laces and flowers , except
KIWI RIDER 67