You know that feeling when everything is right with the world?
You wake up five minutes before the alarm goes off and ease out of bed. A quick shit, shower & shave and a cup of coffee before you are out the door into a crisp, clear morning. Traffic is flowing just fine and you hit every green light in town, even getting the nod at the single stop sign as you head in to work.
At work, your boss is out on vacation and no one is looking over your shoulder. The machinery all works as it should, the parts are readily at hand and no one has borrowed a tool and forgotten to return it. Someone brings in bagels, and there is even your favorite onion & garlic, still slightly warm from the oven.
Lunch is at a local pub and that waitress you have had your eye on stops to chat and slips you her number. The day ends early and you are on the road before rush-hour, heading to your favorite watering hole for a couple of beers.
Yeah. Deacons's Thursday was nothing like that.
Oh, it started out pretty well, he got up without hitting the snooze more than two or three times and made it out the door after only cutting himself shaving twice. Traffic sucked, but he really didn't expect anything different, and even though he knew he was going to be late, he stopped to get a soggy breakfast sandwich and lukewarm coffee to settle his slightly hung over stomach.
Things started to look up when he rolled into the parking lot at work and his boss's car wasn't there yet. He remembered thinking that today was his lucky day after all and he could sneak in without getting the stink-eye from that fat fuck.
Nope. The fickle finger of fate, having fucked you, moves merrily on.
The boss was not only there, but he had come in early because his car had refused to start and he had to get a ride with his shrew of a wife. Somehow that was Deacon's fault. That the pig had not had time for his usual six course breakfast was also, somehow, Deacon's fault, and he walked out of the boss's office having been docked for two hours wages along with an official warning, and an almost overwhelming desire to choke the living shit out of the pig with his own, coffee-stained paisley tie.
When he got to his station and checked to see what was in the order basket for the day, he actually had the temerity to think his day was looking better. There was a custom order in for new design of drill head for the oil platform, and that meant he could play on the new three-axis mill.
Oh man, if he had a spare half million laying around, he would love one of these in his own shop!
Deacon had grown up following dad around after school, and farting around in his father's private shop on the weekends. He had cut his teeth on mills, busted knuckles on lathes, and the smell of oil and hot metal was like a memory of home. When Deacon had gotten sick of the politically correct New Army, he went back to his first love and started dropping applications at every business in the area.
He loved taking raw hunks of metal and turning them into beautifully machined works of art, and though he fucking hated his pinheaded boss, this place paid extremely well and he got to play with the coolest tools.
Karma, having noticed that he was starting to unbury himself from the pile of dung that was his morning, decided that fun was not in the cards. The power went out at about 10am, and it wasn't something as simple as a circuit breaker. When they finally got the story, it turned out that there had been some kind of accident at the switching station that feeds their area, and the estimated repair time was hovering at about twelve hours.
With the dock in pay, he had gotten out of bed, gotten chewed out by his own version of Dilbert's pointy-headed imbecile of a boss, and for fuck-all.
Home again, he gave serious thought to crawling back between his sheets and trying to sleep until tomorrow, but he knew that all he would accomplish was a short nap and a complete inability to sleep tonight. Then he would be late again tomorrow and he knew, with every fibre of his being, that another scene like the one in the boss's office this morning would end with Deacon being unemployed or in jail
So he did the responsible thing. Deacon wandered out to his shop, grabbed a beer from the fridge, and started sketching out an idea he had rolling around in his head for a new drop-seat frame. There was Sportster motor that had been sitting on the back work bench for almost a year, and it needed all the other bits to turn it back into a motorcycle. He had bought it on a whim, after seeing it on a local want-ad website. It had turned over by hand easily enough, and was in pretty good shape for an early Evo, so he brought it home.
Deacon had a love/hate relationship with Sportsters, ever since he was a kid, and currently owned four, if counted the two non-running Iron Heads in the rear of the shop. Five if you counted the motor without a home. The other two were newer bikes, one an '05 and one an '11.
Once he had the frame sketched out, and the measurements down on paper, Deacon spent the rest of the day fabricating a frame jig that would let him do the actual build. Night had fallen while he wasn't looking and his grumbling stomach told him to pack it in.
Rolling the 2011 XR out of the shop, and locking up, just took a couple of minutes. Then he was rolling down the road, the evening air a good twenty degrees cooler than it had been that morning. No matter how old he got, there was still something thrilling, atavistic, about running down the road on two wheels. It was exceedingly rare that even a short ride didn't leave him without a shit-eating grin on his face.
Tonight was no exception.
His destination was only about twenty miles away, a little wanna-be redneck bar that catered to beach goers and the guys from the Devil Canyon Nuclear power plant. He had worked there as a bouncer for a year after he had gotten out of the military, and had a soft spot for the big-breasted brunette named Katie who ran the place.
The fact that she ate more pussy in a year than he had in his entire life never stopped him from hitting on her. Her reactions never failed to make him laugh, and she had even surprised him once by grabbing his ears and kissing him in front of the entire bar. He might have gotten his hopes up that night, if she hadn't followed the kiss by whispering in his ear.
"How's that taste? Can you tell which waitress I was just counseling in my office?"
She was one hell of a gal.
Parking his bike by the door, in the clearly marked 'No Parking' area where he knew the bouncers would keep an eye on it, he nodded to the bruiser on duty and pushed through the genuine, imitation western saloon half-doors.
It was a calm night, only twenty or thirty customers in the whole place. Katie was sitting in a table near the end of the bar with what looked like a salesman. She caught Deacon's eye with a little wave, then turned back to the paperwork in front of her.
Turning towards the long bar that dominated the right wall of the room, Deacon could see three of the four bartenders were stocking the coolers or cleaning, and only Sarah was making drinks for the waitresses.
Sarah was married to the head bouncer, the fifth man to hold that slot since Deacon had been the headman almost a decade ago. Her husband Sam was a retired oil worker who was almost as wide as he was tall. He had biceps almost as large as Deacon's thighs and Deacon was no lightweight.
Sarah, on the other hand, might have weighed 90lbs if she was carrying a case of beer at the time, and was as cute as a button. A pixie cut hairdo, just a little makeup, and a smile that could light up a room, she made most of her tips from the male patrons while fending off more offers per minute than any woman he had ever met.
Sarah was so short that she had an empty beer crate, turned upside down, that she stood on during her shift so she could reach over the bar. Deacon had seen others tease her about it, but the tape-wrapped foot of steel rebar she had tucked away under the bar was no laughing matter. He had seen her lay out three guys faster than you could blink one night, and return to wiping down the bar with the same smile she had worn all night long. She and her husband made a formidable, though comedic looking, pair.
"Evening Deacon!" Sarah beamed, setting a Jack & Coke on the bar in front of him when he sat down.
"Hello beautiful. That ugly husband of yours around tonight?"
"Yeah, he's out back, watching the plumber. Had a problem with a busted pipe in the kitchen."
"Damn." Deacon sighed, putting on a sad face. "So no hope of me sweeping your off your feet tonight then."
Sarah smirked, hitting him playfully with her bar towel. "If I thought you were ever serious, I might send him home with that l the new girl he has been eyeing and give you a shot, big man!"
"Wait, there's a new girl?" Deacon mugged, looking around like a kid in a candy store. "She cute? Single?"
Sarah just held up her middle finger and wrinkled her nose. "Men!"
Deacon smiled, then continued, ignoring the impudent gesture. "I need food, I am damn near wasting away while you tease me! How about a burger, some fries, and maybe a slice of that cherry pie that Katie always has stashed away in the kitchen?"
"Sure thing, sweetie!" Sarah hopped down off her box, almost disappearing behind the tall wooden bar. Just the top of her head showed as she scooted back towards the kitchen to put in his order.
.... There is more of this story ...